Supply Chain Professional Do’s and Don’ts during the Pandemic!

There has never been a moment in time since the second world war, that there has been so much global awareness and need for resilient and dynamic supply chains, and the qualified Supply Chain professional is there to manage them; in a single strategic battle toward a common enemy. 

The COVID 19 outbreak was initially concerning to firms with established supply chains embedded throughout China, but it’s clear now, that it’s effects are going to be far more reaching on a global scale, and felt throughout the months and year(s) ahead.

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The Ocean Plastics Environmental Crisis!

One commercial on TV states that by the year 2050 there will actually be more plastic in the ocean than fish!

By 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish!

That’s alarming to say the very least.

We dutifully put any and all recyclable material in our recycling bins every week. While we could certainly do more to reduce the amount of plastic we consume in the first place we have lived with the belief that we were doing our part through recycling.

But everywhere we look on TV and on Social Media we hear about the catastrophic levels of plastic waste floating in our oceans and our waterways, and littering our landscape.

This is a monumental, global environmental crisis caused by a severely broken Supply Chain.

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Supply Chain’s Moment of Truth Has Arrived!

With the relaxation of many of the protective pandemic protocols, more and more companies, institutions, and people are trying to get back to “normal”, or business as usual. However this is a moment of truth.

We can’t go back to business as usual. There have been too many disruptions in every aspect of our lives. The old ways of doing things, particularly in Supply Chain, have been exposed as contributing to these disruptions.

Still there are many who will conveniently forget the life changing experience we all have gone through with the pandemic, and this inertia will inhibit making the improvements necessary.

So will we move forward and make changes and improvements, or will we stagnate and remain stuck in the old ways? This is the most important Supply Chain question.

Supply Chain’s Moment of Truth has arrived!

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How Supply Chain Can Accelerate Time to Market!

Rapid or slow, or even delayed, time to market makes the difference between success or failure of your new products and/or services, and in turn your company.

There are many factors that impact time to market either positively or negatively. Some of these factors can be planned and controlled. Other factors are unplanned and the ability to recover from these quickly is most important.

Regardless, one of the functions that plays a preeminent role in terms of influencing time to market is Supply Chain. Here we discuss the many ways that Supply Chain can help, or hurt, your time to market performance.

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The Importance of Packaging in Supply Chain!

Packaging systems play an integral role in supply chain operations, from manufacturing to distribution of products to end users. Many packaging options are available in the market, providing excellent protection for items people buy online or in physical stores. Aside from that, packaging is also considered valuable in marketing and sales.  

This supply chain article will focus on the importance of packaging in businesses to help you determine the best packaging systems for your brand.  

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5 Tips to Deliver Chocolate without Melting!

As a chocolatier, you spend a lot of time and effort in crafting one of the most delicious and most celebrated confectioneries of all time. So, you want your chocolate creations to be handled with utmost care as it gets delivered to its destination.

In an age where customer satisfaction is a top priority, it’s crucial for the receiver to get those sweets in perfect condition.

Delivering chocolates is an art in itself. This is especially crucial for intricately designed pieces, such as rose-shaped chocolates or holiday-themed bonbons. Chocolate delivery in Melbourne is a particularly thriving business given the city’s long and tasteful history of chocolate.

Thankfully, there are a few ways to make everything go flawlessly. 

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The Link Between Physical Security and Supply Chain Success!

70% of companies believe that strong supply chain management is the driving force behind exceptional customer service, while 57% believe that supply chain management gives their company an edge over competitors. Supply chains are an essential part of a fast-moving global economy.

Physical attacks on supply chains generally cause disruptions that can have long-lasting consequences to both reputations and finances. Physical security may seem like a given, but its importance cannot be overstated when considering manufacturing, logistics, transportation, and distribution.

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Are You Prepared For A Supply Chain Talent Crisis?

SC Viral The Pandemic Diaries

The supply chain talent crisis is a significant problem that will cause widespread disruption in the industry. More workers are retiring, and there are just not enough members from the newer generations interested in the industry.

However, demand for more products, faster and at lower costs is increasing, so supply chain executives need to start thinking about how they can prepare for and respond to the current and forthcoming supply chain talent crisis.

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The Good Jobs of the Future Belong to Supply Chain!

