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OPS Rules Blog: Insights into Supply Chain and Operations Strategy

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Infographic: 5 Top Opportunities in Your Supply Chain

supply chain, 5 opportunities for your supply chain, inventory turnover, ops rulesThe infographic below depicts the top five opportunities in your supply chain. By conquering supply chain complexity, wrangling data, deploying supply chain analytics, improving supply chain metrics, and developing supply chain talent your company can remain competitive and adapt to changes in the marketplace. If you want to read more about these 5 opportunities, visit this previous blog by Billy Hou.
Below are a whitepaper and webinar that can help expand on deploying supply chain analytics and other topics mentioned above. 

Assessing Global Economic Risk with the Risk Exposure Index

thailand, cars, honda, risk exposure index

From Superstorms to Factory Fires, describes a method developed by David Simchi-Levi to manage unpredictable supply chain disruptions. It helps prioritize the financial impact of risk through the Risk Exposure Index (REI). This enables companies focus their mitigation efforts on the most important suppliers and risk areas instead of ignoring them or using an exhaustive approach. This method was succesfully applied at Ford Motor Company.

The REI method is beginning to influence thinking beyond the corporate world as in a recent article published by the United Nations office of disaster risk reduction:  Flood Risks and Impacts Future Research Questions and Implication to Private Investment Decision-Making for Supply Chain Networks.

10 Questions on End-to-end Inventory Optimization

inventory optimization, end-to-end inventory optimization, inventory turnover, inventory problems

IBM recently hosted a webinar where OPS Rules Partner W. Jay Watt presented on "How PepsiCo and Schneider Electric Benefit from Inventory Optimization." This is an excerpt from the Q&A session.

Lean Manufacturing vs. Control Towers in the Pharmaceutical Industry

control tower, supply chain control tower

The lean manufacturing approach has been revolutionizing discrete manufacturing industries since the early 90’s.  It is a production practice that focuses on elimination of any expenditure of resources for goals other than the creation of value for the end customer. Pharmaceutical companies have been hesitant to adopt this approach and for good reason - it is a very bad fit for this industry. Here are a few reasons why:

The need to maintain a High Item Fill Rate

Lean Manufacturing always focuses on reducing inventory level. However, given the high margin of products and the fact that many drugs are so critical to patients; most pharmaceutical companies maintain a high item fill rate, which causes a high inventory level. 

Schneider Electric Inventory Optimization Journey Q&A

Schneider Electric webinar, End-to-end inventory optimization

This is the Q&A session from the "Schneider Electric Inventory Optimization Journey" webinar. SC Digest's Dan Gilmore is joined by W. Jay Watt from OPS Rules and Kyle Hamm from Schneider Electric.

How Supply Chain Expertise Has Evolved

supply chain management careers

A recent article in the WSJ about the importance of supply chain functional expertise for women claims that “Supply chain management as a proving ground for senior leadership roles, including CEO, is increasingly evident, with high profile examples that include Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook and Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich. One reason for this phenomenon is that supply chain leaders typically have integrated experience across very different and key functions in purchasing, manufacturing, engineering, strategy and logistics and often oversee new product launches and customer service. This unique set of functional skills is increasingly important to corporate competiveness.”

The Top 5 Opportunities in Your Supply Chain

5 things about supply chain

Over the past few years, manufacturing organizations have been faced with challenges to their supply chains including weather related calamities, higher customer expectations and dealing with an expanding global market to name a few. Therefore, companies need to be able to identify improvement areas within their operations that allow them to remain competitive and adapt to changes in the marketplace. The top five opportunities we recommend:

Preview of Our Upcoming Videocast with Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric webinar, End\u002Dto\u002Dend inventory optimization
In this excerpt from the upcoming webinarDan Gilmore from SCDigest asks Kyle Hamm from Schneider Electric: What was the immediate driver or genesis of this project? Did someone say I think we can do better? Or were there some pain points? 
Kyle Hamm: I think it was more: how can we take a disruptive step? This is not to say that we felt as if we had maximized everything we could do from our own techniques and previous approaches but we wanted to take a step in a new direction. So what we did was select a product family, a mature product, one that we could well define. This is our miniature circuit breaker line so that we were able to set the scope and the boundaries around it. Therefore, we were able to take a different approach by looking at the entire system with the hope of freeing up cash, improving service to our customers and repositioning inventory so that we were more flexible and able to respond to variations in demand or variations in our supply base. 
Dan Gilmore: With many of these projects you end up modeling your supply chain, tell us about that.
Kyle Hamm: You do, I'll tell you it's a data intensive process, you have to pull a lot of information together. The product family we chose, again our miniature circuit breaker line, has two primary manufacturing sites, several internal manufacturing sites, a handful of key suppliers, two distribution centers and out to a number of customers. We started the journey in the middle of last year and worked through the challenges of finding the right pieces of data so that we could begin to analyze the model and see what our opportunities really were. 

The Gap between Single Echelon and End-to-end Inventory Optimization?

trade offs

The advantages of an end-to-end approach to supply chain have been lauded for many years. In the last 30 years, supply chain network design has caught on and provided large benefits to companies. However, end-to-end inventory optimization is a much harder problem to solve and the technology has only been around for a little over 10 years, see our blog, Why You Should Think about End-to-end Inventory Optimization for more on the history. Therefore, it is still relatively hard to implement and many companies still wonder why this is a worthwhile investment when they already have inventory optimization in place through their supply chain planning and ERP systems. 

Super Bowl Logistics Planning: Lessons from a Supply Chain Consultant


My friend and I entered Penn Station a little after 2:30pm, ready for a quick, 25 minute ride to East Rutherford. We got tickets last minute for the Super Bowl and wanted as much of the game day experience as possible. However, our planned short commute turned into an over two hour ordeal of crowded trains, overwhelmed lines, and less walking than waiting. We finally got into the secure stadium grounds at 5pm. After the game ended, we had another hour of lines and disorganized transit back to Manhattan as described in this article. I asked myself repeatedly...with years of planning, what mistakes were made along the way?

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