Tag Archive: risk

Keeping an Eye on Global Markets

September 1st, 2018

If there ever was a strategic topic of critical importance no matter your position in the supply chain, it is keeping an eye on global markets.  We’ve worked with clients who ONLY source materials, components and products from U.S.-based suppliers.  Yet, even they must pay attention to global markets to thrive.  Are you making this a priority?

There are countless reasons to stay informed of global markets.  First and foremost, we live in a global society. It isn’t practical to go through a day without coming into contact with products, services, people, currencies and more from around the world.

A few additional reasons to keep an eye on global markets:

  • Interconnected world – We live in an interconnected world.  A political risk in Asia can impact the price of your materials.  Or, a shortage of oil or gas (as an example) in one country can impact the price and availability elsewhere.
  • Economy & currencies – Currency exchange rates will have an impact somewhere in your supply chain whether or not it touches your product or service.
  • Tariffs & trade – Tariffs certainly can have an impact.  The impact can be far reaching and can be from areas that don’t directly touch your organization. In this case, you might have short-term pricing impacts or long-term strategic impacts of where to locate manufacturing or which countries and markets to pursue.  Hopefully, you are considering both.
  • Global customers – There might be unique opportunities in one part of the world to utilize your product or service with a greater benefit realized than in another part of the world.  Are you considering your options and expanding your mind to the possibilities?
  • Risk – There’s no doubt that mitigating risk alone is reason to keep track of global markets.  For example, earlier in my career when there were issues getting materials out of Brazil, we wouldn’t have been able to service customers if we hadn’t planned for a backup supply elsewhere in the world.  Similarly, we would have gone out of business if we relied on only local suppliers when a major hurricane hit our manufacturing plant.  Every local business was under water except us and even with a plan we were affected – were shut down for a short period of time because our employees could not get in or out of our facility.

Keeping an eye on global markets can become a full-time job. Clearly, few, if any, clients can afford that.  Thus, pursue ways to collaborate with customers, suppliers, trade associations and more to leverage insights. Minimally, put aside some time on a daily basis to watch for key trends.

 



Are You Thinking About Cyber Security?

May 16th, 2017
security threats

Are you developing strategies to address cyber security concerns? If you aren’t thinking about the relevance and risk, you should pay attention.

Cyber security has taken over the news and trade magazines lately as risk levels are elevated and cyber crime is a real threat. Are you developing strategies to address cyber security concerns? It is no laughing matter as you listen to what could happen….

Tonight, we attended a ProVisors (group of trusted advisers) cocktail reception. In two hours, we ran into multiple people who talked about the relevance and risk associated with cyber security. If you aren’t thinking about these questions, you should sit up and pay attention:

  1. Does your company have the appropriate security and protocols in place to fend off hackers? If each of us thinks we aren’t important enough for a hacker, someone will be surprised.
  1. Have you thought about your supply chain partners and cyber crime? It can be a vast topic. Although the risk might be low, the impact can be high. Just ask folks like Target and Home Depot.
  1. Have you thought about cyber security and your manufacturing machines like CNC machines and manufacturing execution systems? Suddenly the topic got a lot bigger!
  1. How about the internet of things? Have you thought about how to prevent cyber crime from non-work devices that can connect with work-related devices?
  1. Do you have cyber security insurance?

 

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to become a Systems Pragmatist:

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Why Care About Supply Chain Risk?

 



Drucker Supply Chain Forum Executives Share What They Look for in Supply Chain Professionals

April 11th, 2017

What are executives looking for in supply chain professionals? That was the topic of the panel I participated in at the Drucker Supply Chain Forum with executives from the Walt Disney Company, Source Intelligence, Intelligent Audit and CSCMP. So, what is the consensus?

1. Broad knowledge– Supply chains are global and more complex in today’s world. Thus, a broad and diverse set of skills is required to be successful in the field. If you have the opportunity to try a new area you wouldn’t have requested, give it a shot. You might just enjoy it. Worst case, you’ll have built skills that will come in handy as you move forward in the supply chain profession.

2. Technology– There is no doubt about it. Supply chain and technology skills must go hand-in-hand. If you aren’t keeping up with what’s needed to be effective in the current environment while also looking ahead, you’ll be left in the dust. Artificial intelligence is gaining momentum. Cloud computing is the norm. Collaborating across your supply chain is becoming commonplace. Are you on top of these topics?

3. Communication & presentation skills– Unfortunately, no matter how smart your solutions and ideas, none will proceed if you cannot present them effectively. And, that is just one aspect. Consider how to collaborate across your supply chain without these skills. Not feasible.

4. Risk– Your supply chain cannot be effective without thinking about the impact of risk. There are countless types of risk around us – cyber, natural disasters, financial, political etc. Have you at least considered the most impactful and likely risks?

5. Sustainability – This topic continues to gain steam and popularity. Are you thinking about how to turn sustainability into a win-win-win?   

 

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to be the Strongest Link in your organization:

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Hot Topics in Supply Chain Management?

October 11th, 2016
hot topics in supply chain management

Empower your operation by arming yourself with knowledge of supply chain trends. See the top four I learned from the APICS International Conference.

One of the reasons we attend the APICS International Conference is to understand what is trending in supply chain today. Which topics are “hot”?

1. Logistics – APICS’ new certification, CLTD (certified in logistics, transportation and distribution) is the hottest ticket in town. Not only were there many educational sessions about these topics, the APICS Inland Empire chapter gets inquiries every week about it. In today’s Amazon-impacted world, logistics is cornerstone to success – how else will you deliver exceptional customer service rapidly and cost-effectively?

2. SIOP (Sales & Operations Planning) – this is near and dear to my heart as a significant portion of LMA Consulting Group’s practice focuses on helping clients achieve significant results (growth, service, profit and cash) with SIOP. Check out our proprietary process, 4 EXCEL for driving exponential results with SIOP.

3. Data & the digital world – PwC published a report, “Connect and optimize; The new world of digital operations”. We are on the cusp of a digital revolution. It certainly has taken over the e-commerce and distribution world, and now it is taking over manufacturing and supply chains. Mobile technology, big data, the internet of things…

4. Risk – and, let’s not forget risk. There are countless risks when looking at your end-to-end supply chain. How can you develop a resilient supply chain? Have you thought about political risks, natural disasters, security risks, financial risks — and the list goes on.

Keep track of what is trending in your business. As my HR mentor used to say, “knowledge is power”. Do you have the power? If you’d like to get an assessment of your supply chain performance, contact us.

Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to be the Strongest Link in your organization:

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What We Can Learn from our Dogs

September 1st, 2015

supply chainI was thinking about my dog, Abby (see below) – no matter whether I leave the house for 2 minutes or 2 weeks, she is absolutely thrilled to see me. Do your customers feel like that as well? Who doesn’t like to be greeted like a long lost friend every time?

Also, if you have seen those funnies about dogs and open gates, it makes you think. In essence if a dog sees an open gate, he doesn’t stop to think about whether he should go through or not. He runs through with his hair in the wind. I’m not suggesting we do things that we know will have negative consequences but we should take more risk to jump on opportunities – and believe we’ll succeed (which means we’ll get through the open gate before someone closes it). You might be surprised by what you can achieve.

we can learn from dogs

One tip to implement this week:

Think about treating your customers (both internal and external) like you are thrilled to be doing business with them and/or working with them. How can you make sure they feel special?

And keep your eyes open for open gates. Don’t think too long and do an analysis; instead, RUN through the open gate to leverage opportunities. Why let any pass you by?

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”