Volume 4 (2021-22)

Each volume of Journal of Supply Chain Management, Logistics & Procurement consists of four 100-page issues published in both print and online. Articles scheduled for Volume 4 are available to view on the 'Forthcoming content' page.

Volume 4 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Managing supply chains and equalising disruption in the post-pandemic era: The challenge of different stages of recovery levels across the globe
    Eirini Etoimou, Head of Supply Chain, Development & Innovation, Sellafield Ltd

    It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we operate, both personally and professionally. With significant impacts in all facets of the business ecosystem across the globe and uncertain recovery timelines, the socioeconomic environment is facing an unprecedented situation measuring damages at local, national and global level. Business operational models have been tested and are still trying to recover from a situation the long-term impact of which is still vague. Systems such as lean and just-in-time (JIT) collapsed as a result of the lockdowns and whole cities were deserted, causing unprecedented levels of poverty among vulnerable populations, significantly increasing cases of trafficking and modern slavery. This paper analyses how rebuilding presents a challenge, but, at the same time, there are numerous opportunities to evaluate, improve and develop next actions, based on a different perspective. The lessons learned from the pandemic include risk mitigation and resilience, without overlooking the ethical face that is encapsulated by strategic business relationships.
    Keywords: risk management, supply chains, resilience, recovery, ethics, risk, transparency, collaboration, disruption

  • Establishing competency in sustainable procurement in the age of ESG reporting
    Catherine Sheehy, Global Lead for Sustainability, Circularity and ESG Strategist, UL and Josh Jacobs, Director of Sustainability, WAP Sustainability

    With the rise of environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting and a growing number of activist investors demanding greater visibility into organisations’ true impacts beyond financial performance, sustainable procurement is increasingly essential. With an already daunting list of product and service criteria and considerations, however, many procurement teams are unsure how to effectively incorporate sustainability requirements into their existing procurement programmes. This paper explores the surge in sustainable procurement, outlines the critical factors for successful implementation and presents tools and resources instrumental for developing guidelines. This information gives procurement professionals a starting point to successfully establish sustainable procurement in their own organisations.
    Keywords: sustainability, sustainable procurement, supply chain transparency, environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, environmental labels

  • Reducing uncertainty in freight transportation procurement
    Chris Caplice, Chief Scientist, DAT Freight and Analytics

    Securing sufficient truckload transportation capacity is a challenge for most shippers. The dominant design currently used across North America is to run an annual reverse auction collecting rates from carriers on each of their freight lanes (origin-destination pairings) and then feeding these rates into the shipper’s transportation management system (TMS), which then uses a routing guide to determine which carrier to tender a load to when a particular shipment materialises. Unfortunately, the routing guide frequently fails. This results in the shipper having to use backup carriers or the spot market, thereby incurring much higher rates. This paper explains why the current dominant design arose in the first place and why it is no longer sufficient. Four promising practices that can improve the transportation procurement process for shippers, carriers and brokers are presented and discussed: Data-driven analysis, transportation portfolio management, dynamic contracting and continuous procurement. These practices are meant to complement the current procurement methods in order to reduce the risk and level of uncertainty for all parties by making the procurement process more dynamic and responsive to the market.
    Keywords: truckload transportation, procurement, mini-bids, transportation portfolio management, contracting

  • Hitting the procurement trifecta: How FHLB San Francisco transformed and aligned procurement, risk and diversity in the middle of a pandemic
    Kelly Gear, Senior Vice President, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and Tom Rogers, Founder and CEO, Vendor Centric and Jennifer Ulrich, Senior Director, Corcentric

