Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 232

Supply Chain Now Radio, Episode 232
The Supply Chain Buzz Series
Sponsored by The Effective Syndicate:

In this episode of the Supply Chain Buzz, Scott Luton discusses the latest topics and top stories in supply chain, in 15 minutes or less!

[00:00:05] Hey, good morning Scott Luton here with you, Liveline Supply Chain Now Radio, welcome back to the show. In today’s show, we’re continuing our Supply chain Buzz series, a brief weekly look at some of the top news and trends across the global end in Supply chain community. All in 15 minutes or less. Today’s episode, The Supply chain Buzz Supply Chain Now Radio is brought to you by the Effective syndicate, a leading coaching and consulting firm that helps companies win by optimizing process and developing winning cultures.


[00:00:37] Unlike many consulting firms, I’ve been there done that. Pros at the Effective syndicate work side by side with all levels of the organization to drive sustainable improvement that enables profitable growth. To learn more, check them out at the effective syndicate dot com. It’s Monday, December 9th. Now let’s get to the Supply chain buzz. Up first today, let’s talk cars. The burgeoning electrification of the automotive industry continues to produce a ripple effect across industry. Of course, you can’t have electric cars across the global market without batteries. Lots and lots of batteries. To that end. And coming to the buzz via a Wall Street Journal report last week, General Motors announced a new partnership with South Korea’s LG Kim to build a battery factory near Lordstown, Ohio. 2.3 billion dollars is a reported investment of the plant, which is expected to be one of the largest battery manufacturing plants in the world. Automakers are expected to spend about two hundred twenty five billion dollars in the coming years to develop more and more electric cars. And the auto companies continue to especially partner with more battery manufacturers. For example, Volkswagen Agee said six months ago that it would spend one billion dollars on battery production, including a joint venture with a Swedish startup. Toyota Motor Corp. Sandeep battery production joint venture with Panasonic at the beginning of 2019 beyond demand. Other driving forces include tightening fuel efficiency and emissions standards, especially in Europe and China.


[00:02:17] Interestingly enough, Lordstown, Ohio, is a site of a factory that General Motors closed a few months back. That factory, as we reported here on The Buzz, had been acquired by an electric truck manufacturer, Lordstown Motor Corporation. Perhaps this massive new battery factory will be supplying batteries to the electric trucks, rolling off the former GM production lines. Regardless, some analysts predict that the supply of lithium ion batteries could become a bottleneck in coming years as more electric models are delivered to dealerships. This is brilliant, prompting many automotive companies to secure a slayer supplier contracts right this second. And our second story here on The Buzz, we stick with the automotive industry. According to Industry Week and Bloomberg, Ford Motor Company continues to find new ways of attracting top technology talent. It was reported last week that one of the pilot initiatives that Ford has launched recently is all about bring your dogs to work. About thirteen hundred office workers at Ford will be afforded the opportunity to train their dogs. To work with them is part of a bigger picture effort at attracting top tech talent to Motor City. Studies have, in fact, shown that all day access to man’s and woman’s best friend can reduce stress, improve productivity and possibly even curb employee turnover. And the technology and startup worlds have long been tapping into the benefits of canines at the cubicles for years. In fact, did you know that Amazon has over 7000 registered dogs that venture into its offices worldwide on its Seattle campus? The online retail giant offers doggie daycare, grooming and canine lunch options.


[00:04:04] In fact, Ford’s new CFO, Tim Stone, spent two decades Amazon. And he now brings his Australian shepherd Finley to work with him in Detroit. Stone is part of the team that is leading an 11 billion dollar transformation of Ford that is restructuring the company and upgrading its workforce, according to a recent blog post written by Ford’s chief talent officer, Julie Lodge. Jarrett, the company has already hired more than 3000 workers with advanced computing skills, but that’s not nearly enough. It still needs hundreds more software engineers, data scientists, app developers, digital media specialists and much, much more. In addition to the dogs in the office, perc- Ford is also leading the biggest redesign of its Dearborn, Michigan, corporate campus in over 50 years. Up next in story number three here on the Supply chain Buzz we focus in on reverse Logistics IKEA. The European based furniture behemoth is the latest company that is getting much more serious about its reverse Logistics and returns. According to an article in Supply chain divx IKEA has announced a partnership with UPS Toro, a Logistics startup, to vastly improve its returns management and reverse Logistics processes. A pilot program will be launched at 10 IKEA distribution centers, 50 retail stores and the company’s customer support center in the US.


[00:05:31] And depending on how it goes, it could greatly expand from there. Harvey Sheer Quinonez, President’s Chief, to say that a sustainability officer of IKEA Retail U.S. recently recently released a statement where he shared that, quote, We’re on a mission to become a circular business by 2030. Up Tauro solution will enable us to eliminate much of the waste created in the reverse supply chain from minimizing the carbon emissions released in return shipping to finding the best next homes for returned items in quote. According top Tauro, retailers that use the company’s returns optimization platform have been able to significantly reduce return product hitting the landfills as well as reducing other waste related to reverse Logistics such as emissions. The partnership between IKEA and OP Tauro also included an undisclosed investment into the startup. In addition to its focus on a more sustainable reverse Logistics operation. IKEA also plans to make home deliveries in some major markets 100 percent electric by 2020. Hey, on a side note, one of the incredible resources for best practices and the returns in reverse Logistics space is the Reverse Logistics Association, a.k.a. the RLA. The Supply Chain Now Radio team’s proud partner of the Aurélie and we’ll be strewing streaming live from the big annual AH L.A. Conference and Expo in February 2020 in Las Vegas. You can learn more at R L a dot org. Speaking of global commerce, let’s talk trade and tariffs and story number four here on The Buzz.


