Tag Archive: supply chain

IBM, MIT & Artificial Intelligence

By
IBM has announced it plans to spend $240 million over the next ten years to develop an artificial intelligence (AI) research lab with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Anytime these two powerhouses collaborate and put their money where their mouth is, we should at least pay attention and consider the significance. AI is popping up in conversations everywhere as all type of organizations and industries are seeing the significance of AI technology. I don’t even have to look very far. My mom said her Amazon Alexa was one of the best presents she has ever received. (And that’s solely…
View Article




How To Know If Your Old Business System Is Just Fine

By
We cannot tell you how many clients call thinking they need a new system to support their business when they simply don’t! Certainly, there is a time to upgrade to a new business system, when you’ve outgrown your old one (for example: QuickBooks with add-ons like Fishbowl), or your old system is highly customized and unsustainable, or when you are in the midst of a merger or acquisition. However, before jumping to the conclusion that your system must be upgraded, think twice. Any ERP transformation project will be expensive (more than you think!) and resource intensive. With that said, it…
View Article




Emerging Technologies for Supply Chain

By
There is an ever-increasing interest in emerging technologies for supply chain. When thinking of your end-to-end supply chain – from your suppliers’ suppliers, through your manufacturing and distribution operations, to your customers’ customers – you must consider technology to have any hope of achieving success. In today’s Amazon-impacted environment, rapid information and product flow must be accompanied with low-cost and efficient supply chains to maximize the customer experience, profitable growth and cash flow. Trending technologies to consider in your strategic discussions include the following: Additive manufacturing such as 3D printing – it is no longer just for R&D. The progressive…
View Article




Hurricane Harvey & Supply Chain Impacts

By
Hurricane Harvey has been wreaking havoc on Texas and is now threatening parts of Louisiana. Flooding is tremendous and many people are still trapped in their houses. Refineries are shut down and basic necessities are being rationed. Unfortunately, this is the devastation caused by a hurricane and it reminds us about natural disasters and the global impact. The earthquake in Japan had an impact for several months. In Houston’s case, businesses in the city and surrounding areas are shut down or, at a minimum, affected without access to local suppliers, logistics networks etc. Gas prices are higher with the closure…
View Article




Why Persistence Matters

By
Typically when I talk about persistence, I refer to my Mom because she is very persistent. I’m glad that wore off on me. However, this time, I am referring to several people: an ACA Group colleague, Ellen Kane; a Manufacturing Council of the Inland Empire colleague, Wally Brithinee; and one of my APICS Inland Empire Board of Directors Tony Martinez. I have been involved in the APICS West Coast Student Case Competition since the first year when Ellen Kane founded it with three teams from two schools. Now, I’ve acted as co-chair with Ellen (pictured below with me at the 2017…
View Article




Women in Supply Chain (and Why Men Should Care)

By
Whether you’re a man or woman, if you are in the end-to-end supply chain, you should be thinking about women in supply chain. We’re facing a serious skills gap in the next several years in manufacturing and supply chain circles. Although women make up 47% of the labor force, they compose only 27% of the manufacturing workforce. Thus, logic dictates that if we can raise that percentage, we’ll cover much of our skills gap! I spoke on “Women in Supply Chain” at the western district conference for APICS (#1 supply chain management association) this weekend. I also am a mentor…
View Article




Raising the Bar With Customer Service Through Internal Operations

By
Could a simple solution of aligning Sales with Operations with Finance deliver the bottom line BIG win? Do your internal operations truly have a significant impact on your customer service levels? Yes, for every single client, they can have a dramatic effect! For example, we recently worked with a client that wanted to raise the bar when it came to customer service levels. Over time, product mix, distribution strategies and buffer capabilities changed which created a gap when compared to prior performance levels. The challenge was to improve customer service and the overall customer experience rapidly – and “make it…
View Article




Walmart Raising the Supply Chain Metrics Bar

By
One of my clients forwarded this Business Insider article about Walmart’s supply chain metrics. Walmart is not only requiring an increase in OTIF (on-time-in-full) delivery performance but it also will charge penalties for suppliers that don’t live up to the metric! Creating an efficient supply chain is critical for Walmart, so they are taking this proactive stance. This is prevalent throughout our manufacturing and distribution clients – regardless of industry. For example, in aerospace, there are very similar supply chain metrics and penalties. If we want to grow our businesses, we must develop excellence throughout our supply chain. Just think, there…
View Article




Getting Out of the Weeds to See the Forest

By
Turning Everyday Interactions into Profitable Opportunities I’ve been working with several clients recently who are interested in “getting out of the weeds” so that they can “see the forest”. In a few cases, we’ve talked about strategy and reviewed key information about customers, demand, supply and financials. Although there were benefits to each piece (including being able to make decisions such as in-sourcing/outsourcing, equipment purchases, lease renegotiation, and hiring), it was no comparison to the value of being able to see the BIG PICTURE. Similar to driving to work every day and not remembering how you got there, we are…
View Article




Is Supply Chain Top of Mind for Your Business?

By
Earlier this week, I spoke on a panel at a ProVisors (a top notch group of trusted advisers) event about supply chain and its impact on the Southern California and Inland Empire economy. The event prompted me to think about whether we are keeping supply chain top of mind (from your suppliers’ suppliers, through your manufacturing operations – insourced, outsourced or both – to your customers’ customers, inclusive of transportation and logistics networks, IT etc.). It will have a dramatic impact on your business success, and, in Southern California’s case, the economy. For example, is the Amazon Effect (the notion of 24/7,…
View Article