Representative Research Projects
Supply Chain Risks: Barriers to Manufacturing in Emerging and Developing Markets
Supply chains today are becoming increasingly global and complex, creating risk at every level of product development, manufacturing, and distribution. Approximately 42 percent of companies have global manufacturing footprints. Facing pressures to cut costs, especially labor and materials, companies have been turning to developing markets for facility locations. Manufacturing in emerging markets can bring a company closer to suppliers and raw materials, cutting transit time. However, economic and non-economic forces must be considered to create a more complete picture of supply chain disruption risks.
The Impact of Increased Transportation Costs on Global Supply Chains: Five Key Trends
The intensive outsourcing and off-shoring of U.S. manufacturing operations to other countries has caused growing import flows. This practice has also reinforced the trend of the United States as a consumer nation that is heavily reliant on freight transportation systems. There is increasing pressure on both U.S. gateways and inland transportation to meet growing freight transportation needs. However, U.S. transportation infrastructure is fast approaching its capacity, and capability to invest in the much need transportation infrastructure is limited. Added to the infrastructure capacity constraints are escalated fuel prices, and growing concern about climate change. Together, these factors have resulted in rising costs of transportation. The transportation and freight industries alike are undertaking fundamental changes in their operational strategies.
A Framework for Outsourcing Warehouse Functions
Logistics outsourcing continues to gain popularity, particularly outsourcing in warehouse and transportation management, as these are the logistics functions most frequently outsourced in North America. Many companies today do not approach warehousing strategically, and their evaluation and selection of 3PL providers do not maximize cost savings or efficiency. In fact, warehouse management outsourcing requires strategic planning and a detailed review of outsourced processes in order to achieve long-term success. The outsourcing framework presented in this report underscores two areas where companies do not spend enough time and effort during the outsourcing process – the internal evaluation phase and the supply base evaluation phase. This report also addresses issues in human resource management, transition management, and ongoing 3PL performance management.
Windpower Generation: An Overview of the Industry and Supply Chain Challenges
High energy costs and energy security concerns have led to considerable efforts to diversify the U.S. energy portfolio. The United States is the world leader in wind electricity generation, with consistent growth in wind power production since 1998. Despite this, wind energy accounts for less than 1 percent of the total electricity generated by all sources. On average, strong wind sites are located far from the heavy population and commercial centers. This site-specific nature of wind energy necessitates supplementary infrastructure development such as transmission interconnection lines and supply system upgrades. The future of wind electrical generation depends not only on wind power capacity, but also the nation’s ability to transport and distribute power to where it is needed. To foster development of a robust wind energy supply chain in the United States, this research takes the fundamental, yet vital, step in understanding wind power supply chains and associated challenges.