We wrapped up another offering of "Building a Sustainable Supply Chain" offered through Penn State Executive Programs
One participant, who has attended six other programs, said this was "the best program she has attended." Nice to get good feedback and I feel we still have plenty of room for improvement.
And I continue to learn from our excellent faculty. Some of my favorite quotes from the three days...
Mark Anner, director of the Center for Global Workers' Rights, and one of our excellent sign language interpreters
On the deep supply chain labor squeeze....
"There are two fundament dynamics that really matter – pricing and sourcing. Pricing is about the price paid per unit to make a particular item. Sourcing is crucially about lead time, i.e. how much time you as a supplier are given by the buyer to do the job.
There are two key problems. One is that the price point is always low and it’s getting lower over time. We have data to show this. In my research in Bangladesh, I had an example of a t-shirt, which two years prior was being made for $2. The factory making it had figured out how to turn a profit at $2. But now, the same factory has been told by the multinational buyer that it has to produce the same t-shirt at the same quality, only for $1.60. That’s the price squeeze. And it goes all the way down to the workers in terms of very low wages."
Dan Guide, Smeal Chaired Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management
On consumers' receptivity to remanufactured products...
"Our research suggests that used products are seen as 'tainted' by the end user and the brand equity of the OEM is no longer relevant. We conclude that sustainable business practices are constrained to the degree customers are receptive to the products the firms produce. Business needs to understand customer perceptions."