Sustainability is a Must-Have not a Nice-To-Have

Sustainability is not a buzzword anymore, however, the concept of sustainability remains abstract and complex if it lacks context to make it relatable to people’s day-to-day experience. Though everyone may have different understandings and interpretations of sustainability, we all know that the goal is to minimize negative environmental impact resulting from human activities. This explains why food & beverage, pharmaceutical and apparel industries are taking a lead in sustainability and supply chain transparency. For electronic products, sustainability will never come...

Risk and Uncertainty

 Is risk a synonym for uncertainty? The thesaurus in Microsoft Word suggests that it is and a Google search confirms it however, when thinking about managing supply chains, there are a different set of actions for risk than those taken to address uncertainty.  The primary supply chain actions to reduce risk involve alternate sourcing, inventory and supplier selection criteria whereas actions to remove uncertainty involve data.  If they really are the same, the risk reduction approach should be the same. Paraphrasing...

 Supplier Customer Diversity Sensitivity and Resilience

In my last blog, Supply Chain Crash Test, I asked if your supply chain could withstand a tsunami like event that might wipe out many component suppliers who serve supply chains of the OEM or EMS companies that would cause it. I asked you to postulate what would happen if Apple had experienced the Samsung battery problem; this would be a tsunami … do you know the impact it would have on your supply chain? In the blog, I stated...

Supply Chain Crash Test

Automobile manufacturers are constantly driving their cars into crash structures to see how they stand up. When was the last time that you crash tested your supply chain? What would have happened to your supply chain if Apple had experienced the Samsung battery problem? A year ago no one could have predicted that the number 2 smartphone company would be in disaster recovery mode due to safety issues with their phones. Obviously their sales will be impacted from a loss...

Professor Rosling is an interesting fellow

Professor Hans Rosling is an interesting fellow. In his documentary Don't Panic: How to End Poverty in 15 Years, which details the United Nations’ plan to end poverty in 15 years, he describes two paths to economic prosperity while improving the human condition. These paths have great importance to the supply chains of the future. The first path he describes is one that, historically, has been taken by the USA, Great Britain and many countries guided by the World Bank....

Is Your Company Reinventing Itself?

I have just figured out what my company does! It may sound strange that a CEO of seven years has this epiphany, but it's true. Lytica Inc. makes knowledge power tools for supply management. Freebenchmarking.comwas our first tool and Component Cost Estimator is our second. Oh, and by the way, this is what we do and will be doing going forward -- not looking back at what we have done. Reinvention is critical for business success. Many successful companies have...

An Inevitable Clash

Corporate governance is a pretty dry subject in the best of times, but it just may become a bit more interesting, particularly if we have gotten it wrong and it turns out to be the source of the current worldwide economic crisis. The Occupy Wall Street protests clearly show the people's frustration with high unemployment and corporate greed. People are rising up to express dissatisfaction with the status quo and the government's ineffectiveness in addressing it. Protests like these are...

The Myth vs. Reality of Worker Productivity

I am disturbed by how many of my friends are unprepared for retirement. I shouldn't be surprised, however -- walk through Wal-Mart or stay at any North American hotel, and you see too many older people, who should be enjoying their golden years, working. I'm also disturbed by the high levels of unemployment; skilled people who should have jobs don't, and many jobless people don't appear in statistics because they have just given up. With older people trying to get...