It’s the end of the calendar work and this commentary is our running news capsule of developments related to previous Supply Chain Matters posted commentaries or news developments.

In this capsule commentary, we include the following topics: Apple iTime Parent Approval; Amazon Introduces 3D Printing On-Demand Store; No Progress for West Coast Ports Labor Negotiations; Dun and Bradstreet Launches Supplier Risk Manager 2.0


Apple iTime Patent Approved

This week a posting on Seeking on Seeking Alpha indicates that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) revealed details of an Apple submitted device referred to as “iTime”.  According to the filing, this device is capable of integrating GPS, a heart rate monitor, accelerometer and haptic feedback along with a mini-smartphone with audio, touchscreen, video and calling capabilities.


Amazon Introduces 3D Printing On-Demand Store

A recent posting on Mashable indicates that Amazon is taking “on-demand’ to a new dimension with its inaugural 3D printing marketplace. The 3D Printing Store will supposedly allow customers to select and customize products that are printed and delivered to the consumer. The store features items such trinkets, accessories, toys and art pieces. According to the posting, Amazon is fronting a handful of 3D printing firms including Sculpteo, MixeeLabs and 3DLT for delivery of these services and products.


No Progress for West Coast Ports Labor Negotiations

A report this week on Supply Chain Management Review indicates that labor negotiations among The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association involving operations of 29 U.S. west coast ports have been reported as “productive” but without resolution. It has been a full month since the existing labor contract expired at the end of June with no formal contract extensions. The report indicates that both parties temporarily suspended negotiations on July 25 but will resume discussions next week.

The open question remains as to what extent industry supply chains will take alternative routing actions to alleviate any potential disruptions in the upcoming weeks of holiday related goods transit.


Dun and Bradstreet Launches Supplier Risk Manager 2.0

Dun and Bradstreet announced the launch of its second-generation Supplier Risk Manager software application. The technology leverages D&B’s proprietary database of 235 million businesses, and provides predictive indicators to enable customers to monitor and receive “red-flag” alerts to supplier events that signify critical risk.  The application now includes what is described as a faster and more intuitive user interface.