Innovation in Supply Chain

I think that Supply Chain is one of the most innovative industry around, for which they don’t get much credit. Great Supply Chain professionals are those that can take a process to a next level by introducing new concepts and taking things a step further than their competition. The following article focus on collaboration between innovation and pricing. In this article they seem to be wide apart. Not sure if this is applicable for the Supply Chain Industry. What do you think?


Using plastic pallets in your Supply Chain

Plastic pallets are getting more and more interest in the Supply Chain. And they should….. Plastic pallets are cleaner; they don’t collect as many dirt as wooden pallets. Wood is an excellent material for all kind of non-wanted invisible microorganisms to find their home. Furthermore leave wooden pallets a lot of wood waste behind in any warehouse and can be a health hurdle due to the many nails.

Unfortunately due to their much higher price are many companies still reluctant to change.  It could be argued that for some industries cleaner and more expensive pallets are not adding direct value. In industries like the Food and Pharmaceutical should it be more encouraged. Clean and sterile environments are a must in these industries and plastic pallets could add value to maintain this.

In enclosed article are some of the advantages of plastics pallets highlighted:

Christmas and Supply Chain

For most organizations is Christmas a challenging time in Supply Chain. Manufacturing facilities might be working towards a shut down and retail is planning for supply / balanced stock levels. In some parts of the world can the weather play an important factor as well.

The article ‘Handling the Christmas increase in demand’ written by Leon Quinn give a few tips how you can handle your Supply Chain in this period of the year.

Supply Chain in a crisis situation

The enclosed link shows how the US government is struggling to receive bids for crisis Supply Chain solutions in a situation that Alaska is hit with a natural disaster like an earthquake. Not sure if a bidding structure will help the US government to receive the answers they are looking for. They might be better of to let professionals set up crisis scenarios that help to understand better what can be done beforehand and during the crisis situation. Or maybe initiate a contest that stimulates Supply Chain experts from all over the world to share their ideas.!

Supply Chain Segmentation

Some would argue that standardization throughout the whole Supply Chain will eliminate waste and brings cost savings. Others will argue that cost savings can better be found in segmentation of the Supply Chain in order to satisfy customer needs better. Which approach is best depends on the diversity of your customers. Nevertheless can’t anybody disagree with listening to the customer and make an effort of understanding their needs. Underneath link shows a simple and clear reasoning why segmentation of your Supply Chain could help achieving better results. I agree that it can actually reduce complexity, as forcing all customers to need the same can be a costly mission on itself.!

Integrated planning is the answer for a good functioning Supply Chain?

The underneath link brings you to an article written by Kai Keppner; “Integrated planning is the staple ingredient for an optimized supply chain”. Kai made an excellent attempt to write in a short article the top 3 aspects that will lead to a smooth running Supply Chain, namely:

– Cross-Functional metrics

– Collaborative culture

– The right tool

It looks actually very simple and straight forward. So why do so many companies struggle with getting their Supply Chain in order? Could it be that many people don’t have the capacity to think the big picture and are unable to see, understand and willing to truly collaborate? Could it also be that companies just don’t see the added value and the long term savings of investing in the proper tools?