A new Harvard Business Review article lays out some striking research out of MIT about the role of Supply Chain Management within the broader economy. 

Written by Mercedes Delgado and Karen Mills, the study seeks to better define what constitutes the “Supply Chain” part of the economy, and what doesn’t.

The goal?

To better define Supply Chain Management’s place in the broader economy, and the role it plays in terms of innovation.

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10 Catastrophic Man-Made Supply Chain Disasters!

My fear is that Supply Chain leaders are getting lazy. I don’t mean that they are lazy in terms of getting their day to day tasks done. But I do mean lazy in terms of making the strategic improvements necessary to create more robust and resilient Supply Chains.

As a case in point, with the end of the global Coronavirus pandemic, far too many companies have forgotten the level of devastation caused by the pandemic and have reverted to their age old ways of doing things.

So to jostle these leaders from their inertia I’ve compiled this list of 10 catastrophic man-made Supply Chain disasters.

1. The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (2010)

One of the worst environmental disasters in history, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred due to the explosion of an offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The incident caused massive oil leakage, leading to devastating environmental damage and disrupting the supply chain of the fishing, tourism and shipping industries in the region.

The result was 205.8 million gallons of oil and 225,000 tons of methane spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. Fish and fishing across 88,000 square miles of water were impacted along with 82,000 birds, 6000 sea turtles, and 26,000 marine mammals. Thousands of jobs were impacted along with billions of dollars of economic impact.

With residual oil remaining in the water the disaster emphasized the need for stringent safety measures and contingency plans to prevent and manage such incidents.

2. Rana Plaza Factory Collapse (2013)

The collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh resulted in the loss of over 1,100 lives. The tragedy exposed the grim reality of poor working conditions and safety standards in the global garment supply chain. And it exposed the lack of care or concern of companies and their sourcing organizations for the working conditions of their suppliers and their employees.

It highlighted the ethical corporate social responsibility of companies to ensure safe working conditions and the importance of transparency and accountability throughout the supply chain amongst all tiers of their suppliers.

3. Volkswagen Emissions Scandal (2015)

Volkswagen’s deliberate manipulation of emission tests revealed a systemic failure in the automotive supply chain. The scandal led to substantial financial losses, legal consequences, and a decline in consumer trust.

The economic and reputational impacts were not confined to VW alone, as their suppliers were impacts as well.

It underscored the significance of ethical practices, integrity, and regulatory compliance within supply chains, emphasizing the need for transparency and monitoring mechanisms.

4. Boeing 737 Max Crisis (2018)

Following two fatal crashes attributed to a software malfunction, the Boeing 737 Max crisis unfolded. The incident resulted in the grounding of the entire 737 Max fleet and significant disruptions in the aviation industry’s supply chain.

Leadership issues, sourcing decisions, design changes, cost cutting decisions, insufficient supplier management and testing, and other factors contributed to the disastrous situation.

The crisis highlighted the criticality of effective quality control, proper training, and thorough testing in the development and deployment of complex technologies.

5. Colonial Pipeline Ransonware Attack (2021)

The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, one of the largest fuel pipelines in the United States, disrupted fuel supply of almost 50% to the east coast of the US, causing panic buying and fuel shortages.

The incident exposed the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and the need for robust cybersecurity measures in an increasingly digitalized supply chain landscape.

6. Tianjin Port Explosion (2015)

A series of explosions at the Tianjin Port in China (3rd largest in the world by container volume) caused significant damage to the port infrastructure, disrupting global supply chains, along with loss of life. Tianjin, home to 12 million people is a critical Chinese logistics and manufacturing hub.

The incident emphasized the importance of risk management, contingency planning, and the need for enhanced safety protocols and regulations in the handling and storage of hazardous materials.

7. Foxconn Suicides (2010)

A series of suicides at Foxconn, a major supplier for companies like Apple, raised concerns about labor conditions in the electronics industry. Described as a labor camp with abuses in the working conditions and demands of employees, both Foxconn and their customers, most notably Apple, were forced to take action.

The incidents highlighted the need for improved worker welfare and supply chain transparency, prompting companies to reassess their, and their supplier’s, manufacturing practices and labor standards. This also highlighted the need for companies to do this proactively instead of taking reactive steps.

