Category: Supply Chain Management

What’s Going on in Supply Chain: Shark Bite Biz Video

September 8th, 2020

David Strausser, podcast host of Shark Bite Biz, and I talk about what’s going on in supply chain. We talk e-commerce, customers’ customers, suppliers’ suppliers, what our most successful clients are doing currently, the pareto principle and more. Listen to our episode (after a short advertisement).

 

       

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Although there are many steps every manufacturer or distributor should take during these unprecedented times, there are a few critical and common steps everyone should pursue. At a minimum, immediately address the following:

  1. Your customers’ customers – Understand your demand, changing buying behaviors, changing product and service needs, etc.
  2. Your suppliers’ suppliers – Understand your supply capabilities, your suppliers and suppliers’ suppliers cash positions, risks, ability to innovate, etc.
  3. Don’t forget your internal operations – The equivalent of your customers’ customers’ view of your operations, capacity, staffing flexibility, skills, etc.
  4. Frequent touch points – Demand and supply (SIOP), employees, customers and suppliers
  5. Sync up with your strategy – Are you still going in the “right’ direction? Think about rapid and agile strategy.
  6. Innovate – Only those that innovate thrive. During these unprecedented times, successful companies will pull away from the pack by innovating.

Read more about these types of topics in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19. Gain ideas and strategies to successfully emerging from coronavirus and thrive long-term. If you are interested in doing an assessment and rapid roadmap tailored to your company, please contact us about this new service offering.

Please share your stories, challenges, ideas and successes.



Digitization of the Supply Chain is Accelerating

August 28th, 2020

With COVID-19, the rise of e-commerce, and the pressures of profitability, Industry 4.0 and the digitization of the supply chain is accelerating. What was on track for 2030 prior to COVID-19 should be expedited to 2021 or 2022 to keep pace with needs. For example, according to the Wall Street Journal, Fed Ex is installing robots with eyes and brains that allow them to sense and respond. Smart companies are not only proceeding with technology plans but expediting them. What is happening in your industry? What should you be investing in and/or implementing to stay ahead of the curve in providing a superior customer experience profitably?

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Undoubtedly, you should dust off your technology roadmap. Technology is never something to do simply to keep up with technology the competition is using.  Instead, think about what you need to simplify, automate and predict. Think about how to provide a superior customer experience and think about how to help your customers predict future sales and/or end customer needs. And think about how to increase profitability and efficiency. From this mindset, what technology would add value to your business?

Several clients are in desperate need of upgrading their ERP systems. Of course, it is easy to put off such a massive project and investment.  Ask yourself this question: When do you need the functionality to support your business? If you need it within the next year, you do not have time to delay! In addition, many clients need e-commerce, CRM, sales forecasting and other customer-related technologies. Do you think you have time to wait to provide extra value to your customers? I doubt it! Finally, we are also noticing that technologies that enable efficient manufacturing and supply chain operations are increasing in importance. As a result, predictive forecasting and planning systems, WMS and TMS systems and more are gaining in popularity. What makes sense for you?

Read more about these types of topics in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19. Gain ideas and strategies to successfully emerging from COVID-19 and thrive in 2021. If you are interested in doing an assessment of your current situation, associated risks and opportunities and how to navigate changing conditions, please contact us.

Please share your stories, challenges, ideas and successes.



Should We Be Reshoring?

August 14th, 2020

Are you thinking about your product supply strategy? You certainly should be! I was asked to talk on Bloomberg’s “What’d You Miss?” about reshoring since it is a hot topic in the news. I was also on a webinar with other CEOs and thought leaders recently about the Future of ManufacturingThe reshoring conversation took the majority of the hour because it was top of mind for manufacturers as well.

The surveys are ‘adding up’:

  • According to an EY survey, 83% of executives expect a regionalization of the supply chain.
  • According to Supply Chain Dive, 64% of manufacturers say reshoring likely following the pandemic.
  • According to Thomas Industrial Survey, 64% of manufacturers are likely to bring manufacturing production and sourcing back to N.A.