[00:07:13] We’ll get an update on the ongoing trade war between China and the United States. And this story from Kenneth Repose in Forbes. And we’re. And in good news, we’re seeing some olive branches extended, especially from the Chinese delegation. A few weeks ago, we reported on how China has reopened its markets to the U.S. poultry industry. Now, China’s Customs Tariff Commission announced last week that it would exempt U.S. soybeans and pork from the current tariff schedule. Did you know that China was the world’s largest consumer of soybeans and the country made up about 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports in 2018? As to pork, China’s imports of U.S. pork more than halved in twenty eighteen due to large tariffs placed by the Chinese government. So all this is good news. And the Chinese trade delegation are hoping these gestures are reciprocated by Washington. They see this month as the U.S. considers any additional tariff increases on Chinese goods. Surprisingly, some analysts say that the ongoing trade war has not impacted the U.S. economy as much as had been anticipated. Some even say that White House continues to gain leverage, especially with some of the industry indicators reported in recent weeks, from job gains to wage increases to record level consumer sentiment. However, global supply chains have certainly felt the pain from the trade war, according to a recent survey released by regional bank Umpqua, which is based in Portland.


[00:08:45] Seventy two percent of respondents said trade and certainly with China was a problem for their business, and more than 50 percent of the respondents said they were looking to move operations out of China. To address some of the problems associated with the trade war. OK. So let’s shift gears for our fifth and final story on today’s Supply chain Buzz here on Supply Chain Now Radio. In a situation that continues to develop, it appears freight trucking company Celadon Group Inc. Is about to file bankruptcy after a rough 20 19 that included massive fines related to accounting fraud and criminal indictments of some of its senior leaders. Slowdown is signaling that bankruptcy is just around the corner. Freight waves doing a great job covering this ongoing development in a recently posted article. It appears that celadon drivers have been left out of the loop and it’s been reported that some of the truck drivers have been left on the road with no clear instructions of how to turn in their rigs, deliver the cargo, or even how to get back home in the freight waves article author Erik Coolish interviews Cassandra Gaines, a transportation attorney based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Amongst a wealth of information and insights that Gaines provides, she advises company drivers to, quote, find a safe location to park the truck like a truck stop or a rest stop. Take a picture of the truck, had the keys, document the location of the rig and where the keys are and send all that information to the company, end quote.


[00:10:18] Gaines also advises drivers not to park their vehicles on the side of the road where they may be hit by other vehicles. Celadon has about three thousand drivers and about twenty seven hundred tractors across North America. Some celadon drivers have reportedly had their loads canceled and have been told to stay with their equipment. Some drivers also have said that the company issued fuel cards are no longer being accepted. But here’s some good news. Rovell trucking companies are stepping in and offering assistance to those drivers in need. Those companies include Dark Transit Company of Eagan, Minnesota Herbut herschbach Motor Lines of Dubuque, Iowa and S.R. Esti International. We here at Supply Chain Now Radio wish the very best any of the truckers and their families that are involved in this tragic turn of events and big things that are freight waves team that initially broke the story and continued to report on the situation, especially those developments that impact the drivers. All right. That’s a wrap for today’s episode, several of the leading Supply chain news stories and trends right here on the Supply chain Buzz on Supply Chain Now Radio. You’ll find links to each of the stories that we featured today on the show, notes for your convenience, including a few additional resources.


[00:11:39] Big thanks to to today’s sponsor of the Supply chain Buzz. The Effective syndicate be sure to check them out at the Effective syndicate dot com. To our listeners. On behalf of the entire Supply Chain Now Radio team, Scott Luton here. Thank you for joining us. And we wish you a very successful week ahead. Thanks for body.

Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now Radio. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and was named a “2019 Supply Chain & Logistics Expert to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. He also serves as an advisor with TalentStream, a leading recruiting & staffing firm based in the Southeast. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about SCNR here:

Upcoming Events & Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Electric Car Battery Supply Chain:
Dogs In the Workplace at Ford:
IKEA to Improve Reverse Logistics:
Trade War Update:
Celadon’s Troubles:
Connect with Scott on LinkedIn:
SCNR to Broadcast Live at CSCMP Atlanta Roundtable Event:
Reverse Logistics Association Conference & Expo:
SCNR to Broadcast Live at MODEX 2020:
SCNR to Broadcast Live at AME Atlanta 2020 Lean Summit:
2020 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards:
SCNR on YouTube:
The Latest Issue of the Supply Chain Pulse:

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