September 27, 2016
Many companies have high hopes when they set out to implement a Lean improvement program. But if the program ultimately fails to yield expected results, it can be difficult to pinpoint where the problems lie.
A growing body of knowledge and experience indicates that Integrated Business Planning (IBP) may be the key ingredient for lean success.
September 20, 2016
The surprising outcome of the 2016 referendum on European Union (EU) Membership for the United Kingdom (UK) has led to a complex process of withdrawal that is estimated to take two years. This vote to leave the EU will cause political and economic changes and impact free trade agreements, regulatory frameworks, workforce availability, currencies, and investments. These effects must be evaluated by any company doing business in the UK. Does Brexit represent a supply chain risk to be mitigated, or a supply chain opportunity to be exploited? No
September 13, 2016
The last twenty years have seen amazing expansions in global supply chains. On the supply side, companies began looking for lower-cost sources from different geographies. Whether it was the US going to Asia or the EU going to Africa or the Eastern European countries to procure lower cost components, this concerted effort created a coordination challenge across a vastly extended supply network. For supply chain managers the challenge became one of maintaining flexibility and the ability to respond to a dynamic market. Given extended supply chains and supply networks, how could customer satisfaction be maintained? How could the supply chain become demand-driven?
September 7, 2016
One of my favorite books growing up was The Time Machine
by H. G. Wells. Wells opened my mind to the possibilities of living in different time periods, with the potential to learn from the failures and successes of the past. Time travel still only exists in science fiction; however, if I could go back, based on what I know today, I can think of a few supply chain-related things I would have done differently when I was implementing and running sales and operation planning processes (S&OP
August 30, 2016
Considering the current appetite for “supply chain excellence,” I wonder if it is possible we’re focusing on the wrong things? Like cost and asset utilization, trying to become more efficient (faster delivery, lower cost, time to new product introduction) and more effective (asset utilization, higher levels of service, market share, customer retention). These are all necessary drivers of business success but are they the only attributes that define true ‘excellence?
August 23, 2016
I have heard a number of supply chain professionals proclaim that their companies should stop forecasting product demand due to poor forecast accuracy. If we could only get closer to true end-customer demand the company could ship exactly what is needed, where and when. It’s the old Push – Pull argument.
August 18, 2016
Process manufacturers face a highly complex supply chain challenge. Starting with perishable ingredients whose characteristics (potency, color, composition, etc.) vary from lot to lot creates an uncertainty factor. Adjusting formulas based on the amounts of available ingredients requires flexibility. Ensuring finished products meet the exacting tolerances of customers and regulating agencies requires superior planning. Managing shelf-life requirements by customer and location adds complexity.
August 16, 2016
Hundreds of companies struggling to improve their supply chain performance have adopted an effective business decision-making process to balance and align demand and supply. According to Aberdeen Group, this process can result in a 14% increase in operating margin, a 4% increase in gross margin dollars, a 55% reduction in inventory write-offs, a 17% increase in new product revenues, and a 35% reduction in lost sales. Great!
August 10, 2016
I saw a blog topic the other day titled “My Biggest Mistake.” The intent of this topic was obviously to teach, to explore a hard but useful lesson a broader audience could benefit from.…But I’m not really wired to think that way, so let me flip it around. Here are 9 things that I got right
, whether by design or accident, that others could learn from.