In 2010, the volume of promotions was 77 per cent greater than in 2009 – that is just one of the findings from the extensive forecasting benchmark study conducted by Terra Technology amongst manufacturers and suppliers in the consumer goods sector. Rather than wait for the supply-chain solutions provider to officially present its findings in late June 2011, Supply Chain Movement met up with Terra Technology’s CEO, Robert Byrne, on 14 June 2011 during the Supply Chain Logistics Europe event in Berlin (Germany). The study, which included input from the likes of Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Kraft Foods, Kimberly Clark and Campbell Soup, provides insights into the forecasting performance of organisations within the consumer products industry. According to Byrne, it is the only study where the results are truly comparable across all companies.
The basic concept behind supply chain management is simple: customers order products from you; you keep track of what you’re selling, and you order enough raw materials from your suppliers to meet your customers’ demand. So why is it that, in a recent article , the Economist claimed that, “Managing a supply chain is becoming a bit like rocket science?” The problem turns out to be one of coordination. Suppliers, manufacturers, sales people, and customers have their own, often incomplete, understanding of what real demand is.
By Julian Birkinshaw ( TheMIX ) -- Last week, I taught a case study on the decline of Nokia to my MBA students.
By Jeff DeGraff
By Geoff Colvin, senior editor-at-large
by Maxwell Wessel | 8:00 AM September 27, 2012 Big companies are really bad at innovation because they're designed to be bad at innovation. Take a story plucked from the pages of Gerber's history.
by Ron Ashkenas | 1:25 PM May 8, 2012 Six Sigma , Kaizen , Lean , and other variations on continuous improvement can be hazardous to your organization's health. While it may be heresy to say this, recent evidence from Japan and elsewhere suggests that it's time to question these methods. Admittedly, continuous improvement once powered Japan's economy. Japanese manufacturers in the 1950s had a reputation for poor quality, but through a culture of analytical and systematic change Japan was able to go from worst to first. Starting in the 1970s, the country's ability to create low-cost, quality products helped them dominate key industries, such as automobiles, telecommunications, and consumer electronics.
About five years ago, Apple ( AAPL ) design guru Jony Ive decided he wanted a new feature for the next MacBook: a small dot of green light above the screen, shining through the computer’s aluminum casing to indicate when its camera was on. The problem? It’s physically impossible to shine light through metal. Ive called in a team of manufacturing and materials experts to figure out how to make the impossible possible, according to a former employee familiar with the development who requested anonymity to avoid irking Apple. The team discovered it could use a customized laser to poke holes in the aluminum small enough to be nearly invisible to the human eye but big enough to let light through.
Apple ‘s supply chain is one of the more closely guarded secrets in the tech world; even simply confirming you have the Cupertino company in your order book has been enough to see some companies lose contracts. However Apple itself has spilled the beans on the rolodex it flips through when it needs a new iPhone screen or iPad radio, detailing the firms [pdf link] which together account for 97-percent of procurement expenditures for materials, manufacturing and assembly of products worldwide. The disclosure is part of Apple’s annual Supplier Responsibility Program , with the company releasing today its progress report for 2011. Apparently supply chain 229 audits took place last year – 80-percent more than in 2010 – and 100 of which were first-time investigations. These also included new environmental checks, focused on specific Chinese suppliers, working alongside independent engineering experts to look into 14 facilities.
I didn't buy any gifts from Amazon this year. I, whose entire job basically depends on the Internet — including editing HBR Singles like this and this , both sold through Amazon — developed a moral and intellectual aversion to purchasing goods from this Internet stalwart. Here's what happened. My original plan this holiday shopping season was, as usual, to order a pile of books — and kitchen gizmos, and DVDs, and who knows what all — from the online giant. I'd re-up my Prime membership, have everything shipped directly, and be done with it less than an hour. Merry Christmas.
Staff Phoenix Business Journal The supply-chain management programs at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University have been recognized with some prestigious new rankings, placing them again among the best in the nation
[This is Part II in a two-part series.] In my last post, I “came out of the closet” about my childhood stuttering. It’s not like it was a big secret. But most of the people who know me today may not realize I stuttered terribly as a child. Over time, I came to realize the impact that stuttering had on my life in business, as a manager, a leader, a facilitator, a mentor, a teacher. In short, I like hearing from everyone at the table.
by Rosabeth Moss Kanter | 5:13 PM August 12, 2009 It's no surprise that moods are sagging in mid-2009. The capital markets are stalling, the banks are barely lending, the federal government stimulus is not stimulating enough, and job losses are mounting. Incumbent politicians promise that things are getting better, but not in your city, where the powers-that-be are shutting down the zoo and raising public transportation fares, making subway rides so expensive that cars still clog the roads. Even optimists feel anxiety.
During Logicon on 3rd February 2011, in Amsterdam, Terra Technology – not to be confused with Teradata – presented its newest solution to the European market: Transportation Forecasting. “Most transportation management solutions are based on historical data. Our transportation forecasting tool focuses on what’s going on now”, comments Robert Byrne, CEO of Terra Technology. Terra’s Transportation Forecasting has been designed specifically for producers of consumer goods.
According to Professor David Simchi-Levi from MIT in Boston, there are six trends that are challenging current thinking on supply chain management: globalisation, the increasing cost of logistics, higher levels of risk in the chain, increasing cost of labour in developing countries, the focus on sustainability and the fluctuation of the cost of raw materials. One important thing that these six trends imply is the need for transparency in the supply chain. Simchi-Levi sees three different levels of transparency: where my products are in the chain, having access to the suppliers’ production schedules and track & trace using sensors on the products, pallets or packaging.