It doesn’t matter which survey is your favorite, at least review your product supply strategy in light of your current and most likely future conditions. As I said in my eBook on product supply strategies, there are many reasons compelling manufacturers to look at this topic. A few highlights include:

  • Customer demand: Customers don’t care where we produce or source what. They expect immediate delivery of customized products and services.
  • Customer changes: Customers expect to change their orders as their customers’ demand changes.
  • Total cost: Total cost is in alignment for non-commodity products. Mexico and the U.S. provide good alternatives for customer demand in N.A.
  • Working capital: Cash is relevant.  When you account for disruptions in your end-to-end supply chain as well as changing demand, it can become a significant number to watch.
  • Risk & Disruption: Look no further than COVID-19 to understand the impacts. Asia shut down for a few months. Mexico and Europe were unable to supply essential businesses in the U.S. according to multiple panels (aerospace executives, large CPG etc.)

With all this said, as I commented on Bloomberg, NOT all situations make sense for reshoring (and certainly not at 100% by tomorrow morning). Instead, use uncommon common sense, conduct a rapid assessment and develop a strategy and path forward. Also, put triggers in place to proactively manage and adjust as needed. If you’d like to discuss further, please contact us.



CBS Tampa Interview

August 11th, 2020

Since talking with CBS Tampa for a story on rising grocery prices, I thought it would be good to share with clients and colleagues as well. The bottom line is that grocery prices are definitely spiking due to supply chain disruptions due to coronavirus, not due to shortages of food. There are significant supply chain disruptions and volatility in demand and supply. For example, grocery is spiking in many categories such as eggs, pantry staples, and meat while restaurants, hospitality and schools have dropped like a rock which resulted in farmers dumping millions of gallons of milk, eggs etc. Getting the right products to the right place at the right time through available channels has been challenging due to labor shortages mainly at the farm level. The supply chain is starting to stabilize but disruption will exist while coronavirus surges and until additional channels are set up and packaging accepted in grocery so that stock can be redeployed.

Will your supply chain be impacted? Or will rising prices impact your business? Stay up-to-speed on the latest trends to stay on top of your supply chain and how to proactively navigate COVID.

 



A Ray of Hope with Export

August 4th, 2020

As I participate with the California DEC (District Export Council) meeting as part of the Inland Empire DEC, I continue to be reminded of the vast opportunity of export. This is especially true during the pandemic as manufacturers innovate to be able to support critical needs in the U.S. and throughout the globe. For example, many Southern CA and Inland Empire companies pivoted in response to PPE needs, as well as other critical industries’ changing requirements. The Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles talked up the opportunities of export at the Southern California Supply Chain Summit conference, recently.

California exported $174 billion in 2019.  The Inland Empire is in the top 10% of all surveyed areas in export. The statistics are powerful.  If you consider 95% of all potential customers are outside of the U.S., we have vast potential to increase. Less than 1% of American companies export.  Opportunities abound.  And, fees for exporting services have been reduced during the pandemic. Opportunity is ripe!

What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
As you perform a rapid strategic assessment during the pandemic to determine where to focus resources to thrive post COVID-19, potential to export should be on the table. There are vast resources available through the District Export Councils. as well as the trusted advisor network to aid in the process. Each business is different. Yet, we’ve seen unprecedented potential in export in a multitude of industries our manufacturing and distribution clients cover. I chair the Import & Export Advanced Manufacturers Alliance of the Inland Empire, as part of the path forward following a Brookings study in the region.

One of my favorite quotes of all time included in one of our Predictions documents was from Roy Paulson of Paulson Manufacturing, a significant exporter in the Inland Empire. He said, “As a view looking forward in these auspicious times, expect to see more talk of tariffs, threats and waving of hands, all the while, those of us in exporting will be busy making deals, signing contracts and getting business done.” Fast-forward to the pandemic, and Roy purchased additional machinery and equipment to rapidly increase output to support as many people, businesses and countries as possible with PPE.

Read more about these types of topics in my eBook,  Future-Proofing Manufacturing & Supply Chain Post COVID-19. Gain ideas and strategies to successfully emerging from coronavirus and thrive in 2021.

If you are interested in doing an assessment of your current situation, associated risks and opportunities and how to navigate changing conditions, please contact us.

 

Please share your stories, challenges, ideas and successes.