@ Supply Chain Management


Webinar on Supply Chain Risk Management

I want to alert you to a new free webinar on Supply Chain Risk Management: Supply Chain – it’s Risky Business hosted by World Trade Group (WTG) and presented by Douglas Kent. From the brief of the webinar,

This webinar examines the responses from hundreds of global companies to our recent supply chain risk survey, unveiling their most concerning risks and the level of exposure.  In addition, the study uncovers how companies are evaluating their level of vulnerability and, most importantly, reveals the best practices being adopted to effectively mitigate supply chain risk.

Key learning’s:

Extend the knowledge coming from our primary risk research
Provide the participant with valuable insight into how others are conquering the common problem of managing and mitigating supply chain risk.

And a little about the presenter Douglas Kent,

Douglas Kent is the European Chair for the Supply Chain Council and President of eKnowtion. With nearly 20 years of supply chain experience, Douglas Kent brings proven expertise in creating, implementing, and operating complex supply chain projects by "unlocking value" within client companies.   Through formalised business process re-engineering techniques, Douglas drives this improvement by utilising the SCOR model as the baseline for all improvement activities ranging from the initial diagnostic, through re-engineering and change management, benchmarking and continuing education.  His approach stems from the unique combination of experiences as a successful practitioner, consultant and educator of SCOR since the model’s inception.

Will GM go bankrupt again?

There are a select group of chosen companies that seem to go bankrupt again and again – they seem to have a bankruptcy addiction. They just can’t seem to help themselves – someone would think Airlines in this context. I am beginning to think that GM is going to join that select list if such buffoonery is going to be the norm.

What am I referring to?

GM board orders faster new vehicle rollout. A hundred thousand blistering barnacles – was that all there was to it? The woes of GM would be well past us if newer vehicles were to hit the streets faster.

He said the board’s involvement in product decisions seems to show that the new board intends to be more active than the previous one.

No kidding!!! I do hope that employees of GM have a role in this. Never mind.

Meanwhile, as you may very well observe that GM is preparing to fire off its silver bullet – in this case, the Chevy Volt. Observe,

The Volt, due in showrooms late next year, can go 40 miles on a single charge from a home electrical outlet. It has a small internal combustion engine on board to generate electricity for the car beyond that.

He called the Volt a "leap in technology" that no one else has, and said the country needs to move toward electric vehicles.

"I think it will be very successful," he said.

Can the Volt save the company? Maybe. But while its competitors thrive on Continuous Improvement or Kaizen, GM is betting its future on silver bullets. Wouldn’t you say?

Whitacre said the board was interested in pulling more fuel-efficient products forward.

"We’re certainly going that direction of more efficient models," he said. "We’re looking at reliability. We’re looking at efficiency. We certainly will make a major thrust in that direction, but that’s not the only direction we’re going."

The all important question assuming the spectacular success of the Chevy Volt (and that’s a big assumption), is whether the culture of the firm allows for incremental approach to improving their product or will they go back to looking for silver bullets. I’m thinking silver bullets and therefore I’m thinking yet another bankruptcy in the not so near future.

Or maybe it really is the influence of the board that shortens product development life cycles and not repeated (as in continuous) efforts to solving issues that require a company wide effort. Keep a look out for the kind of signals that emanate from GM about five to six months from now and then I think the dice will have been cast.

When the recession ends, Will your supply chain be ready?

When the recession ends, Will your supply chain be ready? is a virtual conference being conducted by Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review.

In my natural bearishness, I read the title as If the recession ends, will  your supply chain be ready? Heh!! Critical words – If, when and it should be in that order. As you can readily observer, “When” is a rather optimistic frame of mind in this context and “If” is dramatically pessimistic. I have no doubts that this recession will end but I am of the opinion that it is very well possible that when it ends, we’ll begin another one which we might or will recognize in hindsight.

But in the meantime, let’s get positive.

About me

I am Chris Jacob Abraham and I live, work and blog from Newburgh, New York. I work for IBM as a Senior consultant in the Fab PowerOps group that works around the issue of detailed Fab (semiconductor fab) level scheduling on a continual basis. My erstwhile company ILOG was recently acquired by IBM and I've joined the Industry Solutions Group there.

@ SCM Clustrmap

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August 2009