What is Supply Chain Management (SCM)? (Video)

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What is Supply Chain Management?

The term was coined over 35 years ago but still to this day there are a large number of different definitions of SCM.

To someone who is starting out their career, or who is new to the field of Supply Chain, it is understandable that there may be confusion as to the definition of SCM.

But the reality is that there are many expert individuals and organizations who define Supply Chain differently. Are they really that different or are there just subtle nuances in what some people consider SCM that others do not?

Watch our video to learn more about how people define Supply Chain Management!

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Trade War Myopia and Supply Chain Leadership!

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All of the protectionist tariffs that are being imposed are surely upsetting the world order in international trade.  The starting position that initiated all of this was that it was to protect national security in the U.S., largely from its Allies!  Seriously?

This is all politically motivated with the intent of generating more jobs within the U.S. and improving real, or perceived, trade imbalances by the richest country in the world.   Not unexpectedly those countries that have been hit by tariffs from the U.S. are responding in kind to protect their own interests.  The death spiral spins on.

While we must wait to see how all of this mess sorts itself out the Supply Chain leaders of today must create and implement the strategies necessary to combat these trade complications and ensure the ongoing integrity of their Supply Chains.

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Our 2017 Top 10 List! – Part 2

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It’s been a tremendous first year at  supplychaingamechanger.com.  Our goal has always been to share experiences and expertise.  And in the second half of 2017 we had an ever increasing number of articles contributed by industry leaders all of whom have been very generous in sharing their intellect and insights.  This is our second 2017 Top 10 List.

Our readers and contributors come from all over the world.  They include individuals new to Supply Chain as well as Industry leaders and everyone in between.   And they work in many different industries and vocations.   But they all have a common interest in Supply Chain, Operations, Business, Leadership, Change Management, Human Resources, Transformation,  and Technology.

Most importantly they all have an interest in learning and sharing.

As we end this first year we wanted to publish our 2nd Top 10 List.  Our first Top 10 List covered the Top blog posts from the first half of 2017 so our 2nd Top 10 List will cover the second half of 2017.

Thank you for your tremendous, ongoing support.  

So here is our 2nd Top 10 List of 2017…

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Humanless Warehousing: Tips for a Robot-Driven Future!

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Humanless warehousing article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Dave Joseph at veridian.info.

Mujin, a Tokyo-based company, has developed and deployed the first fully automated, humanless warehousing robotic systems, reports CNBC.

Unfortunately, significant challenges continue to plague the idea of humanless warehousing, yet the benefits of automation and robotics must not be ignored.

Supply chain leaders need to understand these facts and follow a few tips to prepare for a robot-driven future. 

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Keys to Success in Warehouse Management/Order Fulfillment! (Video)

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E-Commerce continues to be the fastest growing sales channel anywhere in the world.  E-Commerce globally has been growing at over 20% per year and will continue to grow at that rate for the next several years.  (Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/288487/forecast-of-global-b2c-e-commerce-growt/  )

With these ever-increasing order volumes and changes in online shopper expectations there is enormous pressure on E-Commerce company Supply Chain distribution and fulfillment operations.

What are the keys for E-Commerce companies to be successful in fulfilling all of these orders and demands from online consumers?

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Breaking your Supply Chain Traffic Jam!

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Does anyone like being stuck in a Traffic Jam?

Prior to one Holiday season several years ago the volume that was coming into the Distribution Centre receiving area was unprecedented and unpredicted.   We were out of room on the docks and we were out of storage space but trucks kept on coming.  And we were still weeks away from being able to ship product to stores to relieve the pressure.

We were gridlocked.  We kept inching our way along but we were very, very close to having this traffic jam of activity shut us down.

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6 Technologies that will Change Transportation and Trucking Forever!

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Transportation and Trucking article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by, Adam Robinson on https://cerasis.com

Modern transportation is currently experiencing major changes thanks to transformative transportation technologies. Although we’ve become accustomed to long international flights, jam-packed public transportation and diesel trucks that only get 20 mpg, the future of transportation promises to change all of that and much more — and it’s closer than many people realize.

Let’s take a look at 6 transportation technologies sure to impact the trucking and transportation industries forever.

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Streamline your Entire Distribution Centre or Warehouse at One Time!

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How many times have you looked at your Distribution Centre operation and thought about how you would re-layout and streamline the process flow if you had the chance?

When you are starting with a new, empty facility it is clearly much easier to layout the operations to make the best possible flow of materials and processes.  But when you have an existing operation which has evolved over a long period of time, you are likely faced with utilities, equipment, infrastructure, walls, and paradigms all of which have resulted in a rather inefficient flow of materials and people and processes.

This was the situation we had in one of our Distribution Centres. In this particular Distribution Centre the current layout of the operation had been the result of many iterations of adding new customers, new products and new processes over time with the associated fluctuations in demand for everything.

Yet with the launch of our Global Process Excellence project we had unleashed our employees to make the improvements they had imagined could be made for a long time.

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Seasoned Leadership in Action™! An Interview with Paul Kretz, Head of SCM at Church & Dwight!

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Paul Kretz
Paul Kretz, SCM at Church & Dwight

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 at Supply Chain Game Changer.  This interview is with Paul Kretz, Head of SCM at Church and Dwight.

I first met Paul at Celestica.  He left to purse other interests but our paths crossed again later on.  I was at a company that had just implemented a new WMS system in the Distribution Centre.  The system cutover  was a disaster.  And the operation had been run without true Warehouse Management experience as well.  As I looked to recruit a new leader I was looking for a someone who could lead change.

I toured my final two candidates through the Distribution Centre, including Paul.  Their reactions would help me decide who to select.  The other person seemed overwhelmed and lost while looking at the mess in the warehouse.  It wasn’t clear what they would do.  Paul looked at the disastrous situation like a kid in a candy store.  He saw opportunity at every turn.  And instead of  being intimidated by the situation Paul was motivated and inspired.  I found my leader!

