Afternoon Coffee: GM to Cut Jobs, Idle Factories; Resilinc Shows Supply Chain Disruptions

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General Motors on Monday announced plans to cut more than 14,000 jobs and idle factories in Ohio, Michigan and Canada in a move that would reduce costs by about $4.5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“Despite a strong economy and the company’s healthy profits, GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said she wants to act now to prepare GM to sustain profitability through any downturn while still investing in burgeoning technologies like electric and self-driving vehicles,” the Journal reports.

What’s Disrupting Supply Chains?

It’s not just severe weather and fires that are disrupting supply chains, according to visibility specialist Resilinc. Events like mergers and acquisitions were the most common type in North America for the first half of 2018, according to Supply Chain Dive’s look at Resilinc’s data. “The company recorded 1,069 events globally January through June, with more than 300 directly affecting continuity of supply,” the article said. Other problems included price fluctuations, tariffs and cyberattacks, the Dive said.

Smartphones Land 33% of Black Friday Sales

TechCrunch reports that the $2.1 billion in Black Friday purchases made on smartphones accounted for about a third of all sales that day — $6.22 billion. Smartphones are doing well with shoppers because “e-commerce technology has improved to make the mobile shopping experience faster and easier,” TechCrunch says. “That has led also to people not only buying with more frequency, but spending more per transaction on smartphones.

“In a nod to that evolution, mobile sessions were 5.2% shorter, but conversion is up, with 7.6% more visits leading to purchases.”

Other Side to Oil’s Slide

And finally, an update on oil. The fall of oil prices to $50 a barrel has been championed by the Trump administration, but Goldman Sachs’ commodity chief says the low price hurts the U.S., CNBC reports. Jeff Currie says it’s bad for U.S. drillers and creates problems in the credit market, CNBC reports.

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