About The Supply Chain Engineer

Supply chain management has figured prominently in organisational priorities since Keith Oliver in a reported conversation with a Philips manager, Mr. Van t’Hof, coined the term in the 1970’s, and it has become even more so at the onset of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.  Supply chains are operational relationships made up of activities that transformContinue reading “About The Supply Chain Engineer”

Solving Problems, Cultivating Ideas Together

I worked for Procter & Gamble Philippines in the late 1980’s.  I was a production manager who oversaw the food packing lines of the company.  As production manager, I was invited at times to join the food brand team meetings led by marketing managers, who were responsible for their respective products’ success.  P&G is famousContinue reading “Solving Problems, Cultivating Ideas Together”

Problems are Doorways to Opportunities

Since the start of 2021, semiconductor chips, which are used in cars, trucks, computers, and smart-phones, have been in short supply.  Supply has been so short that automotive companies have shut down assembly lines and consumer electronics corporations have delayed roll-outs of new products.  Bloomberg reported in its September 22, 2021 Supply Lines newsletter thatContinue reading “Problems are Doorways to Opportunities”

When Idle is Not Necessarily Bad

A chief executive officer (CEO) of a large corporation was touring a manufacturing facility.  As with all CEO’s touring a factory, he had an entourage of executives accompanying him as he walked and shook hands with workers on the production line. As he strolled through the facility’s main line where the most important manufacturing processesContinue reading “When Idle is Not Necessarily Bad”

The Path Towards Becoming a Supply Chain Expert Begins with Basic Competency

Sometimes identifying a problem is not in observing what’s going on; sometimes it’s noticing what’s not there. In my blog, “Where are the Supply Chain Experts?”, written last March 2020, I wrote there were no supply chain experts seen working side by side with business and government leaders in solving supply issues at the heightContinue reading “The Path Towards Becoming a Supply Chain Expert Begins with Basic Competency”

Three Questions Every New Manager Should Ask

Every new manager should always ask three (3) questions about an operation he or she will be in charge of: What does the book say should be happening? What do the people say should be happening? What is really happening?  Chances are each answer would be totally different from the others.  What does the bookContinue reading “Three Questions Every New Manager Should Ask”

Just About Every Enterprise is a Supply Chain Enterprise

I and ten million people in Manila have the same problem every day.  Mobile phone reception—it’s lousy.  It would take several tries to call someone on my mobile phone and when I do, chances are the conversation would stop in the middle.  Poor cellular reception is a norm in the Philippines.  It’s just so hardContinue reading “Just About Every Enterprise is a Supply Chain Enterprise”

Non-Moving Inventories: The Supply Chain’s Elephant in the Room

The phrase, “elephant in the room,” is said to have originated from a fable by Ivan Krylov that tells about “a man who goes to a museum and notices all sorts of tiny things, but fails to notice an elephant.”  It has become a favourite expression for an obvious problem or issue that for someContinue reading “Non-Moving Inventories: The Supply Chain’s Elephant in the Room”

Behold The PSI: A Basic Tool for Supply Chain Planning

The PSI or Production-Sales-Inventory is a basic spreadsheet template for supply chain planners.  It looks like this: The PSI has three sections:  production, sales, and inventories.  Production represents the in-flow of an item or what’s going into inventory.  A basic example is finished goods input coming from a manufacturing operation’s output.  We can also callContinue reading “Behold The PSI: A Basic Tool for Supply Chain Planning”

Why Shifting from the Month-End Surge to Delivery by Demand is Common Sense

“We just have to live with it,” the General Manager replied.  The GM was responding to my comment that month-end surges in sales orders were causing inefficiencies in the company’s logistics operations.  I was presenting an operations assessment report to a company that distributed name-brand computer printers and accessories.  One of the key observations fromContinue reading “Why Shifting from the Month-End Surge to Delivery by Demand is Common Sense”