    Procurement transformations involve a strategic review and realignment of an organisation’s procurement function to address critical operational gaps. This paper focuses on the execution of such transformation activities within a heavily regulated financial services organisation that faced several internal and external gaps. Gaps included a heavy reliance on suppliers to maintain critical operations, increased regulatory oversight and a lack of standardisation and organisational integration within the procurement function needed to service internal customers. A successful transformation for such an organisation required a focus on three primary pillars (workstreams): procurement, supplier diversity and supplier risk. Each workstream addressed a unique set of challenges and, as such, were carried out independently; however, the interrelated nature of these challenges called for strong planning, shared resources and parallel efforts. The results of the initial gap assessments showed a need for procurement team right-sizing (in terms of resources and role definitions), a revision of core policy and standard operating procedures, and a re-evaluation of the technologies that supported both procurement operations and regulatory reporting/compliance. The transformation, embodied by the three pillars above, addressed each of these gaps. This transformation began the reimagining of the procurement function but work in this space is ongoing. Requirements around third-party risk management, supplier diversity and the regulatory landscape will continue to shift and evolve. Regular monitoring of the effectiveness of this transformation must be conducted, and strategic pivots and change management efforts must be undertaken to ensure long-term success.br /> Keywords: procurement transformation, supplier diversity, supplier risk management, stakeholder engagement, regulatory compliance

  • Going digital in logistics: Cultivating a culture and roadmap for digital success
    Mike Jones, Director of Logistics, Gerdau

    Companies are increasingly tasked with taking their logistics operations into a new increasingly digitised world. This paper follows a cultural evolution that supported a parallel digital transformation of Gerdau North America Logistics. In 2018, Gerdau North America Logistics had few digital tools at its disposal, information was classified as hearsay and firefighting business issues was a daily occurrence. Addressing a lack of tools took Gerdau Logistics through a journey of digital evolution, which would improve trust in information, improve employee engagement, establish internal partnerships and ultimately change the way Gerdau conducted business. Readers will most likely find parallels to their own logistics and supply chain processes and hopefully glean opportunities worth pursuing at their own organisations.
    Keywords: digital evolution, logistics, technology, shipping, warehousing, culture, people, transformation

  • Contract digitisation an analytics: Goodbye paper audits, welcome to real-time scoring
    Joan Duemler, Supply Chain Business Operations Manager, Intel Corporation

    Intel’s global supply chain (GSC) is continually innovating in pursuit of an autonomous digital supply chain. In Q4 2018, the indirect materials team identified a formidable challenge: reading all contract documents to assess and identify key vulnerabilities in the contract. After conducting external scans of contract analytics solutions, the advanced analytics team embarked on a journey to disrupt the contract domain. In this paper they share their insights and the solution they achieved with their stakeholders, rich with business content expertise and robust analytics.
    Keywords: contract analytics, innovation, digitisation, machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), autonomous digital supply chain

  • Collaboration in procurement and supply chain management: Cooperative strategies for ensuring continuity of supply
    Tammy Rimes, Executive Director, National Cooperative Procurement Partners and Darin Matthews, Director, Mercell/Faculty Member, University of California

    Supply chain management and procurement processes are a crucial element within every organisation, both public and private. Behind every company or government success story, there is generally a supply chain process that helped deliver that success. Whether delivering the goods to keep operations running smoothly, ordering equipment and materials for a new project or working with suppliers in finding solutions to address unique problems, procurement is at the centre of most organisational plans and processes. Supply chain management took centre stage during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, as many jurisdictions across the United States vied for the same products over a very short timeframe. Companies which produced such products were caught off-guard by the sudden demand and any stockpiled resources were quickly consumed. The resulting effects were hoarding behaviours by purchasers who did not know when supplies would be restocked, or territorial disputes as the federal government or states often pulled rank over smaller entities by confiscating or rerouting incoming deliveries to serve their own priorities. During the past few years, many governments and companies built their supply chain on ‘next day’ delivery from suppliers, minimised their warehousing operations, or relied heavily on bids and request for proposal (RFP) processes that often take months to complete. The new challenges presented throughout the pandemic required updated supply chain strategies and contracting methodologies to serve the ever-changing operational and safety demands of their customers.
    Keywords: cooperative procurement, coop contract, public procurement, collaborative procurement, leveraged spend

Volume 4 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Artificial intelligence in materials handling: How machine learning tools boost warehouse safety, productivity and cost-effectiveness
    Brien Downie, President, Holman Logistics, Marc Gyöngyösi, CEO and President, OneTrack AI and Chris Kuehl, Economist and Managing Director, Armada Corporate Intelligence

