Supply Chain Trouble for Greece on the horizon
This past weekend, Greek decision-makers elected to shut down the country’s banking system for at least 7 days, a decision that is already having an impact on the nation’s importers and exporters. Greece’s major ports and airports, traditionally seen as regional transportation hubs, could experience a significant slowdown over the next several weeks and months as a result of the most recent financial crisis. Many companies are already facing capital shortages, and if a bailout agreement is not reached, export partners may search for regional alternatives due to the uncertain nature of doing business with the country and its floundering economy.
For those countries and businesses dependent on Greece for their exports, the development of a back-up plan is highly advised. While an immediate shift away from Greek exporters is not expected, agricultural and other specialized products may be sourced from regional alternatives such as Turkey. Of even greater concern is the country’s potential lack of ability to import necessities such as food if the bank closures persist.
To read more on the impact of Greece’s financial crisis on the supply chain, click here.
When you think smartphone, you typically think about the two giants, Apple and Samsung. However, a different smart phone manufacturer is making waves this week, namely the Chinese electronics company Xiaomi. The company recently announced it will be expanding beyond its home market and plans to sell its smart device, Redmi 2, in Brazil beginning next week for approximately $160. This price tag, according to Xiaomi officials, is 50% lower than comparative devices from its direct competitors, Samsung and Motorola. Xiaomi relies heavily on word-of-mouth marketing over social media networks and online-only sales, two factors that help keep the price for its smart phone low.
Brazil represents the fourth largest smartphone market and Xiaomi global expansion executive, Hugo Barra, hopes the country will serve as a successful stepping stone into Latin America. In order to avoid Brazil’s high import fees, the company agreed to terms with Foxconn regarding the local assembly of the smart device. Xiaomi also plans to source several of the smart phone components from within Brazil.
More details on Xiaomi’s expansion can be read here.
Facebook hosts second annual Sustainability@Scale Event
On June 30th, Facebook hosted an event called Sustainability@Scale at its Menlo Park, California offices that, among other topics, addressed the integration of sustainable practices into supply chain processes. Representatives from some big name companies, including Levi, Walmart, Salesforce and Hewlett-Packard, gathered to discuss how they can collectively tackle global issues including climate change, supply chain traceability and sustainability reporting.
The issue of sustainability reporting took center stage at the event in a debate titled “Thinking Outside the (check) Box.” It was argued that while numerous standards for different industries are in place, many companies have recently been setting corporate environmental goals without legally-binding commitments as to whether or not those goals are reached. Reporting is one way to hold these corporations accountable, but some argued that this is not enough. Natalie Teear, manager of sustainable business solutions at PwC, argued that a refined data collection and analysis process could enhance the value of the reporting process. She mentioned that advanced marketing or storytelling techniques for different stakeholders could improve reporting efforts.
Click here to read more about the main takeaways from the event.
Have a nice weekend!