Future Komp http://futurekomp.net/ Wed, 25 May 2022 08:40:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://futurekomp.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/futurekomp-icon-70x70.png Future Komp http://futurekomp.net/ 32 32 IPOB and Northern groups exchange rebukes and warnings over alleged tribal killings https://futurekomp.net/ipob-and-northern-groups-exchange-rebukes-and-warnings-over-alleged-tribal-killings/ Wed, 25 May 2022 07:15:03 +0000 https://futurekomp.net/ipob-and-northern-groups-exchange-rebukes-and-warnings-over-alleged-tribal-killings/

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Tuesday urged the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) not to kill any Igbo, saying they should not engage in a struggle that would last forever.

The group was responding to threats from the CNG to seek revenge for the alleged murder of their relatives in the Southeast.

Earlier, the CNG issued a statement through its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, warning that the region would not remain passive in the face of repeated attacks on its people.

“The North will no longer remain passive in the face of such deliberate and sustained attacks on its people and interests, and will now be compelled to respond to any unwarranted provocation and violation.

“The North’s reluctance to speak out or act is not born out of fear or ignorance of the response and those who tempt us must know that the North will no longer turn the other cheek,” noted the CNG.

However, the IPOB responded through its national publicity secretary, Emma Powerful, who denied any involvement in the murder of a Hausa woman and her children on Saturday.

According to the group, the unfortunate incident was sponsored by northern politicians whose aim is to scapegoat the organization.

Powerful said, “We have a lot on our hands to respond to this group called CNG because they are not a problem; we expect them to start killing in Nigeria and see our position.

“We remain peaceful in our quest for freedom in Biafra and if they couldn’t call the criminals they brought to our country and think we can run for them they are pranksters let them start this fight and see what the ending will look like.

Also Read: Why the South East Cannot Trust Power – Northern Groups

“IPOB has nothing to do with the death of a Hausa woman who was with her children on Sunday and we strongly condemn this despicable act by criminals sponsored by northern politicians.

“Before threatening us, they should, first of all, remove these terrorists and bandits transferred to Obinze Barracks in Owerri, Imo State, from where they operate and they have been brought in to kill and to murder and blame peaceful IPOB and ESN.

“ESN (Eastern Security Network) does not operate like bandits and terrorists because we know what human blood represents. The assassins of this woman and these children were Fulani terrorists and jihadists whom they transferred to military barracks and want the military to protect them.

“They share them with ID cards to operate and the world needs to ask the military why they were giving out these terrorist cards for identification.

“The army gave them a cover, if these people kidnapped, the military would provide them with a place where they would keep their victims and bring someone who would receive a ransom from the parents or family members of the victims.

“IPOB and ESN did not kill anyone talking about Hausa women with children, it is an abomination to kill women, children, school children and pregnant women. We are not like them who snatched babies from pregnant Igbo women in 1966 and 1970.

“The type of murder that is happening in our country right now is the type that Fulani terrorists kill and the type of beheading. There is not an iota of truth in what they say that the IPOB hates the Hausas living in our territory.

“What the IPOB is looking for are Fulani terrorists disguised as shepherds who rape our mothers, wives and sisters in our bushes and forests.”

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Association between climatic variables and the incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis in Brunei Darussalam https://futurekomp.net/association-between-climatic-variables-and-the-incidence-of-pulmonary-tuberculosis-in-brunei-darussalam/ Tue, 24 May 2022 18:28:06 +0000 https://futurekomp.net/association-between-climatic-variables-and-the-incidence-of-pulmonary-tuberculosis-in-brunei-darussalam/

Data gathering

The weekly case count of all diagnosed PTB cases who resided in Brunei-Muara District, Brunei between January 2001 and December 2018 (18 years, 939 weeks) was compiled from the National Tuberculosis Coordination Center ( NTCC). Brunei-Muara district is the most populous district in the country where 69.7% of the population resides21, and where the capital is located. The NTCC was established as part of the National Tuberculosis Control Program in Brunei and has operated tuberculosis surveillance, treatment and control programs since 2000. All patients suspected of having any form of tuberculosis throughout the country are often referred directly to the NTCC or any respective district. observed, short-stay treatment (DOTS) center for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up25. All modes of diagnosis for PTB cases were included (such as smear positive, smear negative and by chest x-ray and/or clinician decision). These case numbers were summarized by epidemiological week and year, according to the date of treatment initiation. In cases where the treatment start date is missing, the NTCC registration date was used.

