Daily Archives: December 5, 2006

Next Level Purchasing’s Annual Purchasing Survey

Next Level Purchasing‘s Annual Purchasing Survey is now available. Sourcing and Procurement professionals who complete the survey will receive Strategic Sourcing Questions & Answers, a document that answers questions about the most common issues related to implementing a strategic sourcing initiative, from how to build a cross-functional sourcing team to what some of the pitfalls of strategic sourcing are, as well as a $5 (US) discount voucher towards enrollment in the online mini-course Negotiation No-No’s‘.

AMR’s 7 Supply Chain Best Practices

The following are the best practices covered by Greg Aimi of AMR in his presentation Is the World “Flat” or Not? at last week’s Supply Chain Directions Summit sponsored by eyefortransport.

  1. Use an integrated S&OP process team
  2. Collaborate with a “transparency” information infrastructure
  3. Consider Geography and Supply Chain Network Redesign
  4. Build in Distribution Flexibility
  5. Monitor and Manage Logistics Complexity
  6. Explore RFID
  7. Customer / Supplier Collaboration

Use an integrated S&OP process team

  • Form a cross functional team that breaks down silos
  • Analyze and rationalize all sources of data with a customer focus
  • Change sales priority from revenue to profit
  • Embrace demand variability in optimization
  • Adjust forecasts more frequently based on sense-and-demand
  • Attempt to “shape” or “influence” demand
  • Push for integrated product introduction “design for supply”

Collaborate with a “transparency” information infrastructure

  • Intra enterprise departments, freight forwarders, customs brokers, international and domestic carriers, suppliers, contract manufacturers, customers, and consolidators should all be working off of the same data

Consider Geography and Supply Chain Network Redesign

  • Fight the all-or-nothing bias (multiple sources of supply mitigates risk)
  • Mitigate capacity shortages and distribution network congestion
  • Consider new and mixed geographies
  • Understand Free Trade Zones and tax implications
  • Frequent analysis to (re)position inventory optimally
  • Total landed cost modeling

Build in Distribution Flexibility

  • Develop configurable postponement capability
  • Enable multi-channel fulfillment
  • Mix traditional DC fulfillment, direct to store, and supplier direct strategies
  • Consider building outsourced networks for flexibility

Monitor and Manage Logistics Complexity

  • Automate transportation optimization and execution
  • Reduce variability (take control of shipments early, for example)
  • Form strategic supply relationships with carriers
  • Use international security requirements to raise priority of automation initiatives
  • Build a 4PL organization internally for increased 3rd party execution

Explore RFID

  • For real time sell through visibility
  • Insure products are where they need to be when they need to be there
  • Help manage new product introductions
  • Increase productivity in goods handling
  • Speed handling of SC security requirements

Customer / Supplier Collaboration

  • VMI / SMI programs
  • Late stage final product postponement strategies
  • Increase customer fulfillment flexibility
  • Use the latest systems to automate flexibility

Since many of these recommendations are posts in themselves, I will not attempt to tackle them all in a single post and simply point out that many of these are issues I have covered and will continue to cover in the months ahead.

Note that eyefortransport‘s sister organization, eyeforprocurement has a number of upcoming events next year custom designed for today’s procurement professionals, including the Supplier Management Forum next April in Miami. Registrations received before year’s end save $400 off of the regular registration rate and those who quote “sourcing innovation” in the discount code field save an additional $100.