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Supply Chain News: Kanban as A Learning Strategy Part 2

 

Maybe Strategy is Best Achieved through Lean Execution

May 16, 2019
SCDigest Editorial Staff

The following colum, part 2 of a series, comes through special arrangement with the Lean Enterprise Institute. It was authored by Lean experts Michael Ballé, Jacques Chaize, Orest (Orry) Fiumea and Daniel T. Jones. It is pretty "deep."

You can read part 1 here.

 

Kanban as a Learning System


Beyond the amazing productivity gains Toyota was generating in its entire supply chain, the true impact was felt in how the company worked as a system. For example, product engineers got involved, and with the steady rhythm of model change and product renewal, would start to use knowledge learned from kaizen efforts to design products with greater functionality and lower costs. Toyota's "just-in-time" supply chain was far more than simply controlling the logistics flow (which already delivered massive productivity increases) – it was about organizing a steady flow of value towards making better cars and better satisfying customers. The lesson here was: there is no best, only better.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

An action plan allows you to prioritize items, and choose to do the easy things first until you stumble on the hard things and nothing ever gets done.

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In many ways the underlying model for Kanban cards—to use representations of work as a means of controlling its progress and providing real-time information among the workers—was a precursor to today's digital economy. The Kanban driven just-in-time value chain is: pixelized (lead-time is followed box by box), real time (the challenge is always to reduce the lead-time between demand and delivery to get to instantaneous) and connected as Kanbans connect the entire value network to better satisfy customers. This dynamic was the foundation for Toyota's main strategy of "one time customer, lifelong customer" (focus on satisfying existing customers rather than seek to escape problems by convincing new ones – "churn" in modern terms), realized through "sell one, make one", which could only happen by using Kanban and supporting, encouraging, cajoling all people all the time into kaizen efforts. Herein lies Toyota's truly disruptive innovation.

Toyota's Kanban legacy—it's underlying ideas—have far more direct lineage with today's digital economy than most folks realize; and capture the core elements of the disruptive lean strategy fueling many of today's successes. And yet we are amazed at the number of "lean" books that reassure readers they can do "lean" without trying their hands with kanbans, although all the spectacular success stories we've had the privilege to see firsthand started with kanbans. Similarly, it's not surprising that disruptive companies such as Amazon deliberately built their supply chains on Toyota lines, hiring executives well versed in lean thinking to do so. As the dust settles, the tool is essential. Electricity allowed Henry Ford to create the conveyor driven flow line. Toyota engineers picked that up right away in the 1930s when they were building looms. Airplane manufacturers only started experimenting with the first flow lines at the end of the previous century, and, regardless of the advances this triggered, this has yet to spread far in the industry.

Toyota has offered the world a method to get from the traditional industrial mindset to the modern thinking of digital disruption. They've developed it ahead of everyone else, and have strenuously written it down for the practical purposes of educating their suppliers and transplant operations. We discovered this in the late eighties, when we coined the term "lean" to describe these fundamental ideas, and have been studying the various efforts to translate this thinking outside of Toyota and more widely outside of the auto industry. What we found confirmed that mental models are incredibly sticky—that even the smartest people find it hard to change their minds. In reviewing the past twenty years of lean experiments, we have been asking ourselves what ideas need to change in order to adopt the lean thinking method to transform companies and prepare them to the challenges ahead. We've come up with four critical thinking changes:

1. Reusable learning rather than best practices adoption

2. Performance results from dynamic engagement rather than static optimization

3. Innovation from people-centric, leadership from the ground up

4. A radical change in how we understand executive decision making, with the Find-Face-Frame-Form decision cycle rather than the usual Define-Decide-Drive-Deal, and a shift in the role of hierarchy from a chain of command to a chain of help.

The first reason we've found people refuse to look into the telescope – specifically, adopt kanbans – is that they see the Kanban system as a "best practice" that will replace their current IT driven scheduling with paper cards. There are two deep misunderstandings here.

There is No Best Practice

First, the very idea of "best practice" is a surviving notion from Frederick Taylor's "one best way." Of course, there is no best practice – every context is different, and things change too fast anyhow. The obsession with "reusable learning" is similar to the one with economies of scale. It hinges on the incorrect assumption that learning is about applying a static piece of knowledge to new situations. Today more than ever, learning is about transferring knowledge to new contexts, which means blending an initial grasp of the idea and reinventing it every time to better understand its deeper sense. What we need are ways to learn faster. Reusable learning is not about applying a "best practice" to all possible cases, but about looking for a smarter way to do things more effectively. To do so, we need 1) a starting point, a key to enter the room, and 2) a direction in which to look for solutions (and to avoid repeating known mistakes).

