Why is Supply Chain Such a Great Career Path?

When I started my career the term “Supply Chain” had just been coined. As such it was many years before I actually heard of the term “Supply Chain Management”.

Regardless I pursued my interests and took on an increasingly diverse set of progressive jobs as time went on. Now as I look back on my career virtually everything I did falls under the banner of Supply Chain management.

Given the phenomenal opportunities that Supply Chain offers for personal and professional growth it is a career path which I highly recommend to anyone.

What is it about Supply Chain that makes it such an appealing career path?

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The Downside of Free Returns and Exchanges!

A new survey from Brightpearl found that 42 percent of U.S. retailers say they have seen an increase in the number of returns and “serial returners” over the last 12 months.

What’s more, 61 percent of the retailers surveyed said they would ban serial returners.

This is an interesting change in an industry that has put so much emphasis on facilitating free returns and exchanges.

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Imagining the Supply Chain of the Future!

Imagine what the future will look like in Supply Chain!

We don’t mean the near future, but the very distant future.  There are articles which describe what the future of Supply Chain will be like in 2025, or even 2030.

But is that enough of a far-reaching vision to offer much more than an incremental view of what we see today based on existing technology?

Any view of the near future is more likely to describe incremental changes and incremental advancements based on the current knowledge base.  But an extremely distant vision of the future is more likely to offer revolutionary ideas as to what future possibilities are.

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Our 2019 Top 10 List!

Here at Supply Chain Game Changer our fundamental mission has been to share experiences and expertise in the areas of Supply Chain, Logistics, Distribution, Procurement, Business, Human Resources and more. We now present our 2019 Top 10 list.

In our 3rd year at Supply Chain Game Changer we have had the tremendous opportunity to share more content created by ourselves and a growing number of Guest contributors.

With new articles provided to us every week our audience is allowing us to share ever more engaging content and their incredible intelligence for the benefit of all. We extend our thanks to all and invite everyone to submit articles for our consideration.

Here at the midpoint of 2019 we would like to share the 2019 Top 10 List of our most viewed articles of 2019!

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Linking the Supply Chain and Reverse Chain!

SC Viral The Pandemic Diaries

In the future, you will know the source of every component in the products you use or manufacture, how it was produced, the energy consumed in its production, perhaps even who will own it next through the reverse chain, and how much they will pay you for it.

This is the natural, inevitable outcome of combining circular economy principles with digitization technologies. Economically, environmentally, and socially, the logic of this is undeniable.

Only our unwillingness to change stands in the way.

We are in the midst of a digital transformation in which technology is helping businesses, entire industries and countries to enable, differentiate and fundamentally define their strategies. This is driving a tremendous amount of innovation and economic growth, while also creating unprecedented challenges as resource and energy consumption increase.

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What Exactly Is Reverse Logistics?

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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Supply Chain as a Service (SCaaS)!

I began my career working in a manufacturing plant within an international company that was completely vertically integrated. From component manufacturing through to subassembly manufacturing and end product assembly they did it all.

Within 10 years the company experienced a number of site closures and declared that manufacturing was no longer a core competency. For the site that I was a part of this meant that closure was an inevitability.

Faced with this stark reality we made the choice to spin off from the parent organization and start our own new company, entering the world of Contract Manufacturing.

This was my first experience with Outsourcing, or what I refer to as “Supply Chain as a Service” (SCaaS).

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What’s the Difference Between Logistics and Distribution?

What is the difference between Logistics and Distribution?

On the surface some people may consider them synonymous.  Without consulting a dictionary both Logistics and Distribution suggest imagery involving the movement of  goods.

But to anyone who works in Supply Chain, in particular with a title including either the term Logistics or Distribution, or if you work in a Distribution Centre or for a Logistics company, then there are distinct differences between these words.

But are there also commonalities?

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Is Your Supply Chain A Cost Centre or a Value Creator?

The Supply Chain function within your company has many responsibilities.  From planning to negotiating to buying, from moving goods to processing goods, and from managing data to managing inventory.  These responsibilities are at the core of making your company run.  But is Supply Chain a Cost Centre or a Value Creator?

Yet often the Supply Chain is undervalued.  While every function must help your company grow and prosper when the heat is on uninformed Executives can view Supply Chain as merely a Cost Centre.  As such there can be unrelenting pressure to continue to cut costs.

Why is Supply Chain often undervalued?  And how do you increase the value of Supply Chain in the eyes of your Executives and other functions?

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Design in Quality First!

