Supply Chain Lessons from Camelback Mountain

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

It was a hot afternoon in Scottsdale on the day after Labor Day with temperatures over 100o F when about a dozen of us assembled for a hike up on Camelback Mountain. The hike was intended to be a networking activity for attendees at this year’s Supply Chain Insights Summit.  We had arrived from near and far – some from as far away as Europe.   Before starting on the hike, our guides gave us three lessons:  First, the journey is itself the goal.  Reaching the summit will be nice but it is not our objective.  Our goal is to enjoy…

Read More
Characters standing on puzzle pieces

A Buy-Side Blogger’s View (Part 1): What I Learned at the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Lora was kind enough to invite me to attend the global summit a few weeks ago and while I meant to do some live blogging, I was too busy taking it all in and writing it all down, and now I’m staring at 12 pages of ‘knowledge inventory’. The value of flow and moving smaller lot sizes is not lost on me here. Anyway, needless to say, it was great to be back at the Phoenician with Lora (an homage of sorts to the good old AMR days), and with a broader supply chain community. Procurement and inbound SCM is…

Read More
Bobby Miller - Ortec

Supply Chain Insights Conference Key Takeaways: Creative Class Driving Creative Economy & Courageous Leadership Matters

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I rarely get excited by keynote speakers at industry conferences, but last week was an exception to the rule. Dr. Richard Florida is one of the world’s leading intellectuals on economic competitiveness, demographic trends, and cultural and technological innovation. His bestselling book “The Rise of the Creative Class” is an insightful analysis of the values and lifestyles that will drive the 21st century economy, its technologies and social structures. Dr. Florida believes success in the future is not about technology, government, management or even power; it is all about people and their dynamic and emergent patterns of relationships. In his keynote…

Read More
Sujit Singh

Imagine the Supply Chain of 2025

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Last week, I attended the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit. The theme of the event was to imagine the Supply Chain of 2025. The size of the group allowed for some good networking and very passionate conversations among colleagues who care about the supply chain industry. I learned a bit during the Global Summit and intend to document some of that in this blog. As the reader will note, some of the insights were more general in nature than the topic of the blog will suggest. One central theme that seemed popular was the acceptance that any and all projections…

Read More

Imagine (Sometimes it takes a Supply Chain Brain)

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Imagine.   Later today, Lora Cecere’s Global Summit kicks off in Phoenix.   This is the flag ship program for Supply Chain Insights (the analyst firm run by Lora Cecere) and it is absolutely a team effort, with lots of work by those who work for and with Lora.  But I purposefully called it Lora Cecere’s Global Summit, because it is Lora’s unending energy and passion around supply chain that makes this event unique among the growing number of supply chain events being held around the globe.  More importantly, it is her ability to challenge us to stop, even if for a…

Read More

Supply Chain of 2025: Global with Strong Regional Characteristics

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Recently, I participated in a podcast with Lora Cecere where we discussed the following question: What would the supply chain of 2025 look like? Questions like this are always fun to consider. Of course, they would be easier to answer if one had a crystal ball. Below is where my mind went as we discussed this topic. One of the things I have found quite remarkable in the last couple of years is how quickly cutting edge products are becoming available through big parts of the developing world. It seems the information revolution and the internet age have ensured people…

Read More

Steps 4 & 5 to Regain Manufacturing Prowess

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

4. Construct and deploy sensible metrics The current manufacturing metrics of efficiency, keeping all machines busy all the time (utilization), and overhead absorption were developed after the stock market crash of 1929. Any manufacturing manager can tell you what products are really the most profitable. Rarely does the formal accounting system come up with the same answer. Sensible metrics must be deployed that encourage better integration of various components within the company. These metrics align resources, working capital, and activities to the company goal of being sustainably profitable. Sustainable profitability is far more important than short-term operational efficiency. 5. Learn…

Read More

My Vision for Supply Chain 2020? Deep integration!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

I recently got interviewed as a blogger for the Global Summit. The question was how I imagine the Supply Chain in 2020. My first thought went to ‘deep integration’. What strikes me the most when I’m consulting or teaching companies is the lack of integration in today’s supply chains. If I look at retailers it is still common to have private label suppliers stuffed with inventory, central or regional DC’s stuffed with inventory and shops stuffed with inventories. We all demand high service levels from one step to the next. There seems to be a lack of trust, a lack…

Read More

Steps 2 & 3 to Regain Manufacturing Prowess

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Develop and use “Thoughtware” Companies must invest and unleash the intellectual capital within their organizations. Too many companies are spending fortunes on hardware and software and getting little return on that investment. While technology continues to advance, there is still no substitute for thinking. Hardware and software are ineffective without the right “thoughtware.” Currently America’s educational system prepares students for more education rather than teaching them to think critically and adapt to a changing environment. The late Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt, author of “The Goal,” frequently commented that the average manager would rather spend $5 million than spend 5 minutes thinking….

Read More
Car manufacturing production line

Five Steps to Regain Manufacturing Prowess

By | Globalization | One Comment

Supply chains reach around the world but in this first blog, since the upcoming conference is in my home town, I am going to focus on what is going on here at home.  Reading the news  so many proclaim that American manufacturing is gone, never to return. The numbers certainly are frightening. In just the last 10 years, America has lost more than 2 million manufacturing jobs. The unemployment rate in manufacturing continues at double digits today.  This same situation is found in several countries around the world especially in Europe. Yet other signs point to a possible resurgence.  A…

Read More
%d bloggers like this: