Tag Archive: supply chain performance

Risk in Global Supply Chain Is on the Rise

December 13th, 2016
supply chain performance

With supply chain risk at its highest since 2013, what are you doing to manage risk to minimize interruptions and interference with business?

According to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) risk index, risk is the highest since 2013. It is easy to become complacent. Are you adding risk into your supply chain conversations and plans?

The increase is driven by supply chain risk in Western and Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically:

  • Western Europe – This trend is clearest in Western Europe, where risk rose to 2.63 in Q3 from 2.60 in the previous quarter. The uncertainty around the post-Brexit relationship between the UK and the European Union has had a negative impact on trade and business sentiment in the UK and across the region.
  • North America – North America remains static at 2.101, but both Canada and the USA have seen trade agreements with the European Union stall this quarter.
  • Eastern Europe and Central Asia – In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, risk has risen to 5.424 from 5.396, following a failed coup in Turkey which is likely to see an increase in interference with businesses.
  • Middle East and North Africa – Supply chain risk has also deteriorated in the Middle East and North Africa from 4.406 in Q2 to 4.413 in Q3, where civil war has all but eliminated international supply chains in certain countries.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa – Sub-Saharan Africa continues to have the world’s highest levels of supply chain risk, increasing further from 5.544 to 5.558 with Nigeria slipping into technical recession and South Africa narrowly avoiding one.
  • Asia Pacific & Australia – Asia Pacific has bucked the trend this quarter with supply chain risk decreasing marginally from 3.424 in Q2 2016 to 3.415 in Q3. Australian suppliers, in particular have benefited from rising coal and iron ore prices together with an increase in national defense spending.
  • East Asia – Elsewhere in Asia, logistical routes have come under pressure. Super typhoon Meranti has caused disruption to flights, ports, rail schedules and power supplies in Taiwan. Winds of 150km/h have forced the temporary closure of two nuclear power stations but the country’s robust building code has mitigated against long-term disruptions.
  • South Korea – In South Korea, meanwhile, the world’s 7th largest shipping company, Hanjin Shipping, went bankrupt in August, reducing global shipping capacity by 3% and leaving a cargo as large as $14bn unable to dock. The bankruptcy is likely to have wide-ranging impact on trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe supply chains

Since your extended supply chain likely relates to one if not several of these geographies, it is worthwhile to make sure you stay on top of what’s important. For example, those with product tied up on the ocean waiting for decisions with the Hanjin bankruptcy without a backup struggled at best.

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

Will Supply Chain Risk Surprise You?

How to Manage Supply Chain Complexity


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:

How to Manage Supply Chain Complexity

Is Your Inventory System Working?


The Importance of Controlled Speed

June 24th, 2016

supply chain

Last week I was in New Zealand, and I went on a wild ride on the Dart River (see below). We went at 100 kph with just 4 inches of water. It was a thrilling ride with amazing scenery in the background, and it got me thinking about the critical importance of speed in today’s workplace. EVERY single one of my clients must grow, improve service levels, reduce lead time, maximize margins, and improve efficiencies — YESTERDAY. Speed of results is of the essence. It has been the focus of my clients since the recession (as cash was the focus during the recession) — in today’s Amazon-impacted workplace, speed will make or break success.

However, if you are going at 100 kph in an uncontrolled fashion, you will end up smashed directly into a boulder in the Dart River. In business, it is no different — you must maintain CONTROL while moving rapidly or success will not follow. This is one of the tenets of my proprietary process for driving supply chain performance TST. Having speed and torque with no traction leads to spinning your wheels. It is often the reason I’m called into a client.



One tip to implement this week:

I’ve found the first step is to understand and create urgency around your priorities. Most likely you are doing a task because you want to serve a customer as almost everything we do at work can be traced back to serving customers; no matter the task — if you don’t think what you are doing ties to a customer, contact me. I bet we can tie it to a customer or drop it from your priority list. These customer-centric tasks are critical. This doesn’t mean you have to serve customers blindly but to serve them well while achieving a win-win profit and business growth requires you to work with controlled speed.

Start by finding the why behind your tasks this week. If there isn’t a compelling why, remove the item from your list. Focus only on those with an important why. Explain the why to your team or your manager. Create urgency. Think about the last service you received that not only provided great service but was speedy — wouldn’t you like to repeat that for your customers?

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…”


8 Hot Trends in Supply Chain

May 10th, 2016
supply chain

Changes in supply chain strategy and operations cannot be overlooked and we need to stay aware and forward-looking to remain competitive.

It has been a week of supply chain immersion. We were knee deep in supply chain trends at MCIE’s manufacturers’ summit, the Supply Chain Summit and the APICS-IE executive panel and networking symposium on emerging trends. It goes to tell you that it’s a hot topic! For a company to be successful, it cannot be overlooked.

As always, it is important to keep our ears open for trends and watch-out’s. Certainly the latest trends were discussed at each event. What were most interesting were those trends in common among all events and speakers:

  1. Speed: With Amazon on the scene, speed has become the norm. Quick deliveries, rapid access to data, fast turnarounds….  If you aren’t thinking about how to double your speed, you’ll be left in the dust.
  2. Data: There is quite a lot of discussion on data. How do we collect data? More importantly, how do we access the right data at the right time to make informed yet quick decisions? Can we gleam interesting trends from data?
  3. E-commerce: Although it is becoming a bit hum-drum, e-commerce remains a hot topic. How do we ship both pieces and boxes efficiently from the same distribution center? Do customers have access to place their own orders whenever they want?
  4. Bitcoins & blockchains: I heard a fascinating talk on this topic and became convinced that these concepts could have far-reaching impacts. Have you thought about instant, accurate access to inventory across your supply chain?
  5. Re-shoring: Perhaps we should think about this as positioning inventory closer to the customer while increasing control. It is gaining in popularity….
  6. Collaboration: Just think about Southern California (the #1 area for supply chain in the U.S. AND the #1 area for manufacturing in the U.S.) – without collaboration among the ports, railroads, trucking companies, 3PL’s, manufacturers and other supply chain partners, it would be a very different world.
  7. The increased need for skills: There is a great need for high-skilled supply chain talent. Technical skills AND the big picture view are critical. With baby boomers retiring and supply chains becoming more complex and interconnected, the demand for skills will continue to rise!
  8. Persistence: Specifically related to CA, we must find a way to partner with government to make it a business-friendlier state. Persistence will pay off!

Which of these trends are most affecting you? If you’d like to discuss ways to drive supply chain performance, contact us.    

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

Leverage Supply Chain Trends for Success

Warehousing Thoughts


Have You Performed a Supply Chain Checkup Lately?

January 15th, 2016
supply chain checkup

With so many supply chain components it’s important to periodically perform checkups to ensure that strategy, performance, and goals are aligned.

As supply chains have become complex, it is no longer a “nice-to-have” to perform supply chain checkups. It has become an imperative. Supply chain performance will have a direct impact on whether a company can grow, whether customers are happy (or searching for competitive alternatives), whether profit will increase, and whether cash will be available. Thus, it must move from being an afterthought to a vital component of strategy.

Supply chains have countless components and moving parts. Strategy, culture, people, processes, and systems are all relevant and must be considered in supply chain design. They are cross-functional, cross-organizational and global. Sales and marketing play a key role. Finance must be a strategic partner. Thus, the only possibility of success is to develop a clear strategy, plan and metrics – and then perform a checkup to ensure progress to these plans. And, if you don’t have these in place, stop, take a step back and perform a supply chain checkup to figure out where you stand and put plans in place to develop your strategy, plans and metrics. If you are interested in working with an expert in these areas, give me contact me.

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

Keeping the Big Picture in Mind

Is Your Supply Chain Ready for Growth?