Time to Rethink Sourcing Rare Earth Elements

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Rare Earth Elements article, and permission to publish here, provided by Joe Carson and Shubho Chatterjee.

It’s amazing how quickly $4 trillion dollars can change a conversation.

With the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, and the resulting supply chain fallout, many have speculated on how the U.S. found itself so reliant on a foreign country, mainly China, but certainly others.

The Covid19 global pandemic has cruelly exposed the utter dependence of the US and the world on China’s mass manufacturing capability and supply of critical medical equipment and materials. Not only are personal protective equipment and medical ventilators in a massive short supply, Chinese supplied medical tests have also been found to be inaccurate when used in various countries.

This acute shortage and dependence has raised alarms and questions about remediation supply chain strategies for materials and finished products.

Why are we so dependent on these countries and what can we do about it?

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Consolidate Orders Online and Stop the Senseless Waste Now!

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During the pandemic more people have been shopping online than ever before. It stands to reason that with lockdowns in place and many physical stores being closed, that ECommerce ordering and shipping is a great alternative to face to face shopping. And customers typically except sellers to consolidate orders they place.

Along with online shopping the never ending push for fast delivery has continued unabated, whether it’s really necessary or not.

The result of this however is that more and more online orders are being fulfilled and delivered piecemeal. An order of 3 or more items more often than not results in the delivery of 3 separate packages. There is no focus to consolidate orders at all. It’s insane.

Unless there is an urgent need for a specific item companies should be consolidating their items in fewer packages and avoiding all of this waste.

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Does Access Matting Hurt the Environment?

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Access matting article and permission to publish here provided by Skyler Malley at diamondtservices.com.

Access matting is a process of using mats to create a barrier between the earth and a job site. Often access matting is used during oil drilling or other large construction projects. These mats create a barrier for specific ground protection. 

There are many different materials that access mats can be made out of. These materials might include wood, composite, fiberglass, rubber, or plastic.

Access matting prevents environmental damage, and although many people associate all aspects of the oil and construction industry with hurting the environment, it actually does the opposite. 

Not only can access matting help you get your project done faster, but it can also help prevent negative environmental impact.

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Procurement and Sustainability are Your Yin and Yang!

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Yin and Yang article and permission to publish here provided by Sam Jenks at Kodiak Rating.

Procurement and Sustainability are your business’ Yin and Yang.

The question is; are you harnessing the natural power they create together?

For those that aren’t familiar, or like myself are more familiar with the symbol than the concept, the principle of Yin and Yang is a concept of dualism, used to explain “that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, for example, female-male, dark-light and old-young. The pairs of equal opposites attract and complement each other” (worldhistory.org 2018).

Procurement and Sustainability are two disciplines and business functions that exist in a perfectly harmonious contradiction. At their root, these two roles coexist with conflicting purposes, but function stronger together than they do apart, as they are — at times — seemingly contrary forces that actually are complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in any business.

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Post-Pandemic Impermanence Actions!

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Post-pandemic article and permission to publish here provided by Joe Carson, CEO of Spend Strategies, LLC.

Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic the talk of a settled “new normal” gives us hope for stability and a return to what was before. But for whatever sense of past normalcy we aspire to this experience equally conjures up our sense of impermanence – or that our lives are constantly in a state of flux to which we must sense and adapt.

For supply chain professionals, supply chains and our underlying assumptions will certainly need to adapt. In many critical supply areas, such as biopharma, the now famous PPE, and high technology medical devices, not just calls, but screams for re-examining supply lines and explicitly, our reliance on China.

This reliance began decades before for reasons that made sense then, but those assumptions and rationale have come into question now. The topic is high on the agenda of supply chain professionals as they plot the course forward.

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Plastic Pallets for Export and International Shipping!

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The requirements for plastic pallets for international shipping are quite different from domestic shipping. Plastic Export Pallets are defined by ISPM-15. The clauses of International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures No. 15 were developed and constituted by IPPC.

Hence, these standards affect the quality of the export shipping pallets.

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Responsible Sourcing! Making Sustainability Happen for Real!

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Responsible sourcing article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Sam Jenks at kodiakrating.com.

Sustainability.

The word with so much focus and buzz surrounding it, it has almost become difficult to speak or write about.

It’s become the keyword that you see in article titles and hit like or share when scrolling by — so your friends and professional network see you care about the future of the earth — but seldom click on the link to read.

