Category Archives: Supply Chain Management

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“Forewarned Is Forearmed” - The Rise of Chinese Data-Flow Restrictions

Manufacturers with operations, employees, and/or customers in China must be aware of a long list of China-specific data-flow and content restrictions. Data-flow restrictions in particular affect manufacturers employing or launching mobile apps and other IT initiatives, both internal and external. Manufacturers must be very sensitive to China’s rules and guidelines restricting data flow, as these … Continue reading this entry

China Proposes New Restriction of Hazardous Substance (“RoHS”) Requirements for Electronics Manufacturers

Do you manufacture electrical and electronic products, parts or components? Do you manage manufacturing design for such products? Do you oversee Chinese suppliers manufacturing such products? If so, you need to follow Restriction of Hazardous Substance (RoHS) developments closely for possible future changes to product content restrictions in China. Earlier this week, on May 18, 2015, … Continue reading this entry

E-Commerce’s Hidden Legal Issues

Manage Your Risks Along the Supply Chain While Obtaining All You Want
Less than 25 years ago, e-commerce was something not far removed from the stuff of science fiction. Today, it annually accounts for trillions of dollars in global sales. But, you should know, e-commerce presents legal issues that should be addressed before jumping headlong into the internet marketplace. If you aren’t already selling your products to … Continue reading this entry

Making the FCPA “Reasonable”— Exceptions and Affirmative Defenses

So, we have covered the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s (FCPA) scope, but the FCPA anti-bribery provisions also contain certain exceptions and affirmative defenses. These exceptions and affirmative defenses attempt to carve out legitimate payments to foreign officials, so the FCPA does not unreasonably hamper international business. Be wary, however, because prosecutors narrowly interpret these exceptions … Continue reading this entry

Buying Someone Else’s Headache – Top Five Supply Chain Pitfalls to Consider When Expanding Through Acquisition

Manage Your Risks Along the Supply Chain While Obtaining All You Want
As the economic recovery continues to pick up steam, manufacturers are looking to grow their capacity and expand their markets. Many manufacturers choose to expand their horizons by acquiring smaller companies or merging with a competitor. When properly planned and executed, such transactions can bring great economic rewards. However, when the risks inherent in such … Continue reading this entry

Peeking Behind the Curtain: Macroeconomic Insight Into Manufacturing

Last week, Dr. Chad Moutray, Chief Economist for the National Association of Manufacturers (“NAM”), visited Foley & Lardner’s Chicago office and shared a macroeconomic update on the manufacturing industry. His comments and charts (he’s an economist, of course he had charts) provided insight into the current state and bright future of American manufacturing. NAM’s membership … Continue reading this entry

Manufacturing on the Rise in Florida

When one thinks of business in Florida, most think of tourism — amusement parks, fishing, golf, and beaches — or Florida’s world-famous citrus — oranges, grapefruits, and strawberries. Perhaps Florida’s best kept secret: Florida’s manufacturing sector is surging forward. In recent years, Floridians have become accustomed to Governor Rick Scott announcing manufacturing jobs being created … Continue reading this entry

The FCPA Mandate in a Nutshell

Manage Your Risks Along the Supply Chain While Obtaining All You Want
The consequences of an investigation into bribery allegations can be tricky for any manufacturing company, so it’s important to understand the U.S. anti-bribery provisions. As discussed in our Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) overview, manufacturers participating in international business must be mindful of this federal law. Though many are aware of the FCPA, some do … Continue reading this entry

Regulation of Chemicals in Consumer Products on the Rise

In recent years, manufacturers have seen a marked increase in state regulation of chemicals in consumer products. While the regulation of hazardous and toxic chemicals in consumer products is certainly not a new concept, particularly on the federal level, the proliferation of state regulation creates many new regulatory burdens and potential pitfalls that manufacturers must … Continue reading this entry

Made in the USA! Reshoring Children’s Products

For all expecting and new parents, you probably have learned how quickly buying your child’s products adds up! So why would you be willing to pay more for an American-made product when you could purchase a similar product or even the “same” product, produced overseas, for half the cost? To answer this question, you should … Continue reading this entry

Stopping Products Liability Claims Is Cheaper Than Defending Them

While manufacturers inevitably face products-liability claims, certain business practices could enable your company to limit or even prevent exposure. Being sued on the basis of products liability costs companies in a variety of ways. Manufacturers may be able to avoid or limit these costs by implementing the below practices.… Continue reading this entry

Class Action Lawsuits – Risks and Mitigation Strategies for Component Manufacturers

Manufacturers of components incorporated into consumer products increasingly find themselves involved in product liability class action lawsuits. Manufacturers can be drawn into these types of lawsuits when their own customer (the end manufacturer of the final product) gets sued and comes knocking on the manufacturer’s door. Manufacturers also may be named as defendants directly by … Continue reading this entry

