Top five supply chain podcasts of 2018

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Australasian Supply Chain Institute has reviewed podcasts interviews all over the globe to bring you the very best for your listening pleasure over the holiday break:

1.The Future of Work

Jacqui Canney, is EVP and Chief People Officer at Walmart and Clay Johnson, is EVP and Chief Information Officer at Walmart.

Jacqui is focused on the development, the retention and the rewarding of their 2 million employees. Clay is charged with putting ICT and HR together to create more productivity and automation. Walmart is the world’s largest employer with 5000 stores in the U.S and 10,000 globally.

Duration: 1 hour

ASCI review: An unbeatable interview on how Walmart is evolving and using tech to train and up skill their workforce; how they are using Blockchain to track food; what the future of Walmart looks like 5-10 years out. An interview just darn worth your time. 

2. ASCI Lounge

Daniel Kohut, Director, Solutions Advisor at JDA, shares his sales and operations planning expertise starting from his Australian career pathway, to the present day and the importance of professional development for supply chain experts in the midst of an era of digitisation transformation.

Duration: 20 minutes

ASCI review: So great to hear the Aussie accent and someone so passionate about the future of supply chain careers. Some good advice for professional development. 

3. Talking Logistics

Scroll straight to Episode 6: Angie Freeman, Chief Human Resources Officer, CH Robinson shares insights and ideas on the importance of recruitment and talent in the supply chain industry.

Duration: 29 mins

ASCI review: Best take on articulating the challenges in a succinct interview.

4. Supply Chain Now

Sandra MacQuillan serves as the Senior Director of Supply Chain Strategy & Transformation for Kimberly-Clark, where she leads company’s global supply chain, with responsibility for procurement, logistics, manufacturing, quality, safety, and sustainability.

Amy Gray serves as HR Director for Global Supply Chain at Kimberly-Clark. Amy has served in a variety of HR-related roles at K-C over the last 12 years, to include HR Business Partner and HR Project Leader.

Duration: 1 hour

ASCI review: Jump to 18 minutes in..the first part is just chatter. Interesting take on diversity to better represent customer profiles and global reach.

5. ASCI Lounge

Indrasen Naidoo, Director, Supply Chain System Transformation, Roy Hill (a 55 mega tonne per annum iron ore producer in Western Australia), joins us on the ASCI Lounge to reflect on Roy Hill’s roadmap for Intelligent Supply Chain for Assets, highlighting the need for leadership capacity; rethinking flows; and applying expert technology.

Duration: 20 minutes

ASCI review: Some salient points on how supply chain in Australia is stuck in traditional programs and what Roy Hill has done to move the dial. 

Enjoy your holiday podcast listening!

ASCI Lounge is Australasia’s supply chain podcast channel with over 3,500 downloads since 2016. To book an interview, or to join a panel discussion on a particular topic, email the ASCI National Office at enquiries@asci.org.au

ASCI National Office is closed from Friday 21 December however, you can purchase Guided Learning registration right up until 6 January 2019. For more information, visit: www.asci.org.au/education 

 

 

 

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Danone’s story from RAAF Challenge – ASCI Leadership Series

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Pictured from left: Brendan Iddles (Danone) and Henry Brunekreef, President, ASCI

Photo courtesy of Royal Australian Air Force

by Brendan Iddles

When my planning team mates emailed me that they had signed us up for the ASCI Leadership challenge, I thought to myself … Wow, that sounds awesome! But as it was a really busy period in the office I didn’t think much more about it.

As the day drew closer, and we filled in the induction forms for the RAAF base at Richmond, things started to get real – What would we have to do? Would we just stare at each other blankly in confusion? Would we look foolish in front of the other corporate and military teams? Would we avoid talking about it in the office the next day?

Well the day finally arrived, three of us carpooled out to the base, while our fourth team member drove from home. After a nervous 15 minutes waiting as our fourth team member struggled through Sydney morning traffic – we made the bus and entered the RAAF base.

