ON THE INTERNET
Meeting the road: An industrial
chemical used in the production of
synthetic rubber, butadiene’s primary
use comes after being mixed with
styrene and polymerized. The result,
styrene-butadiene (SBR), is the key
component of automobile tires.
Where does it come from? Starting
as a colorless, non-corrosive gas,
butadiene condenses to a liquid
at minus- 4. 5 degrees Celsius. It is
produced commercially by extractive
distillation, as a by-product of ethylene
and propylene production.
What’s it used for? There are no
consumer uses of butadiene. However,
it is used in the production of polymers,
latexes and plastics for such products
as gloves, wetsuits, hoses, coatings,
gaskets and seals.
And that’s a fact: The market cost of
butadiene reached a 4½-year high in
January, at US$3,070 per metric ton, a
doubling in price over a three-month
period. Increased car sales in China
raised demand, and the rubber supply
was impacted by flooding in Thailand. ISM
The number of connected Internet
of Things (Io T) devices worldwide will
increase 15 percent this year, reaching
20 billion, according to a report by
IHS Markit, a London-based financial
services company. The industrial sector
will lead the way, accounting for almost
half of new connected devices before
Io T Trend Watch 2017 identifies four
trends driving the growth:
1) Innovation and competition are
driving new business models, as Io T
monetization moves from software
and service suppliers to Io T developers,
through their new data streams.
Successful models will likely feature
what the report calls “servitization” and
closer relationships with customers.
2) Standardization and security are
enabling scalability, with the pace of
connected devices forcing stakeholders
to take a holistic view of securing
3) Business models are keeping pace
with Io T technology; in fact, the report
cites an overabundance of applications
in such areas as advertising, services
and big data.
4) Wireless technology innovation is
enabling new Io T applications, with 5G
showing potential where mobility will
Nearly all diverse suppliers meet or exceed
expectations, with no loss in efficiency for the
companies that use them, according to a report
by Miami-based consultant The Hackett Group.
Beyond Compliance: Top Supplier Diversity
Programs Aim to Broaden Value Proposition
identifies increased market share and access to new revenue opportunities as
other benefits to supplier diversity.
The research indicates there is value to companies whose supplier diversity
efforts go beyond complying with regulations, says Laura Gibbons, a research
director at The Hackett Group. “Supplier diversity is evolving from a check-the-box corporate social responsibility requirement to a strategic enabler
providing access to innovative products and increased market share in new and
developing communities,” Gibbons says. “Top-performing organizations are
taking advantage of this opportunity and applying the tenets of social diversity
to new areas such as supplier partnering, reputation management and global
expansion with exceptional results.”
The Hackett Group’s study revealed that 76 percent of diverse suppliers met
buyers’ expectations, and 23 percent exceeded them. Sixty-three percent
of companies indicated that knowledge-sharing with diverse suppliers was
beneficial, and 40 percent use their supplier diversity programs to gain access
to new technology.
Although supplier diversity is mostly U.S.-centric, 40 percent of surveyed
companies indicated they plan to expand their programs globally within the
next three years.