Daily data on climate variables for the same period were obtained from a local weather station, located in Brunei-Muara district. Variables provided include total sunshine hours, total precipitation (in millimeters), average wind speed (in knots), relative humidity (RH) in percentage (minimum, average and maximum) and the temperature in degrees Celsius (minimum, average and maximum) . These daily data were averaged by epidemiological week and by year. Any missing daily values ​​(n=5) were replaced with the mean value for that particular month and year. Vapor pressure (a measure of absolute humidity) was calculated using the Clausius-Clapeyron equation26by entering average relative humidity values ​​and standard temperature and pressure conditions.

statistical analyzes

Spearman’s rank correlation test was used to explore the correlation between each climatic variable and with the number of PTB cases. The stationarity of the time series for the weekly number of PT cases and each climatic variable was checked using the augmented Dickey-Fuller test.

We used the Distributed Lag Nonlinear Model (DLNM) framework to investigate the association between climatic variables and the incidence of PTB. In this model framework, the negative binomial distribution was assumed to account for overdispersion, and cross terms were constructed for each climate variable. These terms include 2 dimensions: one specifying the conventional exposure-response relationship, and the other specifying the delay-response relationship.27. Natural cubic splines with 7 degrees of freedom (df) per calendar year were used to account for long-term trends and seasonality. This adjustment was included based on previous similar studies for TB5.17, and the number of df was determined using Akaike’s Information Criterion (AIC) value. Natural cubic splines with 3 df were used to describe both lagged and nonlinear effects of each climate variable.

The median incubation period for PTB ranges from a few months to 2 years14and there is often a delay in the diagnosis of tuberculosis, of about 5 to 6 months25.28. Given these factors, we decided to specify lags of up to 12 months (52 weeks) to capture the delayed effects of climate variables. The goal is to cover as much of the incubation period without sacrificing any loss of statistical precision and efficiency that might be caused by adding more delays4.17. The general structure of the model formula used is as follows:

$$log Eleft( {Y_{t} } right) = alpha + sum CB left( {M,lag} right) + nsleft( {t,df = 7/an times no . of years} right)$$

where E(Yyou) is the expected number of PTB cases at week t, (alpha) is the y-intercept, CB is the cross function used for each climatic variable to be evaluated (M), and ns is the natural cubic spline function applied to account for the long-term trend and seasonality. The presence of any residual autocorrelation was assessed using partial autocorrelation function plots (PACF). Any remaining autocorrelation detected was taken into account by adding lags of the model deviance residuals in the final model.

Although not all variables yield significant results in univariate analysis, we decided to include 5 cross terms that represent different aspects of climatic variables and are also previously known to be associated with TB incidence . The rationale here is to include these variables to control for potential confounders. The AIC value was used to assess the variables to be included in the final model. This resulted in the choice of the following 5 variables in the final model: average wind speed, hours of total sunshine, total precipitation, average RH and minimum temperature. To guarantee a minimum of multi-collinearity and/or correlation problems (due to the use of several crossed terms in a single model), the consistency of the results obtained between univariate and multivariate was checked using visual analysis and referring to the AIC value.

