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Many companies struggle to avoid overstocks while responding to variations in demand. Seasonal businesses have an especially difficult time managing demand fluctuations without overspending on inventory or causing shortages that prompt customers to look for other options. Long lead times compound these issues, especially given how difficult it is to make accurate forecasts many months … Read more

supply chain interactions

Quantum physics teaches us that an isolated particle has no property in itself. A particle exists only through the interactions it has with other particles. It is the interactions that constitute matter. Within the broader universe, it is the interactions that make, for example, the earth turn around the sun, the moon around the earth, … Read more

centralized vs. decentralized supply chain nodes

International organizations often struggle with the question of whether and to what extent they should centralize their supply chain functions. Should demand and supply planners be integrated into a central function, at a group level or at a cluster level (whether by region or by business unit)? Or should these functions be as close to … Read more

sustainable supply chain - shipping containers

You may have read about eco-friendly shipping containers, whose floors are made of bamboo, rather than devastating tropical wood forests. Concerns have already been raised about the sustainability of the adhesive that’s used when manufacturing these floors. But the skeptics at the back of the room might point out bigger flaws. Can a container really … Read more

pull manufacturing

Most companies are experiencing difficult times on the supply side. Containers are piling up on one side of the globe and are sorely lacking on the other. Delays are piling up, and variability is clearly at a maximum on the supply side. Can our supply chains really be demand driven in this context? Does pull … Read more

agile supply chain

Under the shocks of the last two years, many companies have realized that they were suffering from structural weaknesses in their operations. The pandemic has put pressure on them to review certain processes.  For example, there has been an increased focus on uncertainty in S&OP, because who would believe that in a pandemic and lock … Read more

warning symbol - supply chain efficiency

Every planner today has hundreds or even thousands of references to manage. Often, these references must be synchronized during the assembly of products with complex bills of materials, where the slightest shortfall stops the flow. If you manufacture an electronic assembly with hundreds of components, a simple diode that costs nothing can stop everything. How … Read more

supply chain maturity - ladders

We often get questions or comments about the level of supply chain maturity required for companies to be ready to implement DDMRP and realize the significant operational benefits it brings. These questions are sometimes paradoxical.  Many companies tell us things like: “DDMRP sounds interesting, and well-suited to our environment, but we must first achieve more … Read more

You have probably already seen this diagram, which summarizes different manufacturing typologies, in one form or another: Is the Demand Driven model a good fit for these typologies? How would your demand driven manufacturing implementation change to support each environment? In each of these flow typologies, with the exception of Engineering-to-Order (ETO), customer demand moves … Read more

An artificial intelligence motherboard

Adaptive forecasting. Driverless trucks. Autonomous planning. AI is coming for your supply chain. Right? In many ways, industry watchers can be forgiven for having a little skepticism when it comes to AI in supply chain. According to research by Deloitte, only 40% of supply chain executives said they are actively using AI. The 2021 MHI Annual Industry Report put that figure … Read more

Submarine under water

What is the relationship between submarines and the global supply chain? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to do with underwater container ships, and Elon Musk hasn’t floated the idea of a silk road via an underwater Hyperloop. Well, not yet, I guess. But what is it about? We have recently seen in the press the … Read more

Supply chain leaders have dealt with disruption since well before the pandemic. Strategies for addressing VUCA—an acronym that stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity—have circulated in business management journals for the better part of a decade. Industry watchers have warned about dangers that range from natural disasters to trade disputes.  And then, in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic gave … Read more

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