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Wal-Mart’s Laundry Detergent War- A Shot Across the Bow to a Longstanding Collaborator

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Last week. The Wall Street Journal reported that there is: “a war bubbling up in laundry aisles of Wal-Mart” (paid subscription of free metered view), and it involves two global giants in the consumer product and household goods area, namely Procter & Gamble and Henkel and their respective premium-priced laundry detergent branded products.  This story is yet another example of how Wal-Mart can leverage the power of any supplier, even one with a long-lasting and presumed highly collaborative relationship. Wal-Mart recently decided to stock and feature Henkel’s Persil laundry detergent along-side the iconic Tide branded detergent. According to the report, Tide currently accounts for 60 percent of all U.S. sales of laundry detergent along with an estimated 85 percent of the profits. The brand received a prior sales boost with the introduction of Tide Pods in 2012, but that came after an uncharacteristic and visible supply stumble involving the product’s […]


More on FedEx Acquisition of GENCO and Bongo International

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This is additional supplement to our previous Supply Chain Matters commentary highlighting FedEx’s latest fiscal third quarter earnings. In mid- December of 2014, Supply Chain Matters called attention to the FedEx announced acquisition of GENCO, billed as one of the largest 3PL’s in North America operating more than 130 warehouse and distribution facilities. At the time, we also called attention to FedEx’s acquisition of Bongo International, an e-commerce platform that facilitates international customers purchasing items from domestic websites Based in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with reported revenues of $1.6 billion, GENCO provides a rather diverse collection of forward and reverse logistics services including distribution, contract packaging, customer returns processing product refurbishment, disposition and recycling. FedEx executives positioned this acquisition as significantly expanding FedEx services to further include returns, test, repair and remarketing of products. In late January, FedEx reported that it had closed on the acquisition and that GENCO would operate as […]


FedEx Impresses Wall Street with Positive Fiscal Third Quarter Results

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It seems as though the U.S. west coast port disruption as well as the recent holiday period provided positive benefits for some global carriers. Earlier this week FedEx reported rather rosy fiscal third-quarter financial results reporting a 53 percent surge in earnings as a result of a highly successful holiday shipping season as well as significantly lower fuel costs. Total reported revenues were up 4 percent to $11.8 billion and operating income nearly doubled from the year-earlier period. Total profit for the quarter increased to $580 million, 53 percent higher than year earlier period. In briefing analysts, executives pointed to reduced costs as a significant contributor to earnings growth.  Higher volumes across all transportation segments and improved yields at FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight were reported as key drivers of operating results. According to its recent quarterly filing, average per-gallon fuel costs for ground vehicles have dropped from $3.69 per […]


Industry Disruptor: Tesla and the Automotive Driving Experience

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We are often reminded that one of the most common traits of industry disruptors is that they think differently.  They challenge the notions of industry norms, current practices and business processes or the leveraged use of technology in product and service delivery.    Over the coming weeks, Supply Chain Matters will feature a series commentaries focused on industry disruptors and their implications to existing customer fulfillment. Fast becoming one of the icons of disruptive thinking approaches is Elon Musk with his current ventures in the automotive and space exploration and aerospace sectors.  The two companies he leads, Tesla Motors and Space Exploration Technologies have each challenged legacy industry practices. Supply Chain Matters has featured a number of prior commentaries specifically focused on Tesla and how this automotive producer has challenged existing norms in is driving re- thinking in supply chain vertical integration, advanced manufacturing practices, service and distribution strategy. Tesla’s […]


Technology Responds to Consumer Demands for Specific Knowledge of Food Supply Chains

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Just about two weeks ago, this author had the opportunity to be the opening speaker at the Intesource 2015 Innovation Best practices in Sourcing Conference held in Las Vegas.  Intesource’s customers generally reside within various tiers of food and beverage supply chains either as retailers, wholesalers or restaurant services providers. Besides addressing significant converging industry, IT and people skill megatrends impacting supply chains, I also addressed the needs for greater levels of multi-tiered visibility and transparency across food supply chains. Consumers now demand quality choices in the food they consume and branded products can no longer stand on just presence but on the composition of the products offered and served by the brand. I was therefore pleased to read in the Wall Street Journal CIO Blog (paid subscription or complimentary metered viewing) that Bumble Bee Seafoods is planning to launch a website that allows consumers to trace the origins of […]


Labor Union Seeks Organizing Vote at Boeing South Carolina Facility

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The largest organized labor union within Boeing has filed with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a labor union organizing vote within the aerospace producer’s North Charleston South Carolina production facility. The move comes after a number of workers at this facility signed authorization cards indicating interest in being unionized. The North Charleston South Carolina production facility was established as a secondary production and final assembly facility for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.  Six years ago, among selection criteria for this plant was its existence in the Southern region of the U.S., a predominant non-union regional environment. According to business media reports, the plant has struggled to meet increasing production volume requirements and that seems to be the point of contention among existing workers seeking to be organized. First customer ship of a 787 originating from the Charleston facility occurred in July 2012. This particular facility has been […]


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