"Just-in-time" manufacturing model challenged by COVID-19

Feb 27, 2020
The model started in the 1970s during the quest for leanness and cost cutting. But it leads to supply chain issues when disasters hit.
Samsung has said its output will be stalled from supply chain problems. Above, a woman wearing a face mask walks past an ad for the Samsung Galaxy Note10 in Seoul on Jan. 30.
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. manufacturers are adjusting supply chains due to coronavirus

Feb 11, 2020
As factories in China idle, American companies scramble to find alternate suppliers.
One of the millions of people who returned to work in China this week after the extended Lunar New Year holiday, which was meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Many businesses remain closed, however.
STR/AFP via Getty Images

How the coronavirus is affecting one American business

Feb 7, 2020
The head of OMG Accessories anticipates that the coronavirus will set back the production of her company's products by at least two months.
A sign at an empty mall in Beijing urges visitors to wear masks Wednesday. China's struggle to contain the deadly coronavirus is deepening concerns about the impact on the world's No. 2 economy.
Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

What your chocolate bar has to do with deforestation

Nov 8, 2019
Steven Mufson of The Washington Post explains why companies are struggling to farm cocoa sustainably.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Electronics makers caught in the trade war

Nov 15, 2018
For one electronics maker, over half of their components come from China. They're on the tariff list.
Close of the motherboard of a digital decoder at the Technicolor plant on October 24, 2012 in Angers. The Commercial Court of Nanterre ordered last week the liquidation of the plant, the last production unit of the French group in Europe, specializing in the manufacture of digital decoders. 
ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images

How will the USMCA trade deal impact China?

Oct 4, 2018
Some firms are adding production lines in other Asian countries.
Employees work on an SUV production line at the Beijing Automotive Group Co. in Beijing in August.
Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

Inside the booming black market for bourbon

Jun 14, 2017
High demand and short supply mean some labels are all but unavailable in stores.
During the early 1920s, Old Pogue Distillery, (Mason County, Kentucky) sold limited quantities of its whiskey for medicinal purposes under the Old Jordan brand.
Adam Allington/Marketplace

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Paris attacks renew scrutiny of Europe's open borders

Nov 17, 2015
Many are calling for an end to the free flow of people and goods in Europe.

Chipotle's E. coli outbreak economics

The restaurant chain is dealing with an E. coli outbreak, and beyond that? Big questions about its supply chain.

Wal-Mart gives suppliers a deadline to disclose factory details

Apr 15, 2013
Wal-Mart wants suppliers to list exactly which factories they work with. The retail giant says it will cut ties with anyone who subcontracts work without permission.