Global Supply Chain Strategy

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In the competitive global environment firms realize the importance of integrated relationships with their suppliers and customers. This makes the supply chain strategy a major issue as it enhances competitiveness by reducing uncertainties and enhancing customer service. Information technology synchronized with supply chain has integrated planning and coordination. Technology has enhanced communication in supply chain but it is not free from risks and pitfalls. It can also give rise to unfair trade practices. This paper provides an awareness of the concepts and principles underlying the supply chain management and how businesses have benefited from its application.

Supply chain represents the sequence of processes and activities involved in the complete manufacturing and distribution cycle of any product.  The process includes designing, procurement, manufacturing, and finally distribution to the point of sale.  Chalasani & Sounderpandian (2004) describe supply chain as a network of collaborating partners who collectively engage in activities such as procurement and transformation of materials into products, and distribution of products to customers. Kaufman describes supply chain management as to … “remove communication barriers and eliminate redundancies through coordinating, monitoring and controlling processes” (Kaufman cited by Power, 2005). According to Handfield and Nichols (Cited by Power), three major forces drive towards an integrated approach to the effective supply chain management – the information revolution, increased levels of global competition creating a more demanding customer along with demand driven markets, and the emergence of new types of inter-organizational relationships. Due to increase levels of outsourcing, competitive pressures, increasing globalization, and increasing importance of e-commerce, supply chains gained complexity (Kathawala & Abdou, 2003). When companies perceived the benefits of collaborative relationships, the concept of supply chain management emerged (Lummus & Vokurka, 1999).

Supply chain strategy is meant to match the demand to supply which enhances customer satisfaction and drives down costs. This necessitates that uncertainties within the supply chain have to be reduced to the minimum but this may be difficult at times depending upon the type of product involved (Christopher & Towill, 2001). For example if a product is fashionable or in the fashion industry where the demand is constantly changing, because of its intrinsic nature, demand in unpredictable. This requires a strategy which could match the demand and supply. Lee (2002) contends that successful companies understand that the right supply chain strategy is dependent on certain factors. A product with a stable demand and a reliable source of supply should not be managed the same way as one with highly unpredictable demand and an unreliable source of supply. The internet can also be a powerful tool for supporting supply chain strategies with different demands and supply uncertainties.

To cater to the changing demands of the customers, some manufacturers take care of management of supply and distribution in addition to designing.  Zara is one such Spanish clothing company, which has retained direct control over the entire process.  Zara has been able to match the demand and supply in the highly volatile market. It uses proprietary information system to connect its stores to its headquarters. Zara employs specially designed hand-held devices or PDAs to keep track of the total order fulfillment process – plan procurement and production requirements, monitor warehouse inventories, allocate production to various factories and other suppliers, keep track of shortages and oversupplies (Ferdows et al., n.d.).

Hoffman et al., (2002), describe three types of market place, namely the Public e-markets, the consortia, and the private exchanges. In the public e-markets, many buyers and sellers converge at one point and it is open to public. Only equity holders and select trading partners have access to the consortia while the private exchanges like Wal-Mart and Dell computers are privately owned and can be accessed only through invitation. Here the focus is on the process rather than the price and is based on information exchange.

Dow Chemical started its private exchange with 200 customers in 1999 and by the end of 2001, they had 8000 customers spread across 35 countries (Hoffman et al.,). The customers benefit through this exchange as they can view their purchase histories, plan their future orders and check availability of products. The suppliers, on their part, get a clear picture of the buying habits of the customers and this helps them to forecast demand, control inventory, schedule manufacturing. The exchange can track all interactions with the customers and the company’s cost per transaction reportedly came down to $1 from about $50.

An effectively planned and managed supply chain strategy can impact the global organic coffee industry. According to FIBL and Naturland (2002), the global retail value of organic coffee was approximately USD223 million (cited by Claro & Claro).  Besides, there was a 20% steady and annual growth in this industry. Organic food was very popular in Europe and particularly in Netherlands. In fact, in Europe, organic coffee accounted for 0.5 per cent of total coffee sales. Organic coffee was readily available in supermarkets and other outlets in Netherlands. Claro & Claro identified five issues, which needed collaborative efforts and co-ordination. Consumers were willing to pay premium for quality org………………………………………………………………………..

