pharmaThe global pharmaceutical supply chain can now boast its own Top Ten list, ala comedian David Letterman. That’s because following nine months of extensive research on the topic, a report delineating and explaining the industry’s top concerns has been released.

future-crystal-ballAbout this time last year, I predicted the hottest topics in the supply chain world for 2014 would be Big Data, robots, drones, same-day delivery, and M2M. Not bad, I’d say! Now, if I could only do as well with my stock market plays, football bets, and the lottery I’d be in much better financial shape.


Those were pretty easy pickings, in retrospect. The topics were all clearly visible on Gartner’s hype cycle by the end of 2013 and there weren’t many negatives out there to impact them.

disruption3Successful supply chain management requires a company to recover from disruptions, which are a normal part of any business. We have recently talked about unexpected and unusual disruptions / mistakes. But normal disruptions can and should be solved by the “operations people”.

bigarm-littlearmI’ve been looking at an old topic recently - EDI testing. For you who have followed ec-bp.com since its humble beginnings, no doubt you recall our opinions regarding testing and charges associated with them. The issue hasn’t changed much. It seems retailers still need to test the documents they are asking their suppliers to submit, and suppliers keep trying to lower their expenses by trying to avoid testing. At what point do these opposing interests amount to mutual abuse?

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?