A Letter to the IE: More than Ever, We Need to Lead the World to Productivity

Dear Industrial Engineer*           The year 2020 ended without a happy ending.  The SARS-CoV-2 virus had not gone away.  It continues to be a global threat going into 2021.  Political and enterprise leaders have done all they can to defeat the virus.  There was hope.  Thanks to record-breaking world-class collaboration efforts, vaccines have become realitiesContinue reading “A Letter to the IE: More than Ever, We Need to Lead the World to Productivity”

Logistics Solutions Can Be Simple

A medium sized retailer of health food items imports products from abroad.  The retailer prides itself with a very well organised warehouse and a crew of workers that swiftly repack the imported products and send them to the retailer’s stores all over the country.  The retailer’s sales department, however, has constantly complained about lack ofContinue reading “Logistics Solutions Can Be Simple”

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”

Ten (10) Examples Towards Building Better Supply Chains

For years, experts have cited the urgent need for supply chains to adapt and get better.  In 2005, Paul Michelman via the Harvard Business Review wrote: “Threats to your supply chain, and therefore to your company, abound—natural disasters, accidents, and intentional disruptions—their likelihood and consequences heightened by long, global supply chains, ever-shrinking product lifecycles, andContinue reading “Ten (10) Examples Towards Building Better Supply Chains”

Reducing Losses, Whatever the Type, Whatever the Scale

Material losses happen in every industry.  From the time a raw material is mined, extracted, or harvested, to the point where it finally is transformed and delivered as a finished product, there will be some loss along the way.  Not all merchandise that comes into an operation comes out 100% intact in the finished product. Continue reading “Reducing Losses, Whatever the Type, Whatever the Scale”

Why and How Banks Should Improve their Services

In the late 1990’s, Asiatrust Development Bank, a relatively newcomer to the Philippine banking industry, expanded its banking hours from 8:30am to 6:00pm.  It was a break from the traditional 10:00am to 3:00pm schedule that was the mainstay of other Philippine banks.   Many small businesses and individuals particularly those who worked until evenings, flocked andContinue reading “Why and How Banks Should Improve their Services”

What Collaboration Is and Is Not

Collaboration denotes a cooperative working relationship between parties which leads to mutual benefits.  It’s not commonly observed in industries and supply chains despite the potential benefits it can bring.  This is because it’s not easy to do and in the first place, many business executives don’t think it’s worth the trouble.  Many enterprises, small businessesContinue reading “What Collaboration Is and Is Not”

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”

The Nimble Supply Chain: Is It Even Possible?

Managers like things to turn out elegant.  A well-laid out factory that produces flawlessly.  A warehouse with more than enough storage space and material-handling equipment.  A complete fleet of trucks that delivers all the orders without delay.  A smoothly running purchasing system in which supplies and materials are bought at the best price and arriveContinue reading “The Nimble Supply Chain: Is It Even Possible?”