The Division I had just joined was enjoying great success in Sales and Development.  They had created a modular building block design for their products.  Simply there were over two dozen different building block designs which could be configured in innumerable combinations to create the end product.

Each building block was designed to be a low-cost item.  Based on the customer requirements and specifications the building blocks could be combined in varying quantities.  Then a custom outer case, with the appropriate inputs and outputs, would be created to house all of the building blocks, interconnected on a master mother board.

It sounded great on paper and on Powerpoint slides.  But what came next was an absolute nightmare.

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The Reverse Logistics Role in Supply Chain Trends!

As customers continue to shop online the demand on the reverse logistics role—particularly the process of managing returns—will skyrocket.

It’s the same story; customers want more and more. And, it’s time for businesses to really consider the facts. “The global reverse logistics market is forecast to hit US$603.90 billion by 2025, and businesses can save millions of dollars if reverse logistics management is implemented and done properly.

With the expansion of the e-commerce industry emerging in parallel with the closure of many brick-and-mortar stores, retailers can expect to see a hike in return goods once the reopening of the sector begins,” reports Tech HQ.

Clearly, more companies need to go back to basics and ask what is reverse logistics’ role in the top trends of the supply chain?

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Options for Fixing Worn or Corroded Hydraulic Cylinders!

Hydraulic cylinders are one of the most important components on heavy equipment like bulldozers, excavators and farm machinery. They are responsible for translating hydraulic pressure into linear motion to lift, push and move massive loads.

However, after years of operation in difficult working conditions, hydraulic cylinders can become worn down, corroded and start to fail. When this happens, you have a few options for hydraulic  cylinder repair to restore function and extend service life.  

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Has Walmart Beat Amazon Using an Omnichannel Returns Strategy?

Amazon has reigned supreme in e-commerce for years, but Walmart is well on its way to making the e-commerce giant a little nervous. Amazon acquired Whole Foods and dropped the price of Prime Pantry through Prime Perks. Amazon began looking into brick-and-mortar storefronts, hoping to capture a new slice of the omnichannel pie.

Walmart has a different approach, and in several ways, Walmart is positioning itself to best Amazon in e-commerce through an innovative, omnichannel return strategy. To understand the true scope of this accomplishment, supply chain leaders need to understand the precursor steps Walmart has taken.

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Welcome To The Supply Chain Game Changer ™ Blog!

The Supply Chain Game Changer ™ Blog!

Welcome to the Supply Chain Game Changer ™ blog.

The Supply Chain touches all of our lives whether it be in business or personally.  No matter what industry you are in or are touched by, all involve the movement of goods, services, and information.  So the most efficient functioning of the Supply Chain affects us all.  And it affects us in every aspect of our lives whether we are consumers, employees, or business leaders.

With a career spent in Supply Chain I’ve seen many ways of performing the processes involved in managing the Supply Chain.  Many of these processes are highly efficient.  Yet many more are highly inefficient.  Regardless, everyone strives to improve the way things are done.  And every experience has been an opportunity for growth.

Supply Chain Management

In this blog I’d like to share my experiences, and those of others, in improving, working in, managing in and being managed by the Supply Chain.  

There have been some remarkable achievements and there have been some missteps along the way.  However there are lessons to be learned and experiences to be shared in every case.  And I hope that this learning and shared experience will be of value as you seek to improve the Supply Chain you are a part of.

On top of that we want to share anything and everything related to Leadership, Change Management, Technology, Procurement, Purchasing, Distribution, Logistics, and much, much more.

Overall Supply Chain Game Changer can serve you as a guide as you do your jobs and as you progress through your career.  The issues and challenges that you face will be different for everyone on any given day.  There is something for everyone in Supply Chain Game Changer.

Additionally I invite you to comment and send me content.  By learning, not only from successes but from failures, we will all be better going forward.  There is a wonderful world of people and experiences that we can all learn from.

So again I welcome you to the Supply Chain Game Changer™ blog.

Let’s go!

How to Optimize Reverse Logistics!

If you think to optimize reverse logistics isn’t relevant to your business, think again. The global reverse logistics market is expected to reach $604B in the next 5 years, according to Tech HQ.

The combined growth of eCommerce sales and closure of many retail locations led to a recent massive increase in volume of returns. If managing returns and reverse logistics was difficult before, now it has become a critical operational issue that retailers, logistics providers, distributors and supply chain executives cannot ignore.

Is your business ready for returns and reverse logistics at scale? How can you optimize reverse logistics?

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