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The Logistics of Love

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Reprinted from Longitudes

Don’t worry, guys – Valentine’s Day puts pressure on supply chains, too.

Whether a man is calm and on top of his game, or in the grip of a last-minute panic, when he walks out of the flower shop with a fresh bouquet of Valentine’s Day flowers, chances are he doesn’t give much thought to how they got there.

He – and I’m being gender-specific because 75 percent of Valentine’s flower buyers are men – can thank a system built on a rigorous combination of distance, travel, time, temperature and dedicated UPSers.

It all comes together in a one-day observance that generates a total of $1.7 billion spent on flowers, which contribute to a total of nearly $19 billion spent on cards, romantic dinners, stuffed animals and all manner of other Valentine’s Day gifts – including everything from frozen steaks and lobsters to six-foot teddy bears.

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The Last Stand of the Brand: The Rise of Biologics

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In the movie “X-Men: The Last Stand”, the fictional pharmaceutical company, Worthington Labs, develops an inoculation to suppress the gene that gives mutants their super-powers, offering the “cure” to any mutant who desires it.  The “cure” was derived from the DNA of a young child whose powers included suppressing other mutants’ abilities.  Although this scenario is fictional, some pharmaceutical therapies are actually being manufactured today in the form of biologics.   Some characteristics of biologics are:

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What You Can Learn From the Hi-Tech Industry and Its Post-Sales Success

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For many companies, particularly in cutting-edge high technology industries, an evolution has occurred as post-sales services have become an important part of their business. Post-sales services have become a significant source of revenue and profit, a way to build long-term customer relationships, and a source of competitive advantage. As healthcare evolves, the importance of services is likely to grow, creating a corresponding need for post-sales supply chain management.  

Supply chains can be thought of in three categories:

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Preventing ‘flu when we flew

Flu vaccination in Laos

Flying pretty much anywhere these days is expensive. And it’s almost twice as expensive when I travel with my daughter.

And the reason is simple: The route from airport security to the departure gate is littered with opportunities to spend money. There are stores that sell expensive clothes, jewelry, electronics, duty-free goods, food and tacky tee-shirts that announce to the world that the wearer has spent time in the City of Atlanta. (The “I’m a Georgia Peach” key ring complements the tee shirt nicely, by the way.)

Traveling to see family in China once, my daughter and I had too much time to kill in the airport. And, like a wasp to blueberry jelly, she was immediately drawn to the most expensive items for sale in the retail area.

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Growing Abroad

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“It’s a small world…but I wouldn’t want to have to paint it – Steven Wright

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about a profound socioeconomic shift that is occurring, commonly referred to as The Rise of the Global Middle Class.  The world’s middle class population was estimated by the Brookings Institution to include 400 million people in 2005.

In the next 20 years the global middle class is projected to grow to include 1.2 billion people.  Fully two-thirds of that unprecedented expansion in prosperity will occur in China and India.      

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