Dividends and Labor’s next battle will be over automation

During the pandemic when people stayed at home, one of the things they did was eat more snack foods which helped profits at Frito-Lay’s owner Pepsi. Revenue was up 20% from the same period a year earlier. When revenues are up, people everywhere in the company want to benefit and there was a strike at one of Frito-Lay’s plants in Topeka, Kansas. The strike went on for 3 weeks and was eventually settled.

What are the concerns for the future? In an article Linda Nazareth examined what could happen at Frito-Lay.

The company Frito-Lay is well known for the sophistication of its operations and during the pandemic it has increased its abilities. Consulting company Gartner Inc puts PepsiCo at No 7 in its ranking of companies with top supply chains. One example of what the chain can do is if chip lovers in one zip code like Cool Ranch Doritos and another zip code likes Nacho Cheese, the company can adjust inventory quickly and everyone is happy.

PepsiCo is teaming up with Robby Technologies that will send a 6 wheel mobile vending machine robot called Snackbot in college and university dorms. The food is ordered from an app.

In June US manufacturing jobs were 12.3 million compared to 12.8 million before the pandemic. Some of the rest may come back but others will be replaced by robots.

A robotics company called Berkshire Grey had an IPO on the Nasdaq and and industrial automation companies such as Rockwell Automation and Eastman Machine Co are reporting brisk orders.

Boston Dynamics as a dancing robot on Twitter, but it has also showcased Stretch which is built for warehouse automation.

Economist Daron Acemoglu of MIT has estimated every automated device replaces 6 human workers, Half move to new jobs, half are retired.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, the supply system is the bottle neck for every company, most of the time it works but when it does not, the partial solution of automation is examined. Every year there are new developments and when robots can work the warehouse, that means there are fewer exceptions for the supply system not to work well. In your investments, how is your company using robots to fix the supply system concerns? The Gartner rankings are below.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

Gartner Announces Rankings of the 2021 Supply Chain Top 25

Cisco Systems Retains Top Position; Four New Companies Join Ranking

Gartner, Inc. has released the results from its annual global Supply Chain Top 25, identifying supply chain leaders and highlighting their best practices.

“In our 17th edition of the Supply Chain Top 25 we saw organizations continuing to deal with the effects of COVID-19 on their businesses. Therefore resiliency and agility capabilities became essential to survival,” said Mike Griswold, vice president team manager with the Gartner Supply Chain practice. “Our ranking highlights companies that possess these strategies and other differentiating capabilities.”

Cisco Systems scored the top spot in the ranking for the second consecutive year, followed by Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Schneider Electric and Nestlé (see Table 1). Four new companies joined this year’s list: Dell Technologies, Pfizer, General Mills, and Bristol Myers Squibb.

“Strong revenue growth, strength in environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, and recognition of leadership in the community opinion polls drove Cisco to the top spot for the second consecutive year,” said Mr. Griswold. “Cisco’s agility helped them prioritize video conferencing and critical infrastructure capabilities for hospitals and vaccine research.”

To recognize sustained supply chain excellence, Gartner introduced the “Masters” category in 2015. To be considered Masters, companies must have attained top-five composite scores for at least seven out of the last 10 years. All of last year’s Masters – Amazon, Apple, P&G, McDonald’s, and Unilever – qualified for the category this year.

“During times of disruption, these companies continue to lead by example and provide advanced lessons for the supply chain community,” Mr. Griswold added. “The Supply Chain Top 25 offer a platform for insights, learning, debate and contributions to the rising influence of supply chain practices on the global economy.”

Table 1. The Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 for 2021

RankCompanyPeer Opinion1
(195 voters)
Gartner Opinion1
Year Weighted ROPA2
Inventory Turns3
Year Weighted Revenue Growth4
ESG Component Score5
Composite Score6
1Cisco Systems842489306.4%13.6-0.4%10.006.37
3Johnson & Johnson138650273.6%3.01.8%8.005.22
4Schneider Electric99351259.4%4.9-1.2%10.005.07
14Dell Technologies61429330.4%18.54.6%8.003.47
15HP Inc.34328145.7%8.00.8%10.003.46
18Coca-Cola Company135015668.5%4.0-4.2%6.003.34
19British American Tobacco18710296.5%0.66.5%10.003.13
23General Mills3179555.3%7.24.6%10.002.83
24Bristol Myers Squibb912979.8%3.737.8%6.002.80

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