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McDonald’s Inc

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Fast-food industry is the growing industry in the United States and around the world. McDonald’s Inc. is a leader in fast food restaurant industry which was founded at the end of 1960th. Today, it operates 30,000 restaurants in 121 countries. The main stages of technology development include: Know-how, Design technology transfer (goods and services); Production processes and Process development; Information and Communications; Transport and distribution (Johnson, Scholes, 1993).

The design technology and know-how stage implies changes in technology which affect the products available to consumer and businesses, the quality of the products and their functionality. For example, McDonald’s implements “a non-HFC standard for its refrigeration equipment -in all countries where commercially and environmentally viable and where alternatives can be legally used” (Alternative Refrigeration Backgrounder, 2005).  This technology has made possible to reduce emissions, meet high operational standards and safe money. This stage of technology development includes sources of technology including funding (Lundquist, 2004) and helps to reduce the length of the product life cycle and therefore the time to recoup investment. Investment costs are also increased as a number o technologies in a product is increased.

In McDonald’s Inc. the stage of process development was transformed during the 1990s and automated by computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing and services. This has speeded up design processes, transformed working practices and increased the efficiency of production and help……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

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CREDIT DERIVATIVES

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Bonds and loan investors run a high credit risk; the risk that the issuer of the bond or credit might default payment. This seeks for investors’ hedging against the risk by way of utilization of credit derivatives. Credit derivativesis an expression describing the financial instruments used to protect investors against losses that arise from defaults. These instruments were at first introduced to banks and later to other financial institutions. Over time, these derivatives have been applied by corporate portfolio managers, treasurers, and financial institutions for hedging against to trade credit, risk, for purposes of enhancing speculation and to enhance realization of returns. (Moorad Choudhry, 2004)

Theoretically, credit derivatives make a new class of assets made to trade default risk on a range of maturity without a collateral constraint. However, the potential efficiency benefits of credit derivatives are being reduced by lack of liquidity globally, the repo market use in hedging and the lack of secondary markets.

The pricing of these instruments is affected by factors such as the option to deliver the cheapest bond and liquidity. In addition, emanating from lack of arbitrage, the rate of repo and bond over libor spread can be utilizedd to price the default swap. (Romain G Ranciere, 2002)

In relatively short time, the credit derivative markets have grown, becoming a key component of capital markets and embracing a wide range of participants. They form…………………………………………………………………………………………..

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Memorandum

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he forth coming Debt Ceiling debates and subsequent vote are an ever pressing issue in the eyes of the concerned voter.  For this reason, we must look not only to the history of previous debt ceiling increases, but to the future concerns of American sovereignty in order to ensure continuing the history of debt ceiling increases is in the best interests of our constituents.  After closely analyzing past trends and comparing them to the future insolvency of the federal government, it is my direct recommendation that debt ceiling not be increased.

BACKGROUND

The debt ceiling was established as a tool to aid the federal government to control spending.  However, according the Congressional Research Service, the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since 1962. (Austin and Levit)  Since 2001, the debt ceiling has been raised ten times.

As it is now “customary” to increase the debt ceiling, special attention must be granted to U.S. Treasury reports of the last ten years.  The Treasury Direct section of the U.S. Treasury Department has reported that on September 30, 2000, the national debt was $5,674,178,209,886.86 while on September 30, 2010, the national debt was $13,561,623,030,891.79. (Historical Debt Outstanding – Annual 2000 – 2010)  Despite federal spending increasing at rates which have almost tripled the national debt in the recent decade, the most recent two reported years of spending are of grave concern.  From September 30, 2001 to September 30, 2008, the net debt increase was .5 trillion dollars per year.  However, a disproportion increase in federal spending can be directly attributed for the period of time ranging from September 30, 2008 to September 30, 2010.  In this period of time, the national debt increased some 3.5 trillion dollars, more than tripling that of the net increases of previous years.  While the national spending trend is of grave concern, it is currently accelerating at unprecedented rates.  Today’s national debt, according to Treasury Direct is 14,293,242,770,354.82.  This indicates that the federal government is now spending beyond its means to sustain itself at a rate of 100 billion dollars per month.  Current runaway spending has drawn sharp criticism from federally appointed leaders, elected officials and constituents alike.