    This paper explores the growing potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to bring about improvements in safety, which in turn can boost cost-effectiveness, productivity and operational efficiencies in a warehouse setting. While there is significant evidence in the literature on the impact AI is having in other areas of the supply chain, the authors believe the specific use of AI and ML in the warehouse has been underexplored. Companies that embrace machine-learning technologies and tools as a way to reduce incidents in their warehouses are improving worker safety, increasing productivity, and potentially yielding a competitive advantage for their businesses. This paper’s main purpose is to demonstrate, through a use-case approach, the clear benefits of these technologies and to promote further exploration of the potential of AI to drive improvements in the safety of materials handling in warehouse settings.
    Keywords: case studies, materials management, technology management, transportation, distribution, logistics, warehousing

  • The case for applying systems thinking to global supply chain management
    Dan Gardner, President, Trade Facilitators

    ‘Systems thinking’ is an engineering discipline designed to improve the performance of any type of system by leveraging the interactions that take place between its component parts. Because it focuses on the interdependencies that exist among the elements that comprise a system’s structure, as well as the feedback loops that occur within it, systems thinking is ideal for application to the field of supply chain management. Whereas the principles of systems thinking can be seen in supply chain simulations such as ‘the beer game’, its use has not kept up with the complexities inherent in globalisation. It is the objective of this paper to reintroduce systems thinking to global trade professionals and demonstrate how the application of its tenets to supply chain management can yield order-of-magnitude advances in operational outcomes, supplier relations, customer satisfaction, corporate citizenship and financial results.
    Keywords: systems thinking, system dynamics, predictive analytics, sales and operations planning, global supply chain management

  • Breaking down silos: A journey from functional distance to collaborative accountability
    Laura Eory, Senior Manager of Transportation, GAF

    Silos or behaviours that disconnect people from others within their organisation can play a key role in the overall performance of companies, especially large businesses. This paper explains how to review current silos, address or minimise challenges within them, and create employee engagement and collaborative accountability. There are many types, but three significant silos to avoid and address include physical, organisational and experiential silos. Once silos are identified, ‘broken down’, or minimised, leaders often declare victory and are surprised to see them return. By aligning goals and establishing a culture of collaborative accountability, engaged leaders can maintain better communication and connections across teams and functions to ensure the broader organisation continues moving forward together in pursuing broader business strategy. All these pieces together help create optimal performance and deliver top results.
    Keywords: silos, physical, organisation, experience, goals, accountability, supply chain

  • Managing supply chain risk and building sustainable resilience
    Knut Alicke, Partner, Julian Fischer, Associate Partner and Anna Lena Strigel, Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company

    Global production networks that took shape to optimise costs and efficiency often contain hidden vulnerabilities — and external shocks exploit those weaknesses. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed existing challenges across business operations and thrust an organisation’s ability to adapt to dramatic shifts in supply and demand into the spotlight. However, even before COVID‑19, a multitude of events in recent years temporarily disrupted production at many companies. All of this is occurring against a backdrop of changing cost structures across countries and growing adoption of revolutionary digital technologies in global manufacturing. Organisations need a new approach to manage risk and build resiliency. This research highlights the many options for strengthening value chain resilience in response to risk and evaluates strategies to minimise the growing cost of disruption, including opportunities arising from new technologies, strengthening risk management capabilities and improving transparency, building redundancy, reducing product complexity, and improving the financial and operational capacity to respond to shocks and recover quickly from them.
    Keywords: supply chain resilience, risk management, organisational resilience, operational resilience

  • Best practices in 3PL and fulfilment contract procurement: A methodological approach to optimising 3PL rates and services
    Steve Givens, Managing Director, Shipware

    With the proliferation of online shopping, the e-commerce industry is growing exponentially. As a direct result, third party logistics (3PL) fulfillment support services are rapidly growing and considered a critical part of the customer experience. 3PL fulfillment support services are not only important to completing the last leg of the e-commerce and business-to-business (B2B) transactional process, but also have an impact on customer satisfaction, long-term customer loyalty and the overall brand experience. The 3PL fulfillment market has changed significantly over the last 50 years, and the scope of the support services has also changed throughout the decades. Overall direction of the industry changed forever on 5th July, 1994, when Amazon was founded and began operations. In the late 20th century, online commerce launched a modern-day gold rush and with newfound fortunes to be made, the fulfillment market was flooded with new companies from various industries that all wanted to stake their claims. Today, understanding the 3PL market options, pricing methodologies and service level agreements (SLAs) is critically important to selecting the best 3PL partner to support your current needs and help you scale your business for the future. The 3PL contract optimisation process starts with selecting the right partner, developing the appropriate contract terms and conditions, scope alignment and performance incentives to lay the foundation for a successful partnership. Ongoing contract optimisation requires a formalised process to evaluate performance, review market alternatives and deliver efficiencies. The ideal state of fulfillment services contract optimisation is achieved when the 3PL relationship delivers maximum shareholder value from best-in-class pricing, outstanding service and long-term goal alignment.
    Keywords: third party logistics (3PL), fulfillment, optimisation, procurement, transportation

