Volume 5 (2022-23)

Each volume of Journal of Supply Chain Management, Logistics & Procurement consists of four 100-page issues published in both print and online.  

Volume 5 Number 4

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Breaking the reactionary cycle by investing in supply chain resilience
    Ben Aylor, Managing Director and Senior Partner, Dustin Burke, Managing Director and Senior Partner and Jeremy Kay, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group

    Eighty per cent of companies are unprepared to quickly address disruptions and their operations are not structured to absorb disruptions over the long term, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) survey. These companies need to strengthen their resilience — the ability to quickly identify and assess risks, react fast and absorb the impacts of disruptions across the supply chain. Although the pandemic-induced supply chain challenges are easing, now is the time for supply chain leaders to reinforce their commitment to resilience. Each company should determine the optimal level of supply chain resilience in its specific circumstances and risk profile. This paper sets out a wide variety of actions to build resilience. Investments that allow companies to ‘absorb’ disruptions (for example, network design, multisourcing, product redesign and inventory) are costly to employ across the board, so a targeted approach is necessary to maximise return on investment. Investments to ‘recover’ from disruptions (monitoring and sensing, predictive modelling and crisis response) can be cost-effective and offer the promise of a first-mover advantage when crises occur. All companies need both absorb and recover capabilities. Our research finds, however, that few companies excel in all these dimensions, and the frontrunners are investing to increase their advantage. Companies can apply these capabilities to define a strong resilience strategy. Steps include gaining visibility into your extended supply chain, quantifying potential disruptions and the cost of actions to reduce the associated risks, and understanding your current level of resilience and how resilient you want to become. With this information, supply chain leaders can secure the investment they need.
    Keywords: supply chain resilience; operational resilience; resilience strategy; building resilience; investing in resilience; absorbing disruptions; recovering from disruptions

  • Supply chain transformation at UScellular
    Amy Augustine, Senior Director, Network Supply Chain, UScellular, et al.

    Change is never easy, and leadership must champion the change. When UScellular made the decision to put more focus on its network supply chain operations, the company started with identifying the leadership team that would drive the organisational transformation. This piece of the puzzle was critical because it would be the foundation of the work needed to mature our network supply chain. Leaders would need to encourage collaboration, develop talent and work across organisational boundaries. The new UScellular network supply chain needed change champions. These leaders needed to be able to work together seamlessly, build trust and have strategic thinking to help us set priorities and navigate to our future. The leaders needed to engage their teams to start driving the changes. It was part of the strategy to be very deliberate on who was hired for each of the leadership roles and what function they would lead. Once the leadership team was in place, we discussed how important change management was going to be for us to be successful as we navigated not only the change to our organisation but to our partners and stakeholders. We discussed how we would approach hiring, process creation and how we were going to get there. We had open communication with our teams and partners and knew that we may not get everything right the first time. But we believed in the strategy, and we would learn and improve along the way. The team drove a culture of inclusiveness, accountability and openness. When discussing how to handle our change management plans, we made sure to address five key steps: 1) prepare the organisation for change; 2) vision and plan for change; 3) implement the changes; 4) embed changes within team culture and practices; and 5) review progress and analyse results. These five steps were instrumental in setting the team up for success in the transformation. Leaders deliberately kept in mind how to care for the team and how they might be feeling during different stages of this transformation. Another key piece for network supply chain transformation was that senior UScellular leadership was very supportive of what we were trying to accomplish. They understood that this was going to be a journey that we needed to manage from both a people perspective and a process perspective, with impact on both internal and external partners. Senior leaders recognised the need for additional personnel for the organisational transformation to be successful. They gave the team the support needed to be successful in driving a more mature supply chain. In conclusion, for this transformation to be successful, we addressed leadership by hiring the right associates for the right roles and focusing on change management. We were open and honest with the larger team and partners that we would have our struggles but would work together to find common ground and solutions that would drive real progress. Our progress shows how we were able to use change management practices effectively to drive this progress.
    Keywords: supply chain organisational transformation; UScellular; network supply chain operations; organisational transformation collaboration; organisational boundaries; change champions

  • How to maximise manual labour productivity in warehouse operations
    Jim Liefer, Chief Executive Officer, Ambi Robotics