Unfortunately, sustainability and sustainable development are beginning to turn from green to grey, considering its ever-increasingly washed-out idealistic applications in business and society at large.

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What Exactly Is Reverse Logistics?

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A summer job I had during my University years involved the dismantling of old computer input/output machines and the recovery and salvage of all of the parts.  For me it was good experience and good money.  At the same time the disassembly of most every part of the machines for refurbishment, reuse, and recovery also seemed to be a worthy cause.  It was Reverse Logistics before I knew what that was.

I considered it to be salvage, reclamation and repair activity.  Over the ensuing years I was involved from time to time in other activities that involved quality problems, returns, repair, reclamation or recycling of some kind.

And then at some point all of these activities were included under the banner of “Reverse Logistics”.

What on earth is Reverse Logistics?

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Is Cardboard Packaging Environmentally Friendly?

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Cardboard packaging article and permission to publish here provided by Patricia Deems.

“We need to ban plastic!” “We need to stop using plastic products!” “Plastic is harming the planet.”

These are some chants that we are hearing on a daily basis and it’s all true, unfortunately. This is because plastic cannot be decomposed and cannot biodegrade on its own.

That being said, people ultimately turn their heads to cardboard packaging, but hey, is cardboard packaging really environment-friendly?

Well, you have to read the article for more! 

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Climate Impacts on Logistics and Supply Chain

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Climate impacts article and permission to publish here provided by Jason O’Leary.

Climate change and the freight transportation industry are very much intertwined. The freight industry generates eight to ten percent of the world’s carbon emissions, making it one of the biggest carbon polluters on Earth. In turn, climate change creates secondary effects from infrastructure damage all the way down to micro-scale problems like surety bond claims. 

It’s critical that logistics professionals understand this cycle, as well as the steps to breaking it. By seeing the complex and interconnected ways in which freight transportation and climate change interact, we can analyze ways to stop the process before it’s too late. 

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4 Revolutionary Changes in Biofuel!

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Biofuel is an excellent alternative solution to non-renewable fuel. There is a general assumption that biofuel is only used in the transport industry. Biofuel provides clean up and cooking oil, gives us hydrogen, and much more. Biofuels act as fuel alternatives from central home heating to fueling vehicles.

In the past several years, researchers and scientists have revolutionized the use of biofuel, and they have achieved several milestones.

Here are some of the new updates on biofuel:

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Junk Mail is Clogging the Supply Chain!

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Every week I receive approximately 20 -25 pieces of physical mail in my mailbox. Amazingly, week after week only 1-2 pieces of that mail are actually bills or other items that I should be getting.

The rest is Junk!

That’s right 95% of the mail that I get is Junk and gets immediately thrown in the recycle bin.

But that Junk mail still takes resources to be made and distributed.

What an absolute waste!

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How Vehicle Tracking can help Businesses Negotiate Emission Zones!

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Emissions zones in cities are becoming more prominent across Europe, to try to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles and improve the health of members of the public living and working in those cities. In April last year, London introduced the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) for vehicle tracking in an effort to make a significant reduction to pollution.

While the area the ULEZ currently covers is comparatively small, the plan to expand the boundary significantly in October 2021 would see the zone cover the entire area encompassed by the North and South Circular Roads which run around London.

This increase in the ULEZ would cover the area currently covered by the LEZ (Low Emission Zone) and would become one of, if not, the largest emission charging zones on the planet.

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Our 2020 Top 10 List!

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As we continue on in our 4th year here at Supply Chain Game Changer we have realized some exciting milestones.

We have exceeded 3 million views across the Website, LinkedIn and Twitter. We have had over 100 guest contributors to our site supporting our goal of sharing experiences and expertise. And we have now published over 500 articles since our inception.

Continuing in our tradition of years past we present here our Top 10 articles for the first half of 2020. As everyone knows the globe has been immersed in all things related to and impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. We’ve written several articles with respect to the pandemic and the associated impacts on the Supply Chain, some of which are reproduced here.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Here’s our list of our Top 10 articles of 2020, so far:

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Seasoned Leadership in Action™ – An Interview with Sheri Hinish, The Supply Chain Queen®!

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At Supply Chain Game Changer we believe in sharing experiences and expertise from people in every industry and from across the globe.  As such we have introduced our “Seasoned Leadership in Action™” Interview series here at Supply Chain Game Changer. This interview is with Sheri Hinish, the World renowned Supply Chain Queen®!

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