Industry Market Trends

Worth a Look: Turning Your Supply Chain into a Supply Circle

Dec 19, 2012

Plus: Fiscal Cliff Talks Yield Progress, EPA Introduces Tighter Soot Regulations, Personalities that Ruin Meetings, Better Ways to Use Technology and Learning from the Worst CEOs.

Sometimes the Internet seems like it's gotten too big. To help navigate this sea of information, Industry Market Trends' weekly Worth a Look feature spotlights some of the more interesting, informative and amusing resources that might have slipped under your radar - all in bite-sized chunks.

  • Latest Fiscal Cliff Talks Seem Promising | In a meeting on Monday, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner moved closer to an agreement on the fiscal cliff issue. Obama made concessions on his tax proposal, agreeing to reduce the amount of new revenue he is seeking to $1.2 trillion over 10 years and limiting tax hikes only to households earning more than $400,000 a year. Meanwhile, Boehner agreed to allowing certain tax increases in exchange for deep cuts to healthcare and retirement programs. While they have yet to settle on a permanent plan, the latest discussion suggests progress toward an agreement.

  • EPA Tightens Soot Rules | The EPA has issued a new air quality standard that will cut the maximum allowable amount of soot released into the air from smokestacks, diesel trucks and other sources of pollution by 20 percent. The new rule sets the annual standard for soot at 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air, down from the previous 15 micrograms per cubic meter. While the provision is being praised by environmentalists, industry groups claim the policy could hurt economic growth and cut jobs in areas where pollution levels are deemed too high.

  • 5 Personality Types that Derail Meetings | One of the most common complaints in today's workplace is that we all have too many meetings, and there are certain types of behavior patterns that can reduce the effectiveness of these meetings, stretch them out or derail them entirely. CBS MoneyWatch provides a list of five personality types to watch out for in a meeting and how to neutralize their effect, including: the bully, the would-be visionary and the rambler.

  • Why We're Using the Web Wrong | Widescreen monitors, Web browser tabs and other technological improvements haven't actually benefitted everyone, primarily because many users simply don't know how to take advantage of them effectively. Google researcher Dan Russell discusses the various misconceptions about the "average user" and explains how the now-standard features of computer technology can be better harnessed in day-to-day life.

  • Best Leadership Lessons from the Worst CEOs | A major mistake by the head of a company can do serious harm to business or even bring the company down entirely. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, there are many lessons leaders can learn by studying the failures of the worst CEOs, as explains. These lessons not only show what to avoid when running a business, but also how to strengthen one's skills.

  • How Manufacturers Can Beat Rising Commodity Prices | By improving resource productivity and using less for each unit of output, manufacturers can improve value, cut costs and reduce their exposure to volatile commodity prices. McKinsey & Company shows how new business models that transform the supply chain into a "supply circle" can significantly improve efficiency and profits.

Credit: McKinsey & Company