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Strong Start for US Car Sales in 2012

by APICS Staff | N/A 2012 | 12 | 3

Strong Start for US Car Sales in 2012

The United States experienced unexpectedly strong automotive sales in January 2012, the New York Times reports__an 11.4 percent increase from January 2011, according to research firm Autodata. Chrysler saw a 44 percent increase in monthly sales, and Honda, Toyota, Ford, and Nissan also reported increases. The auto industry's annual selling rate reached 14.18 million, the highest in more than two years.

"This is healthy, this is good. It's sustainable," says Jesse Toprak, vice president of automotive pricing website TrueCar.com. Yearly sales figures have stayed below 14 million for each of the last four years and were as low as 10.4 million in 2009, but 2012 is "going to be another year of recovery where we have a very good chance of getting to that magic 14 million number," Toprak says.

Overall car sales rose 19.9 percent, and truck sales increased 3.7 percent. Sales of full-size pickups rose 47 percent at Chrysler and 8 percent at Ford. The Times says the good sales numbers for pickup trucks may indicate long-awaited improvement in the housing market.

At General Motors, however, sales dropped 6.1 percent from last January, and sales for its Chevrolet Volt hybrid fell from December after federal safety regulators began investigating potential battery fires.

Suppliers Falling Short of Green Targets May Be Dropped

Companies wishing to lower costs by going green may be willing to drop suppliers who don't quickly align to those goals, Bloomberg News reports. A survey jointly released by global consulting firm Accenture and the nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project reveals that the number of multinational companies planning to abandon suppliers within five years because of missed environmental targets more than doubled in 2011, to 39 percent.

The study involved large organizations such as Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, and Walmart, among others. These companies require vendors to take actions such as reducing water usage and carbon emissions to lower operational expenses and costs of goods. Investors pay attention to these ultimatums and rank businesses on criteria such as enforcement and locking in savings.

So far, there has not been much of a visible effect on suppliers. "We are yet to see a transformational impact on suppliers' emissions," says Frances Way, program director at the Carbon Disclosure Project. The study did not specifically recognize any of the companies planning to dismiss a supplier.

Manufacturing Helps US Unemployment Reach Three-Year Low

Unemployment in the United States dropped to the lowest level in three years, the Los Angeles Times reports. Labor Department data indicate that the US economy added 243,000 jobs in January 2012__about 100,000 greater than was anticipated. Manufacturing led the pack, with professional services, leisure, and health care industries also displaying strong gains.

Many economists believe the figures are a game-changer, and better times are ahead for American workers. But the economic news "was out of context with other things we've been seeing," says Heidi Shierholz, economist at the nonprofit think tank Economic Policy Institute. "We can't be confident that this is the new state of things."

On the other hand, US Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis believes the latest jobs report is not a one-month aberration. She believes the data support extending payroll tax cuts and emergency unemployment benefits beyond the end of this month, when they are scheduled to expire.

According to Patrick O'Keefe, economic research director at financial consultancy J.H. Cohn, office jobs are growing because companies are doing well and require business services. But they will not hire aggressively unless they're confident that demand will become stronger__

and even then, they may choose to bring on temporary workers or extend part-time workers' hours. "Employers have a need for labor, but they're tentative in their long-term commitment," O'Keefe says. 

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Save the date: Events to keep your eye on

APICS Asia Supply Chain & Operations 2012 conference

The growth of manufacturing has created extraordinary opportunities in Asia as well as increasing the challenges faced by companies all along the global supply chain. APICS Asia Supply Chain & Operations 2012 will focus on operations management topics such as identifying risks, developing infrastructure, demand management and sourcing, and strategy concerns faced by companies doing business in Asia. Learn more.

Mark your calendars! It's time to start getting ready for the 2012 APICS conferences. Visit apics.org/events for information.

  • 2012 APICS Asia Supply Chain & Operations conferences
    April 2-3, 2012
    Seoul, South Korea

    April 5-6, 2012
    Shanghai, China

    Register now.
  • Best of the Best S&OP conferences, presented by APICS and IBF 
    May 10-11, 2012
    London, England 

    June 14-15, 2012
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Hilton Chicago
  • 2012 APICS International Conference & Expo 
    October 14-16, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Colorado Convention Center

2012 APICS International Conference & Expo Call for Presentations

2012 APICS International Conference & Expo 
October 14-16, 2012
Denver, Colorado, USA
Deadline to submit your presentation: February 27, 2012

Operations and supply chain management professionals today face critical challenges with regards to demand alignment, risk management, supply chain integration, sustainability, and much more. As a knowledgeable industry leader, you are invited to share your expertise and strategies for success by submitting a presentation for the 2012 APICS International Conference & Expo. 

