One small step for man, one giant leap for the supply chain
Fans of the hit sci-fi cartoon Futurarma will probably be more than familiar with the pitfalls of the 30th century intergalactic supply chain model as the series follows the dramas of the Planet Express delivery company as it sets about its interplanetary courier service. However, an article released this week highlights what the reality of maintaining a supply chain in space would entail today. The article, based on a info graphic from the Florida Tech University, suggests that the payload cost to transport a pound of material in to orbit could cost anything from $6000 to $30000 and to transport just one gallon of water to the moon could cost nearly $700,000!
While distribution costs associated with the intergalactic supply chain remains rocket high, the setup of strategic supply chain networks on both the moon and asteroids is envisaged as the next big step for the world of logistics and beyond. Perhaps the establishment of a space supply chain is not as many light years away as once thought.
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Inside Intel’s supply chain
Over the last 5 years, Intel, the world’s biggest producer of semiconductor chips, has been driving improvements throughout its supply chain. As a key component in almost every electrical product, semiconductors have become a vital part of modern life and without them our smart phones and tablets would either severely lack functionality or not exist at all. According to reports, the electrical super-power has achieved a 32% reduction in inventory as well as 60% shorter lead-times through integrating IT systems and utilizing the benefits of advanced inventory optimization. The improvements to the supply chain now means Intel can respond 300% faster to customer demands.
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Sandy leaves supply chains feeling under the weather
Six months after Hurricane Sandy tore through the American East Coast, hopes of a fast recovery have been dampened as concerns over fuel supply cripple affected areas. According to reports, storm surges and flooding in New York harbor drowned one of the world’s largest distribution hubs exposing major weaknesses across the fuel supply chain. The extreme weather shut down operations at two major refineries and tankers containing foreign oil suppliers were left halted by water debris. In the weeks following the storm, rescue operations were hindered as 2/3 of gas stations ran out of fuel, forcing the first state-imposed fuel rationing since the 70s.
Since Sandy struck, there have been some efforts to protect the supply chain from future crises with the implementation of backup generators and a special working group investigating ways to further improve supply chain infrastructure. However, reports this week suggest that actions taken to mitigate the impact of flooding are so far insufficient as prevailing weaknesses in the fuel supply chain still leave the east coast dangerously exposed to extreme weather.
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Have a great weekend!