Here are some interesting or useful articles that I found recently.
As I wrote recently, buyers should try to have visibility in their supply chain — beyond their suppliers, into their sub-suppliers.
For example, of my clients desperately wants to know where a material, which is essential for his production and can make or break the final quality of his products, is sourced. However, his direct suppliers just won’t disclose it.
This article is a bit unrealistic when it comes to the Chinese business environment. But, if you are lucky and have cooperative suppliers (and you should probably put this forward as a deal breaker when you start discussions with potential suppliers), maybe you can follow the recommendations it lays out.
As I wrote before, the new destinations for importers who chase low wages in Asia will be… in Africa. Mega retailers such as H&M and Tesco are testing the waters. Small buyers should not consider this option seriously, though.
InTouch shared the common social audit checkpoints that correspond to Walmart’s requirements. They also shared a typology of risks: what findings represent a high risk, intermediate risk, and low risk. Very interesting.
The communication continues around the “rebirth of American industry” and the “re-shoring movement:
The day was an homage to manufacturing in the U.S., an effort that has been a priority for Wal-Mart since earlier this year when it pledged to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S. products over the next decade. (Wal-Mart took in $469 billion in revenues in 2012.)
50 billion in 10 years is 5 billion a year? That’s about 1% of their sales… Is this supposed to impress us?
Oh, and GE announces the creation of 150 jobs. Their total headcount is over 300,000. +0.05%! Great!
Liz Long gives some excellent advice to new buyers who need to get the proper attention from potential suppliers. Read this article if you feel suppliers are not responsive enough!