    This paper discusses how to maximise manual labour productivity in warehouse operations by utilising a mix of tools, teams and techniques to help warehouses improve worker efficiency, safety and retention while putting people where they can make the most impact. Associates are critical to warehouse operations, and warehouses are seeking ways to maximise labour efficiencies while also reducing costly churn. To be successful, warehouses must solve one of the most basic challenges: how to staff hard-to-fill and hard-to-do jobs. Warehouses are known for being dirty, dull and dangerous. Turnover is high and the impact of labour challenges is enormous. Robots work hard so people can work smart. Warehouses that implement advanced technology realise enormous benefits, including up to 4x more throughput. The robots-as-a-service (RaaS) business model allows warehouses to implement advanced AI technology without an enormous upfront spend. The best use of advanced tech is to support the human workforce and unlock the best solution to attaining and retaining warehouse labour. Jobs become reimagined by ‘up-levelling’ warehouse work and labour productivity increases. Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) captures data that helps to forecast inbound parcel volume, understand the profile of the parcels, predict throughput required to meet business goals and more. Robotic solutions offer consistent and reliable performance in the warehouse, delivering dependable, round-the-clock productivity, so that humans do not have to be burdened with monotonous, repetitive robot work.
    Keywords:  warehouse operations; manual labour productivity; worker efficiency; safety and retention; robots-asa- service (RaaS); advanced AI technology

  • The impact of procuring reverse engineered spare parts on the supply chain: A case study
    Nayif A. Al-Theeb, Procurement and Supply Chain Management Specialist, Saudi Aramco

    The introduction of reverse engineering (RE) to the supply chain by procuring equipment spare parts allows to enhance the procurement process and to bring additional advantages such as localisation and economic benefits to the supply chain. This paper attempts to show the impact of enabling alternative qualified and more affordable supplier sources of spare parts to be part of the procurement process along with original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to supply the plant machinery’s spare parts for maintenance. In this case study, the reverse engineering of spare parts is intended for Saudi Aramco internal installation and utilisation and not for commercial purposes. This is particularly relevant to cases of OEM parts becoming obsolete or sources are diminishing, causing increased spare parts cost. The case study sheds some light on the work done, the challenges faced to enable such process and shares the methodology used. It also shows the cost saving, materials shortening delivery time, localisation and other benefits as a result of obtaining spare parts from reverse engineering manufacturers.
    Keywords: reverse engineering (RE); sustainability; circular economy; obsolete spare parts; commodity material masters

  • What is all the fuss about the shores? Sensible and practical reshoring and nearsourcing strategies
    Hitendra Chaturvedi, Professor, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University and Jeffrey Garza Walker, Executive Vice President, NAI Horizon

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a resurgence of conversation around reshoring. Rising protectionism has added fuel to the fire. This paper looks at reasons for the rise of this movement and analyses if this has strong legs, or just a knee-jerk reaction due to the global supply chain collapse arising post-pandemic. It also analyses business sentiments around the reshoring movement to bring to the readers reality on the ground. Furthermore, the paper proposes looking at the reshoring phenomenon as a true risk management process across the global supply chain rather than a reactive approach to reshoring. The paper puts forth a data-driven argument on how the post-pandemic supply chain fiasco has given the US and Europe a window of opportunity to balance its supply chain risk of complete manufacturing dependence on China. Post-pandemic, and for purely economic and strategic reasons, businesses in North America and Europe should be aggressively looking to create a viable regional alternative to China’s manufacturing monopoly to hedge risk, and to do that we have proposed a three-pillar strategy. The paper is not proposing that business move all their operations lock, stock and barrel to Latin America, as that is not a viable strategy.
    Keywords: reshoring; nearshoring; outsourcing; China; Mexico; Latin America; manufacturing; supply chain; pandemic; risk; strategy; ESG; sustainability; suppliers; ecosystem

  • Defining and testing the value proposition of outside-in planning processes
    Lora Cecere, Founder, Supply Chain Insights

    Traditional planning processes are inside-out. The focus is on mining the patterns of orders and shipments and synchronising demand and supply based on enterprise data. The problem with this approach is with product proliferation and item complexity, demand latency increases, making the order signal out of step with the market by weeks and months. In addition, as supply chain leaders attempt to better align supply chains with markets in the face of months after months of disruption, historical patterns of orders and shipments are irrelevant. The reason is simple. In a volatile world, history is not a good signal to drive decisions. To find a solution, o9 Solutions and Supply Chain Insights partnered with a group of business leaders and academics to test the use of multiple streams of demand data and determine the value of using market, or channel, data versus driving demand off of order or shipment patterns. In this paper, we share insights and the journey. While the opportunity is tremendous and the value clear, the biggest issue for technologists and business leaders is unlearning conventional paradigms. As the use of market data makes many of the traditional planning assumptions obsolete. Here the reader will learn the lessons from the testing and gain insights to adapt their planning processes to be more outside-in.
    Keywords: supply chain planning; outside-in planning; market driven; FVA; market data; supply chain insights

