A Matter of Trust

I recently asked a question to a senior supply chain executive:
“When should you trust your trading partners and when should you withhold information from them?”

His answer:
“Never and Never.”

His answer was only partly tongue-in-cheek. It highlights a dilemma we all face. When important information is withheld, it leads to enormous inefficiencies or even disasters in the supply chain. Trust is needed to streamline decision … [ Read more ]

Understanding the True Cost of Sourcing

Global strategic sourcing evolved as a more sophisticated approach to selecting and managing the supply base and the procurement of direct materials. In strategic sourcing, the relationships are longer-term and there is a drive for continual improvement along many dimensions. Most companies that have adopted strategic sourcing practices have developed in-depth supplier scorecards for tracking performance and driving improvements. However, tools and methodologies for measuring … [ Read more ]

Resilient Supply Chains: The Next Frontier

The past two decades have witnessed dramatic improvements to supply chain performance through lean manufacturing, just-in-time (JIT) inventory, ever-increasing velocity, extreme outsourcing, and related transformations. In the ten years from 1992 to 2002, the ratio of inventories to shipments in the US fell from 1.65 to 1.35. These are enormous numbers in the context of our multi-trillion dollar economy. At the same time, the complexity … [ Read more ]