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In Case You Missed It: Best Industry Articles and Insights for April

Turning gears with that read Industry News

Too much going on in the supply chain, logistics, manufacturing and e-commerce industries? Below, you’ll find the top articles and trends from April covering various elements of these fast-paced industries.

  • A new study conducted by Deloitte and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity revealed a disconnect between executives’ opinions of their digital supply network (DSN) efforts and actual implementation. In this age of rapid digital transformation, companies are increasingly aware of the benefits DSNs have, yet many remain in the early adoption stage with only 28 percent beginning to implement DSN solutions. Finding and training employees has proven to be a major barrier associated with implementing DSNs. Supply Chain Digital has more on how manufacturers’ digital supply chain expectations are outpacing reality.
  • Since Amazon expanded beyond books and created its marketplace, a slew of third-party sellers have flocked to the e-commerce giant. Third-party goods even accounted for half of Amazon’s sales in the marketplace by 2016. Amazon’s marketplace is flooded with goods, often resulting in a stream of counterfeits and knockoffs. Despite Amazon’s strict anti-counterfeit policy, brands continue to criticize Amazon saying that it is doing little to prevent counterfeit sales leaving brands to do the dirty work themselves. On the contrary, Amazon has stated that it has invested in machine learning and automated systems that continuously scan numerous data points looking for possible counterfeits. Yet Amazon isn’t the only marketplace affected with eBay accounting for 61 percent of counterfeits. Supply Chain Dive takes a deeper look into whether Amazon and its marketplace rivals can fix their counterfeits problem.
  • South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. entered the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year. Last month, U.S. Supreme court justices heard arguments from both sides on the matter of sales tax on online purchases. South Dakota is looking to overturn a 1992 precedent allowing states to collect sales tax on companies with a physical presence in the state. No one could have predicted exactly how large the e-commerce landscape would grow more than 20 years ago. If the precedent is overturned e-tailers will likely have to increase prices or risk tighter margins. A ruling is expected by the end of June. Business Insider dives into how the U.S. Supreme Court could change the e-commerce landscape.
  • Amazon has been breaking delivery barriers for as long as we can remember, having announced in-home delivery as recently as October 2017. In an effort to continue innovating, Amazon has introduced package delivery inside a customer’s car. This new delivery offering is an expansion to its in-home service, called Key. The service is only available to Amazon Prime members in select cities with connected cars that can be remotely unlocked. Amazon is hoping its in-car service can convert shoppers’ cars into secure mail drop boxes leading to a decrease in stolen packages. NPR has more details on why Amazon wants to deliver packages inside your car.
  • This past March, President Trump announced significant tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in the hopes of giving American metal manufacturers a boost. The announcement sparked both global and domestic outrage from companies worried that the tariffs could severely impact the U.S. far beyond economic loss or gain. While the tariffs will force the U.S. to become less dependent on foreign steel and aluminum, the coinciding rising cost of U.S. labor will drive the price of American-made steel and aluminum so high that companies will be forced to either commit all manufacturing activity to the U.S. or move it entirely offshore to avoid raising prices. From a supply chain perspective, automation is the most obvious way for brands to keep remain in the U.S., yet therein lies the constant debate as to whether automation takes jobs or makes them. ModusLink’s own Mike Cadero further explores the effects of these tariffs on the U.S. job market and the supply chain in this Supply Chain Quarterly piece.

With the supply chain industry always on the move, be sure to check back in next month to see the top news from May.

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