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  • Power Up

    • Richard E. Crandall

    If you look around, you’re likely surrounded by multiple items — including your laptop, tablet and mobile phone — that are powered by a rechargeable battery. Although these batteries may seem small and low-tech, they contain big potential to power vehicles, homes and even communities.......Read More

  • So Many “Things” to Contemplate

    • Ron Crabtree

    Although the internet of things (IOT) is new to the lexicon of many business professionals, using the internet to provide real-time information about a “thing” actually has been happening for a long time. For years, IOT capabilities have led to heightened efficiency, accuracy and economic benefits; enabled users to be more agile and responsive; and produced related competitive advantages. The barrier to entry continues to decrease every year, and businesses are taking notice. In fact, experts estimate that the IOT will incorporate about 30 billion objects by 2020. ......Read More

  • Is Your Supply Chain Ready for the Next Disaster?

    • Lowell Grabel

    The effects of a disaster are felt throughout the supply chain long after an event takes place. No one is immune; these catastrophes can be just as crippling if they happen to a key partner rather than your own organization, and they can disrupt the involved business, its suppliers, customers and employees. As our economy becomes increasingly global, even an incident halfway around the world can have an enormous impact on our ability to conduct business as usual.......Read More

  • What Is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development?

    • Charles Thomas

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a forum where the governments of 34 democracies with market economies work together, as well as with more than 70 nonmember economies, in order to promote economic growth, prosperity and sustainable development. The member countries account for 63 percent of world GDP, three-quarters of all trade and 18 percent of global population.......Read More

  • Know Who You Are Doing Business With

    • Charles Thomas

    Transparency in global supply chains is vital. Without it, it’s impossible to anticipate and manage supplier risk, minimize supply chain disruptions, prevent litigation, and protect your brand. Unfortunately, for years now, global supply chains have been a bit of a murky business. As the impact of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ripples across the globe — alongside increasing antibribery and corruption regulation and enforcement in many Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries — the pressure for supply chains to be transparent continues to mount.......Read More

  • A Year of Corporate Social Responsibility Failures

    • Philip E. Quigley
    November/December 2017

    This has been quite a year for crises related to culture, values and ethics in the supply chain. For starters, ride-hailing service provider Uber has paid reparations totaling $20 million after making false promises about driver earning potential; lost a half-million app users when #DeleteUber went viral as a result of the company's activity during a taxi protest; paid New York City drivers tens of millions of dollars after taking a larger cut of fares than it was entitled; and fired numerous employees following investigations of sexual harassment, stolen trade secrets, systematic deception of law enforcement, discrimination and more.......Read More

  • Uncompromising Candor and Extreme Listening

    • Philip E. Quigley
    May/June 2017

    Many professionals are familiar with the so-called three rules of career success: First, find out what the bosses want to hear; second, tell them what they want to hear; and third, never tell the bosses about the first two rules. Unfortunately, this isn’t always meant as a joke. The fact is, candor is extremely difficult to execute throughout organizations. The pressure to go along with the bosses (and others) is immense, and worries about job security for those who choose to take a different standpoint are real.......Read More

  • Forecasting the Unexpected

    • Dave Turbide
    May/June 2017

    You can’t predict the future. However, you still can—and definitely should—forecast. Even though reality often varies from the forecast, the variation usually is very slight, so only modest adjustments are required. This means that your plans need to be good, not perfect.......Read More

  • Put Risk Management on Your S&OP Agenda

    • Peter Murray
    March/April 2017

    Delivering value to your customers hinges on the end-to-end, interdependent supply chain. The scope of this network includes some elements that you command, but it also demands reliance on partner organizations that extend far beyond your direct control. ......Read More

  • Can We Wipe Out Vulnerabilities in High-Tech Devices?

