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APICS Supply Chain Management Now

APICS Supply Chain Management Now gives exclusive commentary from APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE. This weekly e-newsletter offers insights into current events and supply chain, logistics and operations management topics and how they all relate to the APICS body of knowledge.

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  • Becoming a Good Manager

    Sep 18, 2015
    At APICS, we spend a lot of time talking about industry-specific knowledge and principles, but there are other factors that contribute to the success of individuals. One example is management and what it takes to be a successful leader. This week, theHarvard Business Review featured an article by Carol A. Walker titled “New Managers Need a Philosophy about How They’ll Lead.”
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  • View from the Passenger Seat

    Sep 11, 2015
    Self-driving cars aren’t only a pipedream for the future; Google is testing them right now in Austin, Texas, and Mountain View, California. Aiming to introduce its self-driving cars by 2020, Google began experimenting with its souped-up Lexus sport utility vehicle this July in Austin with no accidents thus far.
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  • Keeping Production Goals Grounded

    Sep 04, 2015
    Recent news about Boeing’s supplier snag haven give me, and I hope many of you, a reality check about supply chain goals. The major aerospace manufacturer set a lofty goal of expanding production of its 737 Max jetliner from less than one a month to 52 planes a month by the end of the decade, an unprecedented ramp-up.
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  • Inspiring Women in Technology

    Aug 28, 2015
    Many women in supply chain have expressed to me the unique challenges they face in the profession. Their situations are not unlike those that female engineers encounter, which were described in a Fortune Insider commentary by Erin Brooks.
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  • Chinese Logistics Problems Continue After Tianjin Blast

    Aug 21, 2015
    Not only have last week’s portside warehouse explosions in Tianjin, China, created persistent logistics challenges, but news reports now are suggesting that at least two other hazardous chemical facilities were operating in the area in violation of government regulations, posing more potential risks for residents and business operations in the area, The Guardian reports.
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  • The Digital Paper Trail

    Aug 14, 2015
    As various recalls, raw material sourcing problems, and worker rights issues have shown us, traceability continues to be an important and even highly desired aspect of supply chain. However, we know that keeping track of every aspect of the supply chain can be challenging.
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  • Incorporating Financial Management

    Aug 07, 2015
    When I first started this newsletter in 2008, it was the height of the recession. As I talked to people in the APICS community, I learned how critical supply chain and operations management were becoming to business leaders and executives as they sought answers to some very dire challenges. This newsletter was—and continues to be—a tool to help supply chain and operations management professionals understand their crucial role in overall business and economic health.
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  • In India, Scotch is on the Rocks

    Jul 31, 2015
    Leaders at United Sprits Limited (USL), in which Diageo has a majority stake, want to get more liquor into the hands of consumers in India—a very attractive market. According to The Economist, people in India drink liquor rather than beer or wine for two reasons.
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  • Clustering for Success

    Jul 24, 2015
    For this week’s post, I’m going to start at the end—at least the end of the article: “Global supply chain is a meaningless term,” says Harvard Business School Professor Gary P. Pisano in a Forbes article.
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  • Innovation Expands Rubber Supply Possibilities

    Jul 17, 2015
    What do wetsuits, gloves, angioplasty balloons, and car tires have in common? The answer: rubber. And although synthetic rubber can be manufactured, it’s not as strong as natural rubber. If you are on an airplane or riding in a car, you want the tires to be sturdy enough to do their job, which means they have to be made of at least 50 percent natural rubber.
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  • Providing Aid with Soda

    Jul 10, 2015
    Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop wants a Coke, not because she’s thirsty, but because her government is looking to partner with companies, such as The Coca-Cola Company, to distribute medical aid, The Guardian reported June 29.
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  • Farm to Fashion?

    Jul 03, 2015
    Apparently, people love cat videos—the most successful ones on YouTube get tens of millions of views. Now, Woolmark, a textile group, is presenting sheep videos to illustrate its idea of “farm to fashion,” giving viewers a “sheep’s eye” view of what happens on a wool farm.
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  • Tractors Blaze Trail for Driverless Future

    Jun 26, 2015
    Google’s driverless car gets a lot of attention from the press, but this week, the Washington Post pointed out that John Deere tractors have been driving themselves for years. In fact, while many of us city dwellers nostalgically think of the vehicles as quaint and old fashioned, farm equipment is a pioneer in self-guidance technology, utilizing satellite navigation, a touchscreen interface, and radio base stations for precision.
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  • New Ways to Measure Risk

    Jun 19, 2015
    Risk mitigation is a hot topic for supply chain and operations management professionals. Therefore, in case you missed it, I wanted to highlight new and potentially more accurate ways to measure risk. Last week, Harvard Business Review presented information on two metrics: time to recovery (TTR) and time to survive (TTS).
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  • Change Battle Plans to Head Off Competition

    Jun 12, 2015
    Facing “intense competition, pricing pressures, and new technologies,” company leaders must closely examine their business and growth strategies, according to the “2015 KPMG Global Manufacturing Outlook,” which was highlighted in the June 2 issue of Global Trade Daily.
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  • Embracing Innovation or Not

    Jun 05, 2015
    Supply chain management professionals hear all the time about 3-D printing, advanced motion controls, robotics, and more, but the real test comes when trying to implement these or any other new technology. Willy C. Shih addresses this challenge in his Harvard Business Review article “Breaking the Death Grip of Legacy Technologies.”
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  • Step Up

    May 29, 2015
    The most telling lines from this week’s article come at the very end: “If we want to finally make real progress on promoting more women, after decades of talking about it, men, women, and organizations all need to step up and take decisive action to make it happen,” writes Rebecca Shambaugh in the May 25 issue of Harvard Business Review.
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  • Defective Air Bags Trigger Largest Recall in History

    May 22, 2015
    Air bags, key components in automobile safety systems, are at the root of the biggest consumer product recall in US history. According to the Washington Post, nearly 34 million cars and trucks nationwide were declared defective because of faulty air bags, which, when deployed, can eject sharp metal pieces.
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  • The Sustainability Business

    May 15, 2015
    This week in Forbes, Steve Banker of the ARC Advisory Group explores the link between business and sustainability. He cites a June 2014 report by the Governance & Accountability Institute, which said that 72 percent of companies listed in the S&P 500 Index published a sustainability or corporate responsibility report.
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  • Is It a Job Shortage or a Skills Shortage?

    May 08, 2015
    The Atlantic explored the complex job market for supply chain professionals in its article last week, “Scarce Skills, Not Scarce Jobs.”
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