LABOR — CONSTRUCTION
What really is it? While some indexes —
including the ISM® Report On Business®
— report labor as a commodity, the
Associated General Contractors insists
that it is a service, saying manpower
is not comparable to goods from an
assembly line. Regarding government
regulations, the terminology is critical.
Where does it come from? The
ingenuity and strength of men and
women, resulting in the construction
of everything from homes to highways,
bridges to buildings, plants to power
What’s it used for? After the Great
Recession, a lot less. But U.S.
construction employment in January
hit its highest level since the financial
crisis, totaling 6. 8 million jobs,
according to the Bureau of Labor
And that’s a fact: Despite the recent
positive news, construction labor took
a big, and perhaps permanent, hit from
2006-11. Forty percent — 2. 3 million
members — of the workforce lost
jobs, and of those, six in 10 moved to
another sector or left the job market
entirely, per BLS data. ISM
A good barometer of the resiliency of a
company’s supply chain is the financial
health of suppliers.
It’s vital for companies to investigate
the financial health of their global
supply chains to hedge against risk
and quickly respond to disruptions
that can have operational, reputational
and bottom-line impacts, according
to Hitting the Mark: Supply Chain
Resilience, a white paper by Rapid
Ratings International, a New York-based research and analytics firm.
Among the first questions a company
should ask when evaluating its supply
• What risks are our suppliers facing,
on each tier?
• How much of our revenue and profit
is at risk?
• How quickly can we respond if a risk
A rating system can help companies
assess their suppliers’ financial health,
the white paper states.
“(Financial health) is a solid indicator
of whether or not a company has
the resources it needs to support (a
disruption) — be it a natural disaster or
the loss of a contract,” says Rose Kelly-Falls, senior vice president, supply chain
risk at Rapid Ratings International.
Regarding digital strategy in business,
recognizing problems has always seemed
to be much easier than solving them. A
recent study by PointSource, a Raleigh,
North Carolina-based software company, reaffirms that notion.
Three hundred decision-makers in marketing, IT and operations from retail,
supply management and insurance organizations were surveyed for Executing
Digital Transformation. Many were aware of their company’s digital deficiencies
— nearly half (48 percent) indicated that their organization’s digital strategy
does not include a clear understanding of audiences, and 42 percent cited a
lack of clear business objectives measured by KPIs.
The study identified four key areas — clear direction, customer experience,
collaborative culture and updated technology — to create a solid digital
organizational framework. The survey results found companies lacking in all
four areas; among the other findings:
• Forty-four percent of respondents are confident in their company’s ability to
meet its growth objectives.
• Only 30 percent of respondents said their company’s departments come
together to solve problems.
• Legacy systems are in the way; 84 percent said their organization has one
that is slowing development speed of new digital platforms.