Thursday, 26 May 2016

What are the 9 points deployed in the lean supply workforce?

Workforces and management may feel reluctant to change to a lean supply chain. Here are some of the benefits that can be used to show the advantages of moving with the times and making the necessary changes.
  1. Evaluating the true costs of changes and calculating the ROI can be achieved using modelling and simulation tools
  2. Overstaffing, overtime and using temporary staff can all be eliminated when using proper workforce planning and scheduling
  3. Lean supply workforce strategies, develop an efficient, focused logistic culture that is cost conscious
  4. Work avoidance activities can be eliminated and productivity and morale can all be improved as all workers are evaluated fairly
  5. Productivity and throughput is improved, costs are reduced and services improved by eliminating waste
  6. Best practices ensure the most efficient, safe and error-free methodologies are used. As a result the training costs are reduced while customer services, improve along with quality
  7. Accountable and self-motivated workers with high morale, provide a better service to the customer and this improves customer loyalty and satisfaction
  8. Retention and morale in the workforce is increased with a collaborative partnership and this will have positive effects on the bottom line
  9. Activity based costing is achieved through the use of granular standards and measurement software allowing managers to have a clear understanding of the costs of serving each customer

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

What is lean supply workforce and what are the seven areas on which it focuses on?

Lean supply chain management requires a demand-driven workforce that incorporates a pull model. The lean supply workforce can be traced back to its conception by Toyota and their highly efficient manufacturing workflow process. 

The idea is to remove the waste from workflow processes. Now it is used in the global supply chain as it eliminates waste and adds value. The seven areas of focus below were developed by Toyota’s Product Engineer - Taiichi Ohno.
  1. Adopt the best price approach rather than using historical methods
  2. Set the standards, goals and adaptable precision. The best practice uses the most efficient methods. Each individual job can be examined closely to establish the right length of time for each of the tasks.
  3. Planning, scheduling and simulation are next. Based on best practice being in place technology is then used to translate order demand information along with special promotions and so on to decide how many people will be needed to complete the tasks within a set time frame in order to meet demand and to eliminate waste.
  4. An area where waste is found is unproductive and time spent between jobs, or indirect time, is embraced.
  5. Establishing best practice involves key factors such as safety and quality which is realised through training employees and removing any barriers that stop productivity.
  6. Educating the workforce in logistics skills so they can develop best practice includes training, refresher course and continuous training.
  7. Management requires plenty of regular data that can be used to measure the reliability and productivity of the workforce.



Tuesday, 24 May 2016

What are the six stages of lean tools in supply chain management?

It’s not easy to adapt to a lean supply chain. There’s usually the need to include strategic sourcing to manage supplier performance, strategic customer to get the points of view of the customer and sales operations planning in order to blend the suppliers and customer strategy with the day to day management of the supply chain. There needs to be the infrastructure in place to support the supply chain and there are six stages of lean tools to use:

Visualising the organisation of waste removal in distribution centres and offices can be achieved with the 5 S’s– Sort, straighten, sweep/shine, standardise and sustain/self-discipline.
Fast set-up – Adjust the layout of the warehouse to organise seasonal products, new products, and fast moving products.
Kanban – Viewing warehousing and inventory positioning in a new way, coordinating multistep processes for many different products. Mini warehouses are used so the inventory is located closer to the customers, reducing delivery times.
Workcell – Self-contained unit that can be used to combine multi operations into a central zone and where warehouses can perform activities such as assembly.
Standardise – Defining who, when, where, what and how the repeated work processes are performed to synchronise the time that is required for pulling and shipping orders. The standards are used to train employees.
Sigma 
– Sigma relates to quality and it’s an advanced tool that focuses on variations and controlling/preventing any errors.

Monday, 23 May 2016

What are the three areas of lean supply chain management and what areas need to be addressed?

The three key areas of lean supply chain management are expanding beyond the supply chain and manufacturing programme, changing the organisation so it is logistically literate and focused. It also embraces both the suppliers and the customers. Finally, it determines values from the customer view and not the company view.

The areas that need to be addressed include:
  • International sourcing – One of the obstacles to lean supply chain management is the procurement of finished goods or raw materials around the world, especially outside North America. Delivery times can be very long, inventory increases and inventory waste are a problem.
  • Accounting – Accounting doesn’t recognise waste in the same way that lean does. Accounting doesn’t recognise time and rework isn’t treated the same.
  • Organisation – Gaps can be found when implementing a process that travels horizontally in a vertical organisation. Gaps can result in waste and removal of the waste can prove difficult.
  • Number of firms – Many suppliers and logistics services don’t use a lean strategy and some aren’t as visible as others. Implementation of lean strategy to outside firms increased the complexities involved and takes time.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Chit Chat: 2016 Healthcare Trends According to Industry Experts

Here are some of the healthcare industry trends expected to take off during 2016.
  • Increases in mergers and acquisitions. Consolidations result in larger health systems and insurers and branding becomes critical. Consumers don’t want to pay more for top-ranked hospitals but many will travel further to gain access to care from well-known healthcare systems.
  • Drugs prices on the rise. Prices have skyrocketed and there needs to be some kind of fair pricing formula created in the next year. Biosimilar drugs might be one of the ways the prices can decrease as near substitutes can be sold without the branding.
  • Cybersecurity worries. Hacked systems pose a problem as consumers are not going to feel confident if their data is stolen or considered at risk. Organisations need to prepare and prevent attacks.
  • Technology for consumers – Smartphone apps that are health related will continue to grow in popularity. People want care in the palm of their hands.
  • Behavioural healthcare – Mental health is important for the well-being of workers and consumers. There is a need to serve these patients and recognise that one out of five Americans experience mental illness each year.
  • Money manager consumers. Consumers need to pay closer attention to their health spending because of higher deductibles and co-insurance.  Payment plans and new tools and services will help consumers pay for the services.
  • High-tech databases and deep data analysis will provide insights that are required to improve consumer health.
  • Care costs. Looking at ways to improve efficiency so healthcare systems can provide value based care.



