Afternoon Coffee: Boeing Co. Under Scrutiny for Corner-Cutting; Nike Adopts Shorter Lead Times

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Some lawmakers in Washington are now questioning whether Boeing has been cutting corners when it comes to safety, after two recent fatal 737 MAX jetliner crashes.

Boeing has been looking to accelerate the manufacturing supply chain recently, cutting down on time between the factory floor and the runway. The FAA and Congress even supported some safety-certification functions being delegated to Boeing themselves.

Trump's Metals Tariffs, One Year Later

Bloomberg published an interesting "scorecard" of where things stand for U.S. manufacturing in terms of the trade tariffs President Trump placed on steel and aluminum this time last year.

Of course, the tariffs spurred a complex web of winners and losers, but "global manufacturing activity has fallen in 10 of 11 months since the U.S. tariffs were imposed, peeling it back to a level last seen in 2016, according to the JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI index," as cited by Bloomberg.

"That’s occurred as global economic growth is under pressure after a sharp slowdown in 2018, and policy makers await clarity on issues from trade tariffs to Brexit," the article states.

Ship Operators Forced to Look at Fire Safety Standards

After four big ships have been hit with fires in the past four months alone, operators are starting to look closely at fire safety standards.

The latest fire came on the Grimaldi Lines ship, the Grande America, sending the vessel, containers, and luxury cars on board to the sea floor. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult top pinpoint the cause of a fire in these types of scenarios, but many are pointing towards the transportation of dangerous goods.

Poorly labeled, poorly secured, or undeclared chemicals could be one example of such goods. Also, a shift towards bigger ships only increases the risk for these fire outbreaks.

Nike Using Short Lead Times to Get Ahead

Nike posted a revenue increase of 7% in 2018 without increasing its inventory by a substantial amount.

The clothing and sports gear retailer has been using shorter lead times and digital tools to speed up their supply chain to achieve this goal. They call this their Express Lane program, which aims to work closely with the consumer market to update styles, materials, prints and colors quickly, depending on consumer wants.

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