To maintain its lead in omnichannel retailing, the venerable U.K. retailer John Lewis has adopted a very modern strategy: converting to "hybrid" distribution centers that fill orders for both retail stores and online sales.
By tailoring its supply chain strategy for specific product segments, the global beverage company reduced the risk of disruption to its growing Asian business. In the process, it gained a competitive advantage in this vast and variable market.
High transportation costs are driving three main shifts in supply chain strategies. These changes are having a beneficial impact not just on transportation budgets but also on broader supply chain and financial performance.
Most companies calculate total delivered cost (TDC) based on inaccurate and outdated assumptions. Using optimization technology to more accurately forecast TDC by product and customer will help them to improve both their supply chain planning decisions and their costs.
Many young supply chain professionals have unrealistic expectations about job requirements and career paths. Employers and educators must do a better job of communicating what skills and traits new hires will need in the real world.
As new technologies transform manufacturing from an activity defined by hardware and logistics constraints to one that's largely defined by software, supply chain leaders will have to completely reshape their product manufacturing and design processes. Most look unprepared to meet that challenge.
Whether you're choosing a new member of a board of directors or are a candidate yourself, following these guidelines will help to ensure the board includes people with the right skills and attributes for the job.
Agilent Technologies' "control tower"—an information hub linking the instrument maker with its suppliers to provide inventory visibility—has helped the company deftly model parts availability, manage order promising, and counteract parts shortages during a natural disaster.
In Europe, Baxter International's experience with "horizontal collaboration," where two or more shippers share transportation movements, has been so successful that the company plans to expand the program beyond its current boundaries.