Supply Chain

As more jobs move offshore, outsourcing appears to be one of the leading strategies used by companies to gain competitive advantage. But a new research study has determined that while outsourcing may be widespread, most companies have to failed to optimize its value through strategic planning. A research study jointly sponsored by A.T. Kearney Inc. and CAPS: Center for Strategic Supply Research at the W. P. Carey School of Business looked at outsourcing practices and developed guidelines for improvement. Companies should plan on three phases for successful outsourcing: planning and analysis, contracting and relationship development and implementation.

New research shows world-class measurement systems for strategic sourcing and the supply chain help drive an organization's cost savings, revenue growth, new product development, supplier relationships, and shareholder value. What's the secret?

A marketing professor at the W. P. Carey School of Business examines the client-supplier relationship in a recent research survey. Her discovery: In order for the dance of the business-to-business deal to be successful, employees' individual relationships with clients must play a part and communication is key.

In April 2004, Wal-Mart announced a pilot program that would require its top 100 suppliers to be RFID compliant — attaching Radio Frequency Identification tags on cases and pallets destined for Wal-Mart stores and Sam's Club locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area — by January 2005. Showing just how much clout Wal-Mart has, the retailer is boasting 100% compliance. So, is RFID here to stay? Can suppliers benefit from it? How worried should consumers be about invasion-of-privacy issues? A recent Wharton Emerging Technologies conference looked at these issues.