Manufacturing Value Chain

Archives for July 2011 « Recent Articles

Photo of Craig SimpsonOffline

Manufacturers and retailers globally desperately need to rethink their growth strategies, as recovery plans, particularly in the Western world, are merely chugging along at present. The European debt crisis has once again put a halt on growth prospects, pushing consumers to knuckle down, wary of what may lie ahead. Africa is a shining gem with a massive and extremely fast growing middle class population that is demanding all sorts of previously unaffordable consumer goods. This market has caught the eye of

Photo of Kimberly KnickleOffline

In my first blog about closing the sustainability gap in manufacturing, I wrote about the fact that manufactures in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) still maintain a profit advantage.  However, we do see that advantage narrowing, presumably because most manufacturers are moving forward with sustainability (not just those in the DJSI) and as a result benefiting financially from their sustainability investments.

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Big Data or Big Leadership?

By Robert Parker

I was catching up on my back issues of the Economist last week and came across an article on big data.  My first reaction was to be impressed if not somewhat surprised as to how the term has made its way into the mainstream conversation.   Given the high tech roster of advertisers, it certainly makes economic sense (excuse the pun) for the magazine to address the topic, but they also did a reasonably good job of identifying why this investment area is important to how business get conducte

Photo of Kimberly KnickleOffline

The question that manufacturers and retailers rarely want to voice out loud is "When Can I Raise My Prices?"  Input costs have been rising in many categories and across commodities, such as milk and cotton, though some of the measurements in the Commodity Price Indices have come off a March 2011 peak (see our Figure below from the IMF).

Photo of Sheila BrennanOffline

Warranty Industry Needs Work!

By Sheila Brennan

Manufacturers continue to spend considerable amounts to honor their warranty obligations. In the United States alone, this figure in 2010 equates to over $23.6 billion. While manufacturers were focused on reducing warranty expenses in 2010, most sectors have shown little improvement. While there may be an increased awareness by the manufacturing industry of the high financial exposure of warranty and the impact on customers, the industry is in need of greater rigor and better tools to manage warranty operat

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