Afternoon Coffee: Manufacturing sector growing despite coronavirus, PMI shows; Ford switching CEOs; Clorox supply chain lags on disinfectant wipes; N.C. State needs input on data quality

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Amid the ongoing coronavirus disruption, economic activity in the manufacturing industry grew in July, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The PMI increased 1.6 percentage points last month, registering at 54.2%, according to the report.

July continued an upward trajectory of the industry which had bottomed out in April with a PMI of 41.5%. July’s rate was the highest of the year so far, topping January’s rate of 50.9%. Readings above 50 show expansion, and readings below that indicate a recession.

“The growth cycle continues for the second straight month after three prior months of COVID-19 disruptions,” said Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “Demand and consumption continued to drive expansion growth. … Among the six biggest industry sectors, Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products remains the best-performing industry sector, with Chemical Products, Computer & Electronic Products and Petroleum & Coal Products growing respectably. Transportation Equipment and Fabricated Metal Products continue to contract, but at soft levels.”

Ford CEO Hackett to retire

Ford is changing CEOs amid an $11 billion restructuring plan that isn’t going over well with investors, according to a CNBC report.

CEO Jim Hackett, 65, is unexpectedly retiring Oct. 1, and COO Jim Farley, 58, is set to take over, the report said.

“The leadership shakeup will make Farley the fourth CEO of the automaker since the Great Recession, which nearly bankrupted the automaker a decade ago,” the CNBC report said. “Ford shares jumped nearly 3% following the announcement Tuesday.”

Clorox CEO: Not enough disinfecting wipes until 2021

Because of the coronavirus crisis, Clorox CEO Benno Dorer told Reuters that its supply chain will not be able to fully stock grocery stores with its well-known disinfecting wipes until next year.

While California-based Clorox typically sets aside excess supply for flu season, it says it has been unable to keep up with a six-fold increase in demand for many of its disinfectants. Supply for most products, like liquid bleach, will improve dramatically over the next four to six months, but not wipes, Dorer said.

“Disinfecting wipes, which are the hottest commodity in the business right now, will probably take longer because it’s a very complex supply chain to make them,” Dorer said.

Supply chain data quality and analytics survey

The Supply Chain Resource Cooperative at North Carolina State University is seeking international feedback for its fourth annual Supply Chain Data Quality and Analytics Survey. The objective of the survey is to understand the current state of data governance and quality.

In this installment of the survey, the organization will explore whether data quality and governance are in fact leading to successful deployment of higher-order supply chain analytical applications such as business intelligence, artificial intelligence, machine learning, real-time risk management and predictive analytics in the supply chain.

“These features are the foundation for the effective deployment of the digital revolution,” said Professor Robert Handfield, Executive Director, Supply Chain Resource Cooperative. “Without reliable data, any (use) or algorithms of this data is rendered ineffective.”

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