Who has the world’s best supply chain?
Gartner released its annual top 25 supply chain list this week, a report that recognizes and documents organizational best practices in the field of supply chain and logistics. According to Gartner, the list is made up of companies that best exemplify the demand-driven ideal for supply chain practices in today’s operating environment. For the first time in the 12-year history of Gartner’s ranking report, Unilever was ranked number one. McDonald’s, Amazon and Intel followed Unilever in the ranking and took their usual spots in the top five which was rounded out by new-comer H&M. Three companies, BASF, BMW and Schneider Electric, made their top 25 ranking debut. Both Apple and Proctor and Gamble were placed in the “Masters Category”, a designation reserved for companies that rank in the top five for at least 7 of the past 10 years. Two companies, HP and GlaxoSmithKline PLC made the cut again this year after several years of absence. This annual report typically serves as a great catalyst when it comes to discussing, debating and learning about supply chain excellence.
Read more on the rankings here.
Short on sugar
Coca-Cola has been forced to cut production of certain soft drinks in Venezuela due to a shortage of sugar. A company spokesman commented that sugar-free drinks such as Diet Coke will however continue to be produced in the country. Venezuela is currently in the midst of an energy and food shortage, and the impact of this crisis is taking its toll on supply chain operations. So why the sugar shortage? Sugar in Venezuela is subject to governmental price controls and smaller farmers of sugar cane have been turning to other, non-controlled crops. Other reasons for the shortage include rising production costs and problems obtaining the appropriate fertilizer.
Venezuela’s economic problems stretch beyond the production and purchase of coke products as customers have been forced to wait in long lines to obtain basic foodstuffs. The country’s economy has been in an extended recession and is expected to shrink 8% in 2016, this after a drop of 5.8% in 2015. Venezuela’s reliance on the oil industry carries a large portion of the blame for this current recession. As a result of these tough economic times, many companies are pulling out of the country, an effect that is expected to exacerbate its economic troubles. Bridgestone, for example, a leading tire manufacturer, announced it will be selling its Venezuelan business after 60 years of operating in the country. Other large corporations slowing down or abandoning their investments in the country include Ford and Proctor & Gamble.
Read more on Venezuela’s economic and supply chain troubles here.
More steps taken toward mass production 3D-Printing processes
Last week we covered some exciting news from the 3d-Printing world, and headlines again indicate the technology will have a big impact on manufacturing processes in the coming years. This week it is Airbus making waves with the publishing of a patent for a new 3D printing process that has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing and could see the production of an entire aircraft. It is believed that the main 3D printed components of an airplane, for example, fuselage, wings and doors, would be able to withstand the intense operating conditions without giving up any of their aerodynamic characteristics. The unique printing process could actually create a more structurally sound aircraft compared to current manufacturing processes.
Read more on how this new 3D printing process works here.
Have a great weekend!