(Article Continued Below)

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The second misunderstanding is that Kanban is about the cards – Kanban is about measuring the response time on every individual demand, a very different concept. In essence, the flow of Kanban cards is a key circulatory system in a learning organization. Itemizing demand and tracking response time (there are many digital tools to do so now) is the entry point. Kanban is the start of learning, not the end. In using Kanban we're not implementing a solution, we are looking for the next step to improve so that we will discover new ways of doing things through teamwork between all stakeholders. The Kanban card has to be served. The problems are immediate and urgent. This focuses everyone on solving innovatively clear and present issues rather than blue-sky invent applications for problems that will never appear. Improvement takes on a radically different meaning, starting from where we are right now. We need to manage learning curves, not action plans. We need to find smart ways to do the hard things (which are hard for every competitor) not work our way around them. We need to accelerate learning, not make obsolete processes and procedures fixed and rigid.

Better performance results from the dynamic of engaging with issues to better satisfy customers right now—rather than with many executive's obsession to statically optimize through reorganization and footprint restructuring. Improve the work you have now by engaging all people in better seeing their line of sight to final users, better understanding how they help or hinder their immediate clients, and what can be improved in the way their work to make their jobs safer, easier and more interesting. Yet most companies would rather work with consultants to imagine the system upgrade that will solve all their problems in three years' time (something, for that matter, that they will never know how to implement). Look, try, measure, think, look, try, measure, think, is about teaching scientific thinking to everyone all the time, and to create a dynamic of teams of teams rather than smother engagement and initiative with expert-driven processes, procedures and all the usual reasons not to try something new.

This new way of sustaining dynamic improvement requires a very different type of leadership. Daily kaizen is about learning to change, in small ways every day, by solving real-life problems for customers, for co-workers, for partners. It only works if leaders support this firsthand every day.

Yet this learning-based approach, paradoxically, often requires a humbler and less certain mindset from those in charge. Using response time as the entry key, the "cognitive handle" that enables people to tackle large complex problems pragmatically (as a real-life handle allows you to pick up a large and cumbersome suitcase) we saw that most of management decision theory rests on a "I am master of my fate" deep metaphor. We think quite naturally that, being the masters of our fate, our job is to figure out the right strategy and then get the organization of execute it. When things don't work out the way we'd hoped, it's not about that the strategic thinking was wrong, but that unknown (unknowable) factors and the unavoidable resistance to change led us astray. By looking into item by item demand and studying response time, we came to see there is a completely alternate deep metaphor in terms of "we're challenged and we respond – with our allies." In this worldview, we accept that we'll always be challenged by a world that changes faster than organizations can, and that we don't know the correct way to respond because of our own legacy mental models. The key to velocity then lies in facing the challenge rather than looking around the elephant in the room and then looking for new ideas with our allies in order to craft new responses rather than apply tired old "best practice" recipes that no longer work.

The traditional executive cycle can be described as (1) Define the problem from the information you have, (2) Decide on a strategy, (3) Drive this strategy through the rank and file to implement it and then (4) Deal with the consequences when things never work out as planned. By contrast, we offer a radically different vision of executive choices in (1) Find all "now!" problems (through just-in-time techniques) (2) Face the real challenges that emerge and set yourself a measure of these (3) Frame them in terms that anyone in the company, from executive committee member to janitor can understand (so they can contribute) and (4) Form the solutions by shaping organizational coordination around new tools and new ideas as we go, with employees and partners alike.

Opportunities from new digital capabilities on the market now come far faster than most organizations can absorb. Typically, many organizations we see try to digitalize their current ways of working rather than embrace the revolutionary ideas underpinning digital tools. The deepest mental model shift needed to embrace the digital century is to abandon the notion that we are masters of our fate and that we will impose our brilliant strategies on employees, customers and partners alike but to think in terms of challenge and response, and studying the quality of our responses: facing our problems together and forming solutions with our allies. This leads to a radically new understanding of performance as the result of a people-centric dynamic in the business where everyone understands the plot (what the game is and see how they can contribute) and management steers the flow of ideas rather than impose rules and procedures. Such dynamism builds on constant learning-as-we-work so that we create true learning companies that manager learning curves at the same time as day-to-day work.