  • Supply chain strategies in the VUCA world
    Torsten Becker, Head of Study Programme Supply Chain Management, SRH Berlin University of Applied Sciences

    Companies use supply chain strategies to achieve competitive advantage in the market. Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) have been characteristics for the global supply chain in the past years. The COVID-19 pandemic led to factory and port closures, transport bottlenecks and lorry driver shortages, which have had an impact on the supply chain. The world has become less predictable, which requires companies to define supply chain strategies to cope with more risks and uncertainties. An updated supply chain strategy system integrating offerings, capabilities, vision and mission is described. A method to define the four types of capabilities — products, processes, equipment, digital tools — is explained. The approach to translate the strategy intent into action is based on the steps architecture, design, implementation and execution. This can be defined for the key capabilities that need to be aligned for the success of the business. An example explains the application of the approach in a company. Reviewing strategy can be now executed more regularly and standardised, accelerating the time to adapt the strategy to changed requirements. Defining and implementing the supply chain strategy are key tasks for many companies. A good supply chain strategy helps a company to improve the competitiveness in the markets. Understanding customer requirements and own capabilities, the supply chain strategy defines how the company will excel in the market and for the customer. As the supply chain is responsible for most customer-oriented processes, it typically translates the company strategy in an actionable format. Many companies struggle to define the supply chain strategy and evaluate it regularly to identify when this strategy needs to be updated. VUCA have characterised the supply chain world in the last years. In the last 18 months many additional supply chain disruptions have appeared and long-standing supply chain assumption have proved to be wrong. Many companies need to review and update their supply chain strategy to align their existing capabilities with the changed market requirements, acquire new capabilities and refocus their internal and external processes. This paper discusses how supply chain leaders can define a new strategy to cope with the changed situation.
    Keywords: supply chain strategy; supply chain capabilities; digital supply chain; supply chain management; strategy

Volume 5 Number 3

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • How Bayer Crop Science grows logistics excellence via digitalisation
    Johnny Ivanyi, Supply Chain Director and Global Head of Distribution Excellence, Bayer Crop Science and Terence Leung, Global Senior Director of Solutions Marketing, Supply Chain Management, Blue Yonder

    Like most companies, Bayer Crop Science is facing increasing volatility on both the supply and demand sides. Materials shortages, increasing costs, transportation roadblocks and demand fluctuations create constant challenges. And the seasonal nature of the company’s business, which is based largely on regional growing seasons, leaves little room for error. Bayer Crop Science’s global logistics team bears the brunt of continuing to deliver on customer promises, profitably, despite these constant exceptions to plan. To maximise service, resiliency, sustainability and financial results, Bayer Crop Science needed to optimise its global transportation and logistics processes. The company was seeking to increase visibility and responsiveness to disruptions, as well as establish standardised worldwide practices and shared value that would lead to more fact-based, profit- and service-driven decisions. This was impossible while 350 facilities, in more than 70 countries, were using disparate tools, outdated legacy systems and manual processes to manage a logistics network that had become incredibly complex. Several years ago, Bayer Crop Science embarked on a digital transformation that establishes a common platform — Blue Yonder’s transportation management and warehouse management solutions — as well as standardised processes and workflows, across the company’s sprawling logistics footprint. While the transformation at Bayer Crop Science is still under way, transportation and warehousing operations in 64 countries have been digitalised. This paper describes some early results, including a 3–5 per cent reduction in overall transportation spend, a 7 per cent increase in asset utilisation, decreased environmental impacts and a cultural change that is making Bayer Crop Science employees both happier and more productive.
    Keywords: logistics digitalisation; transportation management; warehouse management; digital transformation; supply chain volatility; artificial intelligence; machine learning; supply chain autonomy

  • How machine learning can improve decisions and automate manual processes in freight forwarding
    Ksenia Palke, Director of AI and Spence Lunderman, Senior Applied Scientist, Airspace

    Machine learning (ML) is becoming ubiquitous, yet it is still heavily underutilised in the logistics industry. This paper showcases the role of ML in modernising decision making in freight forwarding. After introducing the concept of ML at its simplest application in freight forwarding, a few examples from a time-critical tech-enabled logistics company, Airspace, are showcased to support the idea. The benefits and costs of ML are highlighted with a focus on what business metrics are improved by implementing ML. In the current world, any logistics company not investing in ML development is abdicating strategic advantage to their competition and losing the ability to compete with the more technologically forward-facing companies.
    Keywords: machine learning; artificial intelligence; predictive analytics; automation; Big Data; next generation; optimisation; innovation; efficiency

