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Thinking Supply Chain

Insights, analysis and ideas to advance your supply chain.
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  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    Maximizing Your Partnerships: Automakers, Suppliers, and Self-Driving Cars

    At the North American International Auto Show this month in Detroit, automakers are showing the world updates to their new models while also unveiling concept cars that “stir the imagination,” writes Jim Gorzelany for Forbes. At the show, lots of people, including reporters, are investigating the future of self-driving cars.
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    What Will 2017 Bring to Supply Chains?

    Late last week, Forbes published an intriguing piece by Paul Martyn, who had asked experts for their supply chain predictions for 2017. He started his interviews with the statement: “Tell me something I don’t know.” Following are Martyn’s top 5 findings.
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    Make Habits and Goals, Not Resolutions

    Another year is almost over. As we look ahead to 2017, I’m sure many of us are compiling some personal and professional resolutions. With a full, new year ahead, you might be tempted to dream big and resolve to do something life- or career-changing. To make sure you are successful, consider taking some advice from The Daily Utah Chronicle and reframe your resolutions as goals or habits to form in the new year.
  • Posted by
    Sharon Rice
    Principal Consultant, Art of Planning

    Reverse Innovation and Supply Chain

    I’m pleased to welcome guest blogger Jason Wheeler, CPIM, CSCP, to “Thinking Supply Chain.” Wheeler is Process Improvement Engineer, Warehouse Operations for Roche Diagnostics Operations and the former APICS chair-elect.
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    A Word of Thanks

    At the close of 2016, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support of and engagement with APICS. Through your efforts and feedback, we can ensure that APICS remains the premier association for supply chain management.
  • Posted by
    David F. Ross
    Senior Manager, Professional Development

    Managing the Demand Forecast: Part 4

    In the previous blog the different segments of the master schedule as they pertain to the demand plan were discussed. The driver of the schedule was noted as the sales forecast campaign. Once the forecast was developed, it could then be dropped into the master schedule
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    Using Augmented Reality to Improve Supply Chains

    There are television commercials airing frequently that show people using their smartphones and other accessories to experience virtual reality. The users in these commercials usually are in studios or experiencing it as a part of everyday life. However, The Wall Street Journal contends that this technology could really make an impact in the workplace, specifically on the factory floor.
  • Posted by
    Jonathan Thatcher
    Director, APICS SCC Research

    Fitbit and Pebble: Supply Chain Strategy, Entrepreneur Vision, Developer Community and Enduring Loyalty

    To fans of the wearable tech company Pebble, news on the company’s Kickstarter page this week came as a shock: “Fitbit has agreed to acquire key Pebble assets. Due to various factors, Pebble can no longer operate as an independent entity, and we have made the tough decision to shut down the company. The deal finalized today preserves as much of Pebble as possible.”
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    Using Big Data for Improved ROI

    Last week, CIO made the case in “How Manufacturers Make the Most of Machine Data” that supply chain professionals should be working more closely with information technology professionals to collect and use the data machines generate.
  • Posted by
    David F. Ross
    Senior Manager, Professional Development

    Managing the Demand Forecast: Part 3

    The previous blog ended with a description of how a sales campaign is decomposed into a possible period, weekly, and daily product-level forecast in the master schedule. Before the discussion can proceed much further, it is important to review the demand section of the MPS grid.
  • Posted by
    Bob Collins
    APICS Senior Director, Professional Development

    When Being Smart Isn’t Good Enough: Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy and Seeing Patterns in Data

    As I’ve shown in previous blog postings, cognitive biases are like built-in software. You don’t have to purchase them or download them. They come pre-loaded in your subconscious.
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    Supply Chain Risk: Cargo Theft

    The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and retailers and distributors are working hard to meet customers’ needs. However, with more trucks filled with merchandise hitting the roads during the busy buying and shipping season, cargo theft is expected to “surge,” according to NBC Los Angeles.
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    Sharing Gratitude in the Workplace

    Yesterday, we celebrated Thanksgiving in the United States. I know many of us here indulged with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie and then kicked back to enjoy some football. But of course, Thanksgiving also is a time to celebrate the gifts in our lives. Among these, many can count their family and friends, their homes, and their work.
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    The Drive for Better Production at Tesla

