6 Trends to Make Supply Chain Managers the Heroes of Their Company!

Supply chain leaders and heroes will face the year with uncertainty and opportunity. Digital technologies are becoming more prevalent in basic supply chain functions, and changes in legislation are likely to spur dramatic changes that will result in the need to reevaluate supply chain strategy in both domestic and international locations.  How can they be Supply Chain heroes?

Similar to the supply chain maturity curve of technologies, as explained by Steve Banker of Forbes, supply chain managers should consider how top supply chain trends will influence operations in the coming year.

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Seasoned Leadership in Action™ – An Interview with Ron Emery, Continuous Improvement Consultant

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 Ron Emery, Continuous Improvement Consultant, Author and Entrepreneur.

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The Amazing Supply Chain of Your Morning Coffee!

Even though modern coffee machines offer an attractive variety of caffeinated drinks like cappuccino or latte macchiato, for me it is a simple cup of black coffee that helps kick-start my productivity when the clock strikes 8 am.

This “kick-start”, or boost aspect of coffee was randomly discovered between the sixth and the ninth century. A widespread tale sets the scene in the kingdom of Kaffa, in Abyssinia – which today is Ethiopia – where a shepherd one day observed that his sheep were unusually cheerful after eating white blossoms and red cherries from a previously unknown plant.

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The Supply Chain Carbon Footprint Reduction Strategy! (Infographic)

Unchaining Change Leadership

When I was 11 years old everyone in Grade 6 was required to create and make a speech in front of the class.  I wrote a speech on Air Pollution.  It was an emerging issue in the news at that time.  I talked about statistics on the levels of Air Pollution, the damage it was causing, and what we needed to do to curtail and fix the problem.  This was long before I had heard the words Supply Chain Carbon Footprint.

I ended up winning the local and regional public speaking competitions with that speech.  I didn’t actually end up doing much about Air Pollution beyond helping to promote awareness of the issue with my speech.  But it did plant the idea in my mind that we all had a responsibility to  create awareness and help protect our environment in whatever manner that we could.

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Seasoned Leadership in Action™! An Interview with David Cefai, CIO at IMax!

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 David Cefai, CIO at IMax.

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How to Become a Supply Chain Game Changer! RateLinx Interviews Mike Mortson!

Unchaining Change Leadership

Ratelinx interviews article with Mike Mortson originally appeared on ratelinx.com. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the importance of supply chain management cannot be understated. After watching customers scramble to source household toiletries and life-saving PPE, supply chains are left wondering, “What comes next?” 

As we prepare for whatever comes next, it’s clear we need leaders ready and able to reinvent the supply chain. 

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Which is Better? Amazon FBA or 3PL?

E-commerce is defined as the buying and selling of products or services exclusively through electronic channels. If you’ve made an online purchase through eBay, Shopify, Amazon (through Amazon FBA), and other platforms, then you have made your purchase via an e-commerce site.  More and more people spend their time browsing on the internet and the more likely they are to buy stuff online.

Admittedly, the e-commerce industry is booming. Retail e-commerce sales in the United States are projected to grow at a fast pace in the coming years, going from 322.17 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 to just over 485 billion US dollars in 2021.

Why You Need Order Fulfillment Services

 If you’re looking for a business that will eventually get you out of your 9-5 job, or looking to expand your existing business, having an online presence and web-based store could fulfill this goal. For beginners in the e-commerce trade, what do you need to do to get more sales, with a lot of online businesses competing for customers’ attention?

Amazon

Customers want products that will give the best bang for their buck with speedy delivery, and good after-sales support. Here’s where the different companies offering order fulfillment services come in.

What is an Order Fulfillment Service?

 Order fulfillment is defined as the steps involved in receiving, processing and delivering orders to end customers. A fulfillment service is defined as a third-party company that provides these order fulfillment steps on behalf of another party, such as an online seller.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of using either Amazon FBA (Fulfillment By Amazon) or a 3PL for your fulfillment needs.

Fulfillment By Amazon

 FBA, or Fulfillment By Amazon is a business model wherein e-commerce sellers on the Amazon Marketplace, big or small, can have their products stored in any of Amazon’s giant warehouses, pack and deliver them to customers, handle customer support, and returns.

FBA Pros
Expertise and Reach

 Amazon has one of the most advanced e-commerce fulfillment service in the world, can help you scale-up or grow your business and as of the last measured period, the source estimated 90 million paying Amazon Prime subscribers in the United States, up from 63 million in June during the previous year.

Amazon Prime customers are eligible for 2-Day Shipping, Free Shipping and other benefits. If you sign up your products for Amazon Prime, your products are eligible for free shipping, too.

Customer Service and Returns

FBA handles customer service and returns. Listings are displayed with the Prime logo, so customers know that Amazon handles packing, delivery, customer service, and returns.

They handle the fulfillment services side of the business and saves your time, so you can focus on the other aspects of your business.

Multi-Channel Fulfillment

With Multi-Channel Fulfillment, you can fulfill orders from other sales channels using your inventory stored in Amazon order fulfillment centers. Single-source your inventory to streamline your fulfillment operations, manage your inventory through an online user interface and can direct Amazon to return your inventory in e-commerce fulfillment centers at any time.

Cons of using FBA
Customization

Little to no order customization. Sellers must comply with existing Amazon .processes.

Branding

Items are shipped in Amazon boxes. Sellers can ship in generic boxes which may cost extra.

Warehouse Pricing

Storage fees are generally higher compared to 3PLs and usually rise during holidays.

Higher order handling fees for non-Amazon orders.

Communication

Solutions are based in standard processes which may pose little opportunity for dialogue.