  • The ultimate control tower is the gateway to more dynamic supply chain agility
    Mark Holmes, Senior Adviser for Global Supply Chain, InterSystems

    Strains on global supply chains have exposed more than ever the need for global businesses to have greater visibility, control and a chameleon-like ability to adapt to any new situation rapidly. Organisations need an in-built ability to reconfigure to unforeseen disruptions arising from anything from geo-political events to a sudden change in consumer taste. Over the years, companies have tried different approaches to this challenge, hoping to gain that elusive level of consistency in a unified view of their supply chain data that will support all their needs. Each has run into problems, with the current shortage of data science expertise a difficulty all must overcome. This paper explains how the ultimate control tower has emerged as a highly effective approach, providing the connective tissue that global organisations need. It enables them to exploit data from their dynamic supply chain to better-inform decisions with immediate positive impact. Based on the four pillars of see, understand, optimise and act, this approach is already delivering for major companies with extended global supply chains. Using real-world examples, the paper explains how organisations deploying the ultimate control tower are achieving resilience and shape-shifting agility that enable them to excel in highly dynamic markets amid many challenges. Organisations are able to move from linear to much more supple digital and collaborative models. They can embed on-demand analytics capabilities and machine learning (ML), making it faster and easier to gain new insights and intelligent predictive and prescriptive capabilities.
    Keywords:  ultimate control tower; supply chain analytics; connective tissue; predictive analytics; smart data fabric

  • Business analytics: From problem solving to problem discovery
    Yao Zhao, Co-director, Supply Chain Analytics Lab; Professor, Rutgers University and Andrew Johnson, Lecturer of Supply Chain Management, University of Central Florida

    This paper provides a playbook for practitioners to discover problems and diagnose causes systematically using business analytics. Built on competitive intelligence and benchmarking, the practitioners’ playbook presents a step-by-step procedure that tells managers which directions to look, what questions to ask, and what analysis (or actions) to take in each step, in order to identify the key challenges and opportunities for a company. We also challenge the conventional belief that problem discovery is less valuable and easier than problem solving by showing that it can be the other way around, using examples from the information technology, transportation and healthcare industries.
    Keywords: problem discovery; business analytics; playbook; competitive intelligence; benchmarking; value chain

  • Innovating the RFP process: Forward-looking logistics sourcing strategies
    Heather Mueller, Chief Marketing and Product Officer and Andrew Martinelli, Director, Data Science, Breakthrough

    Since the COVID-19 pandemic, transportation professionals have been challenged with managing intricate supply chains. Market volatility has become a major pain point, with unforeseen costs and capacity constraints creating transportation network disruption. This challenge provides the opportunity to re-evaluate existing procurement processes and carrier partnerships. While the typical time to negotiate contracts is during the request for proposal (RFP), the annual event remains costly and inefficient, often administered via e-mail and Excel spreadsheets. With no sign of a slowdown in the demand for goods, there is increased pressure on shippers and carriers to transform their transportation practices to become more efficient. Breakthrough analysed their ecosystem of over 21 million annual shipments and over US$22bn in annual transportation spend to quantify the value of selecting carriers that match network priorities and growing volume with the optimal carriers. Breakthrough found that selecting carriers that match network priorities can result in 14 per cent cost savings. Growing volume with carriers throughout rate cycles can also add additional cost savings of 2.75 per cent or US$0.08 per mile lower than other carriers. Data-driven logistics sourcing strategies that allow transportation professionals to broaden their carrier networks and secure reliable capacity are discussed in this paper.
    Keywords: RFP; logistics sourcing strategies; growth relationship; carrier fit; transportation network efficiency

  • What are we teaching our procurement students?
    Joseph Walden, Demonstrated Master Logistician, University of Kansas School of Business

    Like other areas of supply chain management, there is a talent gap in the procurement career field. Some of this gap may be the result of internal training within companies; however, part of it can be traced to what future supply chain managers and procurement professionals are learning or not learning while studying at colleges and universities. The goal of this paper is to look at what procurement professionals are expected to know, what hiring officials are looking for, and what is being taught at the college and university level. Based on this, recommendations are made on how to improve the quality of academic programmes to improve the quality of our procurement professionals.
    Keywords: procurement; sourcing; contracting; supply chain management; supply management; logistics; education

