ec-bp's Bloggers

Where's Your Supply Chain's Weakest Link?

weak-linkHow do supply chain technology vendors/VARs go about seeking and finding the weakest link in their clients' supply chain? Some depend on their Ouija board. Others have combed lots of research documents and can tell you to the letter what other companies found to be their weakest links. Others show up at the client's site with heavy-duty partners, meet with top management, view lots of slide shows and go away agreeing with the client where the weakest link is. Some 'radicals' actually take their time and interview with the company employees doing the work. Do you HAVE to use one of these vendors? What's wrong with self-assessment?

Constructive Disruptiveness In The Supply Chain

malcolm-gladwellMalcolm Gladwell: One Character Trait That Will Make You Disruptive The best-selling author says it's not tech, money, or brainpower. What are the preconditions that make that kind of change possible?" Successful disrupters all tend to have one huge precondition that's far more important: the kinds of attitudes that lie behind provocateurs. He used a powerful story of shipping magnate Malcolm McLean, Gladwell revealed how having the right attitude is critical to effecting great change.

Here Comes the Industrial IoT

ge-internetWhen’s the last time you faced something truly disruptive in your business? Could it be as far back as when Al Gore invented the Internet? Or maybe something more recent, like smartphones unleashing the omnichannel consumer on your industry? Well, there’s something peeking over the horizon that could blow all of them away. It’s the interconnected world of the future called the Internet of Things (IoT), and it’s gaining momentum.

Responding To Mistakes

Expect the UnexpectedWe thought everything was working fine. Great planning, a great network in place. Excellent computer systems. Visibility into our supply chain. Well-trained staff. We thought the “i”s were dotted and the “t”s were crossed. Then SOMETHING happened. Could be almost anything, but it was unexpected, had no easy fix, no recovery plan in place, you name it. So now two things have to happen: (1) damage control; and (2) fix the system.

Rebalancing Your Sourcing Strategy

shorelineOutsourcing and offshoring have been the rage for quite a while, but there are now more onshoring initiatives in both the manufacturing and service industries that possibly a major trend reversal is occurring. At the beginning of last year, we predicted that companies might start looking at the best way of sourcing instead of just saying “let's outsource”. Then we pointed to a place it was happening successfully: General Electric's Appliance Park (now Electrolux)

Top 5 Disaster Risks To Your Business

disasterBefore going into the list of biggest risks, here is a “preamble to risks”. You need to be familiar with emergency procedures. This means the entire Chain (purchasing, etc.). The Control Tower idea, when done correctly and in conjunction with other fixes can be very successful. Visibility is a prerequisite to supply chain agility, responsiveness and almost everything in the supply chain. Companies need to find the right people, provide continuous training and allow them to learn and develop by rotating their roles in the supply chain.

SCM Personnel

supply-chain-managementOur recent article on Opportunities in Your Supply Chain listed “Developing Supply Chain Talent” as a major opportunity. The “newest kid on the block” is the SCM Control Tower. I have been collecting personnel requests over the Web from recruiters for folks to staff these towers. All have some sort of job responsibilities, so we can compare responsibilities. Almost a third of these have salary too, which makes it very interesting.

What's Visibility Mean to You?

Technology4Visibility is a hot supply chain topic. Our writers have cranked out articles on the subject, Buzz posts links to visibility articles every week, and I bet you’ve heard from sales guys and marketers pushing their solutions. But what’s it mean when you really get down to it?

Back in the old days when I led a large EDI/eBusiness team, visibility to us meant the ability to locate and see a transaction from beginning to end. For example, for an outbound document we’d want to see it tracked from the ERP module, through our interface, into our translator, in its interchange on the way to the VAN, at the VAN, and receipt verified from the partner.

Pulling All Together into 1 and Why Are Things Not Working Properly?

supplyChainPuzzleThis question, asked of Google, got 402,000,000 results. First item on page 1 of I don't know how many pages was “How to Fix a Zipper”. THERE'S OUR ANSWER! KEEP IT SIMPLE. Let's call it the “Zipper Law”.

Big Data, Analytics and Clouds

big-dataAs volumes of Big Data increase, the ability of a business to take advantage of it will be a strategic advantage. By making decisions faster than competitors will be key to survival. The CIO needs to understand HOW decisions are made and put the ducks in a row to get the right data, get the right tools, and, most importantly, present to management in a way that is USEFUL. I have picked a few key issues to discuss.

eC-BP Bloggers

eC-BP's bloggers offer their opinions and experiences in this series of (usually) short articles.

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