Supply Chain Management

Bitcoin Blockchain Coins
Every day, there are billions of dollars’ worth of products moving through the global supply chain. And every day, there are thousands of concerns, complaints, and lawsuits being filed due to order problems, suspected fraudulent or knockoff items and damaged goods. Each complaint needs to be investigated and the truth of the complaint established or negated. This is a time consuming and costly part of supply chain management-particularly in a Global setting. The Middlemen Normal trade transactions usually require a middleman such as a bank or finance company. This adds even more complexity, resolution time and money to the process. Today, there is a growing interest in the direct, user-to-user e-commerce interface using blockchain technology. Enter, Blockchain Blockchain technology is a way to establish the “truth” as it relates to each step in the movement of goods. Blockchain refers mainly to the technology of encryption to assign validity to each…
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Future of Supply Chain
“By 2021, one in 10 warehouse workers in established economies will be replaced by autonomous mobile robots.” Gartner Report 2017 However….. While there is some shock value to the above statement, reality takes it down a few notches. The report goes on to say in less bold type that: “By 2021, three out of five factory-level AI initiatives in large global companies will stall due to inadequate skill sets.” So, as with most new technology hype, why would companies invest in what promises to be the future of Supply Chain? I can see it now: a team of highly paid Robotic technicians huddled around a frozen robot while other workers are called to unload and stock inventory shelves. Big hourly cost. So, how do we know when to actually adopt and invest new AI-related technology? Do we listen to the sales pitches of AI vendors as they point out the…
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Industry 4.0 Technology
In a recent survey, 76% of manufacturers said they would increase their investment and use of smart devices or embedded intelligent into the manufacturing processes within the next few years. In the same survey, 66% of the manufacturing CEOs expect to increase profitability through the use of new technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) within the next five years. According to these results, Industry 4.0 is being adopted far and wide. So, what do they know that you don’t? Advances in Technology are happening at a rapid pace, and it takes special attention to not only understand how new technology functions but also how it can actually help. Indeed, is it hype or help? From a CEO’s point of view, how new technology works is secondary to how adoption could impact the company and its bottom-line. What to consider before adopting Industry 4.0 Most investigations have shown there are…
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Doug Sartain
It’s important to keep your drivers happy and your fleet happy as this infographic about the high cost of employing (and losing) a truck driver shows. Here’s how I help fleets perform and maintain loyalty: Make the driver part of the solution, and not part of the problem. I ask drivers for their input on what the company can do better. When they have an idea, I run with it as long as it does not negatively affect a customer, company policy, cost control, safety etc. I always say, “I will let a driver win a battle as long as the company wins the war”. So even if I do not agree with the idea, I will implement it as long as it is not detrimental. If the idea works, I let everyone know which driver thought of it. You can never take credit for an idea that is not…
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Hands of a formally dressed man chained together
The biggest challenge I encounter in achieving supply chain excellence is that many organizations believe they are powerless when it comes to working with their suppliers.  The typical beliefs I encounter are: “we aren’t big enough to have any leverage”, “we can’t control what our suppliers do”, and “implementing a Lean supply chain will increase our costs”.  Interestingly, most organizations feel the same way toward managing their customers as well.  It is this victim mentality that prevents many companies from achieving operational excellence. The root cause of these limiting beliefs usually comes down to two critical factors: 1) not fully understanding what a Lean supply chain actually is, and 2) not understanding how to “sell it”, in other words, how to demonstrate how it will help the supplier to be more competitive and then use that as part of the negotiating process. To overcome these limiting beliefs, I focus on…
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businessman writing Supply Chain and drawing some sketches
My perspective is that obstacles to supply chain operational excellence occur in business when there is a lack of alignment between people’s measure of success.  In most organizations communication is a fundamental area that almost always requires work and improvement. In those undergoing significant change this comes to light and is amplified, creating confusion and other feelings that often get in the way of the improvement process.  Ensuring that the entire value stream is aligned and that ownership is established with a minimum of silos is critical to success in achieving operational excellence, not just improvements. I like to refer to what we most often experience in this regard as “islands of success in a sea of waste”.  Unless there is alignment which is often associated with Hoshin Kanri or Strategy Deployment, there will be a lot of good work that can go to waste because of the communication and…
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