  • A comprehensive solution strategy for right-sized packaging
    John C. Peck, Edward W. Page and James A. Bate, FastFetch

    Small parcel carriers are now basing shipping charges primarily on the dimensions of shipping cartons rather than the weight of packed cartons. Consequently, reducing wasted space in cartons can result in significant savings in shipping costs as well as corrugated material and dunnage costs. Most companies maintain a relatively small number of carton sizes, so the opportunity to select a carton to contain order items with a small amount of empty space is limited. Furthermore, choosing the best carton to pack items, either before or after they have been picked, is difficult for packers using the ‘eyeball’ method of selection and often requires repacking, which further adds to costs. Maintaining a large number of different carton sizes (eg 40+) increases the likelihood that a carton selected for packing will have minimal wasted space. This paper describes the challenges and artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions developed to enable the determination of which carton sizes to maintain in a large set of different carton sizes, automatically calculate the best carton(s) for packing an order from the large set, quickly identify the best carton for a packer, efficiently replenish consumed cartons from a carton supply area, and simplify vendor managed inventory (VMI) by a carton supplier to enable frequent delivery of replenishment cartons.
    Keywords: cubing algorithms; cartonisation; carton selection; packaging optimisation; dimweight; shipping cost minimisation; carton volume optimisation; genetic algorithms; artificial intelligence; labour reduction in packaging; distribution centre; logistics; supply chain; order fulfilment

Volume 5 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Reshaping supply chains: Leading to more sustainable business models
    Eirini Etoimou, Head of Corporate Sustainability & Supply Chain Development, Sellafield

    The COVID-19 pandemic’s widespread impact highlighted the importance of supply chain performance as a fundamental indicator for business continuity, as it was imperative to mitigate multilayered risks with financial and reputational impact for corporates. Transformation of supply chains requires a vertical and horizontal integration across the business with the involvement of all internal and external stakeholders, demand generators, policy and decision makers, and budget holders. Acting as the ‘glue’ among the company’s functions providing accuracy, visibility and transparency, it can generate and deliver long-term commercial benefits. Digitalisation plays a critical role within the post-pandemic era, supporting risk mitigation, visibility, real-time tracking and supply chain performance. Open and honest relationships, building trustworthy environments for both employees and suppliers, can support sustainable business continuity. Additionally, business can reap considerable quantitative and qualitative benefits from the structured supplier relationship management models. This paper analyses the areas where this transformation will materialise and its expected outcome, acknowledging challenging factors as part of this process.
    Keywords: supply chain management, transformation, business continuity, risk management, resilience, digitalisation, sustainable business model

  • Overcoming logistics network challenges through advanced transportation visibility
    Bart De Muynck, Chief Industry Officer, project44

    The supply chain is often discussed as one cohesive and linear entity. In reality, it is an extended and complex ecosystem. Each player in the ecosystem has a different relationship with the goods it is moving to multiple types of recipients and adds a distinct type of value to the network. In addition, there are numerous supply chain disruptions that can happen along the way. These influences and the scale and complexity of the transportation ecosystem make advance transportation visibility key to any company’s success. This paper explains what real-time visibility platforms are, the capabilities they provide and describes the value they bring to their users. It also provides insights and trends around these platforms as they grow and mature. Readers will get an understanding how to transform their supply chain through visibility while facilitating seamless execution that creates real supply chain value.
    Keywords: visibility, transportation, analytics, data quality, workflow, collaboration

  • Predicting and managing supply chain risks
    Francesco Lucchetta, Group Sourcing Leader, Pentair

    In recent years, we have seen how the supply chains of all companies around the world can be challenged by events of varying nature and magnitude. The prevention of these events, and the risks associated with them, is crucial not only for the continuity of a business but also for its survival. The objective of this paper is to provide clear guidance on how to identify and predict supply chain risks and avoid or greatly limit their impact on the value chain of companies. Approaching the subject in a typical 3D manner (discover, develop, deploy), the text aims to provide a toolkit that can be readily applied, especially for companies of production and supply of goods, and easily customised to the specific needs that each enterprise normally has. The paper explains how to create a process for recognising and identifying risks that may affect an organisation; how to prioritise them by quantifying each risk by magnitude and likelihood of occurrence; how to mitigate them through targeted actions for each type of risk; and how to create a risk-sensitive working environment and anticipate its prediction and detection.
    Keywords: supply chain, risk management, risk mitigation, contingency plan, COVID-19, Ukraine war, black swan

