Why a Proactively Transparent Supply Chain is Smart Business Practice

While it’s true that governmental over-regulation stifles growth and often gives companies the feeling of being under siege, a proactive habit of transparency in the supply chain — initiated by the company, flowing out from within its culture — can be beneficial to both the consumer and the company’s bottom-line. MIT Supply Chain Researcher Analyzes Proactive Transparency Alexis Bateman, director of the Responsible Supply Chain Lab at the Center for Transportation & Logistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, sees certain benefits to proactively embracing transparency in the supply chain instead of fighting it. As quoted in a recent September 2015 article…

The Worst Advice We’ve Ever Heard About Demand Planning

It is no secret that demand planning is a process that many businesses go through to remain successful. It allows for the creation of forecasts that will help the business manage their inventory levels. This is beneficial because the business can then use this information to align their inventory levels along with the fluctuation of demand that is placed on a particular product. Because it is so important, there are multiple strategies that businesses can rely on when it comes to demand planning. As with all other types of strategies, some are better than others. There are also those strategies out…

The Latest Supply Chain Planning Trends: A Round-Up of Recent Industry Changes

Supply Chain Planning   Depending on who you ask, the global economy has hit a bottom, and it’s on the way up or it has already peaked and it’s on the way down. No matter which view you have of the macro-picture, one thing is certain in the finer details of supply chain planning: although there’s a striking mix of the very good and the very bad, depending on the industry, everyone is being forced to adapt. As the actions of these adapting companies become clearer, noticeable trends are beginning to develop. A Trend Toward Urban: Fulfillment Centers Moving to the City Real…

Statistical Forecast for Better Demand Planning

Using a statistical forecast as a starting point often proves to be a solid start to a collaborative Demand Planning process. First, why do companies forecast? There are several benefits of more accurate forecasts;   Improve customer service levels. Increased sales. Reduced cost of carrying inventory. Improved cash flow projections. Production smoothing (level loading). Reduced employee costs. Increased return on investment. In basic terms, all manufacturing/distribution companies want to do the same thing. They wish to have the right stuff in the right place, at the right time. So then is it better to use a statistical forecast or one made by…

7 Great Benefits of Vendor Managed Inventory

  Vendor Managed Inventory Vendor Managed Inventory, or VMI, is a business relationship where a manufacturer or distribution business takes over management of inventory for a retail or wholesaler. Using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or other electronic methods for communication, the vendor of the product will manage orders and fulfillment for those further down the distribution chain. VMI: Managed vs Consignment There is significant difference between managed and consignment sales types of VMI, and some similarities/differences which merit further discussion before we look at the benefits of VMI management. Consignment is where the vendor retains ownership of the product until the time when it…

7 Tips to Jumpstart Your Supply Chain Planning

Supply Chain Planning   Do you enjoy managing your supply chain? Too many managers answer that question with a clear “no.” It’s true that supply chain management can be stressful, as keeping good flow of your in-and-out inventory can be the difference between turning a profit or taking a loss. But in reality, managers who dread the process often do so because of reasons that can be avoided with the right supply chain planning. So without further ado, here are 7 tips to help you jumpstart your supply chain management. 1) Be Proactive One of the most common sources of dread within supply chain management…

Debunked: The 6 Most Common Myths About Cloud Computing

To the surprise of almost no one, cloud computing has arrived. In the past few years, storing data and running software in the cloud it went from a relatively new and unusual trend to a reality for some of the biggest software providers in the world. Companies from Microsoft (Office 365) to Adobe (Creative Cloud) now base their core products on data that’s stored on remote servers. But despite its rapid spread, the concept of data stored remotely, on servers not under your control, is still a scary proposition for many business owners. We’ve sung the praises on cloud computing repeatedly on…

SaaS Tips: Five Ways to Reduce Churn

SAASChurn is a dreaded word for SaaS managers. Simple put, churn is the rate at which your customers cancel their recurring SaaS subscriptions. However, effectively measuring and coming up with a strategy to reduce churn is not so simple. It involves a strategy that permeates the entire digital life cycle. From the moment a prospect becomes a customer, a strategy must be in place to keep them on board, and hopefully upgrade or upsell them down the road. SaaS success hinges not only on customer retention, but generating new revenue as well. Churn, however, is at the center of both…

Signs Your Business Should Switch to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing isn’t just for people on the cutting edge of technology anymore.  These days, many businesses are opting to switch to cloud computing.  In general, they’re finding that it’s a more efficient way of doing business.  Still on the fence about whether or not cloud computing is right for you?  Check out these signs that it’s time to make the switch for your business.   Your Employees Work from Multiple Locations Do you have more than one location for your business?  How is information shared across those locations?  If files are regularly emailed back and forth or your employees often have…

3 True Stories of Supply Chain Management Disasters (And How to Avoid Them)

The fear of a supply chain disaster destroying years, even decades, of hard-earned company growth is enough to keep managers up at night — and for good reason: the smoking ruins of once-thriving companies have littered history, and fatal SCM mistakes have often been the culprit. But with disaster comes new opportunities and, perhaps most importantly, new lessons that can help us learn from the mistakes of other businesses. These three SCM nightmares from history, though sobering, offer some valuable insights: The Massive Boeing 787 Delay and Its Painful Supply Chain Birth Pangs In the mid-2000s, Boeing’s shiny new game-changing commercial…