The Pros & Cons of Steady-Stream Supply Chains

The two (2) managers of the large multinational consumer goods corporation coined it steady-stream.  Both managers, one from sales and the other in charge of orders processing, agreed that the constant volume rushes every month-end were not acceptable.   It would be more beneficial to have a smooth flow of supply rather than a spike atContinue reading “The Pros & Cons of Steady-Stream Supply Chains”

Scarcity and Abundance Depend on What We Need and Where We Are

My bedroom gets sunlight for only a few minutes every morning.  Because my room faces the north-east and because there are trees nearby, the morning sun’s rays shine through my window for only a moment, passing through a break between the tree branches.  Then it’s gone, for the rest of the day.  The sun’s raysContinue reading “Scarcity and Abundance Depend on What We Need and Where We Are”

Products & Services: What’s the Difference and How Do We Maximise Their Value?

What’s the difference between a product and a service?  A product is an item of value that benefits a user.  A service is an activity that leads to the benefits for those availing of it.           Products are tangible, i.e., as in solid, liquid, gas, or energy, or as virtual (e.g. software, streaming videos, speeches,Continue reading “Products & Services: What’s the Difference and How Do We Maximise Their Value?”

The Three Capacity Types

How much can we make? How much can we buy? How much can we deliver? These are typical questions executives ask their managers all the time.  Executives often want straightforward answers; they’d rather be spared the complicated assumptions behind any of them.  Calculating capacities can be a headache.  It’s never really as straightforward as aContinue reading “The Three Capacity Types”

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”

Why Enterprises Need A Chief Supply Chain Officer

“Behind every great leader there was an even greater logistician.” -M. Cox On a trip to Saudi Arabia in 1990 at the start of preparations preceding Desert Storm, the American-led military operation to take back Kuwait from invading Iraqi forces, United States Air Force General Chuck Horner was granted only one companion to accompany him. Continue reading “Why Enterprises Need A Chief Supply Chain Officer”

Four (4) Supply Chain Scenarios and What to Do When They Change

We don’t know when it’s going to rain.  So, we build dams.  Dams are reservoirs, inventories of fresh water.  Having a reservoir assures an adequate supply of water to meet the continuous demand of communities.  Supply chain managers face a myriad of challenges in their operations.  But one can categorise some of these challenges whenContinue reading “Four (4) Supply Chain Scenarios and What to Do When They Change”

What Is the Right Supply Chain Model for New Products?

A lot has to get done when it comes to launching a new product.  Aside from marketing and selling, enterprise executives need to know how much to make, how much to stock, and how they’ll spread that stock.  If the new product is replacing an older one, the enterprise would need to figure out whatContinue reading “What Is the Right Supply Chain Model for New Products?”

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”

The Basics of Supply Chain Mapping

A map is a visual representation.  In the context of supply chains, it describes the flow of operations and/or information pertaining to the procurement, transformation, and logistics of products and services.  To put it another way, it’s a visual aid that shows what a supply chain looks like and how it functions.  The simplest wayContinue reading “The Basics of Supply Chain Mapping”