According to a survey, most high-tech manufacturers in the United States expect to increase exports of consumer electronics, Reuters reports. Only 23 percent of respondents say they had export growth over the past two years, but 74 percent expect growth in the next two years. The survey, conducted by IDC Manufacturing Insights for UPS, polls supply chain and logistics managers at 125 manufacturers in industries including consumer electronics, semiconductors, communications equipment, and electronic components and accessories.
Reasons cited for the increased optimism about exporting include a growing middle class in developing nations, a growing number of free-trade pacts among nations, and rising labor costs overseas. The increasing middle class has “more disposable income and a heavy appetite for technology products like cell phones, tablets and laptops,” says Ken Rankin, marketing director at UPS. Respondents also reveal that unstable global suppliers, security concerns, and the difficulty of managing global inventory are the biggest barriers to raising export levels.
The survey also reveals that manufacturers expect India, the Middle East, and Africa to be the biggest areas of tech export growth, followed by Brazil, South America, Eastern Europe, Korea, and China. Currently, the companies surveyed sell and ship 97 percent of products in North America. That number is expected to decline to 90 percent within three to five years. About 70 percent of respondents also say they will alter distribution networks in response to a widening of the Panama Canal to allow larger ships in 2015.
IKEA Switching Entirely to LED-based Light Bulbs
Swedish furniture giant IKEA will sell light bulbs based only on light-emitting diodes (LED) starting in 2016, the Financial Times reports. Light bulbs installed in its stores also will transition to LEDs in the next few years. Reasons cited for the change to LEDs include better lighting, cheaper running costs, a desire to push consumers toward greener technologies, greater flexibility regarding colors, and the lack of mercury compared to compact fluorescents. Fewer Drug Shortages Occurring in 2012
“Lighting becomes much more exciting,” says Steve Howard, chief sustainability officer at IKEA. “The old technology is pretty inflexible. People don’t like waiting some seconds or minutes for full brightness. If people can see how good LEDs can be, we think they will swap.”
One hurdle for mass consumer adoption of LEDs is the higher purchasing costs compared to other types of light bulbs. However, their lower operating costs should still make them cheaper in the long run than other options.
Currently, LED technology is less effective at performing some functions compared to other bulbs, such as dimming. This is part of the reason IKEA is giving itself a few years to make the switch. Howard says the company is nevertheless fully committed to the plan. “The advantage of pushing everything behind it with the scale we have is that we will be able to bring down the cost,” he says.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), drug shortages are at about half the levels compared to this time last year, MedPage Today reports. There were 181 total tracked shortages in 2010, 251 in 2011, and only about 100 so far this year. The drop is credited to improved quality at drug manufacturers, leading to fewer regulatory actions and recalls.
Drug shortages occur primarily in difficult-to-manufacture sterile medicines made for injection. A very small number of companies produce these materials, which amplifies the consequences of even a single shortfall. “We have fewer new shortages, but ... some of these firms that [were] having problems are still having problems,” says Valerie Jensen, registered pharmacist and associate director of the drug shortage program in the FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Her group has increased its efforts in the past few years to assist drug companies in managing quality and supply issues. Often, the FDA asks companies to increase production when there is danger of a shortage, although it lacks the authority to enforce these requests.
Congress recently passed a bill that requires drugmakers to inform the FDA of known supply disruptions that could create or worsen shortages, which helps the agency to carry out prevention and response tactics. However, some congressmen blame strict enforcement policies surrounding recalls as a root cause of drug shortages.
2012 APICS International Conference & Expo
October 14–16, 2012
Denver, Colorado, USA
Colorado Convention Center
Registration for the 2012 APICS International Conference & Expo is now open. The conference will be held October 14-16, 2012 in Denver, Colorado, USA. The theme of APICS 2012 is Elevate supply chain performance: Value creation through market alignment and integration.
Visit the APICS 2012 website and register today!
Introducing the APICS Risk Management certificate
APICS now offers a comprehensive, forward-looking program that will prepare you to lead risk management activities or participate in the development of global risk mitigation strategy. The APICS Risk Management certificate validates that you have received 12 educational contact hours in core and elective risk management topics.
