Think Logistics, a Canadian-based third party provider of supply chain products saw the handwriting on the wall a while back. Its parent company was a successful optical disk manufacturer for years, but as the industry has become heavily focused on digital and downloads, the future of optical became uncertain and it needed to find a way to stay relevant.
Taking some ideas and attitudes that have been around for a while I developed this document for a 3PL logistics provider in Zimbabwe. It really applies to any company who ships or any company who hires a 3PL to ship for them. With everything going on in Supply Chain Management (control towers, etc) and the "Omni-Channel Revolution" underway, we can at least make our shipping process more effective.
For most suppliers the distance between their product and their consumers is a long and twisted path with little or no direct feedback. In a perfect world, this arrangement would work fine because retailers handle the direct consumer interaction and simply order more product from their suppliers to restock their shelves. And the tight margins, short lead times, localized demand cycles, and global distribution of the supply chain make it difficult to adequately plan production and delivery schedules. What's been termed 'supply chain visibility' has been touted as the answer to many supply chain issues, but is there any reality to this kind of monitoring?
Selecting a trading partner is becoming one of the most important tasks in the supply chain. At the same time it has become one of the biggest areas for potential mistakes resulting in financial disaster. Consumers are looking for more products available through multiple sources, lower prices, immediate availability, and reliable customer service. Delivering all that on slimming margins means both retailers and suppliers need to make the right decisions about what companies they partner with every time... not just most of the time. And that's why ec-bp.com is introducing the Trading Partner Scale.
We recently wrote an article on Supply Chain Control Towers. Now, who is going to staff the control tower? Logistics was conceived by the military to get the right amount of supplies to the troops at the right time. Supply chain management takes a bigger approach of looking further back into the life of a product to its manufacture and even product design while integrating what were once thought to be unrelated disciplines: marketing and customer service.
Ever heard "EDI is a huge cost savings for our company" from a manager in your organization? Invariably you will hear a resounding "YES!" from anyone that is within 50 feet of that manager all coming to agreement on the benefits of an EDI program. What do you do then if your CFO is one of those people within earshot of the comment and asks you for a number to back up the statement?
Should I get it now, or should I wait until I have more time to study? What if I study and I don't pass, and wasted all that time for nothing? Will having it actually impact my career, or will there be no change?
As a Supply Chain Manager, everybody is expecting you to perform miracles and save your company. You are expected to come up with some great programs. Would one of the Top Ten SCM Innovations make your CEO happy? Let's try instead and give you some simpler ideas.
By now, we all know that organizations are taking full advantage of social media to closely connect with customers and to promote their products and services. But several articles and studies show that social networks are now a top purchase-evaluation tool for decision makers. Professionals connect to vendors on social media sites, and a many say that social media plays a role in every stage of the acquisition process.