8. West Coast Port Labor Dispute (2014-15)

The labor dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association at 30 West Coast ports in the United States resulted in severe congestion and disruptions in the supply chain. 14,000 longshoremen impacted the US economy to the tune of $2 billion per day.

The prolonged dispute impacted various industries, including retail, manufacturing, and agriculture, causing delays and economic losses.

9. Galaxy Note 7 Battery Explosions (2016)

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 smartphone experienced widespread battery explosions, leading to a global recall of the product and significant damage to Samsung’s reputation. They were forced to stop production and sales in this highly competitive marketplace.

With the majority of these batteries coming from one supplier, Samsung had to quickly find and qualify alternative suppliers, which also experience battery problems as these products were rushed to market. Manufacturing and design issues were to blame.

10. KFC (2018)

How does the world’s largest chicken franchise run out of chicken? In the UK the company was closing half of its stores due to a lack of supply. KFC switched from a 3PL supplier with 6 distribution centres to a 3PL supplier with one location. The problems quickly surfaced.

The lack of planning and foresight, and understanding of their supply chain, logistics and lead times and delivery times was clearly at issue.


There are endless examples of Supply Chain disasters. And not just from natural events, but from man-made events. There are lessons to be learned by any and every company, big or small, from each of these examples.

Companies cannot rest on their laurels and be lazy. If they do, the next of the catastrophic man-made Supply Chain disasters is heading your way. None of the companies saw the above events coming, even though in most cases they should have. No one is immune.

Which catastrophic man-made Supply Chain disasters would you add to this list?

Originally published on May 16, 2023.

Benefits of IoT in Supply Chain!

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices and objects that are connected to the Internet and sometimes each other. This is a network that’s getting bigger and bigger every day given the benefits of IoT.

They are connected via sensors and they can collect and exchange information about how they’re used and what’s around them. IoT is poised to have a big impact economically and socially, so this article will outline the benefits it has on supply chain management. 

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Our 2022 All Star Seasoned Leadership in Action™ Interviews!

2022 has been a year of dramatic dynamics and events, some unforeseen and others unexpected.

On one hand we are on the tail end of the Coronavirus pandemic (but still not out of the woods) however the Supply Chain disruptions caused by the pandemic continue with more and different products being affected for the foreseeable future.

The war in Ukraine, inflationary price pressures, and continued political instability continue to impact our daily lives.

Yet we believe we are entering a period of Supply Chain Renaissance. A Moment of Truth for Supply Chain leaders to decide to either progress and forge the future or relapse into the old ways of doing things.

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The Reactive vs Proactive Supply Chain Poll Results!

Is your Supply Chain reactive, always fire fighting and dealing with new problems every hour and every day?

Or is your Supply Chain proactive, having defined and implemented the strategies necessary to create a more robust and resilient Supply Chain, less amenable to daily disruptions and surprises?

In a recent article, The Reactive vs Proactive Supply Chain! Which Will Prevail? we discussed this problem and state of companies around the world.

We polled our readers to find out where their companies stand in this regard. Here are the results!

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Navigating Supply Chain Challenges in the House Insulation Industry!

The house insulation industry plays a pivotal role in enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability in the construction sector.

However, in recent years, as the experts at Bernardi Building Supply have observed, the industry has been grappling with a myriad of supply chain issues that have the potential to disrupt operations and impede progress towards energy-efficient homes.

From raw material shortages to transportation bottlenecks, understanding and addressing these challenges is crucial for stakeholders in the house insulation sector.

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Our 2021 Top 10 List! (Part 2)

As we come to the end of our 5th year here at Supply Chain Game Changer it’s time to reflect on the tremendous events of the year.

The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic have continued to stretch far and wide, unabated, touching many aspects of all of our lives. Even the supply of Christmas Trees will be impacted in some fashion by the pandemic due to logistics delays, trucker shortages, and environmental forces.

We would like to thank our incredible followers and readers for the ongoing support. Supply Chain Game Changer is recognized as a Top 10 site globally in Supply Chain, Logistics, and Procurement. We’ve been recognized for global Though Leadership and Influence in Change Management, Supply Chain, Management and Education Technology.

And as we ended the year we published our 1000th article! An amazing milestone representing our extensive library with something for everyone.

So let’s review our Top 10 list articles for the second half of 2021!

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