StabilizeA comment to us from a large supply chain “hub”: “The GXS mess shows how fragile everything is in the supply chain. Stakeholders (suppliers, manufacturers, distributors) do not control their own destiny if they are using an EDI Provider”.

VisibilityI've read quite a bit lately about changes in the way the supply chain is (or will be) connected. A lot of that conversation is centered around visibility - or more precisely the lack of visibility. What's stunning to me is that this is not a new problem. With all the technology and money being devoted to lowering costs in the supply chain, why is this still a problem?

ControlTowerControl towers are used in many industries for different purposes: airports and railroads use them for traffic control; power plants have control rooms to monitor operations and third party logistics providers use them to track transportation activities. These are places where operations run well. Why not a “SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT CONTROL TOWER” to monitor and assure supply?

big data brainAs a manufacturer (or supplier), the historical position is to be reactive to the needs of the buyer. Of course forward thinking manufacturers also have significant marketing and development efforts that provide products and innovation to their customers in a more proactive way. Being truly reactive can come with some benefits that may be better than being fully proactive.

disruptionRecently we wrote about “Supply Chain Management and Logistics Risk”. While we did not get specific as to which risks are “bigger”, we did cover a lot, even pirate ships. Now, Zurich Insurance Group, through the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) has done a survey and gotten specific about causes of supply chain disruption. The top three: IT, weather events and outsourcing failures.