Afternoon Coffee: Consumers Actually Paying Attention to Global Supply Chains, Obama on Outsourcing

"It's time to evolve how we approach and promote global services."
Horses for Sources – Dangerous Times for the Outsourcing Industry -- There's a very thoughtful article by Phil Fersht, the man behind Horses for Sources, on their website here. He points out that President Obama is not exactly positioning himself as a fan of outsourcing, and is attacking his rival, Mitt Romney, on the basis of Romney's past work with Bain where he championed outsourcing and off shoring.

A good thing, in my opinion...
Consumers Are Paying Close Attention to Your Supply Chain -- In the late 1990s, Nike experienced an onslaught of protests and negative media attention based on reaction to the working conditions in the Asian factories it used to manufacture its athletic shoes, a process that dragged out for years. In 2012, Apple, the world's most admired company in many surveys, felt some of its harshest media criticism based on reports about the conditions of workers in the Foxconn factories in China used to manufacture the iPhone and iPad. What both of these situations revealed, in different decades, is that for global manufacturers, public attention will be paid to their global supply chains, at least in terms of how they treat the contracted workers who make their products in developing nations.

Cashing in: the sleep "industry."
Sleepless in America: A $32.4 Billion Business -- The exhortation we've heard all our lives sounds so simple and doable: "Get a good night's sleep." But judging by the numbers, a multitude of Americans don't get enough shut eye and need the array of specialists, services and products that exist today. Even a "natural" water enhanced with melatonin, GABA and 5-HTP tryptophan is on the market to help sleep-desperate consumers achieve the slumber they so badly crave. Welcome to the sleep economy.

A bit of Olympic fun.
Your Olympic athlete body match -- Olympic athletes come in all shapes and sizes, from the lithe limbs of Japan's Asuka Teramoto to the gargantuan frame of China's Zhaoxu Zhang. But how do you measure up in comparison?

- Sheena Moore

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