    Business Insider published a story this week describing how Tesla CEO Elon Musk might finally have solved his company’s production challenge. For years, Tesla’s demand has outpaced its supply because of production delays. Musk thinks the answer might be in the acquisition of automated manufacturing company Grohmann Engineering in Prüm, Germany.
  • Posted by
    David F. Ross
    Senior Manager, Professional Development

    Managing the Demand Forecast: Part 2

    In my previous blog I introduced the perpetual problem plaguing most businesses in their efforts to integrate the sales forecast and production scheduling. The root of the problem was identified as residing in the discontinuity of many of the basic functions performed by demand and supply management.
  • Posted by
    Bob Collins
    APICS Senior Director, Professional Development

    When Being Smart Isn’t Enough: Shephard’s Tabletop Illusion

    Are these tabletops identical? Of course not, one is much more narrow than the other – right? Well, actually, they are identical. Don’t believe me? Watch this 21-second video: https://youtu.be/t2n3dBiN8R8
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    Manufacturing as an Economic Key

    In the United States, as in other areas of the industrialized world, factories have changed. Many have moved to lower-wage countries, leaving industrial wastelands in their place. Earlier this week, in “Small Factories Emerge as a Weapon in the Fight Against Poverty,” The New York Times focused on one such area in Baltimore. There, Marlin Steel is a success story, maintaining its ground and producing metal baskets for bigger manufacturers such as Ford, Boeing, and Merck.
  • Posted by
    David F. Ross
    Senior Manager, Professional Development

    Managing the Demand Forecast: Part 1

    The effective management of demand and supply has always resided at the core of the manufacturing and distribution enterprise. A veritable mountain of books and articles, accompanied by the availability of countless hours of classroom instruction and professional seminars, have mapped out every process, elaborated on each principle, and discussed the topic from every possible angle.
  • Posted by
    Bob Collins
    APICS Senior Director, Professional Development

    CPIM Reconfiguration: The World Is Coming to an End – But You’ll Be Just Fine!

    At the APICS annual conference, in Washington, D.C., in September, APICS CEO, Abe Eshkenazi, announced that the iconic Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) certification will be reconfigured in 2017.
  • Posted by
    Bob Collins
    APICS Senior Director, Professional Development

    When Being Smart Isn’t Enough: The Blind Spot Bias - Part 1

    You are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is. Right? You are in control of your life and make your own decisions. Right? Your opinions are the result of years of rational, objective analysis. Right? Well . . . maybe not. Your “hidden brain,” your unconscious mind, exerts more control over than you realize.
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    The Trouble with Tricky Suppliers

    Trick-or-treating may be over for the year, but tricky suppliers are a problem all the time. Forbes highlighted this last week in the article “Do Supply Chain Audits Work? Dealing with Deviant Suppliers Like a Journalist.”
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    Major League Baseball: Making America’s Sport International

    If you know me, you know I’m a fan of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. This certainly has been an exciting week with the Cubs playing the Cleveland Indians in Major League Baseball’s 2016 World Series. Game three is tonight, and my home team is returning to its home, Wrigley Field. Of course, I’ll be watching the game, hoping the Cubs can become the World Series champions for the first time since 1908.
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    BlackBerry Expanding in Indonesia

    BlackBerry might not be making smartphones anymore, but the company has a new business model and is attempting to capitalize on the global market. According to The Wall Street Journal, BlackBerry is licensing its software and outsourcing its production in its largest market, Indonesia, which boasts a population of 250 million people.
  • Posted by
    Abe Eshkenazi
    APICS CEO

    Aviation Agrees to Limit Carbon Emissions

    Last Thursday, members of the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed to cap carbon dioxide emissions from international flights after 2020. The Wall Street Journal reports that airlines that don’t limit their emissions will have to buy carbon-offsetting credits.
  • Posted by
    Jonathan Thatcher
    Director, APICS SCC Research

    Defensive Plays: Hanjin and Solving Broad-Based Supply Chain Risk

    What happens when all partners in a global supply chain find themselves in a purely defensive position? The current situation surrounding the Hanjin bankruptcy provides an example of this. Since the global shipping giant declared bankruptcy, it has had trouble moving its ships into port. In some locations, Hanjin ships are barred from entering, because port operators feared Hanjin would not pay the port fees. As a result, some ships had to idle in the middle of the ocean or return back to their ports of call, carrying mountains of undelivered cargo. Because of this, port operators, longshoremen, customers of Hanjin, and ship-leasing companies all are on the defensive.