Resilience is the New Critical Supply Chain Strategy!

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Resilience article and permission to publish here provided by Sam White at Argentus.

As everyone in Supply Chain Management knows today, the field has come a long way. It’s something we’ve written about a lot on the Argentus Blog. The function – which used to be a back-office, administrative task – has evolved to become a major seat of strategic profitability and brand within companies.

For the majority of Supply Chain’s history, this evolution has been driven by a knack for finding efficiency. Companies have leveraged digital tools, and evolving skills, to collect vast data about product or raw materials sourcing, transportation, logistics, and manufacturing.

They’ve hired strategic Supply Chain professionals who can turn this data into actionable intelligence, and redesign the supplier, production, and transportation network to get products to market quicker and cheaper. They use advanced ERP software and S&OP strategy to match supply with demand, and turn over inventory faster and faster. “Just-in-time” production has become a hallmark of today’s Supply Chains.

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7 Strategies to Improve Your Supply Chain!

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Strategies to improve your Supply Chain article and permission to publish here provided by Claire Glassman.

The supply chain is a significant part of your overall business strategy and inventory management. An effective and efficient supply chain can help your business improve customer satisfaction and money by minimizing wait times for in-demand products. In other words, it provides you with a real competitive advantage against some companies in your industry.

On the contrary, an ineffective supply chain can be a vast drain on your resources, so it’s crucial to implement some strategic solutions. This way, your supply chain will be as cost-effective and lean as possible. 

Below are some of the best strategic solutions you can consider to maximize your supply chain’s efficiency and performance:

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Waiting for Good Forecasting is a Bad Strategy!

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If you work in Business or Supply Chain you feel the results and the immense pressure caused by inaccurate forecasts. You don’t believe that good forecasting even exists.

When customer demand exceeds forecast you are scrambling to get parts and materials, to secure capacity, and to expedite the movement of goods throughout the Supply Chain. When demand falls short of forecast you are left with too much inventory, excess capacity, under-utilized resources, and profit and cash flow pressures.

If only the planning people could forecast better all would be right with the world. But waiting for better forecasts is a bad, and a lazy approach.

It is much more important to create a more robust and resilient Supply Chain to dynamically respond to any fluctuations in forecasted demand.

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Thoughts on Future Challenges and the Strategic Direction of Supply Chain!

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In a recent interview I was asked to discuss my views on what was in store for Supply Chain in 2022, and beyond. It’s a good time to reflect on recent global events and what this should mean for the future.

A lot has happened in the last 2 years. The pandemic has disrupted and upended a lot of paradigms about how Supply Chains should be run. And the profile of Supply Chain has never been higher.

So let’s talk about the future challenges and the strategic direction of Supply Chain. A Supply Chain Renaissance has begun!

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Offline Marketing in the Modern Age!

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Article written for Supply Chain Game Changer by, and permission to publish here provided by, Lara Douglas at Neon Signs Depot.

Everyone experiences an overload of ads daily. YouTube, Facebook, and even your email inbox are full of them.

They’re effective, and for companies, digital marketing methods are efficient. Unfortunately, that’s led many people to look past the high value of offline marketing. 

Offline marketing is crucial, and you can make it modern, effective, and efficient. 

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10 Mountain Climbing Strategies and Lessons for Optimum Results!

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Unchaining Change Leadership

I met a guy who had recently climbed Mount Everest. In our conversation I learned that he actually reached the summit on his second attempt, having failed on his first attempt a few years earlier.

On his first attempt he could actually see the summit only a couple of hundred feet ahead of him. But he ran out of fixed rope. Despite being so close to his goal he had to make a decision. Does he risk the attempt given the very high chances that he could die and never see his young son and wife again? Or does he go back down and try again in the future.

In the face of summit fever, that feeling of going for the summit at all costs, he calmly made the decision to go back down, and live to try another day.

It was a fascinating story and lesson that could be applied to life and business. What other lessons can be understood through the experience of mountain climbing?

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What is VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) ?

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Unchaining Change Leadership

In this age of acronyms one of the terms that I have heard more of in recent years is “VUCA”. In short VUCA stands for “Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity”.

It seems to be a phrase designed to capture multiple synonyms for change and chaos, or the conditions associated with chaotic situations. Disarray, turmoil, pandemonium, unpredictability, confusion, and vagueness also capture that sensation of being in an environment that is out of equilibrium in some manner.

In both the personal and professional parts of our lives we are faced with these kinds of challenges each and every day.

Let’s explore more of what VUCA means and how we can better deal with these types of circumstances.

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Why is Supply Chain Management Important? Our 10 Best Articles!