The first thing that struck us was the historical feel of the Richmond base. Originally a military flying school opened in 1916, the RAAF base was established in 1925 and some of the original buildings and gates are still visible.

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After a brief safety induction on site, we were issued our “Disaster Scenario” documents and treated to a “ride” in the RAAFs Hercules aircraft simulator. To the background hum of engine and other in-flight sounds we familiarised ourselves with the natural disaster scenario set before us and the goals we had to achieve.

After “landing”, we moved to the officers mess to get down to business. As a group, we had to devise a recovery plan to save 5000 lives, cut off by floodwaters in a coastal town in far north Queensland, using a set resource list supplied by the Australian military forces, in only an hour.

I loved the ODGQ (old dead guy quote) from General George S Patton – “A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow”, which roughly translates to “don’t wait for inspiration, when immediate action is required”.

With two planning specialists on the job calculating flight times and nautical distances to ensure that each resource would arrive at the appropriate time to meet the set goals, and two logistics guys optimising resources and movements to have the right resource in the right place at the right time, we literally had our heads down for the whole hour to develop the best solution to the problem.

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Some “out of the box” thinking around domestic resources available in an isolated mining town really helped the execution plan. In the end, after a thorough review from our RAAF senior leadership hosts, Team Danone walked away with the trophy, much to our collective surprise.

This was a fantastic networking opportunity, expertly hosted by the RAAF, and a really fun day.

Huge thanks to ASCI, RAAF base Richmond and Oracle for organising, hosting and sponsoring the event. Looking forward to defending the trophy next year!

For more information about becoming an ASCI Corporate Member or participating in the ASCI Leadership Series, contact the ASCI National Office on enquiries@asci.org.au or visit the ASCI website.

 

Marketing teams are discovering great brand stories in supply chain

Jennifer K Daniels
Vice President, Marketing, APICS

The number of CMOs becoming more knowledgeable and enthusiastic about supply chain management is increasing as leading companies lean on supply chain attributes to position, promote and differentiate products, services and brands.  If you’re a marketer looking for a great story to tell about your company—one that will capture the hearts and minds of a generation of customers—you may need to look no further than your supply chain.

While product marketing and sales teams have always worked with supply chain to balance supply and demand and ensure a positive customer experience, the corporate marketing teams are waking up to the power of supply chain performance.  Supply chain performance is a big deal, a big differentiator, and a game-changer that can dictate the difference between generations of locked-in loyal customers and lost customers for life.

In the past, marketing leaders dug in to supply chain particulars when there was an issue that affected marketing—like a product recall or stockout over the holidays; or an environmental or social issue that might negatively impact the brand; or when there was a risk challenge that required public relations support, like a plant closure, natural disaster or political unrest.

But now, as the supply chain becomes more integral to competitive advantage, profitable growth and sustainable practices, a growing number of CMOs are recognizing that a high-performing supply chain is an important differentiator, and they are incorporating supply chain capabilities into messaging, campaigns, loyalty programs and even events. They are aware of the impact the supply chain can have on their brand—both positive and negative­—and they take proactive measures to protect and promote it.

To the visionary CMO, the supply chain doesn’t run in the background. The supply chain is part of the story. It is part of the customer experience and an ingredient in the brand promise. It’s become a visible component in the marketing mix.

Excellent examples of marketing that weave in supply chain stories abound.  Remember the Ralph Lauren sweaters for the Sochi Winter Olympics? They were the flagship product for Ralph Lauren’s “Made in America” line of apparel for the athletes, rolled out with the story of the Oregon ranchers who raise the sheep and shear the wool, and all the steps in the supply chain required to provide the red, white and blue yarn for the sweaters.  An example of a supply chain inspired marketing event is Amazon Prime Day, when Amazon marketed its Prime subscription service through a rotating lineup of retail specials and same-day shipping that showed off its supply chain supremacy. And there’s the ongoing Jimmy John restaurants’ “Freaky Fast” campaign that’s not just about speedy sandwich delivery, but also embodies an entire corporate culture and its nimble supply chain of fresh ingredients.