In the end, it's all about the tool and if this dynamic vision is a lever, the pivot point is the simple idea that we should measure response time, not piece rate or unit costs. And the best way to fully grasp what a disruptive digital strategy can be is to, as many fast-growing IT companies now do, experiment with paper Kanban cards to understand intuitively what pixelisation, immediacy and connectivity really feel like in terms of responding to customer dissatisfactions, putting resources at the right place right now, and supporting individual learning and teamwork. To learn to disrupt, start by disrupting your thinking. To disrupt your thinking, disrupt your practice: try using Kanban on your own activities.

Kanban don't lie. An action plan allows you to prioritize items, and choose to do the easy things first until you stumble on the hard things and nothing ever gets done. Line by line budget management allows you to spread gains and losses on convenient accounting lines. But Kanban cards mechanically reproduce customer demand, and demand to be served. The lean logic is the following: by responding to cards in the same sequence as they appear, the people who do the work themselves learn to better understand what their customers expect of them, better recognize problems, better interpret abnormal situations and react more astutely. As a result of doing this day in and day out, the inventories or backlog are lowered, and significant capacity is freed to make room for new products. Furthermore, the technical learning accumulated in the process of solving all the large or small problems revealed by the Kanban cards are invaluable to design better new products with more robust production processes. Not only does using Kanban free capacity for innovation, it also teaches how to innovate in practice, in order to better satisfy real customer needs.

In the end, this apparently mundane-but-hard change of practice will open your eyes to a radical rethinking of what strategy truly is: the ability to confront your clear-and-present challenges with trusted allies, to train your managers to understand better their own responses and the collective intent, and to learn at all levels, from the executive committee to the janitor to discover a more adaptive way to do the work so that the business, as a whole, responds faster and smarter. There is no such thing as "best," there is only better, every day, everywhere, with everyone.



What is your reaction to this provocative article? Can Kanban really equal strategy? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.

 

Your Comments/Feedback

Srihari

Senior Consultant, Infosys
Posted on: May, 22 2016
Great article. I am a little suprised not to see BNSF in the mix while I understand their financial mode/operation is a little different. 

That would only give a complete perspective with all the players in the pool.

Mike O'Brien

Senior editor, Access Intelligence
Posted on: May, 26 2016
Surprised to see Home Depot fall off the list; thought they were winning with Sync?

Julie Leonard

Marketing Director, Inovity
Posted on: Jun, 27 2016
Using the right tool for the right job has always been a best practice and one of the reasons, we feel, that RFID has never taken off in the DC as exponentially as pundits have been forecasting since 2006. While these results may seem surprising to those solely focused on barcode scanning, the adoption of multi-modal technologies in the DC makes perfect sense for greater worker efficiency and productivity.

Carsten Baumann

Strategic Alliance Manager, Schneider Electric
Posted on: Aug, 19 2016

The IoT Platform in this year's (2016) Hype Cycle is on the ascending side, entering the "Peak of Inflated Expectation" area. How does this compare to the IoT positions of the previous years, which have already peaked in 2015? Isn't this contradicting in itself?

Editor's Note: 

You are right, Internet of Things (IoT) was at the top of the Garter new technology hype curve not long ago. As you noted, however, this time the placement was for “IoT Platforms,” a category of software tools from a good number of vendors to manage connectivity, data communications and more with IoT-enabled devices in the field.

So, this is different fro IoT generally, though a company deploying connected things obviously needs some kind of platform – hoe grown or acquired – to manage those functions.

Why IoT generically is not on the curve this year I wondered myself.

 

 

Jo Ann Tudtud-Navalta

Materials Management Manager, Chong Hua Hospital, Cebu City, Philippines
Posted on: Aug, 21 2016

I agree totally with Mr. Schneider.

I have always lived by "put it in writing" all my work life.  I am a firm believer of the many benefits of putting everything in writing and I try to teach it to as many people as I can.

This "putting in writing" can also be used for almost anything else.  Here are some general benefits (only some) of "putting in writing":

1. Everything is better understood between parties involved.  There are lots of people types who need something visual to improve their understanding.
2. Everyone can read to review and correct anything misunderstood.  This will ensure that all parties concerned confirm the details of the agreements as correct.  This is further enhanced by having all parties involved sign off on a hard copy or confirm via reply email.
3. Everything has a proof.  Not to belittle the element of trust among parties involved, it is always safest to have tangible proof of what was agreed on.
4. There will be a document to refer to at any time by any one who needs clarification.
5. The documentation can be useful historical data for any future endeavor.  It provides inputs for better decisions on related situations in the future.
6. This can also be compiled and used to teach future new team members.  "Learn from the past" it is said.