Conflict of interest

The fact that Amazon may actually be a competitor to the seller. Amazon is in the business of selling, they just happen to offer shipping services. For Amazon, it’s free product and market research, and they’re making money off you.

Third Party Logistics (3PL / TPL)

Third–party logistics in logistics and supply chain management is a company’s use of third party businesses to outsource elements of the company’s order fulfillment services.

Pros of Using 3PL
Customization

Boxes/bags and all internal packaging are customized to a specific brand. Processes are adapted to your business’ operation and specification.

Warehouse Costing

Attractive storage costs that is variable. Customer pays storage space on a given month. Some 3PLs even offer free warehouse storage for a limited time.

Communication

Has onboarding processes, frequent communication before and after product launch. Collaborative approach is encouraged.

B2B (Business to Business)

Certain 3PLs can handle both B2B and B2C (Business to Consumer) fulfillment, resulting in one e-commerce fulfillment partner for all sales channels.

Cons of Using 3PL
Finding a Trustworthy 3PL company takes time.

Not all 3PL providers are created equal. It takes time to find a good company to work with from the beginning. Once you find someone you can trust, you can rest assured that your goods are being properly cared for. The initial search could be stressful but it will all be worth it once you find a reliable 3PL company.

Bad Service Reflects on Your Company

An inefficient 3PL provider could make your company look bad. Your customers do not care who is in charge of getting the product to them. All they care about is the end result. It is very important to look for a good distribution center early on to avoid customer-satisfaction issues in the future.

Amazon FBA or 3PL in Conclusion

Order Fulfillment Services are a crucial part of your business and a major factor in determining its success or failure. Whether you entrust your fulfillment services to FBA or a 3PL, there is a greater chance that you will be in good hands – these are fulfillment experts, after all.  The key difference is you as the owner,  – what do you want for your brand and what kind of customer experience you want to give to your consumers.

If you are happy to use Amazon’s existing system and tap into their wide customer reach, FBA may be a perfect fit for your company.  If, however, you would like more control over your order fulfillment services, partnering with a 3PL could be the best solution. Make sure your order fulfillment service provider is experienced with the type of operations you need before you entrust them with your reputation.

Amazon FBA article and permission to publish here provided by Dona Dimaculangan at 3p-logistics.co.uk. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on March 8, 2018.

Achieve Breakthrough Results! Go From Worst to First!

We launched the Global Inventory Turnover Breakthrough project on April 1st.  It was not a joke.  Our challenge was to improve Inventory turnover from 6.3 turns to over 8.6 turns within the year.  This was a level of achievement that the company had never before reached, let alone thinking about going from Worst to First.

But we had the Call to Action.  Our Inventory turnover was perennially the worst in our industry.  Our Inventory levels were consuming an enormous amount of cash as well as creating a lot of expense in carrying charges.  And this had the effect of driving our Return on Invested Capital to very low, unattractive levels.  Further there were ongoing complaints that even though we had a lot of inventory we  never had all of the right material that was needed.

We had the motivation to turn this situation around.  What we didn’t know is that we were about to make history and go from Worst to First!

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Seasoned Leadership in Action™ – An Interview with Raymon Krishnan!

At Supply Chain Game Changer we believe in sharing leadership 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 Raymon Krishnan, President of The Logistics and Supply Chain Management Society.

Thank you Raymon for your support of Supply Chain Game Changer, and taking the time to share your experiences and expertise with us.

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

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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Seasoned Leadership in Action™ – An Interview with Stephen Beard, VP at Flexe!

Unchaining Change Leadership

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 Stephen Beard, VP of Network Development at Flexe.

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6 Reasons Supply Chain Employees Look For New Jobs!

As a boutique recruitment agency, we at Argentus are on the front-lines of the churn in the new jobs market. We speak with potential job candidates every day.

Some of them are passive, interested in moving into new opportunities when we reach out to them. Some of them are active, reaching out to us because they want to make a move.

With the economy experiencing a prolonged growth spurt, and demand for professionals in Supply Chain Management and Procurement – our area of specialty – going up, there’s a lot of activity, especially in short-term contracts where companies are onboarding talent for their change management and business transformation expertise.

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Creating a High Performance Organization! (Infographic)

SC Viral The Pandemic Diaries

We have written many blog posts about Change Leadership and Culture Change.  At its core the overall objective is creating a High Performance Organization (HPO).  For a truly High Performance Organization is one in which their will be high morale and an innate ability to achieve superior results for all stakeholders in the company.

There are relatively few High Performance Organizations.  More importantly there are many, many companies that are actively on the journey to become an HPO.

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Inspiring Olympics Quotes!

The Olympics are a tremendous source of inspiration in many respects.  Watching the incredibly talented athletes compete is truly amazing.    Whether they win or lose, whether they are favourites or underdogs, or whether they are from your home country or another country, their years of training, commitment, skill and expertise are on full display.

Seeing so many of the countries of the world come together in peace is also a remarkable sight.  Fans and supporters cheer all of the athletes whether they are winning, struggling, or just giving it their all, and no matter where they are from.

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Featuring Our 12 Best Change Management Articles!

SC Viral The Pandemic Diaries

Nothing can be accomplished and no vision can be realized without leadership. But even the best leaders know that any goal that they are trying to achieve will inevitably mean some level of change. They need Change Management.

This change may manifest itself in changing business processes, changing job responsibilities and roles, changing organizations, changing infrastructure, changing products and services or even completely changing direction.

While change is inevitable change usually does not come easy. There is no end to the number of challenges, hurdles and barriers that will be put in front of you.

This all requires Change Management, or as we prefer to say, Change Leadership. In this “Featuring” series article we present our best articles on the matter of Change Management and Change Leadership!

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