Afternoon Coffee: Deadly Meningitis Outbreak, Leather Regulation, IBM’s PureSystems

Check out Spend Matters PRO coverage around the recent pharmacy-linked meningitis outbreaks.
Deadly Meningitis Outbreak – Time to Roll Out a Product Serialization Solution for Pharmacy Compounding Centers? -- The Spend Matters PRO analysis looks at how this tragedy is likely to accelerate technology solutions that address traceability – with specific mentions of several providers that have operational solutions that target this area. The article also looks at the broader business case and how an ROI calculation goes beyond the immediate product area – several use case scenarios to consider are included. The article closes with recommendations around next steps for those in pharmaceutical supply chain management – as well as other procurement professionals touching discrete products that can cause end user injuries, are susceptible to recalls, or exposed to manufacturing fraud or theft.

"More than 150 tanneries, employing between 8,000 and 12,000 people, are operating, and not one has proper pollution controls, says HRW."
Bangladesh: a poisoned supply chain -- Bangladesh is widely known as significant exporter of garments to major Western brands in Europe and the US. Less noticed has been the rapid growth of its leather industry, which last year exported around $663m worth of leather and leather products to Italy, Spain, Germany, China, South Korea and Japan. But global importers sourcing leather from Bangladesh for handbags, shoes and jackets are running the risk of a severe blow to their reputation, with a human rights group now training its sights on abuses by the country's unregulated export-oriented leather industry.

"...the concept seems relatively simple and overdue."
IBM Launches New PureSystems For Transactions And Big Data Analytics -- IBM is expanding its easy-to-implement high-performance PureSystems platform with the release today of platforms for transactions, big data analytics and operational analytics systems that can monitor more than 1,000 business operations for tasks such as fraud detection in credit card processing, support for CSRs in call centers and predicting demand for utilities. PureSystems consist of high-density boxes configured by IBM with x86 or Power processors, storage, and network connections all wired and ready to install in a data center in hours rather than months. IBM says the PureSystems family is the result of $2 billion in R&D and acquisitions over four years. One key acquisition was the big data analytics company, Netezza.

Toyota and the Chinese/Japanese political tension...
Japan's Car Makers Take Hits in China From Political Row -- Toyota's former chairman, Hiroshi Okuda, told reporters he was worried about the business fallout from the political row. "To be frank, we are very puzzled by this tension in Japan and China's relations," Mr. Okuda, president of the state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation, said on the sidelines of Tokyo meetings for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. As a result of those political tensions, the three Japanese car makers temporarily closed their factories in China last month. Production at standard precrisis levels hasn't resumed, with Nissan saying it is operating plants "flexibly" to respond to changes in demand.

- Sheena Moore

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