There are many more benefits.  Mr. Schneider is very correct about his call to "put it in writing".





Sandy Montalbano

Consultant, Reshoring Initiative
Posted on: Aug, 24 2016
U.S. companies are reshoring and foreign companies are investing in U.S. locations to be in close proximity to the U.S. market for customer responsiveness, flexibility, quality control, and for the positive branding of "Made in USA".

Reshoring including FDI balanced offshoring in 2015 as it did in 2014. In comparison, in 2000-2007 the U.S. lost net about 200,000 manufacturing jobs per year to offshoring. That is huge progress to celebrate!

The Reshoring Initiative Can Help. In order to help companies decide objectively to reshore manufacturing back to the U.S. or offshore, the nonprofit Reshoring Initiative's free Total Cost of Ownership Estimator can help corporations calculate the real P&L impact of reshoring or offshoring. http://www.reshorenow.org/TCO_Estimator.cfm

Robert

Transportation Manager, N/A
Posted on: Aug, 30 2016
 Good article!  I am sending this to my colleagues who work with me.  We have to keep this in mind.  Thanks!

Ian Jansen

Mr, NHLS
Posted on: Sep, 14 2016
SCM is all about getting the order delivered to the Customer on date/ time requested because happy Customers = Revenue. Using the right tools to do the right job is important and SCM is heavily dependent on sophisticated ERP systems to get right real data info ASP.

I've worked in a DC with more than 400,000 line items and measured the Productivity of Pickers by how many "picks" per day.

I've learned that one doesn't have to remind Germany about your EDI orders.

Don Benson

Partner, Warehouse Coach
Posted on: Sep, 15 2016
Challenge - to build and sustain effective relationships at the level of the organizations that are responsible for effectively coordinating and colaborating in an otherwise highly competitive environment 

Jade

Admin, Fulfillment Logistics UK Ltd
Posted on: Oct, 02 2016
Of course we all need to up our game. We need to move with the times, and always be one step ahead of what the future will bring.

Mike Dargis

President of asset-based carrier based in the Midwest, Zip Xpress Inc. (at ZipXpress.net)
Posted on: Oct, 03 2016
Thanks for the article, but I know there's a lot more to this issue than just the pay rates. Please check out my blogs on the subject at www.zipxpress.net.

Blaine

Inventory Specialist, Syncron
Posted on: Nov, 16 2016
Lora, great article! I agree that companies choose the 'safe' solution more often than not. My solution is a bolt-on for legacy ERP's and we even face challeneges of customer adoption. Most like to play it safe and choose an ERP upgrade, which is more costly, time consuming, and has lower ROI across the board. Would love to learn more about your company, we are always looking for partnerships.

Blaine
blaine.schultz@syncron.com

Bob McIntyre

National Account Executive, DBK Concepts LLC
Posted on: Nov, 21 2016
This is a game changer in GE's production and prototyping.  It also has huge implications across the GE global supply chain with regard to the management of their support and spare parts network. 

Kai Furmans

Professor, KIT
Posted on: May, 22 2017
I am referencing to the comment that leasing of warehousing equipment (beyond forklift trucks) is a vision for 2030.
Just recently in Europe, such a business model has started, see here: https://next-intralogistics.de/

I am following with a lot of interest, how the business develops.

Stuart Rosenberg

Supply Chain Consultant, First Choice Supply Chain
Posted on: Jun, 05 2017
If we limit the standard on judging or determining the best supply chain to just three calculations it does not tell the entire picture.  Financial performance metrics are valuable as they capture the economic consequences of business decisions.  But supply chain managers make decsions and use organizational resources that impact a company's financial well being.  Where is a firm's earnings over a period of time determined by sales less product costs and general/adminsitrative costs?  Where is the metric for determining the sources and uses of cash from three perspectives - operational, investment and financial?  Where are these supply chain metrics: on-time delivery, lead time, response time to customers, product returns, procurement costs, network distance, inventory carrying costs, forecasting accuracy, sourcing time, etc,.  Without knowing the results of all these supply chain calculations the there must be a question as to the accuracy of the 25 top supply chains.