  • Retail advantage through a consumer-centric supply chain
    Nick Basford, Vice President, UPS

    How quickly will your supply chain become truly consumer-centric? It is a rare occurrence to find a retail supply chain that is not built with some degree of end consumer experience considerations in mind, because consumer experience is fundamental to any retailer’s strategy. The opportunities and benefits of increasing consumer centricity can, however, be significant, particularly as e-commerce adoption continues to grow. Supply chain priorities are shifting to respond to the seemingly ever-rising expectations of e-commerce consumers. This can be referred to as a shift from ‘C’s to ‘P’s. Supply chains now often offer choice and convenience for consumers, having establishing home delivery capabilities at a sustainable cost for retailers. But to be truly consumer-centric, supply chains must offer consumers the ability to express shopping and delivery preferences and in return make supply chain-driven promises to consumers, thereby creating personalised experiences that in turn expand the profit opportunity for retailers. Many retail supply chains are emerging from the pandemic-induced ‘fire drill’ priority of moving from a ‘lean’ emphasis to ‘agile’ in a matter of months. And as they re-establish predictability and consistency in the consumer experience outcome, a new level of innovation is emerging. Powered by data and integrated technology solutions, there is now a clear opportunity for supply chains to play a much bigger role in retailer differentiation. The new priority is a consumer-centric supply chain.
    Keywords: experience, supply chain, consumer-centric, retailer, convenience, personalisation, differentiation

  • Demand driven adaptive enterprise and adaptive sales and operations planning
    Dick Ling, President, Richard C. Ling, Carol Ptak, Partner and Chad Smith, Partner, Demand Driven Institute

    The volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world is here to stay, and it is wreaking havoc on manufacturers, distributors and supply chains throughout the world. Companies are failing at a faster rate than ever because they are failing to adapt to this highly dynamic and risky environment. A new rule has emerged: adapt or die. But how to drive adaptation when conventional tools and processes are failing to keep pace with these challenges? This paper introduces adaptive sales and operations planning, an effective bidirectional bridge between strategy and operations, enabling adaptation at all levels of the organisation in the VUCA world. A step-by-step path is introduced to prepare, implement and sustain this robust S&OP process. Adaptive sales and operations planning completes the Demand Driven Adaptive Enterprise framework and restores the original promise of S&OP for modern circumstances.
    Keywords: demand driven, DDMRP, S&OP, sales and operational planning, supply chain resiliency, DDS&OP, VUCA

  • Why user experience is crucial for procurement
    Stephen Simko, Global Procurement Practice Leader, Genpact and Brandon Rozelle, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Rightpoint

    Procurement touches every part of a company and the critical role that suppliers play in a company’s operations only increases its importance. For direct materials, the purchases are managed by dedicated experts whose focus allows them to develop expertise in using specialised, and sometimes complex, systems. On the other hand, indirect purchases can be made by anyone in the organisation, most of whom will be infrequent users who struggle to adapt to any system that is difficult to use. At the same time, procurement departments are looking for ways to increase the amount of spend under management to reduce costs and minimise the risks, such as information security, associated with uncontrolled buying. Solving this challenge requires that we expand our perspective of procurement systems to include the overall user experience (UX). This paper is a summary of our collective learnings on why UX is critical to any procurement and supply chain organisation, and the proven framework and techniques we deploy to help companies achieve their transformation and operations goals.
    Keywords: user experience (UX), customer experience (CX), end customer, procurement transformation, journey mapping, Amazon effect, self-service technology, spend management technologies, enterprise resource planning (ERP), indirect procurement, spend compliance, behavioural science, human computer interaction, shadow procurement organisation

  • Urban last-mile logistics rethought: Insights from a one-year pilot project
    Maximilian Engelhardt, Research Associate and Stephan Seeck, Professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management, HTW Berlin