    • Philip E. Quigley
    January/February 2017

    The news about Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 continues to sound rather grim. Within weeks of launch, the multinational company received reports of overheating and exploding batteries, which ultimately resulted in a recall of all of the 3 million smartphones that had been sold. Not long afterward, production was halted, and then Samsung scrapped the Galaxy Note 7 entirely. Current estimates say the cost of the recall, lost revenue, and drop in stock value will exceed $6 billion. One news outlet estimates it will hit as high as $17 billion.......Read More

  • Hacked

    A true story of cybercrime in the supply chain industry
    • Jennifer Storelli
    September/October 2016

    Editor’s note: As industry becomes increasingly digitally connected, companies have more and more opportunities to gather information and share it with their supply chain partners. Unfortunately, this also means the data is increasingly accessible to malicious outsiders. The rising number of connectivity points offers cyberattackers more opportunities to enter a digital network and spread malware throughout a supply chain.......Read More

  • Prescription for Product Safety

    Filling dangerous cracks in the pharmaceutical supply chain
    • Reginaldo Montague
    September/October 2016

    The pharmaceutical supply chain stretches around the world like a rubber band wrapped around a ball. The smallest fault in any segment of that rubber band challenges the integrity of the whole and could lead to catastrophic failure of the entire system.......Read More

  • Become the Master of Automation

    Preparing for system failures
    • Jonathan Thatcher
    May/June 2016

    Reader P.M. writes: We experienced a very disruptive database meltdown that impacted many of our key supply chain processes. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, and we’re in a post-mortem, lessons-learned stage now. What advice do you have for preparing for these types of disruptions?......Read More

  • The Dreaded Product Recall

    Safeguarding your customers, company, and brand
    • Elizabeth Rennie
    May/June 2016

    ​As global supply chains become increasingly sophisticated and complex, product safety proves to be a vital pursuit for every business. Internationally, a number of emerging economies currently do not have laws to force recalls of dangerous products, putting consumers at considerable risk. Meanwhile—and in stark contrast—the rest of the world seems to see recall alerts at a startling rate. ......Read More

  • Doomed to Repeat History?

    Preventing normalization of deviance keeps firms honest
    • Jonathan Thatcher
    March/April 2016

    Reader R.S. writes: I am working on my degree, and, in one of my classes, we’ve talked about some of the business scandals of 2015. Many are similar to scandals from years ago that I have read about in my studies. With all of today’s business information, automation, regulation, and best practices, why do companies keep making the same mistakes?......Read More

  • An SPC Lesson from the NFL?

    Middle-ground strategies keep products within control limits
    • Dave Turbide
    January/February 2016

    ​Near the end of the 2014–2015 National Football League (NFL) playoff series, the New England Patriots were accused of using under-inflated footballs to gain an advantage in the semi-final game. The controversy was quickly labeled “Deflategate” by the news media, and the team and its quarter back, Tom Brady, were punished.......Read More

  • The Insomnia Question

    New research reveals what keeps supply chain managers up at night
    • Patricia J. Daugherty
    • David Closs
    September/October 2015

    The Beyond the Horizon research project investigates current supply chain practices and identifies what assets and tactics supply chain executives think will be required to compete. During the more than 50 in-depth interviews with hundreds of executives, one key discussion topic was what keeps them awake at night. ......Read More

  • A Good Offense

    It’s time to attack our attackers
    • Philip E. Quigley
    September/October 2015

    There are lots of news stories, much wringing of hands, and considerable confusion about system and information security. However, very little real, thoughtful discussion is going on— and more importantly, no real action, either.......Read More

  • Enterprise Risk Management in the Global Marketplace

    The latest—and potentially most critical—supply chain test
    • Gregory L. Schlegel
    July/August 2015

    Many supply chain and operations management professionals are wrestling with continued uncertainty, complexity, and risk within their global supply chains. This fact is increasingly reflected in industry news and research. There continues to be compelling evidence that illustrates the significance of enterprise and supply chain risk management.......Read More

  • See What’s Inside

    Gaining a clearer picture of the Food Safety Modernization Act
    • Elizabeth Rennie
    March/April 2015

    Each year, foodborne illnesses afflict 48 million Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 128,000 of those people are hospitalized and 3,000 die. This is a major public health issue, which leaders at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say is largely preventable—if the global food supply chain is able to control the hazards that can cause sickness.......Read More

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