We reported the relative risk (RR) of weekly PTB cases at the 5th and 95th percentiles of each climatic variable, relative to their median, with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). For climate variables with significant results observed at either percentile, we further determined and reported the starting lag week at which that significant result can be found. Global relationship patterns were also described using three-dimensional (3D) plots and contours. Lag plots were used to show trend differences at lags of 0, 13, 26, 39, and 52 weeks (corresponding to 0, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months), with a higher number of lags indicating an effect shifted longer by the corresponding climatic variable. For further sub-analysis, we repeated the same analysis described above to report the RR of weekly smear-positive PTB cases. Sensitivity analyzes were performed by repeating the analysis using 5 and 9 df natural cubic splines for the long-term trend. All analyzes were performed and all figures were generated in R (ver. 4.1), using tseries, splines and dlnm packages29.30.

This study was approved by the Medical and Health Research and Ethics Committee (MHREC), Ministry of Health, Brunei (Ref: MHREC/UBD/2019/2). All methods were performed in accordance with current guidelines and regulations. Informed consent was waived because all analyzes were based on aggregated data that does not contain any identifying or sensitive information.

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The hesitation of ECB interest rates at the origin of monetary misalignments https://futurekomp.net/the-hesitation-of-ecb-interest-rates-at-the-origin-of-monetary-misalignments/ Tue, 24 May 2022 15:03:30 +0000 https://futurekomp.net/the-hesitation-of-ecb-interest-rates-at-the-origin-of-monetary-misalignments/

The European Central Bank’s reluctance to raise interest rates to counter spiraling inflation is aggravating misaligned exchange rate problems, intensifying the imbalance in international current account balances.

Widespread perception that the ECB is falling behind the US Federal Reserve and Bank of England on rate hikes, depressing the euro on FX, is likely to further fuel zone inflation euro by increasing import prices. Another side effect is the widening of the US current account deficit, which fuels trade imbalances as a disturbing factor in US politics.

Given that the price of oil and most internationally traded commodities is in dollars, the fall in the euro – to €1.07 from €1.21 a year ago – adds to the pressures inflationary. This is one of the concerns of a minority within the Governing Council of the ECB which is trying to push the bank for a bigger hike in the key ECB rates. These council members, including Joachim Nagel of the Bundesbank and Klaas Knot of De Nederlandsche Bank, want the ECB to raise its deposit rate to 0% from -0.5% in July, which will be deliberated at its meeting on June 9.

It is not known whether they will obtain a majority. Concerns about the effects of Fed tightening, along with the phasing out of the ECB’s government bond buying programs, are pushing credit spreads higher in bond markets across Europe. The spread between 10-year yields on German and Italian bonds is now two percentage points, the highest in two years. Similar trends are underway for Spain, Greece and Portugal, leading to higher borrowing costs for the most indebted eurozone states.

The ECB’s dilemma on monetary tightening adds to global imbalances. The weak euro is boosting eurozone exports – especially from traditionally strong exporters like Germany – and weakening the competitiveness of US businesses, leading to widening trade gaps.

Another important factor was the renminbi’s 6% decline against the dollar over the past month. The decline does not appear to reflect a deliberate move by Beijing to sell more products in the United States, rather the effect of US interest rate policy, China’s Covid-19 shutdowns and Western sanctions against the Russia.

With US imports from China outpacing exports by about four to one, the US recently ran a trade deficit with Beijing of more than $30 billion per month, resulting in an overall Chinese trade deficit of 101 trillion dollars in the first three months of 2022. Former President Donald Trump will likely use the continuing huge imbalance in China-US trade in his likely bid for re-election in 2024.

The overall US trade deficit rose 22% in March, topping $100 billion for the first time – up $20 billion from February to $110 billion, according to the US Census Bureau . April estimates from the International Monetary Fund put the euro zone’s current account surplus this year at 1.8% of gross domestic product, down slightly from 2.4% in 2021, despite the much larger bill. high in imported energy. Proof of the strong underlying competitiveness of the euro zone, the current account surplus for 2023 is estimated at 2.2% of GDP.