    E-commerce parcel delivery is an important part of the overall service experience of online retailers; however, the service quality of today’s parcel delivery cannot meet the expectations of consumers. This forces urban logistics practitioners to consider how the supposedly diverging requirements of both convenient and environmentally friendly delivery can be met in an economically viable way. One possible solution is ‘Kiezbote’, a last-mile concept that collects parcels from various senders and parcel logistics service providers (PLSP) centrally in a micro-hub strategically located within or just outside the neighbourhood to be supplied. Then, parcels are delivered consolidated per recipient within a desired time window by cargo bike. The concept was tested for one year in Berlin-Charlottenburg. It was shown that the tested delivery concept outperforms large PLSPs in terms of customer satisfaction and reduces emissions such as CO2 on the last mile. Economic viability could be achieved, but this requires a sufficiently high volume of parcels, as the willingness to pay is limited. Based on the results, online retailers should place greater emphasis on reliable and accurate delivery. PLSPs have to work more closely with local delivery partners to offer a wider range of customised delivery services. Technology providers should keep pushing new hardware and software solutions into the market; however, industry standards and interfaces are crucial when it comes to realising a diversified last-mile landscape. Delivery start-ups should combine both new modes of transport and digital business models and municipalities and politics should provide infrastructure, regulations as well as fast approval processes. This paper deals with the question of how the wish for both a convenient and environmentally friendly delivery service can be met in an economically viable way.
    Keywords: e-commerce, parcel delivery, last-mile logistics, sustainability, customer satisfaction

Volume 5 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Business-driven digitisation of external manufacturing supply chains
    Stefan Kluge, Senior Director Supplier Portfolio Management and Operations Enabling Krishna Subramanian, Systems Capability Architect and Bernhard Fiegl, Supply Chain Program Manager, Intel

    In an increasingly complex world of manufacturing where core internal manufacturing and strategic external manufacturing are tightly intertwined on product roadmaps, it is imperative to have a vision around transforming supply network collaboration to be digitised, core transactional systems automated to achieve reliable, fast decision making at all levels. Increasing product complexity with the need to optimise capacity and cost results in a much more complex manufacturing network as compared to the past. Intel business strategy of IDM 2.0 (Integrated Device Manufacturer) is utilising both internal and external manufacturing to optimally serve the surging global demand of semiconductors. In this paper we show how digitisation and automation drive solutions to the challenges which today’s and expected future semiconductor market poses to the external manufacturing supply chain.
    Keywords: semiconductor, external manufacturing supply chain, digitisation and automation, integrated device manufacturer, sourcing, procurement, supplier relationship management

  • The case for localised, decentralised supply chains
    Mike Kinder, Co-founder and CEO, Veryable

    Reshoring is picking up steam for a reason: supply chain companies in the US are realising that further globalisation comes with trade-offs that have been revealed to be more costly than anticipated in the long run. Globalist pressures to move manufacturing out of the US and further centralise control over the decisions made in the supply chain are an enemy that must be stopped if the US values the sovereignty of the nation, the purpose of the supply chain’s work and the future of supply chain businesses. Luckily, advances in manufacturing technology favour a decentralised approach that prioritises localisation, customisation and reduced waste. This approach would be more likely to achieve the reported economic aims of the globalist agenda, without requiring US businesses to cede decision-making power to plutocrats or submit to inferiority in productive capacity under a globalist vision for the future.
    Keywords: localisation, globalisation, flexibility, labour capacity, US supply chain

  • Empty packaging flow and cost optimisation using digital enhancements
    Daniel Enache, Supply Chain Range Manager, Dacia Groupe Renault

    ‘Expansion means complexity and complexity decay’, said Cyril N. Parkinson. This quote is still very relevant in the current economic context and should challenge every organisation to continuously look for ways to improve its performance. Nowadays, however, supply chain teams are expected to play an increasingly strategic role in developing agility to rapidly meet changing requirements of customers, optimise costs and generate value for the company. In the automotive industry, the specific packaging of the vehicle parts represents an important asset: a huge volume of particular stillages and plastic boxes shared between different vehicles or powertrain plants, as well as outsourced parts suppliers. This requires strong management, because any packaging unavailability affecting one of the involved actors can lead to very negative effects such as production shutdowns, which translates to higher costs. This paper describes the way in which Dacia-Renault’s supply chain team has upgraded packaging management processes and implemented the latest technology and digital tools to optimise costs and bring end-to-end visibility to this specific activity.
    Keywords: end-to-end supply chain visibility, digital supply chain, cost optimisation, supply chain project management, track and trace, agile

  • Supplier optimisation life cycle: Development, implementation and ongoing evaluation
    Elizabeth Hair-Estrella, Supply Chain Inventory Management, Sysco Corporation

