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Supply Chain Management articles

Delivering Safer Mail Systems

In October 2015, the Chinese government announced tighter security checks on courier services following a warehouse explosion and a series of deadly parcel-bomb blasts, reported the Wall Street Journal. The measures introduced by the authorities included X-ray checks on all mail, inspections of packages before sealing the items, and new registration procedures for users of delivery and logistics services.

The Supply Chain Impact of Adding an Allergen to a Chocolate Bar

Throughout the lifecycle of a consumable product, many parties are constantly challenged with updating and managing product information, like ingredients and allergens. Since December 13th, 2014, this task has become even more complex than before for companies producing or selling food and beverage products in the European Union due to the new EU 1169/2011 rules.


Concept of Granularity A company is not homogeneous. It has different granularity. Granularity reflects the size of the units being assessed, whether large or small. Think of the United States as a country, then each state and then counties within a state; each level reflects a degree of granularity. For businesses, product categories may be considered coarse-grained and individual products can be fine-grained. Fine-grained, smaller units are the surprises of the analysis. Note, granularity is a term often used with information technology related applications

The Internet of Things and Industry 4.0

Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, and robotics combine to automate large areas of manufacturing, linking wired and wireless networks throughout the world in the making of products, and relying on both structured and unstructured big data to get the job done.


Many manufacturers and retailers struggle with the sales duality that e-commerce has created. E-commerce is the new retailing, regardless of a company’s industry or business. It is very different from selling in stores; it is very different from production and shipping orders. Companies must sell via multi-channels, namely multiple touch points with customers.

Non Routine Supply Chain Problem

Whenever I work on any supply chain process improvement engagement, I intuitively classify them as either “Routine Problem” or a “Non- Routine Problem”. A routine problem is something which has a straightforward simple solution. Other simple way to look at routine problem is where you can apply an algorithm to solve the problem – If your supply side costs are high – A cost based optimization engine used effectively will help. However “Non-Routine Problems” are more abstract, problems where even supply chain veterans do not have a simple explanation.

Risk Management in Global Supply Chains

Extended supply chains are increasing risks for transnational companies. Implementing cognitive computing solutions can help deal with complexity and improve resilience.

The Supply Chain-A Systems view

This Quick Guide, the second in the series, covers the perspective on a Systems View of the Supply Chain, just one subset of Supply Chain philosophy. It is the belief that using a systems view to examine and improve supply chains does actually reveal all of the key aspects that must be continually considered. This includes highlighting those “danger” aspects in supply chains that arguably can only be seen when taking a systems perspective. Whilst a systems view therefore essentially aims to stop making knee jerk and narrow view reactions, it can only do this when it systems views have been internalised and become the normal way “we do things around here”. In summary, with supply chains, it seems to us that managing a dependent process in isolation and managing it independently is plain folly. To prevent this, a systems approach is one approach which can be used to see the joined up supply chains collaborate with joined up thinking.

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What is Sales & Operations Planning?

Sales & Operations Planning: All demand (sales) and supply (capacity, materials) of a product is balanced and planned to secure on-time delivery...

6 Tips for Maximizing Efficiency and Productivity of Warehouse Operations

As a warehouse manager, you would understand that handling warehouse operations are a massive task. One small mistake may affect the efficiency and productivity of the warehouse. You must continually implement measures to optimize various warehouse processes and improve the overall effectiveness of the operations involved. Apart from minimizing downtime and increasing productivity, it is essential to improve your supply chain. Let us look at a few tips that help in achieving the same.

Robot Trucks or Autonomous Vehicles Will Revolutionize the Supply Chain

Most supply chain professionals do not completely understand the disruption and upgrades that autonomous vehicles, specifically what I call robot trucks, will create. Most cannot get past the pitfalls and possible barriers to robot trucks. I define robot trucks with a much broader perspective. I include trucks of all sizes and even internal plant material handling equipment like fork-lifts and automatic guided vehicles (AVGs). The biggest leap is that robot trucks will learn! Many doubters just cannot get past this. Although not complete artificial intelligence (AI), robot trucks will adapt on their own, to conditions and circumstances, and build an open memory of what to do.

Transform Your Supply Chain For Omnichannel

The world is in the early stages of a global supply chain revolution. The Amazon Effect. The Internet of Things. Platform Businesses. The new supply chain will grow beyond omnichannel. It will cross into other industries and markets and will incorporate supply chains of products, information, and finance. All the elements of the New Supply Chain tie together. They are not separate steps. They are not to be selectively chosen or excluded. These are inter-related. The New Supply Chain brings performance excellence.

The 4 Supply Chain Metrics

Metrics are a way to measure performance; and, in turn, communicate that information to key executives in the company.  Their value is how supply chain management is supporting the direction and strategy of the business.  It is important that they present a strategic and tactical understanding of what is happening and how well it is happening. KPIs (key performance indicators) must be measurable.  As a result, numerous metrics are about the logistics components.  Some of these are good.  However, they do not present a view of the total supply chain.  Plus, many have little or no usefulness for the C-suite.   Assessing logistics parts is a node-link approach and does not recognize the supply chain process.