Daily Archives: June 19, 2011

Can Your Supply Chain Be More Agile? Yes It Can!

A recent article on speeding up business agility over on ChiefExecutive.net had some great tips for making your supply chain more agile.

  1. The CIO is Your Business Partner
    Let’s face it, the best supply management organizations run on modern technology platforms that have to be implemented quickly and efficiently and operate 24/7/365. Supply Management needs to make a partner out of IT to insure that this happens.
  2. Foster a Culture of Innovation
    Yesterday’s best practice is today’s common practice is tomorrow’s laggard practice. The best organizations are constantly innovating, and this takes an innovative culture.
  3. Use Software to Fail Fast and Minimize Risk
    Model potential supply strategies and simulate both expected flow and disrupted flows to insure that the supply strategy chosen has the maximum chance of succeeding in today’s volatile and unpredictable global market place.
  4. Integrate IT at the Grass-Roots Level
    Not only is the CIO your business partner, but IT is part of every sourcing team. You need their support, and they need your help to minimize their costs. And they are your best ally when you need a new system.
  5. Establish Centers of Excellence
    Not only are the best supply management organizations generally center-led or hybrid (center-led / centralized models), but they have teams dedicated to nothing but strategy and innovation.

These are all great pieces of advice. They are so good that not only has SI recommended each individually before, but will do so again. Agile supply chains survive volatile times. Make yours agile before its too late.

Three Good Suggestions from the CTA. Will the RCC listen?

On February 4, the US and Canada, under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama, created the Regulatory Cooperation Council with a two year mandate to promote economic growth, job creation, and benefits to consumers on both sides of the border through increased regulatory transparency and coordiation.

In an effort to focus the committee on priority issues, the CTA (Canadian Trucking Alliance) has submitted three suggestions to help remove costly regulatory barriers to the efficient movement of goods, as per this recent article in Canadian Transportation and Logistics.

The suggestions the CTA offered are as follows:

  1. Streamline the process for moving “in-transit” goods.
    The rules are different in the US and Canada, with the former requiring more documentation and advance notice ever since the introduction of 10+2 and related security acts. The US rules would need to be harmonized for this to happen, which is a good idea (at least where Canadian goods are concerned) since the US is Canada’s largest trading partner and it would implement the spirit of NAFTA.
  2. Provide the industry with greater flexibility to reposition foreign empty trailers using foreign drivers.
    As per the article, there is a cost associated with current restrictions that require “spotting” of an empty foreign tralier to the pick-up point of its return load home. Unnecessary costs. GPS can track the truck for future audit if there is any question that the truck went off route, and if there’s a concern regarding unauthorized transports, the truck can always be inspected after unloading and before loading.
  3. Cooperate on the establishment of a North American standard for proven fuel saving devices.
    If one country approves a fuel saving device, and the other doesn’t, it could impede the flow of goods from one country to another if the vehicle is stopped at the border. Moreover, given the amount of fuel used by the transportation industry, the goal should be to be as green as possible.

All great suggestions. Will the council listen? And will they take action?