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APICS Supply Chain Management Now

APICS Supply Chain Management Now gives exclusive commentary from APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE. This weekly e-newsletter offers insights into current events and supply chain, logistics and operations management topics and how they all relate to the APICS body of knowledge.

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  • Manufacturing as an Economic Key

    Nov 11, 2016
    In the United States, as in other areas of the industrialized world, factories have changed. Many have moved to lower-wage countries, leaving industrial wastelands in their place. Earlier this week, in “Small Factories Emerge as a Weapon in the Fight Against Poverty,” The New York Times focused on one such area in Baltimore. There, Marlin Steel is a success story, maintaining its ground and producing metal baskets for bigger manufacturers such as Ford, Boeing, and Merck.
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  • The Trouble with Tricky Suppliers

    Nov 04, 2016
    Trick-or-treating may be over for the year, but tricky suppliers are a problem all the time. Forbes highlighted this last week in the article “Do Supply Chain Audits Work? Dealing with Deviant Suppliers Like a Journalist.”
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  • Major League Baseball: Making America’s Sport International

    Oct 28, 2016
    If you know me, you know I’m a fan of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. This certainly has been an exciting week with the Cubs playing the Cleveland Indians in Major League Baseball’s 2016 World Series. Game three is tonight, and my home team is returning to its home, Wrigley Field. Of course, I’ll be watching the game, hoping the Cubs can become the World Series champions for the first time since 1908.
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  • BlackBerry Expanding in Indonesia

    Oct 21, 2016
    BlackBerry might not be making smartphones anymore, but the company has a new business model and is attempting to capitalize on the global market. According to The Wall Street Journal, BlackBerry is licensing its software and outsourcing its production in its largest market, Indonesia, which boasts a population of 250 million people.
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  • Aviation Agrees to Limit Carbon Emissions

    Oct 14, 2016
    Last Thursday, members of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed to cap carbon dioxide emissions from international flights after 2020. The Wall Street Journal reports that airlines that don’t limit their emissions will have to buy carbon-offsetting credits.
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  • The High Cost of Cheap Minerals

    Oct 07, 2016
    Last Friday’s cover story in The Washington Post, “The Cobalt Pipeline,” carefully examines how the valuable mineral travels via supply chains from Congo into consumers’ phones, laptops, and electric cars. Congo is home to a wealth of minerals and natural resources, but its population is very poor. Corruption along with human rights abuses and child labor in cobalt mining run rampant.
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  • APICS 2016: Elevating Your Supply Chain to New Heights

    Sep 30, 2016
    At the conclusion of my 10th annual APICS conference, I continue to be amazed and motivated by the attendees, speakers, and APICS staff. I’m ecstatic to give readers everywhere a glimpse of what we learned this week in Washington, DC.
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  • 3D Printing: UPS Turns Threats into Opportunities

    Sep 23, 2016
    United Parcel Service (UPS) is making plans to adopt innovations in the 3D printing marketplace. The US shipping company announced last week that it would expand its 3D printing services to Asia and Europe “in a bid to fully embrace and get ahead of a trend that threatens to eat away a small but lucrative part of its business,” Nick Carey writes for Reuters.
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  • Lost at Sea

    Sep 16, 2016
    The title of this week’s Supply Chain Management Now isn’t from a new Hollywood thriller; this situation is real, and it’s serious. One of the world’s biggest shipping companies, South Korea-based Hanjin Shipping, filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, leaving as much as $14 billion worth of cargo floating and manufacturers uncertain, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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  • Replenishing the World’s Water

    Sep 09, 2016
    Although water covers almost 70 percent of the earth’s surface, only about 2.5 percent of it is fresh and only about 1 percent is easy to access. That means about one in nine people worldwide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water. Therefore, replenishing and preserving water is an immense part of sustainability efforts for industries and for individuals.
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  • Zika Hits Supply Chain

    Sep 02, 2016
    This summer, the world has heard a great deal about the Zika virus, especially as athletes and fans from all around the globe flocked to Brazil, an affected region, for the 2016 Olympics. As the mosquito-borne virus has spread to the United States, Zika has affected US supply chains and trade with China as well. Chinese officials have tracked the virus and keep a list of Zika-affected countries. Shipments from these countries must be fumigated before they enter the Chinese market. Last month, officials added the United States to this list. This new status has US exporters worried about added costs and shipping delays, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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  • Mexico’s Gain Might Also Help US

    Aug 26, 2016
    Mexico’s manufacturing economy is booming, according to an article published earlier this week in The Los Angeles Times. This manufacturing insurgence is fostering a growing middle class in that country, but what that means for American manufacturing and its middle class is still in question.
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  • Businesses Everywhere Could Learn from German SMEs

    Aug 19, 2016
    You may never have heard of the companies Rimowa, Jungbunzlauer, or Strama-MPS, but an August 12 Harvard Business Review article by Winfried W. Weber suggests that these and other small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Germany could teach a few things to companies all over the world seeking to endure in good economic times and bad.
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  • Boosting E-Commerce

    Aug 12, 2016
    Walmart Stores Inc. this week agreed to pay $3.3 billion for, a year-old online retailer. The Wall Street Journal reports this is the largest-ever purchase of a US e-commerce startup, and a LinkedIn Pulse article digs into the reasons why.
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  • Pedaling Toward the (Supply Chain) Finish Line

    Aug 05, 2016
    Business and bicycling: It’s not often that those two things are mentioned together. However, this week, Quartz ran a story advising businesses to learn from British Cycling and how it seized an opportunity to get more women involved in the sport.
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  • Transparency’s Downsides

    Jul 29, 2016
    It’s the solution we hear over and over again for many of our supply chain challenges: transparency. Transparency for suppliers, transparency for customers, and transparency for colleagues are all made out to be the ultimate answer. However, in his July 21 Harvard Business Review article, David De Cremer challenges that idea. He warns that transparency might not be the “universal solution—and may even create new problems.”
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  • Collaborating for Success

    Jul 22, 2016
    Shipping demand and prices for 2016 remain sluggish, experts say, leaving smaller third-party logistics (3PL) providers challenged and larger companies shopping for potential acquisitions. According to, Echo Global Logistics is an example of a fast-growing logistics company that is expanding through acquisition.
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  • Ramping Up after a Downturn

    Jul 15, 2016
    The oil and gas industry is readying itself for a comeback. According to The Wall Street Journal, after two years of oil slump, there is a slow recovery happening. However, this recovery might be encumbered by labor shortages, equipment that has sat idle too long, and cash availability.
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  • Selling E-Commerce in Africa

    Jul 08, 2016
    In Lagos, Nigeria, curbside salespeople used to offer anything from plantain chips to mobile phones. In fact, street trading and street hawkers are a cultural tradition in this largest city in Nigeria. In a June 30, 2016, New Yorker article, Jake Bright describes these merchants and Jumia, the company that might change commerce as Nigeria, and perhaps even Africa, knows it. Jumia is branding itself as the “largest e-commerce platform in Africa.”
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  • Forecasting Brexit’s Logistics Implications

    Jul 01, 2016
    Just about a week ago, the world received the news that citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) voted to withdraw from the European Union (EU) by a narrow margin of 4 percentage points. Now, after months of speculating whether or not Brexit could be a reality, the business world is forecasting how Brexit will affect global commerce. Shortly after the Brexit vote announcement, The Wall Street Journal published an article about how this political move will influence the European supply chain.
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