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Our 2019 Top 10 List!

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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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Spreadsheets – A History and a Future!

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Unchaining Change Leadership

Most of us create, use, present and work with at least one spreadsheet each and every day.  Spreadsheets have proven invaluable.  And many businesses even observe, and complain, that they are run on spreadsheets.

Yet there was a time not that long ago when most people didn’t even know what a spreadsheet was.  In the early 1980s I was given one the first IBM Personal Computers to use, along with the spreadsheet software Visicalc.  Spreadsheets forever transformed my productivity and skill set.

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Complexity in the Retail Supply Chain!

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As consumers the complexity in the retail supply chain is usually oblivious to us. We go to the store and pick up the goods that we want. Or we order goods online from our devices at home, in the office, or anywhere for that matter. We consume the items, returning them if necessary, unaware of all of the work that went into making those goods available to us.

A phenomenal amount of activity goes on behind the scenes to make this experience as seamless as possible. I am not saying that it always goes smoothly. Sometimes items are broken. They are late. Or there is some other issue.

But behind the curtain that is Retail there are a lot of people managing a lot of processes and dealing with a lot of complexity earnestly trying to make your goods available to you.

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Supply Chain Predictions!

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Predictions article originally published by, and permission to publish here provided by,  Kuebix at https://www.kuebix.com

In the book, The Living Supply Chain, the authors argue that, “Speeding up the supply chain is at the root of everything that is good: improved revenue, reduced working capital, higher profitability, and less obsolete inventory. Conversely, slowing down the supply chain is at the root of everything that is bad: working capital write-offs, reduced profitability, and slowing revenues.”

To “speed” up the supply chain is to invest in change and change will come with the digital transformation of the supply chain, which is the major focus for executives in the future.

Much change in the supply chain industry will be due to innovative technologies for digital transformations, along with the recent tax reforms, and the still-current driver shortage/capacity crunch. Digital transformation of the supply chain will change everything – for the better.

Supply Chain predictions

These are the innovative technology predictions companies must use to undergo this transformation within their supply chains:

Cloud-based technology deployments lower cost of ownership due to not having a large capital expenditure on hardware and upgrades. Cloud-based solutions are ideal for any size business because they can be scaled up as your business grows and are easier to set-up and manage.

Advanced Analytics will support real-time decision making based on data captured across the supply chain. With analytics, businesses can more effectively predict and fill demand. You can also manage relationships with carriers, suppliers and customers while improving processes. Using advanced analytics in a transportation management network to look at historical traffic patterns, you can plan a truck’s route that takes into account time delays for more accurate arrival times.

Tracking and Tracing of raw materials through manufacturing to the end customer must take on Amazon-like capabilities, meaning customers will know where their orders are at any one time, just like when you order from Amazon. With track & trace, you will get deep visibility to SKU-level information from first-mile to last-mile, including the tracking of costs to better monitor transport spend. Communications with customers will be proactive instead of reactive, alerting customers if their order will be late or when it will arrive.

Supply Chain Visibility will make data collected from end-to-end across the supply chain available to all stakeholders, giving them greater control and visibility into what is happening across the enterprise. You can uncover roadblocks within your supply chain that could lead to delays in shipping.

 

Blockchain will provide interconnectivity between ledgers of supply chain trading partners, enhancing traceability of transaction history. Automating the flow of information among trading partners provides transparency and boosts efficiencies. Blockchain works with cryptocurrency to determine payment amounts, allowing drivers to be paid as they complete parts of their journey. This completely removes the transport broker from the equation, giving drivers access to quicker settlement. However, blockchain is still a technology that needs further development before it can be proved useful to some businesses.

Artificial Intelligence initiatives require specialists who are hard to find, potentially stalling any projects. AI utilizes algorithms to detect patterns in vast volumes of data and interpret their meaning such as predicting whether a carrier will be on-time based on weather conditions and past performance.

Predictive Analytics, often combined with Artificial Intelligence, helps shippers understand, automate and optimize their supply chain processes to gain better efficiencies. Predictive analytics provides shippers with actionable intelligence and predictions to guide the decision-making process, helping you to reduce costs and optimize operations. Scorecards on carrier performance can alert shippers on which carriers can better meet their service obligations.

The Internet of Things (IoT)– More devices, from pallets to trucks will have sensors embedded to transmit status and performance data. This real-time information will be used for monitoring everything from equipment health to asset locations to order tracking and more. Advanced analytical systems use the data to uncover trends that lead to predictions and performance improvements and cost reductions.

 

Originally published on Supply Chain Game Changer on March 14, 2018.

Worst Forklift Accident Ever and Forklift Safety! (Video)

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The first job I had at the beginning of my career was in the Materials Handling and Engineering department.  As a part of my job I was responsible for Forklift and Material Handling equipment planning.

To help me understand this area better I took the Forklift driver training course just like anyone else would have to do.  I was able to drive the truck and load and unload pallets from trucks and into and out of warehouse storage locations.

While I wouldn’t trust myself to drive a forklift these many years later I was reminded of the importance of forklift driver training and safety this week when I saw a short video of an absolutely horrendous forklift accident.

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The Agile Supply Chain! Why Agility is Trumping Lean!

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Agile Supply Chain article originally published by Veridian and permission to publish provided by Jason Rosing.

The modern supply chain grows increasingly complex with each passing day. The digitization, focusing on fundamentals and change, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and many other factors are transforming how the supply chain functions.

Once, the lean supply chain was considered to be the most effective form of manufacturing and supply chain management. However, a new concept in supply chain processes, the agile supply chain, is quickly growing to replace the often overused term.

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