Germany’s current account surplus – usually criticized by the United States as signaling excessively high savings and insufficient domestic growth – is expected to fall to 5.9% of GDP in 2022, from 7.4% in 2021. But the surplus will drop to 6.9% next year, according to IMF projections.

Imbalances in the two largest Anglo-Saxon economies remain acute. The US current account deficit is estimated at 3.5% of GDP in 2021 and 2022, narrowing only slightly to 3.2% next year. The UK’s deficit over these three years is estimated at 2.6%, 5.5% and 3.2% of GDP respectively.

China’s current account surplus is projected at a relatively moderate level of 1% of GDP in 2022 and 2023 after 1.8% in 2021. However, these forecasts were prepared before the latest decline in the renminbi which, if prolonged , should lead to a further sharp rise in the Chinese surplus.

Exchange rates that are not in line with countries’ underlying competitiveness can lead to the destruction of jobs, disruptive relocation of assets and a surge in support for populist politicians. A possible move towards recession in the United States and elsewhere, coupled with a severe imbalance in international payments, could be a painful combination for the global economy.

Bob Bischof is Vice President of the German-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry. David Marsh is President of the OMFIF.

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Will Ralph Lauren stock drop after fiscal fourth quarter results? https://futurekomp.net/will-ralph-lauren-stock-drop-after-fiscal-fourth-quarter-results/ Mon, 23 May 2022 16:30:26 +0000 https://futurekomp.net/will-ralph-lauren-stock-drop-after-fiscal-fourth-quarter-results/

Ralph Lauren (NYSE: RL), a company specializing in the design, marketing and distribution of high-end lifestyle products including apparel, accessories, fragrance and home furnishings, is expected to report results of the fourth fiscal quarter on Tuesday, May 24. We expect shares of Ralph Lauren to trade lower on weak fourth quarter 2022 fiscal results, with revenue as well as earnings falling slightly short of consensus. Ralph Lauren experienced an impressive recovery in revenue and cash flow in the last nine months of fiscal 2022. However, soaring inflation and rising manufacturing and transportation costs, which have compounded by the geopolitical situation in Ukraine, could have a negative impact on the company’s bottom and front lines in the fourth quarter. That said, almost 40% of Ralph Lauren’s production takes place in China and Vietnam, which could also lead to higher costs in the coming quarters (given the lockdown in China).

Our forecast indicates that the valuation of RL is $93 per share, which is the current market price. Watch our interactive dashboard analysis at RL revenue overview: What to expect in the fourth trimester? for more details.

(1) Revenues slightly below consensus estimates

Trefis estimates RL’s fourth-quarter 2022 revenue at around $1.44 billion, slightly below the consensus estimate of $1.46 billion. In the third quarter, the retailer’s revenue rose 27% year-over-year to $1.8 billion, thanks to the impressive 30% growth in the North American market during this period. There is no doubt that a significant percentage of this growth is due to a recovery in sales from the previous decline caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect future growth rates to be more moderate. We now expect Ralph Lauren’s full-year 2022 revenue to be $6.2 billion, up 41% year-over-year.

(2) EPS expected to slightly miss consensus estimates

Earnings per share for RL in the fourth quarter of 2022 are expected to be 37 cents according to Trefis analysis, below the consensus estimate of 38 cents. Despite higher marketing costs in the third quarter of the fiscal year, Ralph Lauren managed to increase its gross profit margin, with price increases offsetting higher expenses. Additionally, the company’s operating margin also jumped 4 percentage points in the quarter. This helped EPS rise to $2.98 from $1.63 a year ago.

(3) Estimation of stock price in line with current market price

Passing through our Ralph Lauren’s assessmentwith an estimated EPS of around $8.25 and a P/E multiple of 11.2x for FY2022, this translates to a price of $93, which is in line with the current market price.

It helps to see how your peers compare. RL Peers shows how Ralph Lauren compares to its peers on important metrics. You’ll find other useful comparisons for companies in all industries at Peer Comparisons.

