Supply Chains are All About Flow

Supply chains are about flow:  the movement of product from one stage to the next, from a starting point—a source—to an endpoint—a user.            We call them product streams, demand flows, pipelines.  But supply chains are hardly these as streams and pipelines imply a single fluid in motion.  What flows in a supply chain isContinue reading “Supply Chains are All About Flow”

A Letter to All Industrial Engineers: Time to Rise Up

Dear Industrial Engineer:           I come to you as a fellow Industrial Engineer (IE) with a message.           It’s time for us to rise up.           For years, or should I say decades, Industrial Engineering (IE) has been an un-recognized engineering discipline.            Many engineers—e.g. civil, mechanical, chemical, electrical—look at us as fakes.            IndustrialContinue reading “A Letter to All Industrial Engineers: Time to Rise Up”

The World Needs Supply Chain Engineers

Not leaders.  Not managers.  Not business executives.  We have plenty of leaders, both real and wannabes.  Managers and executives too; we have enough.  We need supply chain engineers.  The global supply chain is a present-day 21st-century reality.  We get much of our goods from all over the world.  We buy shoes from Europe to sellContinue reading “The World Needs Supply Chain Engineers”

Where are the Supply Chain Experts?

Supply chain managers are noticeably invisible amid the COVID-19 crisis. There have been no supply chain executives standing beside national leaders as they made speeches and announcements. There have been rarely any interviews with supply chain experts about how to deal with shortages of food and difficulties in transportation.  If there were, much of whateverContinue reading “Where are the Supply Chain Experts?”

We Need a Playbook and It’s the Last Thing We Need

Many enterprises and countries around the world have playbooks to deal with pandemics such as COVID-19.  These range from ISO standards and those based on the United States’ Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), Center of Disease Control & Prevention, and even the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USARMIID).    But asContinue reading “We Need a Playbook and It’s the Last Thing We Need”

How to Avoid the Aggravation of Un-Available Items

If there’s one thing that ruins the productivity of your day, it’s when a needed item isn’t available.  A wonderfully designed business may have skilled workers, state-of-the-art machinery, and a talented management team.  But the business yields nothing if the needed items to run it aren’t there.   Managers deal with challenges such as absent workers,Continue reading “How to Avoid the Aggravation of Un-Available Items”

Quality: It’s About Meeting Customer Standards, Not Yours

For the nth time, one of the elevators broke down. The three (3) elevators at the office building had just been rehabilitated.  But a few weeks after the elevator contractor’s technicians packed up their tools and left, the elevators had begun to show problems.  The elevator contractor who did the rehab arrived every time toContinue reading “Quality: It’s About Meeting Customer Standards, Not Yours”

Efficiency versus Productivity; It’s Like Speed versus Velocity

What is the difference between efficiency versus productivity?  One way to compare both is by looking at speed versus velocity.  In Physics, speed is the rate an object covers distance.  Velocity is the rate at which an object’s position changes.  Speed is all about how fast one is going.  Velocity is how fast one goesContinue reading “Efficiency versus Productivity; It’s Like Speed versus Velocity”

Productivity: What Is It and Why We Should Pursue It

We all strive to be productive.  At work, at home, in whatever activity we participate. Yet, we don’t talk about productivity so much.  That’s maybe because productivity isn’t simply measurable. It’s easy to picture sales, costs, profits, and cash-flow.  Even if the accounting that generates them can be a little complicated, they’re easy to imagineContinue reading “Productivity: What Is It and Why We Should Pursue It”