Obtain the hours necessary to earn the certificate by attending the Risk Management learning path at the 2012 APICS International Conference & Expo (5 hours) and participating in one of the following to complete the remaining 7 hours
- a combination of risk sessions at future educational events including the APICS International Conference & Expo, APICS Supply Chain Asia Conference, or Best of the Best S&OP Conference
- APICS Risk Management Seminar (7 hours)
- pre-approved risk management education sessions at partner events.
Attend the APICS Risk Management Workshop before APICS 2012
Attend a special risk management workshop on the Friday before APICS 2012 at the conference site and receive seven participation hours. Complete the remaining five hours required to earn the certificate by attending all sessions on the APICS 2012 Risk Management learning path.
Register today. (Note: Registration for this workshop is separate from registration for the 2012 APICS International Conference & Expo)
APICS Extra Live: Defining and Achieving True Supply Chain Agility
Lora Cecere, CIRM, Founder, Supply Chain Insights
October 3, 2012
1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m. CT
Click here to register.
APICS Vendor Webcast: The Right Ingredients for Supply Chain Success
Sponsored by Logility
Michael Burke, director, supply chain planning, Continental Mills
John Slater, vice president, manufacturing planning, Logility
October 9, 2012
2:00–3:00 p.m. ET
Webinars On Demand Available
APICS Extra Live: Creating Strong Relationships Between Manufacturers and Distributors
Watch the webinar now.
APICS Extra Live: Solving Supply Chain Disruptions--Beyond the tactical
Watch the webinar now.
Watch more APICS webinars on demand.
Explore APICS folios
Assess supply chain risk, develop your organization’s supply chain strategy and sustainability, and understand how you can successfully implement or grow your organization’s sales and operational planning process with APICS folios.
$19.95 APICS member - Save 50%
APICS Supply Chain Sustainability Folio: Uncovering the Triple Bottom Line
Supply chain and operations management professionals are increasingly called on to carry the torch of innovation to reduce costs, demands on resources, and waste; while increasing the reuse of existing assets, and enabling lean operations. Employing sustainable practices is critical to meeting these business needs.
APICS Supply Chain Strategy Folio: Make the Most of Supply Chain Strategy
Understand challenges and identify areas where senior management and operations management can work together to maximize the effectiveness of your supply chain strategy. Access this APICS folio to delve into critical supply chain functions and tasks that may not be effectively supporting your supply chain strategy.
APICS Supply Chain Risk Folio: Protect your Business with Risk Management
Mitigate and anticipate supply chain risks at your organization—from rising and falling demand to natural disasters, market uncertainty, and varying levels of trust among supply chain partners. Purchase this APICS folio to identify tools to deal with risk at your organization.
APICS S&OP 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. Purchase this APICS folio to understand how you can enable your organization’s bottom-line effectiveness with S&OP.
Access APICS career development resources
Use APICS career packs to understand your career path and next steps, evaluate candidate qualifications, or establish consistency across your organization's hiring.
Free! APICS member
- 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.
- Hiring managers seeking qualified candidates can identify specific knowledge, skills, and experience required when evaluating prospective employees and building job descriptions.
- Organizations interested in developing their workforce can create consistency and establish required competencies for individuals in each of the career pack job title areas.
APICS career packs:
For each job title, APICS career packs compile essential information to help you understand the job role, including
- career path information
- core competencies required of qualified candidates
- job descriptions and keywords
- how to use job titles and descriptions.
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
By earning the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation, you will demonstrate significant commitment to your profession and your career, distinguish yourself as an industry expert, and excel with your newly acquired specialized knowledge.
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.
For students who learn best in a classroom-based environment, there are instructor-led courses.
Online certification review courses
Online courses are ideal for professionals who enjoy taking a structured class, but need more flexibility.
Other APICS self-study options
APICS offers a wide variety of tools for candidates interested in studying on their own, including the
- APICS CPIM Exam Content Manual
- APICS CPIM practice questions
- APICS CPIM study notes.