Supply Chain Management SCM

Thriving in the next normal: pivoting your SCM operations to growth

Jeff_Stiles_.jpgBy Jeff Stiles, VP, Product Marketing SCM, Oracle

Where are supply chains going today? I had a chance to hear some interesting perspectives on this question at a recent Oracle Live event, where I attended a session that looked at pivoting your SCM operations to growth. In light of recent events, this was a timely discussion, to say the least.

At the risk of stating the obvious, the last six months have been a trying and challenging time for everybody, and especially product companies - those organizations that run supply chains and manufacturing plants. The crisis has been a sea change for them, and they find themselves now at a crossroads.

Alexander the Great needed great supply chains

MilitaryLogistics_150.pngPopular history tells us that Napoleon said "an army marches on its stomach".

However, he was not the first military leader to understand that combat is only one part of a successful military campaign.

Alexander the Great's 'greatness' was not owing to his ability to dream up bold moves and cut a dashing figure in the saddle: he was a master of supply chain management and could not have succeeded otherwise.

The sources of future supply chain restlessness

Disruption_120.jpgSupply chain disruptions have continued to grow significantly in recent years, even before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic struck and caused a major impact on the availability of components, goods and services as well as logistics, shipping and sourcing. Research by the Institute for Supply Management shows that (1) common disruptors have direct business impact across all industries and (2) other disruptors are evolving and relevant to a smaller group of industries. Half of chief procurement officers (CPOs) interviewed anticipate these dynamics to intensify in the future.

COVID-19 pandemic: a rocky road to a new business norm

RockyRoad_150.jpgBy Gordon Reid with input from Mieka Cleghorn, SA Managing Director, Transparent

As a semi-retired business executive, and after spending the past twenty plus years working for some of South Africa's leading companies, the COVID-19 lockdown has afforded me valuable time for some serious thinking.

Many businesses will need to change the way they operate to remain afloat. Useful insights and lessons from company closures will undoubtedly surface in time, but for now we should focus on the future and what can be done now to keep our businesses running.

The intention of this article is to stimulate discussion, thought and imagination with a view to developing a roadmap to traverse the rocky road to economic survival post-COVID-19.

Africa's largest virtual conference for supply chain and procurement professionals coming in August

ASCA_125.pngSmartProcurement has joined forces with SAPICS to offer Africa's largest-ever online event for supply chain and procurement professionals.

Africa Supply Chain in Action takes place on 19 and 20 August 2020. It is expected to bring together more than 1 000 supply chain and procurement professionals.

Procurement empowered by cognitive and intelligent applications

Marcel_Vollmer_100.jpgBy Dr Marcell Vollmer, Chief Innovation Officer, Celonis

Across all industries, procurement leaders are seeking significant and measurable productivity gains. New technology, based on machine learning and artificial intelligence, is driving the digital transformation of the procurement function to deliver value, driving supplier innovations, performing risk management, securing a sustainable supply chain and, of course, managing budgets.

The traditional mindset of cost savings is dead

Hemant_Porwal_100.jpgBy Hemant Porwal, Executive Vice President: Supply Chain and Operations, WESCO Distribution

Over time, the concept of measuring savings has evolved to creating a baseline by comparing items under the form, fit and function framework.

Top-quartile procurement teams have taken this further by adopting total cost of ownership (TCO) into their request for proposal (RFP) models, instead of pure price comparisons. A key point is that these TCO criteria measure costs can be principally influenced by procurement teams.

However, this is not enough. We need a more holistic metric which measures cost from the first mile to the last mile and, ultimately, within reach of customers in the last three feet. The metric to use is total cost to serve (TCS).

Agility and sustainable sourcing are SCM's new focus areas

NdabeniBagosi_100.jpgBy Ndabeni Bagosi, Head: Cost and Agility Programme, Total South Africa

Leading and forward-thinking organisations rely on the agility of their supply chains for sustainability. Traditionally, the focus of supply chain has been on compliance and cost cutting. However, increasing competition, changing customer needs and a changing economic environment are challenging organisations to think beyond cost.

Increasingly, chief procurement officers (CPOs) are required to provide solutions on how they can contribute to organisations' agility, safety, cost reduction and environmental compliance (sustainable procurement).

Is COVID-19 a force majeure event?

Tanya_Waksman_100.pngBy Tanya Waksman

Does coronavirus (COVID-19) have any effect on the rights and/or obligations of parties in contractual relationships under South African law? Tanya Waksman, of legal advisory firm, Eversheds Sutherland, considers this question in this month's SmartProcurement.