Beyond the aforementioned high-visibility examples, there’s the almost endless number of companies offering personalization options (pick your color, add that monogram, design the perfect product just for you!) enabled by supply chain mass customization and make-to-order flexibility. If you’re a marketer and you haven’t been thinking about supply chain, it’s time to start.  Your supply chain is – or could be – a key chapter in your brand story or the attribute that that turns your customers into evangelists.

Is your CMO forging a more strategic relationship with the supply chain organization? If not, can the supply chain manager reach out to marketing to begin such a partnership? How could your firm’s supply chain performance be leveraged as a marketing tool? Weigh in with your thoughts.

Digital Transformation of Supply Chain Planning

Henry Canitz, Director of Product Marketing & Business Development, Logility

In almost every new supply chain focused industry periodical, you will find an article discussing transformation or digitization. Industry analysts, consultants, solution providers, executives and practitioners are all focused on how to transition from traditional to more “digital” planning capabilities. In fact, a Google search using the words, “Digital Transformation” yields 2,800,000+ results. As a supply chain practitioner it is critical to understand what digital supply chain planning looks like and how to ensure your supply chain is on the right transformational path.

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What is Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation involves a focused effort of activity across multiple processes that accelerates performance and delivers new value-added capabilities. Digital Transformation in supply chain planning usually involves development of new tools, skills, and/or processes that target a step change in speed and/or agility.

Why is Digital Transformation Important?

Digital transformation is one of the top concerns and areas of focus for C-Level executives. There is a growing awareness within senior executives that transforming supply chain planning capabilities to take advantage of the emerging areas of “Big Data,” “Artificial Intelligence,” “Advanced Analytics,”  and “Cloud Computing” is a competitive imperative.

Most supply chain managers already know that there is a “War for Talent” being fought to find and retain qualified supply chain personal. Today there is only one qualified supply chain candidate for every seven planning openings and this ratio is projected to increase before it gets better. The best supply chain planning candidates want to work with advanced technology platforms that allow them to spend more time analyzing problems and developing value-added recommendations. Digital transformation of supply chain planning capabilities is critical to hiring and retaining the best talent.

Supply chain practitioners are being asked to accomplish more with less, to be involved in more business processes and deliver more value-added capabilities while lowering costs and ensuring high customer service. Materials and components are sourced from ever-more remote locations and finished products are being sold into expanding regions and channels. The amount of external data continues to grow at exponential rates. Planning cycles continue to shrink and customers expect shorter and shorter delivery cycles.  All these pressures demand a step change in performance building the need for Digital Transformation.

As a Supply Chain Practitioner, How Can I Facilitate a Digital Transformation?

The first step is to obtain C-Level sponsorship. Unlike most supply chain improvement efforts focused on managing and maintaining the current state and making incremental improvements, transformation involves multi-year, multi-functional, disruptive, and expensive efforts that can only be accomplished when embraced by top company executives. Often to gain executive approval requires a business case showing substantial hard and soft benefits.

Start with documenting the “As-Is” process capabilities and corresponding key performance metrics. This will lay the foundation for any future performance comparison and provide the starting point to develop benefits for transformation. Envision the “To-Be” process capabilities and desired performance metrics through benchmarking, group brain storming sessions, and alignment to business strategy and direction. Include envisioned capability cases to provide a vision of what the “To-Be” environment might look like. Develop a flexible roadmap with critical milestones required to transition from the “As-Is” state to the “To-Be” vision. The trick is to have enough detail in this transition plan to execute against while still maintaining flexibility to adjust to new priorities and emerging technologies.

The skills people need to operate in the envisioned “To-Be” environment will be drastically different requiring training and education. Some employees will find it impossible to make the transition requiring the hiring of new talent. A dedicated focus on change management and employee development is necessary for successful transformation.

