Supply Chain in the News
A couple of weeks ago, BusinessWeek ran an article on Apple’s supply chain. The article describes the high level of involvement that Steve Jobs had in supply chain decisions and makes the case that Apple’s investment in supply chain operations is a significant competitive differentiator. Apple is frequently in the news, especially in the weeks since Steve Jobs passed away last month. What makes this article so interesting to me, however, is that it represents an increased interest in supply chain considerations in mainstream media. When I first started in this industry, not many people outside of the industry had an interest in supply chain. Lately, more and more people are showing an understanding of how the supply chain impacts businesses and consumers.
Home Depot reported strong earnings earlier this week. In the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the earnings announcement, supply chain investments and improvements were the headline. Changes in the way the company handles product flows have created so much value for Home Depot that this was the primary focus of the CFO’s comments during his discussion of the results.
Another article was published this week focused on supply chain challenges that Dell is likely to face over the next couple of quarters. The current supply problems with hard drives resulting from the floods in Thailand will likely have a negative impact not just on Dell, but on other PC manufacturers as well.
As a supply chain professional, it’s nice to see so much interest in this part of the economy. In the next few days, as millions of Americans head to retail stores to take advantage of Black Friday sales, hopefully a significant percentage of them will consider how those products got there.