16 tried-and-tested tips on running productive meetings remotely

ProductiveRemoteMeetings_200.jpgBy Michael Healy, Supply Chain Partner

The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced companies to get creative about how they connect and meet with customers and teams.

Working with cloud applications allows us to workshop, design and configure systems remotely. With apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, working remotely can be easy and cost effective. But making it a positive and productive experience for everyone joining in does take some planning.

Here is a checklist from Supply Chain Partner to help you get the most out of your remote sessions:

Prepare and adjust your supply chain for coronavirus

JamesRice.jpgBy James B. Rice, Deputy Director, MIT Centre for Transportation and Logistics

Developing a clear supply chain response to the coronavirus outbreak is extremely challenging, given the scale of the crisis and the rate at which it is evolving.

The best response, of course, is to be ready before such a crisis hits, since options become more limited when a disruption is in full swing. However, there are measures that can be taken now even if you are not fully prepared. And although its long-term consequences have yet to fully play out, the coronavirus outbreak already provides some lessons about how you can better prepare your company to deal with future large-scale crises.

How to partner with SMEs for success

Dollars and cents: what are we really saving?

DiegoDeLaGarza_100.jpgBy Diego De la Garza

It might have started with dollars and cents, but what should procurement really be saving now? It is time to shift the dial.

What is the cure to the side effects of KPIs?

BertrandMaltaverne_100.jpgBy Bertrand Maltaverne

If there is one topic in business literature that has been covered exhaustively, it is key performance indicators (KPIs). But if you're not careful, the indicators you set might inadvertently encourage behaviours that can be dramatically damaging...

Case in point: in 19th-century India, the city of Delhi had a snake problem. A rather large population of cobras slithered the streets with impunity. The British government decided to get rid of the snakes through crowdsourcing. Officials offered a bounty for every dead snake that locals brought in. But something unexpected happened. Soon after the British started to pay for every dead cobra, they realised that local entrepreneurs had begun to breed snakes in order to get paid.

The government cancelled the programme. As a result, the cobra farmers released their worthless snakes into the streets.

It turned out that the British didn't want dead snakes; they just wanted fewer live snakes. By incentivising the wrong thing, they inadvertently doubled their problem.

Abusive compliance practices hurt retailers and their suppliers

KateVitasek_100.jpgVendor compliance programs have become a major roadblock to retail store success. But who is to blame? Retailers and suppliers point that finger at each other. One expert says there is a "state of chaos" with retailer vendor compliance programs for both bricks-and-mortar and online stores.

A Supply Chain Digest Retail-Vendor Benchmark Study does not hold back, asserting, "To state the current business environment is a challenging one for both retailers and manufacturers is putting it mildly." Consultant and author Norman Katz of Katzscan Inc. is more harsh in a stinging critique of retailer vendor compliance practices in his recent Journal of Supply Chain Management, Logistics and Procurement (Vol. 1 - No. 3) article titled "How Abusive Vendor Compliance Programs are Affecting Retail Store Success."

Kate Vitasek, Professor in Supply Chain Management at the University of Tennessee, unpacks the effects of vendor compliance practices used by Retailers.

State capture: a supply chain created problem?

Mediacy_.jpgBy Mediacy Mudekwa

The cost of state capture is estimated to be around R1.5-trillion over the last approximate four years. To put this into perspective, R1.8-trillion is the national budget for 2019. According to the Daily Maverick, state capture has wiped out "a third of South Africa's R4.9-trillion gross domestic product, or effectively annihilated four months of all labour and productivity of all South Africans, from hawkers selling sweets outside schools to boardroom jockeys".

Of course, there is no way we can quantify the true cost and real extent of state capture. One can only guess what this has done to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the influence that it has had on their balance sheets and service delivery. The question is: what role has procurement and the supply chain played in this? And what procurement/supply chain management (SCM) lessons can we learn from state capture?

How to spot supplier risk in communication

BenGoldwasser_100.jpgCommunication is a critical component of any business and is no less crucial in supplier relationships. When your company has great communication with its suppliers, it can be like adding another department to your organisation.

There are a large number of suppliers who do an excellent job communicating with their customers. You probably have several suppliers that you can think of right now that practice excellent communication. But what is it that sets these suppliers apart? Ben Goldwasser, Business Development Professional, Spendrix, investigates.

What is sustainable procurement?

EmmaBerthold_100.jpgWhat, exactly, is 'sustainable procurement'? What should purchasers be looking out for and what should product manufacturers do to ensure that their products measure up?

Good Environmental Choice Australia's (GECA's) Emma Berthold weighs in on what sustainable procurement really is and what purchasers should be looking out for.



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