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”

Six (6) Principles to Successful Flexibility

Flexible manufacturing was popular in the 1990’s.  Twenty years into the 21st century, we don’t hear much about it anymore.  Instead, we hear a lot more about digital and connectivity.  Amid a raging pandemic, people also talk about resilience. Whatever the buzzword, what matters in the end is how well enterprises deliver versus customer demand. Continue reading “Six (6) Principles to Successful Flexibility”

Six Elements to Find in a Digital Roadmap

A large producer of canned fruit items installed a brand-new radio-frequency identification (RFID) system at its manufacturing facility.  The RFID system aimed to streamline the producer’s inventory management system.  The canned fruit producer’s workers stuck RFID tags on every case of canned fruit and on the pallets where the cases were stacked.  As forklift operatorsContinue reading “Six Elements to Find in a Digital Roadmap”

Balancing Unstoppable Production and Benefiting from It

I used to work in a flat glass factory.  The flat glass factory I worked at used float technology.  It starts with a furnace that melts raw materials such as silica (sand), soda ash, dolomite, and limestone.  Molten glass flows from the furnace to a tin bath, a chamber of molten tin, in which theContinue reading “Balancing Unstoppable Production and Benefiting from It”

How Control Charts Can Help Get Things Done Correctly and Consistently

How can enterprises better control their supply chains?  How does one know if the supply chain is under control in the first place? A soy sauce manufacturer bragged about its wonderful customer service numbers.  The manufacturer showed charts that it was delivering 98% of orders on-time and complete.  There was no problem with quality asContinue reading “How Control Charts Can Help Get Things Done Correctly and Consistently”

How Do We Define Quality?

Quality is a strange subject.  It’s strange because people talk about it a lot especially when they have a complaint or an admiration about a product or service.  At the same time, people don’t seem to take it seriously especially when they settle for a cheaper product or service because they don’t have the budgetContinue reading “How Do We Define Quality?”