Afternoon Coffee: December PMI registers 8th consecutive month of growth; Autonomous robots fulfill Sam’s Club e-commerce orders; Fauci says US can vaccinate 1 million a day

Adobe Stock

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector continued to grow in December, according to the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business numbers released this week.

The December PMI registered 60.7%, indicating an expansion in the overall US economy, according to a press release issued by the Institute for Supply Management. December’s reading was up 3.2 percentage points from November’s reading of 57.5%. This number counts an expansion in the overall economy for the eighth consecutive month, as any reading above 50 counts as growth. The economy has continued to grow after a contraction in March, April and May because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The manufacturing economy continued its recovery in December,” Timothy R. Fiore, Chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said in the press release. “Survey Committee members reported that their companies and suppliers continue to operate in reconfigured factories, but absenteeism, short-term shutdowns to sanitize facilities and difficulties in returning and hiring workers are causing strains that are limiting manufacturing growth potential. However, panel sentiment remains optimistic.”

Autonomous robots fulfill Sam’s Club’s booming e-commerce orders

At Sam’s Club’s new fulfillment center, autonomous mobile robots use artificial intelligence to help the company keep up with booming e-commerce orders, according to Supply Chain Dive.

E-commerce sales at the retailer hit $363 million at the end of the third quarter of 2020, compared to $277 million in the previous year. The robots are run by a software that adjusts inventories in an efficient and fast way.

Items are stored on racks in cubbies or bins. Robots then grab and move products to stations where workers take the items and pack them up for shipment, the article said. The goods-to-person picking system helps robots learn continuously and reduce stress on human labor, especially as e-commerce orders take off.

"The technology in this building optimizes these processes and helps improve the workload, allowing associates more time to upskill and train for cutting-edge opportunities,” Mike Petterborg, the general manager of the Sam’s Club fulfillment center, told Supply Chain Dive.

Fauci says US will soon vaccinate 1 million people per day

The United States’ top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the country could soon give out at least 1 million COVID-19 vaccines a day despite a sluggish start, according to the Associated Press.

The slow pace of the first few weeks of vaccinations has frustrated health officials and the public, with only about one-third of the first shipped supplies used as of Tuesday morning. States and counties have faced logistical hurdles in the beginning of this vaccination effort, the article said. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that roughly 4.8 million doses of more than 17 million delivered had been used, much lower than experts had hoped.

“Any time you start a big program, there’s always glitches. I think the glitches have been worked out,” Fauci told the Associated Press.

The Spend Matters global monthly newsletter for January goes out next week! Are you on the list? Don't miss out for 2021!

Share on Procurious

Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.