Conclusion:

The move to digital business capabilities is affecting all areas of a company including the supply chain. Today, technologies such as RFID, GPS, and sensors have enabled organizations to transform their existing supply chain execution capabilities to be more flexible, open, agile, and collaborative. This same type of transformation from embracing digital capabilities is starting to take place in Supply Chain Planning.

To be truly competitive in an increasingly volatile world, forward-thinking companies will need to transform its supply chain planning capabilities by investing in digital supply chain planning capabilities to improve customer service, reduce costs, and enable company strategies. This new vision of a digitally transformed supply chain has caught the attention of executive management and supply chain practitioners must step up and meet this digital transformation challenge.

 

Additional Reading

Five reasons why the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) could be your most audacious career move yet

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More than 25,000 supply chain practitioners have studied the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) to master the essential technology, concepts, and strategies related to end-to-end supply chain operations. Here’s how it can benefit your career in 2019:

  1. Get promoted by developing unique solutions for the end-to-end supply chain like Arsalan Hussain who after studying CSCP, designed a management dashboard with end-to-end data and KPI visibility which was used by management for reporting. Arsalan was transferred to Procurement and Analytics and within two years promoted to Manager of Supply Chain. On average CSCP designees see a 12% pay increase and improve their hiring potential by 65%.
  2. Gain new ways to collaborate with partners like Maria Petrochenkova who after CSCP, developed the skills to effectively couple strategic buyers with product managers to drive innovation.
  3. Grow prospects for general management roles like Kuban Chetty whose finance background and CSCP study honed his skills to implement productivity initiatives around total supply chain, incorporating planning and operations management. He became confident in running financial scenarios around total supply chain activities and implement productivity initiatives focused on factory planning and highlighting capacity usages.
  4. Lead initiatives where supply chain is the business enabler like Nate Joliff who  after studying CSCP applied it to capture key data on extended database processes for racks and container design which helped minimise transportation and storage costs by 15%, saving US$2.3M to the bottom line.
  5. Bolster evidence for Practitioner Registration eligibility. ASCI’s newly launched Practitioner Registrations for Procurement, Logistics and Operations Management require eligibility through evidence of relevant certifications, qualifications and work experience. According to Dr Pieter Nagel, ASCI’s CEO-Professionalisation, the APICS CSCP is a favourable component for eligibility for registration and furthermore provides a significant knowledge base for examination preparation for the Professional Registration to be made available in 2019.
What’s more, you can now tap into accessible and affordable study options via self study and ASCI Guided Learning two hourly weekly sessions online either within the weekday or week evening as part of ASCI’s online pilot program with APICS! Register to 2019 classes before December 2018 and you’ll receive $100 savings. For more information, please contact us via enquiries@asci.org.au