Friday, 20 May 2016

Asset Management in the Supply Chain

A key area in the global supply chain and warehouse management is asset management.  Asset management works is alignment with RFID and provides lots of benefits in manufacturing work in progress, loss prevention, security, asset utilisation and inventory control.

One of the problems with asset management is that it's a resource intensive process. Often incorrect or out of date data is used to make fiscal decisions and there aren’t many current methods for inventory counting or the tracking of asset movements. There’s no real time asset visibility.

Other challenges include asset monitoring to prevent losses or theft and lack of security. Losses or thefts result in additional costs to replace the asset and being able to spot potential risks such as these can work to save money.

The three main areas are real-time visibility, status or tamper detection, integration of high level solutions and movement. Addressing these problems requires RFID along with the Mobile Resource Management software.  The systems work on the basis of data capture ecosystems and allows for the best use of technology, having a single data collection exchange and reporting structure and data collection mechanisms.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

What are some factors influencing the development of global logistics? – Part 3

Today is our final look at some of the factors that influence global logistics.
  • Improvements are needed in the global infrastructure, including modernising ports, free trade zones and inland clearance depot developments.
  • Global logistics is computer driven, when it comes to the operations and so the need to rapidly expand on IT is a continuous development.
  • Global operators need to be responsive as this is what’s demanded by companies. This requires visibility, so delays or any challenges can be shared with the customer. Traders want a quick response and so mega-logistics carriers are perhaps the best response.
  • Most changes in suppliers are caused by poor services or a lack of customer driven attention rather than cheaper products.
  • Continued development of 3PL contractors.
  • Reducing production cycles for the producers/manufacturers who want to take advantage of the logistics system.
  • Improvements in supply chain software and integration of supply chain management. The development of software has been driven by rapid globalisation of distribution and manufacture.
  • Time-sharing developments with logistics contractors. Linking the contractor to the customers IT systems.
  • Trading and economic blocks found in EU, Far East and North America pushes for the continued development of adopting strategies as found with global logistics traders.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

What are some factors influencing the development of global logistics? – Part 2

Today, we’re continuing our look at some of the factors influencing the development of global logistics.
  • Adding value through the global logistic network. Perhaps using more outsourcing at lower costs while improving quality or improving packaging systems, for example.
  • Focusing on launching products to global markets simultaneously to favour the logistics operations.
  • In order to remain competitive, traders now need to use a global logistic strategy.
  • Satellite production is computer driven and therefore, it demands a logistic network.
  • Reducing product life cycles, which has been driven by the international market demands that all favour efficient logistics.
  • Technological developments to increase shelf life for products, especially food products. These need a sourcing mechanism that is logistics based.
  • Allowing traders to concentrate their efforts on their core business by working with a global logistics operator.

Tomorrow we’ll conclude our look at the factors that influence global logistics. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

What are some factors influencing the development of global logistics? – Part 1


Over the next three days, we’re going to take a brief look at some of the factor influences for the development of global logistics.


  • Information technology development. RFID allowed for communication and data transmission to be transformed. It has opened up markets in outsourcing manufacturing and assembly as well as refocusing the strategies.  RFID has no barriers such as time zones or language, so data can be transmitted continuously.
  • Markets continuing to go global and using the international trade environment to develop international confidence.
  • Development of global container networks has presented a new challenge for global traders, focusing on adding value to the distribution trend.  The challenge is to find ways to extend the multi modal container service to improve efficiency and benefit the shipper and improving transparency of the flow of goods through the supply chain. Developing improved coordination with the flow of funds and movement of goods will allow importers and exporters cheaper access to money sources.
  • Expanding the integrators DHL and TNT, opening new markets in the service and manufacturing industries.
  • Development of the hub and spoke container network and reducing the need for end to end/port to port liner conference systems.
  • Mega container carrier’s development of in-house global logistics operations resulting in the decline of freight forwarding.
  • Development of free trade zones, free ports and distriparks continue to present new opportunities for trade distribution.
Return tomorrow for more of the influential factors for the development of global logistics.

Monday, 16 May 2016

What is some Strategic Development for Excess Inventories in the Logistics Supply Chain Network?

The development of a strategic approach that focuses on processes at all management levels in the company is essential . Company’s commitment is required for the following areas:
  1. Inventory analysis – identifying daily measurement of movement in the inventory
  2. Lean inventory – developing lean inventory emphasises pull for product movement and can be used as a tool to identify unnecessary inventory and reducing it
  3. The entire supply chain distinguishes two major elements including the inbound and the outbound supply chain. Developing multiple transports and stocking programme.
  4. Using velocity and profitability to segment inventory
  5. Placing an emphasis on customers, sales and profits
  6. Formulating and implementing sales and operations planning that embraces the sourcing and customer strategies
  7. Working to compress the cycle time
  8. Having a focus on reliability to help benefit the image of the brand
  9. Being innovative and creative
  10. Distribution network needs to be updated to ensure it is making the best use of warehouse design, layout and transportation resources.
  11. Supplier performance and increasing supply chain transparency
  12. Global sourcing effects – knowing the impact of sourcing, addressing inventory and being competitive, especially when it comes to pricing
  13. Outsourcing. Using 3PL or 4PL as an ongoing approach to inbound or outbound supply chains.
  14. Ecommerce requires adequate software for the warehouse and using bar coding or radio frequency identification