  • Using a control tower approach to drive visibility, aid planning and improve supply chain reliability
    Charlie Midkiff, Vice President, Odyssey Logistics & Technology

    As the transportation management solutions (TMS) market continues to grow, a control tower approach to TMS is emerging as a way to drive even more visibility into logistics and supply chain management processes. With transparency and access to real-time data provided by a TMS, shippers can develop smarter strategies, make quicker decisions and stay ahead of trends to ensure on-time delivery and meet operational goals. With vaccines going into arms, it is time to look toward the post-pandemic world and how TMS and the control tower approach fit into the future of the logistics and supply chain industry. This paper sets out many of the processes and practices that emerged to keep goods moving during the COVID-19 pandemic are likely here to stay. For example, consumers will continue to expect seamless transparency in shipping operations, freight transit and delivery. Having visibility through a TMS and the control tower approach can help shippers take action in a world forever changed by the pandemic. They can use the data and insight gained from a TMS to improve performance throughout the supply chain and identify opportunities to reduce costs. Shippers can undertake network optimisation studies to develop Plan B scenarios to get shipments to destinations around the world. They can find alternatives to congested ports to move product more quickly. In addition, shippers can leverage transloading service providers with TMS and control tower capabilities to find faster ways to transport products when disruptions occur — and have 24/7 visibility to their products to the very last mile.
    Keywords: transportation management solutions (TMS), logistics, supply chain management processes, post-pandemic, control tower approach, COVID-19, network optimisation studies

  • Adaptive logistics: Conceptualising strategies and best practices from humanitarian emergency supplies distribution
    Andrew Schroeder, Vice President of Research and Analysis, Direct Relief and Cindy Elliott, Head of Commercial Industry Solutions, Esri

    In today’s globally driven marketplace, the endurance of supply chains is becoming increasingly critical for them to withstand long-term and short-term fluctuations of market forces. Many of the products necessary for basic needs and consumers’ discretionary spending come from complex global supply chains that face frequent external challenges and disruptions. So how can global providers build more efficient logistics practices and enduring supply chains? Humanitarian aid supply chains have discovered best practices and formulas for building resilient programmes to effectively do their work and could serve as a model. This paper explores how one organisation, Direct Relief, employs an innovative adaptive distribution strategy backed by smart maps, dashboards, other location technology tools powered by modern GIS (geographic information systems) technology. The authors provide a definition of adaptive logistics, share key examples of how it was implemented, and provide steps other organisations can take to improve their own supply chain and logistics operations.
    Keywords: adaptive logistics, geospatial technology, spatial analysis, location technology, location intelligence, GIS, humanitarian aid, networks, supply chain management

  • 3PL collaboration: Supply chain success stories between shippers and 3PLs
    Robin C. Siekerman, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Solutions, The Shippers Group

    Two compelling case studies address true shipper and third-party logistics (3PL) collaboration and what it looks like to get to a symbiotic relationship and mutualism. This is a place where true collaboration occurs, resulting in benefits of service, efficiency and balance of cost and profit for supply chain partners. In this paper are examples of how healthy conflict builds trust, especially when one party initially perceived a successful outcome as one-sided. The focus is on how collaboration among supply chain partnerships produces innovative solutions, more efficient operations, lower logistics costs and better service. The paper explores types of collaboration and when they work best, how to drive collaboration with customers and key outcomes of collaboration in consumer packaged goods (CPG) supply chains.
    Keywords: 3PL warehousing, CPG manufacturing, supply chain, strategic collaboration, tactical collaboration, partnership, collaborative innovation