How To Make Your Supply Chain A Growth Generator

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Oct 31, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Modern day supply chain management is often about finding reductions in costs, expenditures, wasted resources, or misallocations in how raw materials are spread across complex manufacturing networks and value chains. But this worldview often neglects or places little value on the fact that supply chains in and of themselves can be a key driver in affecting growth, increasing revenue, creating business moments, and forging new partner networks or footprint expansion.

But, as with almost anything in modern SCM (supply chain management), such achievements are often more easily discussed than realized. However, that doesn’t mean manufacturing companies don’t have the tools necessary to transform their supply streams from merely a vessel of procurement and product distribution into an important vehicle for engineering long-term, sustainable growth and productivity. Forward-thinking planners and managers can, with relatively minor adjustments to their SCM strategy, create a supply stream with the power to not only drive growth and innovation, but also the capacity to generate real revenue for companies in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

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Topics: Supply Chain Logistics, Supply Chain Trends, Supply Chain Management

Why Advanced Analytics Should Drive Your Supply Chain

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Oct 24, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Ask any manufacturing company planner or manager about the most valuable aspect in effective production planning processes and you’ll hear one thing over and over again: data and reporting. In today’s increasingly digitized supply stream, the ability for companies to quickly, accurately, and efficiently gather data and reporting about any number of production elements from material procurement to job allocation is paramount in helping companies manage a streamlined, productive value stream. As the cliche goes: The devil is in the details, and in modern manufacturing those details are the data and reporting.

This is where the development and proliferation of advanced analytics in the manufacturing landscape has given planners and managers a critical value proposition in making best practice decision-making based on the viability of quality reporting. Because advanced analytics relies in large part on the adoption of intelligent technologies or solutions like Industry 4.0, Big Data, and The Internet of Things (IOT), planners and managers have the ability to put large amounts of data and reporting to work to leverage lean manufacturing principles for greater derived value. The addition of Cloud technology and other centralized data storage platforms further makes advanced analytics a critical element of an integrated reporting solution.

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Topics: Advanced Analytics, Supply Chain Management

The Most Common Supply Chain Disruptions

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Oct 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Every year, today’s manufacturing companies dedicate time, resources, and personnel to devising planning and production strategies designed to reduce the likelihood of disruptions across each touch point of the value chain. Whether we’re discussing integrated planning platforms, intelligent production sequences, or transport logistics, the ability to react and correct disruptions at the production, inventory, or transportation level depends largely on understanding the kinds of disruptions and how at-risk a manufacturing company is to experiencing each type. Given the interconnected nature of today’s global supply chain and expansive network of production facilities, warehouses, and transportation hubs, there is more opportunity than ever before for manufacturing companies to encounter disruptions or breakdowns at more touch points across their supply network.

However, this also means there is more information available for companies than ever before about the different breeds of supply chain disruptions and the methods companies can pursue to reduce the risk of these disruptions.

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Topics: Supply Chain Logistics, Supply Chain Planning, Supply Chain Management

How S&OE Adds Business Value

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Aug 31, 2017 9:00:00 AM

We’ve talked in a great length on this blog about the elements of effective global supply chain management and the implications thereof. But while these are important discussions to have as manufacturing companies work to expand their footprint and growth their customer base, at the end of the day the developments in supply chain management only really matter insofar as they add business value for these manufacturing companies. Advancements in procurement, production planning, job allocation, and transportation management must equal enhanced business value for each partner stage in a production network or else these aspects are simply window dressing designed to give the appearance of lean production principles.

One of the most valuable assets manufacturing companies can utilize to increase business value is the idea of sales and operations execution (S&OE). Though something of a recent concept in global supply chain logistics, S&OE is a powerful piece of planning capability planners and managers can deploy to increase the efficacy of their planning and production programs, as well as enhance a number of other critical functions across the value stream such as resource and material procurement, optimized inventory management, and even job shop scheduling and job allocation. 

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Topics: Supply Chain Logistics, Supply Chain Planning, Sales & Operations Execution (S&OE), Supply Chain Management

The Importance of Mitigating Supply Chain Risk

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Aug 29, 2017 9:00:00 AM

It’s a big concept both in terms of importance and how many elements of global supply chain management under which it encompasses. We’re talking about risk and the factors manufacturing companies must address and combat to ensure stability and reduce the amount of uncertainty in a globally-competitive, variant-rich landscape. No matter how diligently planners and managers work to curtail this uncertainty, risk in a variety of forms can plague companies across the entire value chain, everything from planning and procurement to production and transport logistics.

