Tag Archive: packaging

Tours & the Value of Observation

April 9th, 2018

Observing and Learning
In this past week, I have attended a fascinating tour and presentation of Bay Cities, the premier designers and manufacturers of packaging and displays, and went on a tour of Gordon Biersch, the brewing company (see pictures below).  One of the best ways to keep up with the latest trends in manufacturing, supply chain and business in general is to participate and observe. Are you observing?







One tip to implement this week:
Although it is always insightful to get out and tour other manufacturers and supply chain organizations (such as the port or a 3PL), why not start by observing what is going on around you?  It sounds quite easy but it isn’t nearly as easy as it sounds when we get busy and focused on the latest email or message on our phone. Are you paying attention to your colleagues? Your manager?  How about what has changed lately in terms of layout, space, equipment, or just your colleague’s frame of mind?

Next, get out and observe what others do.  I’m not talking about competitors. You can gain valuable insights and ideas from completely unrelated businesses.  An aerospace company can learn from a food processing manufacturer even though they are very different – and even different types of manufacturing with process and job shop.  One of the most valuable things we do with clients is bring the appropriate insights from seeing countless businesses over the years when we see a related pattern or trend.  Join us at APICS-IE for our tours and at our upcoming symposium as one option to observe.

The power of observation is amazing – try it for the day and see what you have been missing.

Supply Chain Collaboration

October 7th, 2013
Collaboration is at the center of successful working relationships with your supply chain partners.

Collaboration is at the center of successful working relationships with your supply chain partners.

Collaborating with supply chain partners not only develops stronger partnerships but it also can deliver significant bottom line business results.

I’ve noticed that my strongest clients dedicate time and attention to developing relationships and collaborating with their suppliers, customers, transportation partners, brokers, trusted advisors etc.

There are countless options to think about …

1. Collaborative ordering – I’ve worked with multiple companies to set up processes so that they can determine what to order and when for their key customers (such as Boeing) – this creates a win-win.  You are a stronger partner to Boeing and you have the opportunity to optimize inventory, freight and internal efficiencies.

2. Supplier partnerships – Instead of win-lose negotiations; successful companies find win-win opportunities.  How can both companies increase profit, reduce time etc.?

3.  Warehousing partners – Look in unusual places for partners to share warehouse space – customers, suppliers, friendly competitors, other key relationships?  For example, who does your commercial banker know who might need to share costs?

4. Transportation partners – There are an amazing number of options to get from point A to point B.  Do you just hire a carrier or ship everything via UPS?  Have you thought about using rail in collaboration with local companies?  Pooling trucks?

5. Collaborative R&D – Are you involving your customers, suppliers, equipment suppliers, transportation providers and others in your product development process?  How else will you optimize packaging, customer needs, material options and more into one plan?

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Supply Chain Collaboration