APICS is the premier professional association for supply chain management.

Track and Trace Coming to India’s Liquor Industry

by APICS staff | N/A 2013 | 13 | 3

Soon, India’s state of Delhi will implement a pilot of a 2D bar code system to prevent illegal liquor and impede tax evasion, the Daily Mail reports. Starting February 15, each bottle of alcohol will be uniquely identifiable by a bar code, enabling verification that the bottle is legitimate and increasing government revenues. Customers will be able to scan the bar codes themselves.

At distilleries, a bar code sequence number is obtained before each lot is scheduled. The bottles are scanned and sent to government warehouses, then to retail outlets. The Delhi government expects the tracking system to curb the sale of illegal liquor and enable real-time reports on inventory, sales, and revenue.

Is Outsourcing the Cause of Boeing’s Dreamliner Woes? 

As the US National Transportation and Safety Board expands its inquiry into two incidents that occurred in January, many point to Boeing’s outsourced production and lack of oversight for the failings of the 787 Dreamliner, the Seattle Times reports. The Dreamliner was grounded indefinitely on January 16th after one battery caught fire in a 787 in Boston and another was found smoldering on a flight in Japan. According to an unnamed Boeing engineer, subcontractors operating outside of Boeing’s purview are producing low-quality components that are “cheap, plastic, and prone to failure.”

Another Boeing insider says that, while the company made late efforts to tighten supplier management, it gave too much control to multiple tiers of suppliers. Boeing, however, is not quick to place blame. “Our standards and expectations for design, production, quality, and performance have always been, and remain today, as high on the 787 as they are on any other commercial program,” says spokesperson Marc Birtel.

Beef Was Contaminated with Horsemeat Possibly for a Year

The Polish supplier linked to the UK horsemeat scandal may have been providing meat to the supply chain for an entire year,the Guardian reports. In January, horsemeat was found in hamburgers sold at several major UK supermarkets, including Tesco and Aldi. Meanwhile, Burger King spokespeople say that samples of its burgers tested negative for horsemeat, although trace levels were found at one production facility.

The yet-unrevealed Polish company provided beef products to Silvercrest, one of Europe’s biggest burger suppliers, for about a year, making that the “probable limit” for contamination, says Catherine Brown, chief executive of the UK Food Standards Agency. Many companies have ceased dealing with Silvercrest in the wake of the scandal, although many maintain relations with its owner, ABP Food Group.

None of the Polish slaughterhouses under scrutiny are licensed to kill horses, says Jaroslaw Naze, Poland’s deputy veterinary officer, adding that it is possible that horsemeat came into slaughterhouses illegally or entered the supply chain during the mincing process.

More Firms Installing Electric-Vehicle Chargers in the Workplace

Google, Ford, GE, and 10 other companies have joined with the US Department of Energy in the Workplace Charging Challenge, an effort achieve a tenfold increase in the number of electric-vehicle charging stations over the next five years, Environmental Leader reports. The companies have pledged to assess the demand for plug-in electric vehicle chargers and install them at one or more work sites.

The initiative is part of the EV Everywhere Challenge, a program announced by President Obama to make electric vehicles affordable and convenient alternatives to vehicle that require gasoline within the next 10 years. The other companies involved in the program are 3M, Chrysler, Duke Energy, Eli Lilly, General Motors, Nissan, San Diego Gas & Electric, Siemens, Tesla, and Verizon.

Uncovering Common Failures of Business Leadership

Why do good companies fail? If you ask 10 executives, you’ll get 10 different answers, according to a Fox Business editorial. However, as tech strategy consultant Steve Tobak writes, following are some common warning signs that indicate poor leadership at the top:

  • Having all the answers. When leaders do not question and listen, they stop learning and adapting.
  • Selling a grandiose vision. Ironically, the more bombastic the idea, the better the executive’s sales pitch.
  • Following the status quo. Markets, innovation, and competition all are forces for change, and past performance is no guarantee of future results.
  • Listening to yes-men. At Research in Motion (now known as Blackberry), the first iPhone and Android smartphones were met with derision.
  • Fear of taking risks. Executives should take the advice of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who said, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

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