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Tuesday, 11 September 2012 14:23

Demand-Driven Inventory Management Strategies

Companies across a broad spectrum of manufacturing, distribution, and retail segments are striving to be more demand driven.

The demand-driven strategy of allowing actual demand to pull inventory through the company and its supply chain seems simple. However for those using traditional supply chain management practices, other corporate strategies – along with some outside forces –make it a challenge to create a truly demand-driven supply and distribution network. Strategies such as increasing the pace of innovation and appealing to broader ranges of consumers are making product lifecycles shorter and product mix higher.

Published in Industry
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 14:00

Just-in-Time in practice at Toyota

In reaction to a race to ‘best practice’ -- as reflected in initiatives such as TQM, JIT, re-engineering, and ‘lean manufacturing’ -- Hayes and Pisano (1994) encouraged managers to re-focus on achieving strategic fit by configuring production systems ‘through a series of interrelated and internally consistent choices [that reflect] the priorities and trade-offs in its competitive situation and strategy’. This had to be grounded in ‘a collection of evolving capabilities … which provide the flexibility needed to embark in new directions’. This admonition fit well in the organizational theory, i.e., Lawrence and Lorsch (1967), and operations management literature, i.e., Skinner (1974), which had encouraged ‘contingent’, ‘focused’ organizational forms.

Published in Best Practices

bcs supply chain443

Supply chain management has always been important.

However, its relative importance is on the rise, particularly as senior executives are becoming more focused on supporting a return to growth.

Trends and realities in the global economy are thrusting supply chain management to the forefront of business strategy. Executives are realizing that supply chain characteristics and capabilities ultimately define how a business can and should operate. As this new state of affairs takes hold, supply chain managers must both embrace and act upon an evolved and elevated role in strategy formation, leadership and value creation.

Published in Trends


Few Companies Believe they are Excellent at Managing Inventories Network-Wide; What are the Top Barriers to Improved Performance?
by SCDigest Editorial Staff     

Last year, our Chief Supply Chain Insights research arm issued an excellent report on better managing network-wide inventories.

That report was based in part on a major survey of inventory practices and perceived opportunities in improving network-wide inventory management, based on respondes from over 300 SCDigest readers.

Published in Best Practices


Lean companies need only half as many employees in their purchasing department as non-lean companies.

By Becky Partida, knowledge specialist, supply chain management, APQC

With a renewed focus on "doing more with less," many organizations are looking at how the adoption of lean processes can increase efficiency and thus grow their bottom line. Lean programs within manufacturing companies are often focused on the production side of the business. This can offer substantial benefits for the organization, but the adoption of lean does not have to stop there. Lean programs within more administrative functions of an enterprise, such as procurement, can result in benefits as well.

APQC's Open Standards Benchmarking in procurement asks respondents to indicate whether their organizations have initiated lean process development in their procurement functions. To analyze how adopting these types of processes affects procurement performance, APQC looked at the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees needed to order materials and services per $1 billion in purchases for organizations that have adopted lean processes in procurement and for organizations that have not adopted these processes. The results provide insight into how lean processes can affect the efficiency of procurement functions. Read full article on IndustryWeek...

Published in Best Practices

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