Diversifying and Optimizing amid the US-China Tariff War

By APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE

The escalating tariff war between the United States and China has created uncertainty for U.S. supply chains that mainly source their raw materials and manufactured goods from the republic. To hedge against risks, U.S. companies are looking to new suppliers in other countries while Chinese manufacturers are seeking to add value to their products and retain their customers, Financial Times reports.
As a risk management measure, both U.S. and European companies have been shifting their sourcing to other Asian countries throughout the past decade.  To reduce their reliance on a single country and take advantage of cheaper wages, manufacturers have set up factories in and sent work to Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam.
This trend is being accelerated by the tariff war. In preparation for potential tariffs, handbag designer Steve Madden announced it is shifting more of its production to Cambodia. Following suit, Flex, an electronics producer that supplies Bose and Google, is exploring options in Malaysia and Mexico, and Techtronic, which produces parts for Hoover, is sending business to Vietnam.
However, it may be hard for U.S. customers to find reliable, quality labor in developing markets. Unless companies have existing relationships with factories, suppliers and governments in developing markets, it is challenging to shift labor there because investment laws often are unclear. Similarly, labor and environmental standards often are lacking in these markets. Spencer Fung, chief executive of supply chain management company Li & Fung, says that it will take about two years for a company to stabilize production in a new country.
Plus, because complicated electronics supply chains are so entrenched in China, it’s unlikely that all business will shift away from the country as a result of these tariffs. “Everybody is looking for a way to hedge but it’s not that easy,” said Larry Sloven, executive at Capstone, which sells China-made LED lighting in the United States, in the article. “Think about all the components that go into making an electronic product — they all come from China.”
Chinese companies are not going to let their customers go that easily either. Instead, they are going to rethink their value propositions and business strategies. “This is a moment for the [Chinese] manufacturing industry to think about how to diversify risk, whether to upgrade products and add more value or expand production to other regions,” said Clara Chan, president of the Hong Kong Young Industrialists Council and chief executive of a metal production business in China, in the article. Fung adds that Chinese factories also will invest in automation to boost their competitiveness.
As U.S. companies transition to other manufacturing sources, the switch likely will be slow and possibly even temporary because of China’s market dominance and value offerings. This still leaves U.S. companies with the challenge of figuring out how to grapple with new tariffs while still securing the supply they need.
Managing the risks
As the market fluctuates in the midst of this tariff war, companies will have to utilize a variety of strategies to protect their supply and bottom lines. Risk remains an essential part of supply chain planning, and some companies might be leaning on it now more than ever. Consider the definition of risk response planning as it appears in the APICS Dictionary: “The process of developing a plan to avoid risks and to mitigate the effect of those that cannot be avoided.” Companies that anticipated higher tariffs as part of their risk response planning likely are dealing better than those that didn’t.
APICS offers the APICS Risk Management Education Certificate to help professionals understand how to manage these and other risks that will inevitably affect their companies. An individual who completes the program demonstrates a commitment to protecting his or her employer from supply chain risk and the ability to balance rewards and risks in the decision-making process. To learn more, visit the Education Certificates page.

About the author

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Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE
APICS Chief Executive Officer 
Abe Eshkenazi currently serves as the chief executive officer for APICS and APICS Supply Chain Council. Prior to joining APICS, Eshkenazi was the managing director for the Operations Consulting Group of American Express Tax and Business Services.

Five reasons why APICS CPIM is a must for every ERP user and consultant

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For the most part of my career, I have been known to be an active member of the APICS community. This means that, quite frequently, I interact with SCM practitioners and ERP consultants from different industries and with different professional backgrounds. During discussions, I am often asked what ways are best to acquire more in-depth-knowledge of the SCM/ERP domains.

Drawing from my 9 years of extensive, hands-on experience in the fields of Supply Chain Management and SAP ECC ERP implementation/support within the Pharmaceutical and FMCG industries, and a unique techno-functional skill set in SCM enabling technologies and Domain Expertise in the SAP PP/PP-PI module, I have compiled some advice for others.

When reflecting on numerous SAP ERP implementation/improvement projects, I keep falling back on the certainty and solidarity of the APICS certification: Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) which I believe was one of the main factors that led to my implementation success. Here are five reasons why I believe the APICS CPIM is a must for every ERP user and consultant:

  1. It harnesses your talents: It is widely believed that a lack in SCM talent is the reason behind many ERP implementation failures or less than optimal ERP performances – both the user/consultant sides. And while there is no one-size-fits-all kind of advice, the APICS CPIM certification has so many benefits to both users/consultants that I almost always advise people to pursue APICS CPIM because it is more about getting the best ROI of an ERP implementation.
  2. It follows a process-orientated approach: ERP commercial packages are all built to computerise the classical value chain activities of a company. These value chain activities are resembled in the modular structure that all commercial ERP packages follow. For example, business processes relating to Supply Chain Planning including, Sales and Operations Planning, Demand Management, Production Planning/Scheduling would be found under the Production Planning “PP/PP-PI” module in SAP ECC ERP. Likewise, other business process compromising a company’s value chain would be found as “canned” business processes across different modules of an ERP solution. The CPIM follows a process orientated approach to Supply Chain planning in a fashion that’s is almost identical to what is found in a SCM/Manufacturing Modules of and ERP package. This strategic fit between how ERP systems are structured and the process-oriented structure of the CPIM courseware is what makes CPIM the most powerful framework for SCM/ERP professionals in both user/consultant roles.

