Companies' procurement departments can further diversity and inclusion by diversifying supplier networks, writes Stephen Day, chief procurement officer at Kantar. "There is evidence that companies with diversity-focused suppliers experience a much higher ROI in terms of procurement while simultaneously spending less," Day writes.
The Fastener Distributor Index from FCH Sourcing Network and R.W. Baird came in at 66.0 for March, down from February's 66.1. However, the FDI's Forward-Looking Indicator set a record of 78.5, a 4.6-point increase from February.
Distributors can have a hard time detecting and averting customer churn, but artificial intelligence can reduce this by predicting whether customers are likely to leave, Benj Cohen writes. Distributors need new ways of examining churn because not all customers present the same risk factors and because warning signs like missed reorders often go unnoticed.
Machine tool orders were up 34% in February, the fourth month in a row with year-over-year gains and "likely the beginning of a sustained recovery following the 2020 recession," said Douglas Woods, president of The Association for Manufacturing Technology.
February storms in Texas shut down chemical plants, which in turn have caused delays in making propylene oxide, a component in the foam that's used in recreational vehicles. Some RV manufacturers have moved forward with production but have pushed furniture installation to the end of the process.
Purell maker GOJO Industries has added manufacturing and distribution sites while hiring extra workers to handle 24-hour-a-day production during the pandemic. The company stepped up safety efforts with surveys, moving employees to remote work when possible, using multiple modes of communication and adjusting onboarding for onsite and offsite new employees.
Honeywell has a goal of carbon neutrality by 2035 that builds on progress the company has in the past 15 years, says CEO Darius Adamczyk. This push will require billions of dollars and includes internal investment in environmental-related technologies, he adds.
Timken Co.'s Louise Dalton started her career as the only female among 45 men as a technician apprentice for a helicopter manufacturer while taking classes. "By continuing to accept new challenges, I amassed a wide range of expertise in engineering, global distribution, global business analytics and aerospace," say Dalton, who is Timken's director of global supply chain.
Alibaba Group Holding has been fined $2.8 billion by China's State Administration for Market Regulation, which said the company punished merchants that sold products on its e-commerce site and those of its rivals. The government is also requiring Alibaba to overhaul its operations and provide a "self-examination compliance report," and the company says it will "operate in accordance with the law with utmost diligence."
The majority of supply chain executives and managers surveyed by GlobalTranz and Edelman say they believe that the economy will recover strongly and that their businesses are well-positioned to fulfill demand this year. Almost 80% of respondents are prioritizing adding warehouse space and locations, while over 75% are focusing on re-shoring or near-shoring supply chains.
- Page 1