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A tainted-milk scandal in China and e-coli-related recalls of tomatoes and salsa in the United States are drawing heightened attention to the need for Consumer Products (CP) companies to more closely manage and evaluate their supply chain risks on a global scale, while concurrently trying to improve efficiency and extract optimal value in troubled economic times. Supply chain concerns, sustainability/social responsibility, branding imperatives, and an evolving regulatory environment are among the top issues facing consumer products companies in 2009. Factoring in a consumer spending slowdown in a maturing and troubled U.S. market, CP companies likely will find themselves playing a zero-sum game: The only way they will be able to grow significantly in the coming year is through strategic acquisitions or by stealing market share.
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