What if you were looking for a more balanced portfolio instead? Our quality portfolio and multi-strategy portfolio have consistently beaten the market since late 2016.

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Take comfort to the next level this winter with these home essentials https://futurekomp.net/take-comfort-to-the-next-level-this-winter-with-these-home-essentials/ Mon, 23 May 2022 06:23:23 +0000 https://futurekomp.net/take-comfort-to-the-next-level-this-winter-with-these-home-essentials/

With the cooler weather well and truly here, we experience familiar cravings for all things comfortable. While it can be tempting to get caught up in the trials of adapting to the changing seasons, we think the best part about dropping in temperature is the opportunity to slow down and indulge in creature comforts. .

Bringing a new vibe into your home to get you excited for all the joys winter can bring (hello hot chocolate and long soaks) can be as big or as simple as you want it to be. Fresh yarns to breathe new life into the duvet that keeps you warm all winter long, a new dressing gown to add a touch of hotel luxury to your daily routine, or new throw pillows that perfectly complement the sunlight of the golden hour that crosses your window. We’ve rounded up some warm picks that will easily up your comfort ante and make coming home a treat all winter long.

Olive Washed Linen Duvet Cover Set

Price: $179 – $229

This chic set is crafted from highly-sorted Belgian linen, which gets softer and smoother with every wash. With moisture wicking properties and natural temperature regulation, this tonal duvet cover set will keep you cool in hot weather and warm in winter. Plus, this olive hue is so soothing, we’re ready to catch a few z’s just looking at it. Buy yours here.

Billie Toffee Reversible Comforter Set

$99.95 – $139.95

https://go.linkby.com/JPADULHJ/billie-toffee-reversible-comforter-set-essbilliec22b/

If Cottagecore is your cool weather vibe this year, you really can’t beat this reversible duvet. Breathe fresh energy into your room with two complementary plaid patterns in a palette that will bring the fleeting, hazy edges of golden hour indoors, every day. Buy yours here.

Mulberry Silk Printed Pillowcase

Price: $79.95

Skincare’s best friend is a silk pillowcase that will keep you warm and comfortable, and won’t steal products carefully applied to your face while you sleep. Made from pure mulberry silk, these pillowcases are hypoallergenic, gentle on skin and hair (no morning frizz? Yes please) and come in a range of colors and patterns to suit your needs. complement any palette. Buy yours here.

Averline Teal Duvet Cover Set

Price: $289.95 – $329.95

If you like a bit of tactile texture to complement tranquil tones, this duvet cover set is for you. Crafted from lightweight cotton, this set is perfect for all temperatures and the chenille tufts create depth and detail. Buy yours here.

Luna Chunky Knit Throw

Price: $111

There’s nothing quite like a cozy throw that can take you from bed to sofa when the temperature really drops. Made from a super chunky stretch knit fabric and available in chic autumnal hues, this throw combines comfort, warmth and style in one. Buy yours here.

Square Linen Fringed Cushion Sahara

Price: $47.95

Bring a splash of color to your palette with these adorable throw pillows. Made from linen and filled with a feather insert, they will bring color, texture and comfort to any room. Buy yours here.

Microplush bathrobe

Price: $49.95

Bring the best vacation moments into your everyday life with this super plush hotel-worthy bathrobe. Made from super soft plain flannel and available in a range of colours, it’s the answer to all your cold weather woes. Buy yours here.

Microplush slippers

Price: $19.95

Don’t let your feet miss all the fuzz. These microplush slippers will have you walking on a warm, cloudy dream through all seasons. Buy yours here.

Mila Ribbed Crystal Glass Carafe

Price: $29.95

Nothing beats having friends over for a cozy night in, and this decanter is a home entertainer’s dream. With a sleek, minimalist vibe, serving anything from cheeky red to refreshing cucumber water in the matching highball set, will add a touch of extravagance to any occasion. Buy yours here.