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There was a time, not so long ago, when Supply Chain was viewed merely as a necessary, but unimportant, back office function. And for many people they still work in an environment where Supply Chain is not given the respect that it rightly deserves. They haven’t known why Supply Chain Management is important.

However the Coronavirus pandemic, if nothing else, has proven the absolutely critical nature of Supply Chain. The fragility of the global Supply Chain, and the impacts when Supply Chains fail, were exposed by the pandemic. Unlike any time before government leaders, CEOs, and people from every corner of the globe were talking about Supply Chain.

I’ve always believed that Supply Chain is perhaps the most pivotal function in any organization as it pertains to the successful operation and survival of that entity.

It’s time to recognize the undeniable, irrefutable importance of Supply Chain. In this article we present our 10 best articles corroborating the esteem which we should bestow on this amazing field.

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What is Inventory Management?

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Inventory makes the world go round. Stockpiles of raw materials, components, sub assemblies, finished goods, returned goods, and reclaimed and refurbished materials enable all aspects of industry to function and all aspects of the economic engine to run.

Trillions and trillions of dollars of inventories exist all over the world in every conceivable form and in every conceivable channel. Inventory levels will determine whether any company will survive or die. Too much inventory can result in cash flow problems that lead to bankruptcy. Too little inventory can result in an irretrievable loss of business that can lead to business failure.

Given its incredible importance we’d like to explore what may seem to be a simple, yet complicated and truly strategic, question.

What is Inventory Management?

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The Supply Chain Renaissance Has Begun!

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The term Renaissance is widely associated with the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries in Europe, denoted by the dramatically renewed interest in, and advancement of, art, science, literature, learning, composition and exploration.

Dozens and dozens of perpetually famous individuals made their enduring mark during this period, including Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Galileo, Shakespeare, Marco Polo, the Medicis, Martin Luther, and Gutenberg, to name but a few.

The 21st century marks a similar period for Supply Chain. Never in history have we heard so much about Supply Chain, its critical importance to every aspect of our lives, and its role in shaping the very fabric of our future.

The Supply Chain Renaissance has begun!

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Strategic Supplier Relationship Management – Do’s and Don’ts

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Shortly after I joined the Commodity/Category Management Procurement organization I was invited to attend the annual Strategic Supplier Awards event. It was all about Strategic Supplier Relationship management.

There were Executives from dozens of Suppliers in attendance. The event concluded with award recognition given to Suppliers based on their scoring and standing as being of Strategic value to the company.

Prior to joining the Procurement team I had neither understood nor appreciated the importance of Supplier Relationship management. But having seen how motivated and inspired these Suppliers were I started to understand.

But in the weeks, months and years to come I also became much more informed about the good and bad aspects of Supplier Relationship Management.

From company to company I came to develop a list of Strategic Supplier Relationship Management “Do’s” and “Don’ts”.

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What is Deep Learning? And What Does it Mean for Supply Chain?

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When I start writing text messages or emails these days I automatically receive prompts for the next words that I may want to use, or even phrases to complete my sentence, as I’m typing.

The word and phrase suggestions are ones that are consistent with the type of language I would use. And the name suggestions are unique to people I know and communicate with regularly.

My Google mini recognizes family voices instantaneously and responds not only to our questions but adds custom comments directed at each of us individually.

It’s clear to me that my computer and smart phone and Google mini are learning what language I typically use. With increasing accuracy they can predict what I might want to write next based on words I am typing. And the voice activated devices are increasingly interactive.

How does this Machine Learning, or Deep Learning, actually work? And how will it shape Supply Chain now and in the future?

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Naming a Product or Company? It’s Not That Easy!

The organization was spinning off from the parent company within a year to become its own corporation. A lot of work had to be done to in order to get ready to be an independent, publicly traded company, including naming.

The CEO called me into his office and said, “I’d like you to lead the effort to name the company.”

Wow! This was certainly an honour. But how do you name a company and where do you start?

While it may seem easy to come up with a company, or product, name I was about to find out how incredibly difficult and complicated this process can be.

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The Natural Rubber Supply Chain! Will it Bounce Back?

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The natural, and synthetic, rubber Supply Chain is another casualty of the Coronavirus pandemic. Our recent purchase of a new vehicle made us aware not only of the computer chip shortages impacting the new automobile sales market, but also the rubber market shortages threatening similar disruptions.

Rubber is used for tires, gloves, gaskets, clothing, adhesives, numerous industrial applications, hoses, water based applications (eg. diving equipment, flotation devices), and much more. It is an integral and indispensable part of our personal and professional lives.

Such pervasive usage and demand, combined with the potential for supply impacts, makes it important for us all to understand the natural and synthetic rubber Supply Chain.

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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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