All this being said, there are a number of strategies, solutions, and principles manufacturing companies can deploy and integrate to reduce the level of risk in a cross-organizational manner that also helps to increase productivity and enhance efficiencies.

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Topics: Supply Chain Logistics, Supply Chain Planning, Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Conversations: An Interview with flexis’ Robert Recknagel

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Aug 24, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Today’s blog entry features a fascinating conversation with flexis AG Vice President of Manufacturing and Logistics Robert Recknagel. As a thought-leader in the supply chain landscape with more than 10 years of experience in operational supply chain management, software concepts and optimization design, Recknagel provided us a glimpse into the key conversations, discussions, and concerns manufacturing companies are addressing in today’s global manufacturing landscape. Recknagel’s work with flexis has largely focussed on helping companies administer their supply networks as efficiently and productivity as possible, which uniquely positions him to shed light on the challenges and opportunities today’s manufacturers see each and every day.

Nick Ostdick: There’s a lot of information in today’s supply chain about Industry 4.0. Can you clarify a little bit about what Industry 4.0 means for the manufacturing supply chain and how companies should be looking to implement this technology platform?

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Topics: Industry 4.0, Supply Chain Logistics, Supply Chain Planning, Supply Chain Management

Why Manufacturers Should Put Big Data to Work

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Aug 22, 2017 9:00:00 AM

While Big Data has certainly permeated nearly every aspect of today’s manufacturing and supply pipeline, some industry analysts still question the validity, value proposition, and staying power of Big Data for companies as they strive to streamline their operational platforms and leverage lean manufacturing principles for optimal productivity and profitability.

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Topics: Advanced Analytics, Supply Chain Management, Lean Manufacturing

5 Primary Causes of Supply Chain Disruptions

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Aug 17, 2017 9:00:00 AM

If there’s one fear shared by nearly all manufacturing supply chain planners and managers, it’s disruption. Small or large-scale breakdowns in the movement and flow of products or component parts from Point A to Point B. Every year, manufacturing companies dedicate thousands of man hours and resources to avoiding supply chain disruptions in an effort to maintain productivity, reliability, and on-time delivery for customers. But even with the amount of time and effort manufacturers put into combating the potential for disruptions, the nature of a global supply chain is that disruptions will happen at some point along a company’s value chain, and what will determine a company’s resiliency is how said company responds and adjusts to these disruptions.

No matter the size or impact of the disruption,  the ability to react and correct disruptions at the production, inventory, or transportation level depends largely on understanding the kinds of disruptions and how at-risk a manufacturing company is to experiencing each type. Given the interconnected nature of today’s global supply chain and expansive network of production facilities, warehouses, and transportation hubs, it would appear there is more opportunity than ever before for manufacturing companies to encounter disruptions or breakdowns at more touch points across their supply network.

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Topics: Supply Chain Logistics, Supply Chain Management, Disruptions

5 Reasons Why Real-time Matters

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Jul 27, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Planning. Replanning. Forecasting. What-if scenarios. Data gathering and analysis.

These are the tools, strategies, and methods modern manufacturing companies have at their disposal to ensure production facilities optimize their inventory, allocate jobs efficiently, pull component parts from containers, and move finished products from the production floor to the customer’s door on-time and within delivery windows. But while these safeguards in demand planning give manufacturing companies some level of insight and maneuverability in responding to alterations in rules or restraints in production programs, many of the most significant events or occurrences in today’s global manufacturing supply chain happen in the moment and without much warning or advance notice.

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Topics: Industry 4.0, Supply Chain Logistics, Supply Chain Management, Disruptions

Advanced Analytics As A Competitive Advantage

Posted by Nick Ostdick on Jul 18, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Competition. More so than ever before, today’s manufacturing companies are facing increasingly intense competition in an ever-expanding global marketplace. With new and emerging markets coming online in disparate parts of the globe, today’s manufacturing and supply network is growing more diverse, complex, and intertwined, and manufacturing companies need more powerful, integrated, and intelligent solutions to cut this complexity and maintain the efficacy of their planning and production programs.

Enter advanced analytics and its ability to give manufacturing companies the insight and visibility into their overall supply and production platforms. With an endgame of helping manufacturing companies analyze and sort data, streamline processes, and increase the efficiency of planning and production programs, advanced analytics is a critical value proposition in a variant-rich industry where network partners operate at numerous disparate points across the globe. Because advanced analytics relies in large part on the adoption of intelligent technologies or solutions like Industry 4.0, Big Data, and The Internet of Things (IOT), planners and managers have the ability to put large amounts of data and reporting to work to leverage lean manufacturing principles for greater derived value.

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Topics: Industry 4.0, Supply Chain Logistics, Advanced Analytics, Supply Chain Management