Miguel Blue Recycled Glass Vase

Price: $29.95 – $69.95

Handcrafted in Spain from recycled glass, these soothing blue beauties evoke the crisp clear skies of clear winter days and are perfect for a unique, statement upper. For a full-bodied bouquet, these elegant emerald vases will complement blooms all year round. Buy yours here.

Now that your decor is sorted, add a little luxury to your PJ rotation with these cozy yarns.

Image credit: Supplied

Editor’s Note: Urban List editors independently curate and write things we love and you’ll love too. Urban List has affiliate partnerships, so we earn revenue from your purchase.

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Tate | Uncertain times loom for college football | Sports https://futurekomp.net/tate-uncertain-times-loom-for-college-football-sports/ Sun, 22 May 2022 14:00:00 +0000 https://futurekomp.net/tate-uncertain-times-loom-for-college-football-sports/

Confusion… chaos… uncertainty.

With fingers pointed upwards to test the wind currents, NCAA committees, administrators and politicians are weighing several plans to reshape collegiate sports — that is, football — as they try to make sense of excessive name, image and likeness inducements and wild free agent transfers.

Consider the range of possibilities.

➜ Members of the California State Assembly attempted a complicated bill to, among other things, require colleges and universities in the state to set aside half of football revenue, less scholarships, players of this sport. At Southern Cal, that’s estimated at around $200,000 per player. The bill was struck down in committee on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try again… and thus threaten football funding for Olympic Division I sports.

➜ Federal legislation is desperately needed to bring all states into reasonable compliance with NIL payments, especially where recruiting is involved. However, NCAA leaders were unable to influence Congress to put safeguards on the Supreme Court’s decision.

➜ Universities must determine how to allocate the newly court-approved “participation fee” bonus, which can be up to $5,980 for student-athletes.

At Illinois, simple eligibility will suffice for the full amount presented to all male and female athletes receiving full or partial scholarships, as well as full payouts to a number of extras. If there are 500 beneficiaries, the payments amount to nearly $3 million annually.

➜ Scuttlebutt expands on the logic of 131 Division 1 football programs splitting from the NCAA into their own governing body, with the most extreme roster highlighting a 48 or 60 team Super Conference (choose a number). That’s unlikely, but will get more attention if a 12-team playoff (worth over $300 million) is approved for the 2026 season.

➜ Gary Barta, Iowa athletic director and former president of the current four-team football playoffs, leads those who would force players out for a year on their second transfer. And many DAs and coaches would prefer a rule barring freshmen from transferring and being immediately eligible. Would either of these meet judicial approval?

Realignment plans? Meanwhile, the Big Ten is deeply divided on the serious matter of football roster and/or whether to have divisions.

The problem is, wherever you put the state of Ohio, it creates an immediate imbalance. Yes, Michigan won last season (first Big Ten title since 2004), Penn State prevailed in 2016, and Michigan State won in 2015. But Ohio State has won five of eight playoff series in the East-West configuration, and the Buckeyes are 61-5 against Eastern opponents and 18-2 against Western.

With new NCAA rules prompting the Pac-12 to drop divisions, Penn State athletic director Sandy Barbour is officially in favor of ending the East-West roster.

She wants the two top-rated teams paired up for the Big Ten playoffs. And it makes sense that ADs in Michigan and Michigan State would feel the same way, among other things.

Closer to homeHow is Josh Whitman doing?

The Illini AD has recorded a maximum of one realignment move at most, and preferably around the 12-team playoff arrangement that is slated for 2026.

How would he vote?

For now, like everyone else in Western Division, he would almost certainly prefer the status quo. Why would Illinois want to change? Or Purdue? Or Northwestern, which won division titles in 2018 and 2020? Or Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska?

Admit it, all seven programs in the West Division have their best chance of success with the current setup. So how will members in the east get the votes they need if presidents in the west stick together?

Whitman calls it a matter of conscience. Before 2026, the UI administration will have to make a choice between what is good for the conference and what is good for Illinois. But the roster status quo will always be best for Illinois.

