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Research & Insight

Supply Chain

Big Data Trends: New Uses, New Challenges, New Solutions

Outsourcing Center, Patti Putnicki, Business Writer

It’s hard to find a business enabler that’s evolving as quickly as big data analytics. Big data trends are on the minds of business owners everywhere. This undisputed darling of the loyalty program and retail world has now infiltrated nearly every industry, from transportation and healthcare to insurance and supply chain management. It’s the catalyst …

Fabric Data Centers: The End of Complex, Expensive and Inefficient Infrastructure

Outsourcing Center, Karthik Nagendra, Business Writer

What’s new in the data center? Last year, the buzz was around “fabric data centers” as organizations began to worry about costs. Did it make sense to have dedicated and expensive network, computing and storage resources around applications even if the IT infrastructure was outsourced? Could IT infrastructure costs be brought down? CIOs were under …

Transforming Supply Chain Management with RFID

Outsourcing Center, Karthik Nagendra, Business Writer

Some years ago, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) was going to bring supply chain management to the next level. Retailers like Target, Metro Cash & Carry and Walmart adopted it, only to discover that there were several challenges. Integration with SCM was one—tracking everything down to the last part/unit using RFID was turning out to not …

Unprotected Tooling: High Risk Practices in Chinese Manufacturing Part 2

Thomas Keenan and Geofrey L. Master, Mayer Brown JSM

In part 2 of this series, we’ll discuss common problems in tooling as well as tooling in the real world and the importance of comprehensive, enforceable tooling arrangements. Part 1 defines tooling as part of the integrated outsourcing process as well as tooling financing and ownership. As a result of globalization and the ability of …

Unprotected Tooling: High Risk Practices in Chinese Manufacturing – Part 1

Thomas Keenan and Geofrey L. Master, Mayer Brown JSM

As a result of globalization and the ability of consumers to purchase products at the lowest cost, Chinese manufacturing has become an integral part of the supply chains of many consumer product companies. With the high level of integration of consumer product companies and Chinese manufacturing, there is an increasing reliance on manufacturers to finance, …

The Evolving Product Sourcing Value Chain in China – Part 2

Thomas Keenan and Geofrey L. Master, Mayer Brown LLP

The entire sourcing value chain for consumer products sourced or manufactured in Asia has become increasingly interconnected and mutually reliant—ownership of physical manufacturing assets and intellectual property rights has become more ambiguous and contentious. With ambiguity over ownership and rights to manufacturing assets, customers lose the key leverage of mobility. While brand companies were able …

The Retail Revolution: Big Changes in Store

Outsourcing Center, Patti Putnicki, Business Writer

The past few years have not been kind to the retail industry. Sluggish economies, shrinking margins and a more cost-conscious consumer have taken their proverbial toll. “We’ve seen retail sales increase by 5 percent to 6 percent, yet profits declined from 3.5 percent to 2 percent.  So, even though stores are selling more, they’re making …

The Evolving Product Sourcing Value Chain in China — Part 1

Thomas Keenan and Geofrey L. Master, Mayer Brown LLP

The product supply chain from China is not what it used to be. Over the past 20 years, Chinese consumer-product manufacturers have become increasingly sophisticated and capable of taking on more “value-adding” tasks or segments of the product creation supply chain and have moved from mere manufacturers to multi-functional suppliers. In doing so, they have …

Valuing Terms in Outsourcing Contracts

Brad L. Peterson, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP

If you are an outsourcing customer, outsourcing contracts are like a three-legged stool. Their value depends on what you agree to buy, what you agree to pay and the terms. Although the agreement and the other contract terms are often extensive, outsourcing customers often underestimate, or even overlook, the value in contract terms. Why Focus …

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