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Industry Focus

Each industry has its own specific supply chain management challenges and issues. The articles on this page will examine how decisions that are made in specific industries such as automotive, retail, pharmaceuticals, apparel and energy.

Food Safety In The Supply Chain
Today there is a drive in the food supply chain for food safety along all aspects of the supply chain. Keeping food safe requires that food growers, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and importers work in unison to ensure that the end product that reaches the consumer is safe for consumption. This article looks at many aspects of keeping...

Federal Express (FedEx)
FedEx, previously known as Federal Express, is a major player in the package delivery market and a direct competitor to global leader, United Parcel Service (UPS). FedEx was founded in 1971 and now has an annual revenue of $40 billion and 300,000 employees. This article examines the history of the company from its early days in Little Rock to...

Wal-Mart's Strategic Initiatives
Early 2009 Wal-Mart introduced a plan that was hoped to ensure that the company would remain the industry leader. Project Impact is based on three strategic initiatives that will improve the benefits to the customer. The three initiatives are; Save Money, Live Better; Win, Play, Show; and Fast, Friendly, Clean. This article examines aspects of the Project Impact initiative.

Introduction to Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)
Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) are followed by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to ensure that their items are manufactured to specific requirements. This article is an introduction to the regulations that govern the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and bioligicals in the US.

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
Pharmaceutical products save lives every day. Manufacturers of these important drugs spend many millions of dollars over many years to bring a product to the market. There are a number of functions in a pharmaceutical company that follow the product from its original discovery to the sale of the product to the public. This article examines the...

Industrial Action In The Indian Automotive Industry
Many Western companies have taken advantage of the resource available in India and the willingness of Indian states and the federal government to encourage investment in some of its more rural areas. Companies have created large automotive plants and have been frustrated by union activities allowed by law. This article looks at some of the worst industrial action that has affect the Indian automotive industry.

Logistics Clusters
A review of the book, Logistics Clusters: Delivering Value and Driving Growth by Yossi Sheffi, Professor of Engineering Systems at MIT and Director of the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics.

Pharmaceutical Supply Chain
The supply chain was something that pharmaceutical companies did see as being as important as getting drugs to the market. However this article shows how the supply chain is now of greater importance to pharmaceutical companies.

Importing Food Into The United States
Despite the resources to grow produce in the US, much of the food which consumers purchase is imported due to the lower costs that can be found elsewhere in the world. However, many developing countries do not have the same sanitary and health measures that provide the same level of protection as we are used to in the US.

Export Regulations
Companies that export food products from the US to other nations, have to abide my a series of regulations that are mandated by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). This article looks at the regulations and policies that a company must follow.

Retail Supply Chain
In today’s retail and consumer products environment consumers rule. This explosive transformation of consumer demand is driving complexity and cost into the supply chain at exactly the same time retailers need to invest more in meeting consumer needs. This article describes how retailers can meet these challenges by building specialized supply chain models that are fast, responsive and low cost.

Exporting to Australia
Australia has strict regulations concerning the importation of food into the country. For the last 20 years ago the country introduced the Imported Food Control Act of 1992. The law is to provide for the compliance of food imported into Australia. All food that is imported must meet strict biosecurity requirements.

Hydraulic Fracturing
Hydraulic fracturing is a method used in the majority of natural gas wells in the US, where water, sand and chemicals are pumped underground to break apart the rock and release the trapped gas. The pressurized combination of the chemically treated water and sand fractures the rock layers and in turn releases gas, oil or water that otherwise would not be accessible.

Emerging Markets Program (EMP)
The Emerging Markets Program (EMP) is a market access program that provides funding for technical assistance activities proposed to promote exports of American agricultural commodities and products to emerging markets administered by the USDA. This article looks at the benefits of the Emerging Markets Program.

Intellectual Property
The theft of intellectual property is as prevalent as counterfeiting. In the case of intellectual property or IP, the theft is of creative expressions such as plans for an item, literature, music, and films. The theft of IP is estimated in the billions and it carried out by individuals in countries where IP laws are lax or non-existent.

Food Supply Chain
The food supply chain is garnishing more attention as consumers are concerned about outbreaks of foodborne diseases as well as issues such as the horse meat being identified in packaged foods in Europe. As with other industries, food retailers and manufacturers have to be more knowledgeable about the suppliers they use and where their product originates.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.

US Market Access Program
The Market Access Program (MAP) uses funds from the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Commodity Credit Corporation to assist American producers, exporters, and trade organizations finance promotional activities for American agricultural products. This article looks at how this program helps the agricultural sector.

Environmental Issues of Hydraulic Fracturing
It is well understood that hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, has the potential to increase the supply of natural gas available in the US. However, many believe that the benefits of fracking are outweighed by the environmental risks of the method and seek to stop further hydraulic fracturing wells. This article examines some of the environmental issues raised.

Agriculture in India
India has seen massive growth in industrial output. There is a growing highly educated population that is attractive to foreign investors and triggered an influx of investment into the country. However, one area that has not realized any growth despite its huge potential is the area of agriculture.

Coal Generated Energy
Energy is a topic that is very political in the US and has generated much discussion about other forms of electricity production such as from coal fired power stations, nuclear power stations, and greener forms of energy such as wind and solar power. However, with any form of power generation, coal does not come without its detractors and environmental issues.

Online Automotive Supply Chain
The large automotive manufacturers and suppliers have developed expansive computer systems that don't allow any collaboration. The US automotive industry has to change to survive as a result of the high price of gas. This article examines the need to bring the automotive supply chain online and out in the open.

Food Waste
A variety of reports have found that over 30 million tons of food are being are being sent to landfill in the US each year. Globally 1.3 billion tons are wasted. That equates to billions of dollars that are simply thrown in the garbage. The reasons for food waste are many fold. This article looks at how food is wasted in developed and developing nations.

Preventing Food Waste in Developing Countries
In developing countries the problem of food waste is early in the food supply chain, at the initial producer and the storage and transportation of the food once it has left the farm. There are a number of ways in which developing countries can help prevent this food waste and increase the amount of food reaching the consumer.

Taming the Aerospace Supply Chain
For Aerospace companies, integrating suppliers and customers to capture supply chain efficiencies and effectiveness is critical. The authors of this article explain that knowing this fact and doing it are two different matters.

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