2014: An Exciting and Challenging Time for American Manufacturing

2014, the Manufacturing Industry Advisor’s inaugural year, marked an exciting but challenging time for American manufacturers. In our final blog post for the year, we will highlight some of the trends and developments we noted in 2014, with links to our earlier observations. Here, at Foley & Lardner, we aim to do more than monitor … Continue reading this entry

International Cartel Sales to Global Supply Chains Raise U.S. Antitrust Issues

Ten Tips to Develop a Practical Conflict Minerals Approach for 2014
How can American manufacturers bring claims against foreign cartels that fix prices of component parts? The answer became more clear last week. In a widely awaited opinion, Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp, the United States  Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals addressed which purchasers may pursue treble (triple) damage through private civil actions, under … Continue reading this entry

Happy Thanksgiving from the Manufacturing Industry Advisor Team

During this week of Thanksgiving, the Manufacturing Industry Advisor team wishes to thank all of you for reading, contributing to, and sharing our blog. Since this is a busy time of year for everyone, some of you might have missed a post or two over the last few weeks. For your convenience, linked below are some of our most recent and popular posts. … Continue reading this entry

Recognizing Leaders in Manufacturing

This month we salute two organizations for raising the profile of leaders in the manufacturing industry. First is the Manufacturing Institute for presenting the 2015 STEP Awards. We encourage readers to nominate a peer or colleague for this prestigious national award. The STEP Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership at all levels … Continue reading this entry

4 Simple Tips for Better Supply Agreements

Ten Tips to Develop a Practical Conflict Minerals Approach for 2014
Supply agreements serve as the lifeblood of many manufacturing companies. These agreements outline the terms and conditions controlling the supply of goods and services between various parties. Without this framework, many businesses could not meet the pressing demands of the modern-day marketplace. With so much riding on these agreements, savvy business professionals must pay particular … Continue reading this entry

Protection Against Foreign Anticompetitive Practices Affecting U.S. Activities

Antitrust laws, like the Sherman Act, protect American markets from anticompetitive practices. But, under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA), American antitrust laws only reach foreign conduct in specific circumstances. For example, an anticompetitive act committed abroad must, among other things, “directly” affect U.S. domestic, import, or certain export activities and the effect must … Continue reading this entry

Economic Manufacturing Quantities: The Right Amount and the Right Locations

SupplyChainManagement
Does your manufacturing firm have enough facilities creating the optimum number of products in the right locations? As manufacturing abroad became viable, the siting options became innumerable. Now, already difficult decisions are becoming more complicated due to market trends. Oil prices are rising and automation is spreading. Also, although differences still exist, relative wages are … Continue reading this entry

Jumping on the "Made in the U.S.A." Bandwagon

Retailers are increasingly praising the importance of  placing the “Made in the USA” phrase on their product packaging and labels. Customers, not only in the U.S. but worldwide, are now demanding “Made in America” merchandise. The time is ripe for savvy manufacturers and retailers to take advantage of this trend or risk being left behind. … Continue reading this entry

3D Printing Products at Home: Manufacturer, Consumer, or Both?

3D Printing Products at Home: Manufacturer, Consumer, or Both?
Soon, instead of clicking buy now and entering your shipping information, you may be able to download a file, click “Start,” and watch a 3D printer at work. Thus, the manufacturer-consumer will be born. The relationship between the traditional manufacturer and a manufacturer-consumer may, and probably should, throw a proverbial wrench into some of our … Continue reading this entry

Ten Tips to Develop a Practical Conflict Minerals Approach for 2014

Ten Tips to Develop a Practical Conflict Minerals Approach for 2014
The following post is co-authored with Matthew C. Dixon and Christopher R. Schneider from KPMG LLP. As you sit at your desk waiting for any guidance regarding what your Conflict Minerals Report should look like, you may allow yourself to think about June 3, 2014, the day after companies are required to file their Form … Continue reading this entry

You've Got the Whole (Supply Chain) World in Your Hands

It’s hard to believe, but you may soon be able to receive products before you even order them. Amazon and other retailers are exploring concepts like anticipatory shipping and adaptive stocking. With these developments and others, like the rise of online shopping, two-day deliveries, and reduction in shipping fees, manufacturers world-wide have increasingly realized the … Continue reading this entry

The First Legal Innovation Hub for NextGen Manufacturers

The First Legal Innovation Hub for NextGen Manufacturers
Will you and I witness the next “industrial revolution?” Consider how dramatically manufacturing is advancing in today’s economy. With astonishing speed, manufacturers are applying 21st century technology to produce state-of-the-art, enterprise-wide systems that support ongoing process improvements and ever-changing business partners. Manufacturers are reconfiguring their factories, returning to the U.S., and educating their workforces to … Continue reading this entry