Supply Chain Recovery Series: "What Waste Exists in My Supply Chain?"

In our last post in this series, we discussed the importance of having guiding principles for a supply chain. Now, we'll explore the second question:

What wastes lay hidden in areas such as: inventory, transportation, space and facilities, time, packaging, administration and knowledge within my supply chain?

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Supply Chain Recovery Series: Guiding Principles for a Resilient Supply Chain

Since our first post in this series, we hope you've taken a few moments to reflect on your supply chain with the following questions:

  1. What are the guiding principles of my supply chain?
  2. What wastes lay hidden in areas such as: inventory, transportation, space and facilities, time, packaging, administration and knowledge within my supply chain?

Let’s begin by tackling question one for today: What are the guiding principles of your supply chain? 

First, have you or your team really defined the purpose of your supply chain?  When it was created, was it a matter of just piecing things together, as it progressed, or did you have a strategic plan on how it would fit together to deliver the products needed in the time required?  Unfortunately, many supply chains that we first encounter fit into the former scenario.  This approach is similar to building a car without fully understanding all of the pieces and systems that must fit together and work in harmony without first having a plan! 

Yet, many companies manage a complex supply chain that moves parts and stock keeping units (SKUs) over thousands of miles, through multiple borders and various modes of transportation, with little to no visibility or strategy.

Navigating through this complexity while keeping a "true north" requires a set of guiding principles for a resilient supply chain.

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SMART Supply Chain Revitalizing the Post-Pandemic Economy

Guest post by Glenn Marshall, Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME)

While the United States remains a global leader in drug discovery, much of the manufacturing has moved offshore. China is known as the world’s factory for car parts, toys and electronics, but it also churns out much of the penicillin, antibiotics and pain medicines used across the globe, as well as surgical masks and medical devices.

Supporters of reducing reliance on China have used the coronavirus epidemic to highlight what they say is a longstanding vulnerability that could leave Americans dangerously short of medicines and medical supplies in the event of a war, trade conflict, or pandemic. Many believe we need to bring those manufacturing jobs back home so that we can protect the public health and the economic and national security of the country.

Now with the pandemic crisis, there is a wake-up call for the US to launch the re-purposing of its industrial base and skilled workforce to revitalize the economy and to return to the same manufacturing dominance we had achieved at the end of World War II. America needs a Marshall Plan-style initiative to resuscitate and restore the economy and society much like it did following WW II to help Europe revive their economy.

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Supply Chain Recovery Series: Review, Revamp and Rebuild

There are few among us who would have believed the severity of the "Black Swan" event amidst which we currently find ourselves. Our way of thinking about the world and our supply chains has changed.  We now find ourselves in uncharted waters and where we need to now - in some respects - begin again. 

Our supply chain status quo will not carry us successfully into the future. It's time for us to review, revamp and rebuild.  

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Tips for Temperature Checking Drivers During COVID-19

Like first responders, truck drivers continue to transport goods to millions of businesses and people amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Not only are trucks continuing to move, but they are doing so at speeds well in excess of normal traffic patterns.” said Rebecca Brewster, president and COO of ATRI, the trucking industry’s largest not-for-profit research organization (Logistics Management).

All of this movement imposes greater health risk of businesses spreading COVID-19 to employees as they receive deliveries into facilities.

One way our customers are helping to protect against this risk is to check drivers' temperatures upon arrival.

But how do you coordinate this into a fast, efficient, and humane process? We took some tips from one of our logistics customers - a consumer goods manufacturer. 

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Issuing an freight carrier bid? Trying to resolve issues with suppliers? Need to improve your receiving dock schedule? We’ve rounded up some of our most-used project templates for daily continuous improvement in transportation management. Free for download!

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