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    Australasian Supply Chain Institute offers the CPIM Learning System for self study or together with Guided Learning sessions, available right across Australia

  3. It mirrors the same language as your ERP: The concepts and terminology of an SCM/Manufacturing module of an ERP system, such as MPS/MRP, BOM, phantom assemblies, time fences and forecast consumption techniques, just to name a few, that prove tricky for most users/consultants to grasp are explored in-depth in the CPIM courseware in an a clear and easy to follow approach with plenty of real life examples. This helps to better utilise system functionalities/features that are likely to be ignored due to the lack of underrating of such concepts.
  4. It builds confidence to apply a configuration effort: CPIM equips designees with knowledge that proves critical to guide system configuration efforts in the SCM area.
  5. It results in better, more streamlined implementations and a higher ROI for digital transformation efforts: Many companies the likes of BASF, DuPont and Intel have adopted APICS frameworks which helped them achieve organisational goals and increase the efficiency of their systems and people. It’s why over 110,000 other SCM practitioners around the world have attained the CPIM. Now it’s up to you. https://www.apics.org/apics-for-business/customer-stories

By Hatem Abu Nusair, M.Sc. Engineering, CPIM-F, CSCP-F, SAP Certified Application Associate, APICS Master Instructor

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Hatem is a Global Supply Chain Management & ERP Expert. He is currently the Production Planner at Tip Top, one of GWF’s divisions in Sydney, having moved from Jordan where he worked for a blue-chip international company that grew rapidly. Here, Hatem founded the Regional Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Supply Chain Department with the purpose of optimising Supply Chain performance across 13 subsidiaries through demand management and forecasting, capacity management, inventory control, and special projects, which entails: IT initiatives, ERP implementation, re-engineering of Supply Chain processes and other relevant matters.

Hatem is a qualified Industrial Engineer and a Master of Manufacturing Engineering candidate at UNSW. He is a Certified Fellow in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM-F) by APICS, a Certified Fellow Supply Chain Professional (CSCP-F) by APICS and a Certified Application Associate by SAP SE.

Hatem will be facilitator for Term 4 CPIM Part 2 Guided Learning for Australasian Supply Chain Institute where will be share his passion of streamlining supply chain processes, eliminating redundancies and utilising enabling technology to achieve operational goals with CPIM Part 2 students.

 

 

The Two Levers of Inventory Optimisation

By Henry Canitz, Director of Product Marketing & Business Development , Logility

When I hear the term “Lever” my mechanical engineering side comes out and I think of the Physics and Mechanical Design courses I took some 30+ years ago. Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, my engineering education laid a strong foundation that has helped me be as successful as possible in whatever I did. More than anything, I learned how to analyse and solve problems. So when I think of a lever I think of a rigid bar resting on a pivot or fulcrum, used to help move a heavy or a firmly fixed load with one end when pressure is applied to the other.

Back to present day and the supply chain. Two powerful levers a company can use to optimise inventory are “Working Capital” and “Customer Service Levels.” Through the effective use of these levers, you can free trapped working capital while improving service levels.

Your company’s inventory efficient frontier is a tradeoff curve between working capital and service level and represents the currently achievable service level at any corresponding inventory investment. At its most basic, start with a piece of graph paper and plot your current service level on the x-axis and current inventory level on the y-axis. Chances are you are not on the inventory efficiency curve that is theoretically possible given your current operating capabilities. When you remove inefficiencies, failures, etc. and estimate how much your service level will go up and down with changes in inventory investment you end up with a curve – your current inventory efficient frontier curve. Organisations can slide up and down along this curve by manipulating the service and inventory levers (see Figure 1).

