In an effort to add my part toward accentuating more positive news, this is the third of our ongoing series of posts related to what is more positive news and developments across global supply chains.

A Wall Street Journal article reports that one of the world’s largest semiconductor chip producers, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced that that the company plans to rehire several hundred workers it laid off in January. This is a rather significant announcement. In late November of last year, I posted my observation that if you were searching for a good bellwether of what’s really happening in the economies of global supply chains, one must observe the activity in the farthest point in the value-chain.  This would include chemical, petrochemical and semiconductor producers.  The fact that TSMC has begun to see an upturn in its business is another sign that the bottom has been reached, and high tech companies are becoming more comfortable in adding more supply in their product value-chain. It will be interesting to observe if the chemical producers experience a similar up tick in orders.

Earlier in the month, Ford Motor Company symbolically announced that it would invest $550 million USD in converting an existing SUV production plant in Michigan into a flexible factory that can support the production of smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, including an electric powered vehicle.  The move was part of a series of three other plant conversions for producing more fuel-efficient cars in North America.  Ford indicated that the Michigan plant would support upwards of 3200 jobs, and result in a “lean, green, and flexible manufacturing complex”.  While there is no doubt that $160 million in tax incentives from the state of Michigan facilitated this decision, the fact that a U.S. based automotive OEM is now re-fitting for future consumer demand is certainly news of a positive nature.

You can help to continue this Supply Chain Matters news series by sending me links to positive news stories.  The email address is bferrari at blog1 dot com.

Bob Ferrari