Daily Archives: July 9, 2009

Another DUH! Report … but I Like It!

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A recent article in Industry Week pointed out that a recent report blames petroleum industry for 25% of toxic pollutants. More specifically, the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) reported that 90% of toxic pollutants in North America came from fifteen industries, with over 25% coming from the U.S. Petroleum Industry. We need to extract cleaner, refine cleaner, and burn cleaner.

Because, when you combine this with the fact that global shipping is responsible for almost 4% of all climate change emissions worldwide, things get scary. So next time you get to choose a power source, choose a clean one. Once carbon credits take effect, it will be cheaper in the long run.

Getting Ready for the Recovery … Whenever It May Be

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Industry Week recently ran an article on repositioning your business for the recovery phase that noted that it could be years before volumes return to the near record highs of 2007 and that many companies will need to restructure their operations if they wish to return to profitability. Specifically, companies need to focus on activities that are not dependent on volume to be profitable. The article recommends the following:

  • Design Cost Optimization
    Focus not on the design process but on design changes that can reduce production costs. This will reduce costs across the board.
  • Make vs. Buy Decisions
    Rethink what you make vs. what you buy. Now might be a good opportunity to offload non-core product design, process engineering, and quality control activities that are inefficient and costly for you but more efficient and affordable for a (new) strategic supplier.
  • Fixed Asset Productivity
    Optimize the effectiveness of your fixed asset portfolio. Increase equipment utilization and effectiveness, decrease required warehouse space, and get rid of, or lease out, unused or unprofitable assets.
  • Reduce Working Capital
    Up to 83% of working capital in your supply chain is needlessly tied up longer than it needs to be. It will take you a while to identify and make the necessary improvements to make your efficiency, so start by making sure you’re not paying more interest and fees and working capital loans than you need to. If you’re not sure how good your bank’s offer is, try The Receivables Exchange and see if you can get a (much) better offer.
  • Re-Analyze Your Business Model
    What was your optimal business model last year might not be your optimal business model this year. Re-analyze your products, markets, and regions and change your strategy accordingly.

Which is a great start, but don’t forget the basics:

  • Analyze Your Spend
    Do a real spend analysis, possibly with the help of a leading spend analysis consultancy, to find out not just where you’re spending money (direct, indirect, operations, etc.) but where you have the biggest cost savings opportunities.
  • e-Source
    e-Source those direct and indirect categories with the biggest cost savings potential.
  • e-Procure
    implement e-Procurement to save time and money … a good solution can automatically insure that you don’t pay more than the contracted price or miss an early payment discount you intended to take advantage of