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However to create real value you have to be able to shift the inventory efficient frontier so that higher service levels can be achieved without increasing inventory or the same service levels can be achieved with less inventory. Multi-echelon Inventory Optimisation (MEIO) allows you to truly optimise your inventory across the entire supply chain and enables you to shift to a new efficient frontier for your entire supply chain (Read the eBook: The Inventory Optimization Handbook).

By modeling the end-to-end supply chain, MEIO determines not only the optimal inventory to carry at each location but also at which locations each item should be carried. MEIO looks across sales channels, distribution tiers, and even types of inventory (raw, WIP, FG) to understand how best to minimise total inventory while still providing the desired customer service levels. MEIO can take you into unexplored territory providing reductions in working capital of up to 30 percent or more. For most companies that amounts to millions of dollars in savings annually. That is an impressive use of levers.

What is important to understand is that the supply chain is a living, breathing and constantly changing organism. Your optimal inventory strategy for this month might be suboptimal next month due to changes in demand or supply, changes in competition or market health, or a variety of other factors. Modeling your end-to-end supply chain inventory is not a “one and done” activity and therefore there is always opportunity to shift that efficient frontier into new and undiscovered territory.

Do you understand your company’s service level – working capital tradeoff? Can you model your end-to-end supply chain to determine your optimal inventory locations and levels?

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Henry Canitz, Director of Product Marketing & Business Development, Logility

 

 

ASCI members enjoy lessons in surviving and thriving in Australia’s manufacturing industry

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Site Visit Report by Geoff Palm
When Sten Campbell, Director, designtech, and his wife bought the business 25 years ago they had no idea about making furniture. Thanks to the help from a mentor and competitor in Sydney, they began the journey to where they are today; one of the leading manufacturers of MTS and MTO furniture manufacturers in Australia.
They have both local and national customers and compete effectively with imported products. One of designtec’s advantage is in quality, with a 10 year guarantee on all their products. They have not had a single claim against their product since this warranty was put in place. Another advantage is their speed to market; being able to deliver orders within 2 weeks. In fact, they recently helped out a Fitout company that was in trouble due to a delayed overseas shipment and late completion penalties approaching.
designtec has invested in state of the art German machinery, which is in part, one of the reasons they are so competitive. We watched one machine in action that cut, trimmed and edged a tabletop in minutes. This used to take 2 tradespeople up to 3 hours each to complete in the past. It was fascinating watching the journey of the product from raw material to finished product; created by a combination of people and machine. Staff skill levels range from tradespeople to semi-skilled; with a strong focus on cross-training. This ensures that most people in the business can operate a range of equipment; allowing for flexibility when demand dictates.
Safety is another important factor in designtec’s success; with no LTIs in the last 5 years.
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Most of there employees are now long term; with some coming up to 20 years. This was not the case during the mining boom when Western Australia struggled to find qualified people and it was the same with designtec; growing at 30% a year. That all changed in 2008 with the GFC and then the end of the mining boom, which saw demand for their product diminish rapidly. It is to the owners credit that not only did they survive, met the challenge they faced and have prospered since the downturn.
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The visit was hosted by Sten and Hannah Witherick, General Manager, on the afternoon of July 24, ASCI and associates learned the commercial, technical, industry and logistics issues around the designtec business.
ASCI WA thanks designtec, Sten Campbell, Hannah Witherick and other staff for hosting this visit and openly sharing their stories with our members. We must also not forget the office dog, who shared her love with all in a quiet and dignified manner. – end

U.K.’s Carbon Dioxide Shortage Creates Concern for Meat, Beer and Crumpet Supply

By APICS CEO, Abe Eshkenazi
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