Daily Archives: August 1, 2010

If Optimization Can Clear Transit-Dependent Toronto in Two Hours …

… imagine what it could do to your supply network! While I regularly trumpet strategic sourcing decision optimization, because that’s where many of your significant savings opportunities lie, there are savings to be had throughout the supply chain. Some of those savings come from streamlined shipping. When you consider that each additional day in transit costs you one half of one percent of the value of the goods when you take into account:

  • shipping costs,
  • depreciation costs for limited life-span commodities, and
  • temporary storage costs, etc.

Every day you can take out of your shipping will save you money. By optimizing you network, your routes, your modes, your carriers, and your processes (and documentation), you can often take days off of your average shipment time! So why not optimize your network today? There are a number of providers who specialize in network and inventory optimization, including:

So take some inspiration from Hossam Abdelgawad, who just won the Young Researcher Award for his work on Managing Large-Scale Multimodal Emergency Evacuations and make a connection. Your network will thank you for it.

Share This on Linked In

You Can’t Learn India in 12 Easy Steps

Despite what this article may imply. You can’t even truly learn India in 12 hard steps … in fact, if you weren’t born there, you might not be able to truly learn it at all. Just like anyone who wasn’t born there will always be gaijin in Japan, anyone who wasn’t born in India will always be videshi, even though she will always be welcomed if she respects her hosts and host country. In an effort to explain why, we’ll attempt to convey some of the hidden complexities behind the “12 easy steps”.

  • Religion, Caste, & Language Play a Dominating Role

    While there are only a handful of major religions, there are over a dozen minor religions with more followers than the entire population of many countries. While Hindi may be the official language, there are over forty languages commonly spoken in the various provinces, and India has four languages in the top twenty. In the rural areas and the older population, caste is of pre-eminent importance, but among the younger generation in the urban populations, it plays less of a role. And some of the modern global consulting organizations, like Wipro, have officially adopted a “no caste” policy in hiring and promotion (but it may still play an unofficial role among the executives and “old-timers”).

  • Festivals and Beliefs are Complex

    And they vary depending on province, religion, and even family. You can’t know them all, or their importance.

  • Joint families are the norm

    This goes not only in the home, but at social events outside the home.

  • Namaste

    One word, a thousand meanings.

  • Uncertainties and Poor Infrastructure are Common

    And even the most impressive modern facility can go down without warning as much of the infrastructure it depends on (water, power, etc.) is poor and at the brink of failure.

  • Flamboyancy is Frowned Upon

    Just because they wear brightly coloured clothing doesn’t mean they are outgoing. It’s what is normal and reserved for them.

  • Schedules are Guides, Not Timelines

    Indians don’t work by the clock. And even though those that conduct international business tend to be more reliable than those who don’t, the uncertainty of India makes keeping schedules on a regular basis almost impossible.

  • Emotional Turmoil Affects Business

    Business is not separated from daily life in India.

  • Family First

    Even the CEO of a multi-national must cave into the wishes of his elders at thome.

  • “Face” is Very Important

    Everything has to be dished up with a spoonful of sugar.

  • Visitations aren’t always scheduled

    … and it works both ways.

  • Harmony Must be Maintained

    But if multiple harmonies are in balance, which one takes precedence?

Maybe that’s easy for you, but all I see is fractal complexity.

Share This on Linked In