The theme for this year's conference is Elevate supply chain performance: Value creation through market alignment and integration. APICS seeks speakers who will not only examine, assess, and educate on key topics using the APICS body of knowledge, but also provide conference attendees with implementable strategies to improve performance by fine-tuning the entire supply network around a single goal. The APICS 2012 tracks are

  • Alignment to Demand
  • Case Studies in Sustainability and Risk Management
  • Foundations in Production and Inventory Management
  • Enabling Technologies and Analytics
  • Integration Strategies Across the Supply Chain
  • Optimizing Supply Chain and Operations Processes
  • Professional Advancement.

APICS 2012 key educational goals

Your success in the selection process will be determined by how well your submission provides

  • tactics to meet the challenges operations and supply chain professionals face in 2012 
  • practical education that enables attendees to acquire skills and knowledge that will improve performance
  • content that appeals to attendees with multiple learning styles and who are at different levels in their careers 
  • focused education complementary to the APICS Operations Management Body of Knowledge (OMBOK) Framework. 

Click to submit your presentation now
Submission Deadline: February 27, 2012 

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Predicting the future generally is thought impossible; yet, S&OP users seek to do just that by strategically directing businesses to achieve competitive advantage. Purchase this APICS folio to understand how you can enable your organization's bottom-line effectiveness with S&OP.

Upcoming Webinar
Members-only APICS Extra Live: Building a Disaster-Proof Supply Chain
February 22, 2012 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT
Presented by:
Mohanish Makharia, member, supply chain group, Wipro Consulting Services
Gerhard Plenert, PhD, practice partner, Wipro Consulting Services
Ramanan Sambukumar, leader, distributed supply chain, Wipro Consulting Services
Attend APICS Extra Live to gain deeper insight into the January/February APICS magazine article, "Your Resilient Supply Chain." The authors will discuss how unpredictable events such as natural disasters can damage revenues, profitability, market share, and brand image, and they will demonstrate techniques that minimize the impact of disruptions.
In this APICS Extra Live, you will learn

  • the components of a resilient supply chain and how to overcome barriers to attaining one
  • strategies to prepare for supply chain disruptions and how to come out ahead
  • methods to enable resiliency, including establishing clear lines of authority and proactive planning
  • how to build risk into decision making by coupling key risk indicators with key performance indicators.

Learn more or register.

Webinars On Demand Available

APICS Extra Live: Real-World Strategies for Improving Operational Efficiency
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APICS Extra Live: Racing Toward Operational Success with Kaizen
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APICS Extra Live: The People Factor in Supply Chain Excellence
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APICS Members-Only Webinar: Operations Management Résumé Benchmarking Survey Résumé Structure and Organization
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APICS Extra Live: Advancing Your Supply Chain with Foreign-Trade Zones
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APICS Extra Live: Merchandising for a Lean Supply Chain
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APICS Extra Live: Keep Projects Flowing with Visual Project Management
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APICS Members-Only Webinar: Résumé Formatting Best Practices

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Introducing APICS career packs. Use APICS career packs to understand your career path and next steps, evaluate candidate qualifications, or establish consistency across your organization's hiring.
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Individuals seeking to advance in one of the career pack job title areas can evaluate their knowledge and skills, plan their next steps, and identify areas for improvement and growth.
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Download the APICS members-only report 2011 S&OP Practices and Challenges and purchase the APICS Folio: How to Be an S&OP Champion 
Predicting the future generally is thought impossible; yet, S&OP users seek to do just that by strategically directing businesses to achieve competitive advantage, and-more and more-are expected to do so to enable their employers' bottom line profitability.

Supply chain professionals: Take the APICS CSCP Learning System Free Demo today
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APICS CPIM exam study options

APICS offers a variety of study options to help candidates prepare for the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) exams and enables them to choose the option that matches their preferred learning method.

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For students who learn best in a classroom-based environment, there are instructor-led courses.

Find courses at your local APICS chapter or find an APICS partner outside North America to find courses in your area.

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