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ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, offers his viewpoint on supply chain and the latest ASCM news.
Letters to the readers SCM Now magazine from Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Rennie and other members of the editorial staff.
The official ASCM blog features insights, analyses and ideas from experts and ASCM leaders to help advance supply chains.
Each week, ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, offers insights into global news and shares his exclusive commentary connecting current events with supply chain topics.
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ASCM research cuts through the clutter and brings you critical ideas and innovations in supply chain management, best practices, how-to steps, and practical advice that give you and your organization a competitive advantage.
“Supply Chain Management: Beyond the Horizon” is an industry-focused initiative with research and educational components. The research was conducted by Michigan State University in conjunction with APICS.
Transportation Journal is an ASCM academic journal devoted to presenting new knowledge about the supply chain, logistics and transportation fields.
APICS, through a partnership with The Manufacturing Institute, explores how manufacturing and supply chain can attract, retain and advance women.
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In 2014, electronic measurement company Keysight Technologies spun off from Agilent Technologies. As a newly independent, publicly listed company, Keysight aimed to be cost competitive while making a profit and returning value to shareholders. Unfortunately, the spinoff created redundancies, duplications, and inefficiencies in its supply chain, which hindered its progress toward these goals.......Read More
Continuous improvement, at its core, involves a never-ending effort to achieve perfection. Whether focused on exposing and eliminating the root cause of a problem, identifying waste in a process, or adding customer value, it is a perpetual effort with many incremental advances that can never create a truly perfect result. Even though true perfection is impossible, those involved in continuous improvement initiatives should strive to come as close to it as possible.......Read More
With the aim of identifying potential areas for cost savings and heightening service levels, a manufacturing company recently underwent a rapid assessment of its multi-million-dollar spend for third-party logistics (3PL) services. This firm had already adopted lean operations best practices, and decision-makers now wanted to extend that lean thinking into their 3PL activities.......Read More
Supply chain professionals often are stuck making tough decisions like this one. Pleasing customers by meeting increased service demands can mean displeasing stakeholders by hurting the financial bottom line. Typically, the factors considered in any business decision include short-term, long-term, and lost opportunity costs; level of consensus among team members; and alignment to organizational strategy. ......Read More
In 2015, a small team of lean leaders at the Customer & Logistics Services-North America (CLS-NA) group of Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems wanted to develop a network of professionals focused on continuous improvement. The members of this network would use lean principles and practices in order to bring about meaningful, positive effects on the Customer Relationships Team, operational capabilities, compliance, and the bottom line. ......Read More
Companies often worry about whether it is easy enough for a customer to buy a product, resolve an issue, find an answer, or complete a related task. ......Read More
Lean is an everyday term in the supply chain management realm. According to the APICS Dictionary, lean describes production that “emphasizes the minimization of the amount of all the resources (including time) used in the various activities of the enterprise.” I, however, am not a supply chain manager, and before now, I understood only the basics of lean. But I recently became interested in learning more.......Read More
We’re in business for our customers, right? And yet all the time we see dismal statistics about companies failing to focus on the Customer Relationships Team. ......Read More
As a part of APICS’s Certified in Production and Inventory Management program, the Strategic Management of Resources workbook explores the relationship between existing and emerging processes and technologies and manufacturing strategy and supply chain functions. The course addresses three main topics: aligning resources with the strategic plan, configuring and integrating operating processes to support the strategic plan, and implementing change. ......Read More
One of the biggest issues faced by supply chain managers is the widening skills gap. It exists at all levels to be sure, but some would argue that it’s the tactical “blocking and tackling” skills at the point of attack where the need is greatest. To make the problem even more difficult, the complexity of supply chain operations continues to expand while we are becoming increasingly reliant on people such as suppliers and channel partners.......Read More
My students at California State University, Fullerton recently asked me why certain companies do well, others survive, and others die. As many of them endeavor to enter the workforce, these young people are quite interested to know what to look for when researching potential employers. Here is what I told them are the keys to corporate success.......Read More
How do you describe and identify a cost driver? Most supply chain and operations management professionals probably have their own definitions and examples. In the APICS Dictionary, 14th edition, “cost driver” is synonymous with “driver” and is defined as, “In activity-based costing, an operation that influences the quantity of work required and cost of an activity.”......Read More
The intensity of competition becomes greater with each passing day. Every morning, supply chain managers wake up wondering how they can outperform their rivals while better positioning their companies to take advantage of local and global opportunities. To this end, these professionals invest heavily in training, pursue best practices, and adopt new technologies in an effort to achieve a competitive advantage.......Read More
In a “Building Blocks” article from several years ago, we contended that Chicken Little was an “operations guy” because he recognized that disruptive events quickly can create an environment where the status quo is not only ineffective but, in some cases, also harmful to a business’s survival. That department was written in 2008 during a period of serious market decline—a decline that brought about many changes in how we work and, for some, where we work.......Read More
As part of the ongoing collaboration between Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business and APICS, the Beyond the Horizon research project is investigating how the field of supply chain management will evolve. Following interviews with hundreds of executives from more than 50 firms from around the world, some recurring topics emerged regarding value.......Read More
When facilitating or leading a change effort, it’s essential that the people involved buy into the initiative; that they adjust their behaviors accordingly; and that, in the end, the transformation is “sticky.” This means that the improvement is sustainable long after it is put into place.......Read More
In many organizations, supply chain management is viewed as an administrative function. In such instances, it’s typically the operations division that receives the lion’s share of the budget, capital funding, and upper management attention. However, as supply chain professionals, we know that our activities add value and that implementing supply chain best practices positively affects the bottom line. We also understand that, by balancing demand and supply and keeping inventory low and fill rates high, our companies can significantly reduce total costs. This is not lost on our counterparts in operations or on executive managers. Yet, these colleagues do need to be reminded from time to time about the benefits effective supply chain management provides. This is where we must become skilled, passionate lobbyists for our own cause. We must learn to tout supply chain influence.......Read More
As supply chain and operations management professionals, we often are involved in information technology (IT) projects such as software implementations, software and system upgrades, solution integrations, and so on. All of these undertakings comprise multiple processes, departments, and people, which means there always will be politics involved.......Read More
Countless articles in trade publications have bemoaned the lack of quantifiable results and diminishing returns derived from lean initiatives based on waste elimination. But few of these stories have suggested that having a micro-level focus on individual products and operations actually may be part of the problem. Perhaps it is time to look at the process from a macro level—a point of view that considers the variation to provide insights about which lean tools to use. ......Read More
How could something as simple as customer returns justify engaging a consultant?” he asked me, looking rather perplexed. The frustrated general manager was clearly unhappy that his vice president of operations had hired me to review and improve the company’s returns process. I had been expecting this attitude from the general manager because I knew that he had risen through the ranks having never been involved with customer returns.......Read More
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