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Inflation and supply chain issues are catching up with Minnesota’s public companies https://futurekomp.net/inflation-and-supply-chain-issues-are-catching-up-with-minnesotas-public-companies/ Sat, 21 May 2022 13:28:46 +0000 https://futurekomp.net/inflation-and-supply-chain-issues-are-catching-up-with-minnesotas-public-companies/

POlaris Industries, with a near-record backlog of RVs and dealerships asking for more, is bringing in its own “SWAT teams” — what it calls employees trying to fix supply chain issues.

At a time when it takes extra months to obtain essential parts for everything from recreational vehicles and retail products to industrial filters and medical devices, Minnesota companies are devoting every possible resource to the problem and hope that customers will understand the resulting higher prices. .

The problems — along with inflation on base materials such as steel and rising wages — added $100 million in costs to Polaris operations in the first quarter. They added hundreds of millions to Target’s costs.

And it has caught up with the profitability of most public companies in Minnesota, which has weighed on their earnings or profit margins. Target missed a huge profit on Wednesday, sending markets plummeting as investors worried about what it all means in the long run.

For companies, that means working even harder to make operations more efficient, simplifying product design to circumvent parts shortages, and finding better and more suppliers, preferably closer to their factories.

“The reality is it’s not going to get better anytime soon,” Polaris general manager Mike Speetzen said. “And so we’re making a lot of those organizational moves more permanent. And that helps us make sure that we have the right staff and people who can drive the kind of hour-to-hour discussions that we have to have with our suppliers. “

The good news, at least for now, is that people are still buying, even if they have to pre-order off-road vehicles, cars or mattresses and wait several months for delivery. This means that companies that supply industrial filters, adhesives and other products that go into these products are also working overtime to fulfill orders.

Many Minnesota companies also entered the year with strong balance sheets — having reduced where possible and loosened their cash positions at the start of the pandemic, said Carol Schleif, Minneapolis-based deputy chief investment officer for BMO Family Office. As a result, they have money to invest in solutions.

“What we sometimes forget is how resilient our businesses used to be,” she said. “They prepared for a recession. The recession lasted a few months, [and when they had to] companies quickly changed their business model.”

For example, UnitedHealth Group, which tops the Star Tribune 50 list of public companies in Minnesota, saw its revenue rise 11.8% last year to $287.6 billion. The company’s forecast for this year calls for revenue of between $317 billion and $320 billion.

In total, the 50 companies on the list earned $58.9 billion, a 36% increase from 2020, on total revenue that rose 13% to $705 billion. In an uneven pandemic economy, 15 of the companies saw their profits fall in the four quarters that ended closest to December 31.

As Target officials forecast lower operating margins for the year, they pointed to the company’s financial health, with a focus on its balance sheet.

“As we weather these near-term challenges, we are fortunate to have an incredibly healthy underlying business that can weather the significant headwinds we face and emerge stronger on the other side,” said Chief Financial Officer Michael Fiddelke. on the earnings call.

But in the short term, Target CEO Brian Cornell said the company will have to “be balanced” in any price increases and give up some profits to retain market share, while inflationary pressures will add around $1 billion. dollars to the costs of this exercise.

Target has learned to be more nimble during the pandemic as consumer preferences have shifted, sometimes month to month. The company has sometimes had to charter its own freighters to circumvent supply chain blockages.

As the pandemic has accelerated changes in the way people shop, so too have changes in the global supply chain accelerated. China’s zero-tolerance policy on COVID-19, which has sometimes shut down its manufacturing sectors for weeks at a time, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have exacerbated measures taken by companies to expand their supply chain. supply to more geographical areas.

To respond, Polaris “SWAT teams” communicate with vendors around the world, including new backup vendors in various countries. Other teams are redesigning products to make them simpler or to use a different part the company can get, and redesigning operational schedules so they’re in sync when shipments are ready.