    In the ongoing pursuit of supply chain continuous improvement, an established platform ensures internal company efforts are being maximised, documented and repeatable. This paper will describe how two foundational documents can build standardisation throughout inventory management organisations while creating a process supporting continuous improvement. These basic documents support and create a shared information environment, reducing key person dependencies and bridging potential knowledge gaps when team members leave roles temporarily or permanently. Recommendations will include how to develop and implement: 1) supplier optimisation life cycle; and 2) buy guide, as well as recommendations on monitoring long-term success via tools; and 3) metrics/key product indicators.
    Keywords: procurement, continuous improvement, supplier checklist, supplier processes, procurement excellence, load fill, metrics, buy guide, buyer guide, supplier optimisation

  • Supply chain resiliency: Absorb versus respond
    Danny Bloem, Senior Consultant, Slimstock and Jason Rude, independent supply chain executive

    Global supply chain shocks are nothing new; history is littered with examples of abnormal demand patterns or supply disruptions, with the recovery from COVID-19 being the most recent. This paper explores strategies for building resiliency into supply chains by investing in capabilities to absorb demand and supply shocks or create the ability to respond quickly and effectively to devastating supply chain events. Each supply chain is unique and may require a blend of strategies, depending on the infrastructure required to produce the products and distribute them throughout desired markets. With specific case studies and theoretical approaches, this paper provides a framework to utilise when planning for business continuity and supply chain resilience. It is shown that many resilient design principles can be embedded in day-to-day processes without too much effort, while for other more critical products more robust strategies must be planned. The core goal of this paper is to outline the differences between absorb and respond strategies and identify what type of strategy is better for what situation. Both authors have theoretical and practical experience developing plans for supply chain disaster recovery and optimising the investments needed to enhance resiliency and preparedness. Utilising this approach to supply chain design, building absorb capacity or responding rapidly to major disruptions, and by leveraging their collaboration with supply chain partners, companies can give themselves a competitive advantage.
    Keywords: disruption, resiliency, absorb, respond, continuity, collaboration, capacity, redundancy, decoupling

  • Sustainability in procurement and the role of technology
    Florian Sommer, Senior Manager and Tanja Fischer, Senior Consultant, Capgemini

    This paper elaborates on relevant dimensions regarding the implementation of sustainability practices in procurement based on a holistic framework. The importance of procurement in corporate decarbonisation activities is also addressed. It is argued that Scope 3.1 emissions, those emissions generated by purchased goods and services, have the most obvious connection to the procurement organisation and often account for the majority of all corporate emissions. Thus, this paper describes potential calculation methods to assess the Scope 3.1 emissions as well as potential reduction levers that procurement managers can initiate to contribute to their organisation’s reduction targets. Moreover, the current technology landscape to support sustainability goals is examined and requirements that future tools should meet to add value from a sustainability and procurement perspective are developed.
    Keywords: sustainability, procurement, ESG, carbon accounting

  • Why go hungry? How analytics can turn a risk appetite into a competitive advantage
    Ulf Venne, Leader, Center of Excellence and Phaedra Hise, Content Marketing Director, Everstream Analytics

    It is no secret that global corporations see risk as negative. Executives trained to focus on loss aversion are not thinking of risk as an opportunity. Yet, if businesses can increase their risk appetite, operations can embrace supply chain risk as a true competitive advantage. In other words, if organisations analyse risk, they can accept a certain amount of reasonable risk in order to reach strategic goals. When unexpected supply chain disruptions hit, managers and executives can shift the company mindset using a data-driven approach to gain both a financial and a competitive advantage. Corporations from Nokia and Amazon to Tesla and Toyota have experienced the financial benefits of a healthy supply chain risk appetite. Emerging technologies and in-depth analytics create even more instances for the prepared company to see the value of leveraging risk. Risk transparency via analytics helps convert risk into opportunity.
    Keywords: risk management, disruption, analytics, technology, supply chain

  • Adopting supply chain strategies to address panic-buying behaviour
    Flavio Macau, Associate Dean, School of Business and Law, Edith Cowan University and Juliana Bonomi Santos, Associate Professor, FGV/EAESP Business School

    This paper provides an overview of supply chain strategies to address panic-buying behaviour. It identifies triggers and lists products typically involved in panic buying. The impact on supply chains is discussed, along with roles played by each main stakeholder, as well as mitigating strategies that can help counter the situation. While no stand-alone strategy is sufficient to fully address the problem, several actions can be initiated by governments, businesses and customers. If properly coordinated there is a window of opportunity where the main effects of panic buying can be mitigated. The practical implication of this paper is to present a framework to discuss the problem, while offering a simplified roadmap with steps to mitigate panic-buying occurrences.
    Keywords: panic buying, supply chain disruption, supply chain resilience, supply chain shortages, supply chain strategy