Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Key Atributes to an Effective Sypply Chain

This may be of interest to individuals who are not sure just what is required to have an effective supply chain:

Transparency - Supply chain processes and procedures should be transparent to all stakeholders. The higher the visibility, the easier it is to identify problems in the system.

Speed – Determine the speed of each process and procedure in the supply chain and assess how to improve on it. Benchmarking can play an important role here.

Collaboration - Sharing of information and key learning's among supply chain partners can drastically improve your supply chain.

Trust - Sharing of information and knowledge will lead to improved partnerships and trust.

Consumer orientated - The needs of the consumer should always be the focus point of any supply chain system.

Flexibility - A rigid supply chain system can not respond to market changes.

Variability - A one size fits all solution is highly unlikely to work for all channels and customers segments.

Ongoing assessment - Supply chains are not static. Trends need to be evaluated regularly.

Patience - Newly implemented systems require a patient approach as changes are unlikely to yield immediate results.

Risk. - We must understand what WILL . happen if we have a broken link and decide BEFOR what our course of action will be>

Thursday, January 8, 2009

LEAN Manufacturing

What Does It Mean?

Lean manufacturing is simply about removing wastes, those activities and processes that don't add to a product's value. In practice, as businesses find the next better way to do things, helping them to improve profitability or reduce prices, what they are actually finding are ways to remove wastes.

It seems to us that increasing numbers of businesses are understanding and enthusiastically embracing the tools and techniques of Lean manufacturing. More importantly, they're making it work for them and their customers. Some may risk having to play Lean catch-up just to stay in business.

Lean manufacturing is underpinned by 5 principles:

- Specify what creates value from the customers perspective
- Identify all the steps along the process chain
- Make those processes flow
- Make only what is pulled by the customer
- Strive for perfection by continually removing wastes

The main driver for Lean is to compress the time period from customer order to payment.

The way that this is achieved is by identifying and eliminating waste. In a conventional supply chain and in individual businesses, there are potentially huge amounts of different wastes, known as The 7 Wastes: