Supply chain concerns a huge risk factor
It’s a risky business world out there, but how much of that risk can be directly credited to an unsteady global supply chain?
According to a study by BDO USA, of the 100 largest publicly traded technology companies analyzed, 86 percent mentioned supply chain concerns. That mark placed supply chain concerns as the sixth biggest risk factor in 2011 for U.S. technology companies.
Included in those supply chain concerns in the BDO report are supplier relations and distribution and material costs. Possibly of greater concern, supply chain issues are up more than 10 percent from last year, meaning supply chain problems might not be going away anytime soon.
That growth still pales in comparison to the fastest-growing risk among U.S. technology companies, as 93 percent of the companies stressed a failure to properly execute corporate strategy as one of the biggest risks today. That mark is a sharp increase from 2009, where only 27 percent of U.S. technology companies expressed those concerns.
Labor concerns (up to 61 percent, from 22 percent in 2009) and financial risk of customers, vendors or suppliers (also up to 61 percent, from 33 percent in 2009) are two of the other fastest growing risk factors.
Competition and consolidation and pricing pressures, U.S. general economic concerns, federal, state and local regulations, failure to develop or market new products or services and legal proceedings rounded out the top seven risk factors, as cited by the 100 largest U.S. Technological companies.
For more information, check out the complete list by clicking here.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany