Supply Chain Planning & Optimization Projections for 2018 - Back to the Future

December 18, 2017
From all indications, 2018 should be a very interesting year for supply chains and supply chain practitioners. I think there are a few advanced capabilities that will grow in importance but I also believe there is a growing awareness that to benefit from advanced planning and optimization capabilities a company needs to build a firm foundation.

Fragmented Planning Horizons: How They Undermine Supply Chains

August 29, 2017
Even under the best circumstances, developing production/sourcing plans three, six, or nine months into the future with a high degree of confidence is difficult. Huge sales and margin impacts hang in the balance. Once orders are placed, the ability to quickly and optimally respond to changes in demand can mean the difference between profit and loss.

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
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