@ Supply Chain Management

Icon

Predictions from Supply Chain Gurus 2012 – Part 1

As promised, here is my take on the Predictions from Supply Chain Gurus for 2012. You can read the article at SC Digest :  Predictions from Supply Chain Gurus for 2012

First up the Gartner Boyz:

Like others, Gartner is projecting a movement of manufactured goods overseas back nearer to US soil, if not within the country itself. It projects that "By 2014, 20% of Asia-sourced finished goods and assemblies consumed in the US will shift to the Americas," which of course can mean Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rico and other nearby sourcing locations.

The drivers? First,they says that many companies initially underestimated the true total costs of long supply chains offshored to Asia, miscalculating inventory costs, greater issues with product quality, lost sales or discounted prices due to long lead times, IP theft, and more.

They also note that some of those issues may soon be exacerbated in some countries (meaning China) as more and more production will be consumed in Asian markets, not Western ones.

Sorry, guys but I predicted this way back in 2006-07. Don’t believe me, you can read it for yourself here: Surviving the China Rup Tide – How to profit from the Supply Chain Bottleneck and The Intimate Supply Chain – Part 1 amongst other posts. The simple point is that none of these supply chain moves (no matter who the guru predicting it is – not even me) are holy writ but they’re very much context writ.

And what explains this shift?

"Customer demand for service excellence and increased product choice at competitive prices is
driving brand owners to reassess the value delivered by their supply networks," the analysts say. "Sacrificing lead time for reduced unit cost will be insufficient to satisfy this customer requirement."

For certain segments of the supply chain, a "nearshore" strategy will make a lot more sense, they believe.

Come on, does this hypothesis pass muster? Isn’t there a recession on still – unofficially but have you taken a look at the purchasing power of the middle class lately?

Production to scale is a great idea when demand is always pointing upwards on a growth chart but it’s a sorry idea if your demand falls off a cliff or in this case becomes as volatile as fickle fig leaf.

Further,

Gartner says that "After billions of dollars spent on ERP, many companies still lack the timely, accurate and network-based data that can guide fact-based, timely supply chain decisions." It also notes that companies are collecting in one way or another vast amounts of information, much if not most of which is not being used effectively for improved decision making. "Big data" is the term associated with the opportunity to better mine this information and extract more value out of it, to the great delight of data warehouse. analytics, and storage vendors.

Now, remember what I said just a few posts back about the inevitable entrance of Big Data into the enterprise world – this is no big secret and my advice to you is to get on the bandwagon now. That’s also the reason why I started my Big Data blog because there’s no escaping this elephant in the room.

This provides a perfect segue into a curious coincidence wherein this firm came into my crosshairs – Lokad. Now, I’m not very familiar with the technology but that will be the focus of my  next blog post as I investigate what they do. The gist of it is that they’re trying to get better forecasts by digging through Big Data.

Stay tuned for that update…

 

How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did

Or how Big Data is the wild wild west – where the saloon owners knew a lot more about who walked into their saloon than they themselves knew.

This article: How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did explores a real incident about the way that Target’s marketing and information based corporation targets its customers (and dare I say keeps even its own store managers at the front line in the dark.)

Read more at my blog post at pachydata.com.

How Hadoop is revolutionizing BI and Data Analytics

If you haven’t tired of my shameless promotion of my other blog – Pachy Data here, here’s another opportunity to say “Stop already”. At the very least, this shameless promotion should have some takeaways for SCM folks. Big Data is going to revolutionize the SCM landscape (and the Enterprise itself) in ways that you cannot begin to imagine. In fact, the resultant is going to be that either we have someone’s imagination thrust on you or you thrust your imagination on them.

Read more – How Hadoop is revolutionizing Business Intelligence and Data Analytics.

The Coming Tech-led Boom

The Coming Tech-led Boom is a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal.

In January 2012, we sit again on the cusp of three grand technological transformations with the potential to rival that of the past century. All find their epicenters in America: big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution.

Now, that’s what I call timing because I’ve been staking out the ground on two of those technological transformation – Smarter Manufacturing here on this blog and Big Data (at my new blog: Pachydata.com). Alas, as far as Smarter Manufacturing is concerned, I’m more concerned about effective manufacturing and elaborating on the fundamentals of manufacturing carried out in an intensely competitive environment.

The Smarter Manufacturing that the authors of the article had in mind is as follows:

While we see evidence already in automation and information systems applied to supply-chain management, we are just entering an era where the very fabrication of physical things is revolutionized by emerging materials science. Engineers will soon design and build from the molecular level, optimizing features and even creating new materials, radically improving quality and reducing waste.

Devices and products are already appearing based on computationally engineered materials that literally did not exist a few years ago: novel metal alloys, graphene instead of silicon transistors (graphene and carbon enable a radically new class of electronic and structural materials), and meta-materials that possess properties not possible in nature; e.g., rendering an object invisible—speculation about which received understandable recent publicity.

This era of new materials will be economically explosive when combined with 3-D printing, also known as direct-digital manufacturing—literally "printing" parts and devices using computational power, lasers and basic powdered metals and plastics. Already emerging are printed parts for high-value applications like patient-specific implants for hip joints or teeth, or lighter and stronger aircraft parts. Then one day, the Holy Grail: "desktop" printing of entire final products from wheels to even washing machines.

Such a radical shift is definitely possible but that changes the very idea of manufacturing as it has existed over the last three centuries. It’s not Smarter Manufacturing as much as it is desktop manufacturing.

Ok, so one out of three – not bad at all.

Enterprise Architecture

A couple of posts ago, I had intimated that I was broadening my blogging horizons a bit. And finally, I can throw a bit of the covers off. I just blogged about The Zachmann Framework at my other blog. So gander over, wander or hover over that post of mine.

Pachy Data {Big Data in the Enterprise} is my new blog venture.

A puzzling and precipitous divergence

Its been a few months of good (or rather better) news on the employment front – the employment situation being a lagging indicator implies that the economy is on the mend and has been so for a few months. So what is the divergence then? See here below:

image

This is the Baltic Dry Index (BDI). You can see the steady build up that kicks off in August 2011 and continues till about Nov 2011. After that, it drops precipitously going into 2012. Now isn’t that a puzzling divergence? Well, it isn’t if you think that the general economy is going to tank again but can you really say that with today’s picture, today’s expectation – rosy getting rosier?

Well, at the very least I get to check whether the BDI is any good as an indicator?

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year

Here’s wishing all of you and yours a Happy New Year – an exciting and fun-filled year ahead. Over the break, I’ve been doing some hard thinking about the direction of my life, career and blog. So I’m done with the thinking and now comes the execution – I’ll be making some changes to the blog and my life trajectory (and believe me this is going to come out of left field).

I’m still going to be blogging about the supply chain but I’m expanding my focus to the enterprise as a whole but a specific part of the enterprise that is undergoing a lot of exciting changes.

More of that to come in the days ahead…

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

Locations of visitors to this page

Subscribe by email

Enter email:
Delivered by FeedBurner

Enter email to subscribe
November 2021
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Archives