S&OP, SIOP, IBP, MIOE - A Supply Chain Rose by Any Other Name

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!

Nine Mistakes You Don’t Have to Make in Your Career

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. 

ChainLink Research: Agile Retailer - Linking Allocation and Transportation

April 20, 2016
ChainLink Research founder Ann Grackin takes a look at the needs of an agile retailer and the benefits of linking two traditionally disparate diciplines--allocation and transportation--together. If inventory is constantly in motion, then shouldn’t the transportation strategy be linked to your more dynamic allocation strategy? Agile retailers are beginning to think about their business in a highly integrated fashion, understanding the implications from a sales and cost perspective and how all the parts fit together.

Supply Chain Risk Management and Rocket Science

February 23, 2016
I became very familiar with risk management early in my professional career. I was working as a flight test engineer on experimental military aircraft, a world where the boundary between safety and expanding capabilities was often crossed. The aerospace industry was an early adopter of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) which, as the name implies, involves reviewing as many components, assemblies, and subsystems as possible to identify failure modes and their causes and effects. FMEA provided visibility into the most likely modes of failure and their level of criticality. Part of the process was to develop contingency plans, and I can tell you from personal experience that the FMEA contingency plans I helped develop saved lives on at least one occasion when the envelope was pushed just a bit too far on an experimental aircraft. That aircraft entered a deep stall at 30,000 feet and recovered at 1,500 feet above ground. During that harrowing episode the flight test team relied on training and contingency plans to help save the lives of the flight crew.

Continue Reading: Supply Chain Risk Management and Rocket Science

The Biggest Challenges Supply Chain Leaders will Crush in 2016

January 26, 2016
To be fair, it’s nearly impossible to predict what will turn out to be the biggest challenges supply chain leaders will encounter in the year ahead.  Millions of supply chains face unique challenges that vary across industries, geographies and business strategies. A host of unpredictable factors will certainly arise, such as geopolitical conflict, social and economic upheaval, natural disasters, and more. But despite the difficulty factor, let’s gaze into a crystal ball and make a few predictions about the challenges supply chain leaders should be preparing to face in 2016.

Supply Chain as a Competitive Centerpiece

April 17, 2014
It’s exciting when you see a company that “talks the talk” and “walks the walk” with complete conviction. Bill Nienburg, Vice President of Global Merchandising and Sales Planning, Under Armour, did just this in front of 300 supply chain practitioners at the recent Logility Connections 2014 conference in Atlanta, GA, calling the athletic apparel maker’s supply chain “a cornerstone for [Under Armour’s] overall growth agenda.”
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