This week's round-up from the world of supply chain and procurement.
The cost of the Patriot missile used by an un-named US ally to shoot down a consumer drone. “On the kinetic exchange ratio the Patriot won, OK. That quad copter that cost $200 from Amazon.com did not stand a chance against a Patriot,” said US General David Perkins. The military needs to find a way to combat drones – ISIS is already weaponising them – but Perkins said he wasn’t sure using a Patriot had “a good economic exchange ratio”.
The number of firms that have expressed an interest in bidding for contracts associated with the construction of the border wall between the US and Mexico. The project will require $1bn worth of cement and concrete analysts estimate, according to the LA Times. Mexico based supplier Cemex told the paper it would not register as a potential contractor or supply third party contractors working on the wall, but plenty of other firms have expressed an interest in what looks set to be a lucrative build. The government’s presolicitation notice said the wall is likely be 30 feet tall an made of poured concrete.
The approximate square meterage of damage to previously pristine coral reef off the coast of Indonesia caused by a British-operated ship according to official estimates. At low-tide, the Caledonian Sky, weighing in at over 4,000-tonnes, ran aground off an island in Raja Ampat Papua province, causing much devastation to an area that relies heavily on the tourism that its reefs attract. Early attempts to free the ship only served to cause more damage, to the consternation of locals. The UK’s ambassador to Indonesia, Moazzam Malik, who met with Indonesia’s co-ordinating minister for maritime affairs following the incident, told the BBC he was “disappointed to learn about the damage” and hoped the matter could be resolved quickly. It has been estimated it will take 50-100 years for the reef to recover.
The number of people working in the UK gig economy, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Research shows 4% of people aged between 18 and 70 work in the gig economy and nearly two-thirds of them believe the government should regulate to guarantee them basic employment rights and benefits such as holiday pay. However, just 14% said they did gig work because they could not find alternative employment.
The average amount St Patrick’s Day partygoers will spend in the US. According to the ABC, 56.1% of the American population are estimated to spend a total of $5.3m this year and 82.5% of those plan to wear green.
The number of proposals submitted by Ford staff for the Last Mile Mobility Challenge. Employees were asked to design an electric personal assistant to help people get to their final destination from their car, for use in busy urban areas or other places where cars are not suitable or permitted. Providing personal assistance, helping those with limited mobility, or hauling luggage is one way to minimise urban congestion. Solutions include a folding tricycle-cum-shopping cart, a wheelchair that is autonomously loaded in the vehicle, and a spare-wheel sized vehicle that carries up to 120kg for 14 miles.