3M said it is using more real-time data analytics. Bloomington-based Donaldson is starting to stock up on parts as it can get them and turning to suppliers closer to its factories.

Andrew Adams, chief investment officer at Mairs & Power in St. Paul, said that before the pandemic, companies usually had a strong backup provider in case of an emergency like a fire or a burst pipe. Now they have three or four.

Tech firm Jaggaer surveyed Mexican vendors, who said between 2020 and 2021 they received 514% more offers from large U.S. buyers, according to The Wall Street Journal. Latin American suppliers saw a 155% increase. At the same time, orders to Chinese suppliers fell 9%.

Advances in automation, driven by labor shortages, will also help Minnesota businesses improve internal efficiency and source lower-cost components closer to home, Schleif said.

Donaldson, like many companies, takes it a step further with what is known as the “golden screw” concept. The global manufacturer of filtration products present in more than 40 countries tries to maintain regional suppliers for each of its sites.

The company has also been stockpiling parts, moving away from strict pre-pandemic “lean manufacturing” that focused on ordering only the volume needed in a given week or month. Now, when delayed parts arrive, increased inventory allows them to complete manufacturing processes faster.

In the quarter ended Jan. 31, the company increased inventory by 8%, or $36 million, said Sarika Dhadwal, director of investor relations at Donaldson. It also covered rising costs with above-normal price increases in January and updated its global enterprise resource planning system, she said.

Vigilance and communication are particularly important.

“Leveraging the power of day-to-day management, data and data analytics” while making operations more efficient is critical, said Monish Patolawala, 3M chief financial officer.

“Last year, we developed new sourcing and pricing tools and processes to improve agility, drive alignment and simplify our processes,” he said in April on the latest earnings call. company quarterly. “In addition, we are also enhancing our reporting and data analysis capabilities by deploying tools that model fulfillment, leakage and price elasticity.”

This operational efficiency is essential for industries where price increases can sometimes only be minimal, said Frank Jaskulke, vice president of intelligence at Medical Alley.

For state medical companies, it’s not as easy to manage on the fly. Designing components — even parts — could be part of the product’s regulatory approval, making it harder to find a new supplier, Jaskulke said.

So B2B groups similar to Polaris SWAT teams worked in Medical Alley on the supply chain issue. Small businesses don’t run production lines every day. A company received critical parts needed for a manufacturing run – which would have been prohibitively expensive to cancel – two hours before the machines were to start.

It’s necessary to retain efficiencies — and add even more — because medical companies don’t have as much leverage over price increases, he said. Many are defined in insurance plans and hospital contracts.

Myles Shaver, a professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Business, said global business “won’t settle into a new normal immediately” and will encounter intermittent pockets of problems. supply chain over the next few years.

Companies will therefore adapt, he said, just as they made changes during the energy crisis of the 1970s and early 1980s.

“They evolve,” Shaver said. “And some of the changes they’ve made, they see them sticking around for the long haul.”

Many factors could derail supply chain improvements.

Unionized West Coast dockers and stevedores began negotiating new contracts this month. China still has restrictions in place due to COVID-19. And the war in Ukraine is far from over.

But even if supply chains improve, inflationary pressures will persist. The prices companies pay for the parts aren’t expected to drop, Schleif said. The same goes for workers’ wages.

“Higher prices right now are in tough places,” Schleif said.

These factors have given rise to differing views on how inflation will affect the overall economy over the next few years, ranging from stability to stagflation with weaker growth or recession. Uncertainty has markets on edge, as evidenced by Target’s earnings report.

The key question, economists say, is whether demand will remain strong. If not, there will be pressure on prices, the only factor that manufacturers could rely on last year to cover much of the rising costs.

Speetzen, for his part, gets the message that it will.

“We review our dealer network quarterly, and there was one dealer comment that I think summed up the current environment well: ‘My business is thriving. Send us the inventory, and we’ll take care of the rest,” Speetzen said on the company’s earnings call. will have navigated the current supply chain environment.”

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