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Health Care

With the rising costs of health care and changes brought by reform, health care organizations must find ways to reduce costs. Though the health care supply chain has evolved rapidly over the last 15 years from the traditional “order fulfillment operation” into a “strategic analytics operation,” there’s still a significant opportunity for organizations to reduce costs by gaining more insight into their supply chain.

Monday, 20 August 2012 08:19
Published in Industry
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US Manufacturing

There is extreme interest in the potential for a revitalization of the US manufacturing sector, an interest coming to a crescendo of sorts this week at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where a major two-day conference on the Future of US Manufacturing was held. The sell-out event included a powerful list of speakers, including US Commerce Secretary John Bryson and a number of crporate executives, and featured excellent MIT research on the topic.

The graphic below was presented by MIT's Olivier de Weck, who has been leading a significant research project on US manufacturing and its impact on the overall economy - including the interesting question of whether the US could be successful as an "innovation economy" only, where very little in manufactured here.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 14:47
Published in Trends
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Nike has reaped the benefits of moving to ‘lean’ manufacturing with shorter lead times and fewer product defects in its supply chain.

The sportswear brand’s FY10/11 Sustainable Business Performance Summary, explained by adopting a lean approach - which it described as ‘better manufacturing’ that reduced wasted materials and time - the company’s supply chain has operated more efficiently. The report explained the company had worked to eliminate waste, lost time and lost material from its processes as part of its sustainability agenda.

The report said contracted factories which adopted the lean approach showed defect rates 50 per cent lower than those that didn’t. It also revealed delivery lead times from lean factories were, on average, 40 per cent quicker. Productivity increases of 10 to 20 per cent and a reduction in the time taken to introduce a new model by 30 per cent were also reported from lean factories...Read more on supplymanagement.com

 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 14:39
Published in Corporate
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Patagonia has long been a sustainability leader, and pokes its competitors in the eye with programs, from asking consumers to buy less to working with fisheries to the preservation of salmon populations while rolling out new snacks. Now the outdoor clothing and gear company is pushing supply chain transparency to a new level.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 14:31
Published in Corporate
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RILA Report


Arlington, Va.—March 7, 2012—The third annual “State of The Retail Supply Chain Report” from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and Auburn University, with sponsorship from Accenture, reveals a heightened urgency by retailers and supply chain management (SCM) executives to shift from cost cutting to growth.

Monday, 12 March 2012 09:05
Published in Trends
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Sustainable Supply Chain

In the business world, fiscal imperatives often prevail over values—even the values of social responsibility and ethical behavior—as corporations strive to mitigate costs and reduce uncertainty. Nowhere is that drive for certainty and cost containment more compelling than in the corporate supply chain.

The global marketplace demands that supply chains be nimble and diffuse. Their broad distribution has elevated their significance beyond the functionality of manufacturing and transport, and they are transformative in the way they remake a corporation and the effect they have on local economies. An efficient supply chain is responsive to changing priorities by keeping costs in line, schedules on time and, more importantly, giving companies the room to scale for growth.

Monday, 12 March 2012 09:16
Published in Trends
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2012 Study

Although organizations must connect suppliers and customers around the globe, managing worldwide supply chains can cause cost increases and operational challenges, according to the Aberdeen Group's latest research sponsored by Syncada from Visa. The research, "2012 Best Practices for Closing the Loop on Multi-national Transportation Procure to Pay", identifies best-in-class behaviors that enable the top 20% of performers to reduce invoice cost, yet process and pay faster than competitors.

"Aberdeen recently surveyed 191 Chief Supply Chain Officers and found that more than 85% of companies have shipments crossing country borders. Transportation procure-to-pay solutions must support multilingual, multicurrency freight, as well as facilitate banking interactions across broad global geographies," shared Bob Heaney, Senior Research Analyst, Supply Chain Management, Aberdeen Group.

Read more: 2012 Study Reveals: Despite Growing Supply Chains, Top Companies Can Still Reduce Cost and Pay Quicker


Wednesday, 14 March 2012 13:10
Published in Trends
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Battery

Earlier today I participated in a roundtable discussion at the U.S. Department of Commerce on possible threats to the supply chains of critical technology materials. The Department of Commerce and the White House National Science and Technology Council co-sponsored the meeting responding in part to recent concerns about rare earth metals supply. 

The purpose of the meeting, as expressed by the Department of Commerce, was to identify future “rare earth problems” that might be a threat to U.S. industry. In preparing for the meeting, I had opportunity to talk to several NAATBatt members about their views of the critical materials supply chain issues.  Thanks to all who responded to my inquires.  Based on those responses I made a short presentation this morning, which summarized, in unscientific fashion, what seems to be a consensus view in the industry.

Sunday, 25 March 2012 15:14
Published in Trends
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I found this post over at Supply Chain Matters (Bob Ferrari's excellent supply chain blog). The post marks the one year anniversary of the quake and subsequent tsunami in Japan. Bob's post is based on a Wall Street Journal article that cites some of the steps that Toyota and Nissan are implementing to avoid the losses they recently experienced should a similar disaster happen in the future.

Monday, 19 March 2012 09:15
Published in Industry
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The role of supply chain management will gain more importance as the manufacturing revival spreads across the United States and economy revs up.

That’s the message of Rick Blasgen, president and CEO of the Illinois-based Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, delivered in a keynote speech at the Modex 2012 supply chain trade show here earlier this month.

Thursday, 23 February 2012 11:46
Published in Industry
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