Pros and cons

The current debate centers on whether or not to increase the debt ceiling to accommodate the fact that the current administration has already spent over the limit.  When it comes to assigning credit to those whom both support and oppose the initiative to increase the debt ceiling, we must consider the value of the act itself and its impact upon the American people as a whole.  As with most political issues of today, division lies in Republicans and Democrats.  Where the Democrats are correct is in the concept that the damage has already been done and perhaps the responsible thing to do is increase the debt ceiling to authorize payment for accumulated debt beyond that of the current debt ceiling.  Unfortunately, this is about all we can attribute positive credit with the understanding that some Democrats do not support the spending habits of the last few years.  Profound criticism can be applied the Democrat due to the egregious fiscal strategies.

While in this case, Republicans can be credited for …………………………………………………………………………………………

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FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING CONCEPTS

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Financial Accounting ConceptsFinancial Accounting Concepts

An Income Statement reflects the differences between the revenues and expenses of a business over a period of time. Therefore, the items that are considered under this account are the Sales – which includes both cash and credit sales. Expenses include the cost of goods, which consists of all the expenses that are incurred by a business – from the stage of purchase of raw materials to the actual sale of the goods, including the overhead costs.(www.cbdd.wsu.edu, n.d.). Income statements do not reflect all the assets and liabilities of the Company. These are represented in a summarized, consolidated statement that shows the overall financial  position of the Company and provides information on assets, liabilities and owner’s equity.

Equity holdings are represented in financial statements as separate accounts that are listed under “Liabilities and Owner’s equity” (Financial statements, n.d.). Equity is listed under the liabilities section of a Company’s financial statements, because it would constitute a claim upon the assets owned by the Company. In a financial statement, the equity account provides a complete financial picture of the organization under this category of liabilities owed by the Company in the event of a financial crisis, although not all available equity may be active in a particular financial period.

Therefore, in Dr. Leo Krusack’s accounts, furniture and equipment would qualify as assets, while Leo’s deposits from his own funds would be construed as owner’s equity. Two categories of costs exist – fixed and variable. Costs such as utilities, rent and salaries would come under the category of variable costs while expenses on furniture would be fixed costs. Sales made on credit would be classified as “Accounts receivable”………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

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Company Results and Future Expectations: Deutsche Bank

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Recent history and performance

Deustche Bank is a worldwide financial institution that is rooted and has a major base in Germany. Its headquarters are found at Frankfurt. The bank’s formation took place in 1870 amidst economic turbulence. It is at this period in time when socio- economic transformation was radically taking place and industrialization was at the helm. The major driving force to its formation was the dire financial needs that the industries demonstrated. The other aim of forming Deustche bank was to facilitate effective international and foreign trade between Germany and the rest of the world and to engage in the banking business of almost all kinds (Jones, 1994). At the time of this bank’s formation, Germans foreign trade was as well on the rise.

The bankers in Germany also became open minded and welcomed any innovative idea which helped propel the growth of the banking industry (Jones, 1994). The bank also made history as the last bank to be issued with the banking license at that state of events and its license stressed much on foreign trade as Germany extended its wings to trade with the rest of the world (Jones, 1994).  Up to this moment, the bank has had a very wide coverage throughout the world, its expansion strategy started locally with Bremen and Hamburg in the year1871 and 72. It then spread to the Far East and established a branch in Shangai China and later in London UK. The bank also has major branches in North and South America in cities like New York with financial centers in major financial centers of the world; New York, Dubai, Tokyo, Singapore, Mumbai and others. With over 75 branches around the world spreading majorly in European countries, Asia and to an extent the em………………………………………………………………..

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Fair Value Accounting

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In the wake of the subprime property or mortgage crisis, arguments for and against the fair value have emerged. It is clear that both sides of the divide have a genuine case and shout at the issue of concern. Proponents and opponents of the fair value accounting in determining market prices for the property can well be contented with their views but it is more necessary to come to a realistic argument as to which one presents the best and sustainable solution to the meltdown.

Fair value accounting is a model that allows the market forces of demand and supply between the involved parties to determine the value of the property. The problem emerged when the major funding institutions ran into extreme financial crisis which in effect resulted into more uncertainty in the mortgage backed instruments with close reference to the CDOs, the collateralized debt obligations (Novoa, Jodi and Juan, 16). This was aggravated by investors making attempts to dig deep into the financial instruments and who were further set back by the complex systems leading to more panic in the property and lending market.

In the event that the market prices are to adjust and that the investors are to obtain the property values, then only fair value could be used to determine the data and information which was hurriedly sought for. Therefore, it is clear that most of the financial difficulties witnessed in the property market at the time were as a result of combination of factors which included the pressure bestowed on the information b……………………………………………………………..

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