When APICS invited me to be part of next October’s international conference on best practices for global supply chain and operations management, I started exploring ideas revolving around best practices, including this deceptively simple question:
What is a best practice, anyway? Read the rest of this entry »
Distribution organizations play a key role between the manufacturers and retailers. Being the middle organization between a manufacturer and a retailer, a distribution center (DC) needs to have a robust operation and accurate information for delivering products and services to its customers. Read the rest of this entry »
Last week, I attended a supply chain management (SCM) user conference in Florida.
The main objective of the user conference was to help users learn and share experiences to eliminate business pains faced either due to lack of technology or business processes. MS Excel, was proudly mentioned in many of the conversations I had with supply chain professionals. It felt like SCM professionals were married to Excel, and their supply chain and operational activities cannot function without it. Read the rest of this entry »
This year I was invited to SCOPE East, a peer led conference focusing on supply chain issues from strategic, tactical, and operational points of views. At this conference, I was able to attend multiple educational tracks ranging from retail to consumer goods. One of the tracks that got my attention was about vertical integration in the retail supply chain presented by luxury goods retailer and manufacture Tiffany & Co. Read the rest of this entry »
The landscape of the supply chain has changed drastically over the past five years. It went from local to global in manufacturing, procurement, sourcing, logistics, and customers. As such, there are some major challenges in the supply chain network: Read the rest of this entry »
In spite of the 2009 recession, some SCM vendors were able to create traction in the supply chain space this year. From an industry landscape perspective, three events from 2009 will have a more far-reaching impact than any other in this space, primarily because they’re priming the conditions for still more vendor competition and industry volatility in the year to come. Read the rest of this entry »
For many retailers, price optimization is not being implemented appropriately because of the lack of communication between the supply and demand cycles. Read the rest of this entry »
Many people are aware of a reality show on television titled “Jon & Kate Plus 8”, which features a couple that is separated and ready to get divorced. Occasionally couples have disagreements and need to get away from each other to sort things out then come back to the table with new perspectives. That’s what JDA and i2 have done with their deal from last year. JDA plans (once again) to acquire i2 Technologies. This time around, the offer is for $396 million (USD). Read the rest of this entry »
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If this proverb were applied in today’s operations, every organization would be in a reactive mode of maintenance and work against the lean manufacturing concepts.
Any breakdown or downtime on the manufacturing floor, in the warehouse, in transportation, or any other business process will create missed customer commitments, failed deliveries, idle time, and lost labor hours. Instead of taking the risk and being in reactive mode, wouldn’t it be nice to have systems or procedures through which an organization can know the status of its equipment? In today’s fast-paced market environment it’s beneficial for organizations to know which equipment needs preventative or scheduled maintenance for better planning, commitment, and allocation of resources. Read the rest of this entry »
The last day of the conference is different in three ways: there is no general session today; we have plant tours in the afternoon; and the exhibitors are gone (which is too bad, because for IBM only you could spend hours talking with all the vendors in their booth). Read the rest of this entry »
Today’s general session showcased people from around the world (Mexico, China, Italy, South Africa, Poland, India, Egypt, US, etc.) and their stories about what work in manufacturing and supply chain means to them. The idea behind this was to show us how supply chain concepts are being embraced worldwide—and the presenters did it by showing media clips and images from different continents. Read the rest of this entry »
Arrived in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) to attend the APICS international convention and expo—hats off to the Canadian weather (cold!!!!!!!). This first day is dedicated to the development and organization of APICS members and partners. We gained an understanding of the APICS footprint, internationally speaking, through the general session.
Microsoft recently acquired four vertical solutions that target process manufacturing (Fullscope Inc.), professional services (Computer Generated Solutions Inc.), and retail industries (To-Increase and LS Retail ehf).
These acquisitions are no different from any other software industry vendor acquisition, as each player in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) space is trying to expand its reach of features and functions in a variety of vertical industries.
What’s different here is that Microsoft Dynamics’ aim Read the rest of this entry »
The 2009 APICS International Conference and Expo is starting next week in Toronto (Canada). One of the educational tracks is focusing on how to manage inventory in a changing economy. As inventory is a challenging issue for all types of manufacturing organizations, regardless of industry. If an organization can manage its inventory without losing focus on demand and where its dollars are being spent, it may achieve its inventory objectives. Gary Gossard (president of IQR International) gave a preview presentation in a webinar in which he pointed out a technique that can be used by organizations to manage inventory and reduce waste during changing economic times. Read the rest of this entry »
In the forthcoming 2009 APICS International Conference and Expo, many educational tracks will be covered by industry leaders, and lean is one of them. Since we are in a global economic crisis where every manufacturer, supplier, and producer is trying to reduce cost and minimize waste while increasing production or throughput, I am particularly interested in the “lean” educational track to hear what the experts are saying. Recently, I had the privilege of attending the preview of “Lean for Materials Managers” by Bill Kerber, President of High Mix Lean. Read the rest of this entry »