Dustin Calitz

Project Commercialization Manager, Mondelez
Posted on: Jun, 06 2017
I feel this ranking misses the mark in SC. It does not seem to consider a key indicator in days inventory on hand, which is key to determining a SC company's ability to forecast, manage inventory costs and reduce aged stock. In additiion I realize it's difficult to understand what goes into the customer survey, but would I assume specific metrics are being asked. For examples customer's opinion on service level differentiation and the ability to deliver the right product on time, which should then be allocated a bigger weighting than 10%. It would also be interesting to take a view of the above list's SKU portfolio complexity, seasonality and launches/promotions. I would again assume some companies on the list above have a far more complex SC to manage and lead, ultimately requiring a lot more innovation within a SC to stay ahead of competitors, and ultimately satisfy their customers demands.  I understand above metrics are difficult to measure, as mentioned in the article, but they somehow need to be considered to give a true reflection. 

Michael Hurd

Lean Consultant, Unemployed
Posted on: Jun, 10 2017

A Very Good Article...

While some feel that lean is a scam that pushes for more out of the personnel and out of the companies through reduction of waste and adding value for the customer, there are several things to remember:

1) Lean methodologies are designed and implemented to reduce time wasting, so this may seem that you are working harder as an employee.

2) Lean methdoligies only work when everyone from the janitor to the owner of the company get involved and back the program.

3) Lean methods are there to make you work smarter not harder, although it may feel you are working harder.

4) YES... Sometimes lean methodologies fail! This is due to project overun or taking on too large a problem and trying to fix it all in one go and not taking the smaller problems that are associated with the large problem and fixing them first. Sometimes fixing the small problems leads to resolution of the larger problem.

Akhil

Director Supply Chain , skuchain
Posted on: Jul, 31 2017
The Supply Chain technology is not considered a problem because traditionally supply chains are thought to be cost centres unlike sales functions. The tendency, in general, to limit expenses and cost cutting on upgrades for technology and for talent have been hindering progress for the businesses. Supply chains lack real time visbility and above all trust across the value chain (not that the participants are dishonest) rather it's about the cascading effects referred to as the bull-whip effect which causes higher magnitudes of disruptions. 

Supply chain real time information should top the list .

Another problem is that of multi homing as so much data is available across several feeds of IOT/Email/Internet /Mobility/ERP that organisations tend to have issues around finding a single platform to collate them for meaning analysis. 

Blockchain (if deployed appropriately) can be a great solution for solving the issues around the supply chain.

Mike Ledyard

Vested Program Faculty, Vested Way / University ofTennessee
Posted on: Aug, 04 2017
Excellent article.  It very much points to the need for Shared Risk / Shared Reward as we teach at Vested.  Suppliers will respond when they are made part of the team, and they have a lot to bring to the game.  The service provider is the subject matter expert in the services provided, and in an excellent position to enhance the capabilities and services offered by the shipper.

Andrew Downard

Managing Director, AD Supply Chain Group Pty Ltd
Posted on: Aug, 05 2017
As the article points out it is not a lack of technology that is holding back performance but rather a failure to form the right sort of relationships.  As well as the length of such relatiohships, practitioners should consider employing arrangements that incentivise both parties to innovate and deliver levels of performance and profit that neither thought possible.  By far the best model I have come across to achieve this is the Vested Outsourcing model developed by researchers from the University of Tennessee.  See www.vestedway.com for information on the model and case studies that show how others have benefited from creating a Vested deal.

Najma

logistics, threelineshipping
Posted on: Aug, 23 2017
Very informational article. The major focus of logistics is on e-commerce. There is a need to optimize every component of logistics by following the latest trends and technologies. Thanks for uploading this article.

Sameer Shukkla

Consulting Partner, Wipro Inc.
Posted on: Sep, 17 2017
I have recently co-authored a white paper with my colleague wherein we have looked at 2 fundamental guiding principles  -

1. Always have enough to Sell / Produce
2. Do not have excess to Sell / Produce

These 2 Golden Rules can be the foundation of keeping optimal inventory levels and for organizations to achieve the same. We have looked at a framework which tries to reduce the phase mismatch between Demand & Supply, and tries to bring the shape of the supply curve closer to shape of the demand curve.

We have classified symptoms and underlying root causes for the above "Phase mismatch" and "Curve Mismatch" between Demand and Supply, and then talked about addresssing those individual root causes to strive towards Leaner Inventory levels while maintaining or improving service levels.

So to answer your question, we feel the Companies which have addresed these causes have been able to keep DIO horizontal or even going down, while others have not been able to control rising DIO because of not addressing the root causes.

Simon Eagle

SCM Consultant, Camelot MC
Posted on: Sep, 17 2017
You ask why turns are flat or declining despite lots of attention and technology. The answer is, I think, 2 fold: the supply chain environments VUCA (Volatliity, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) is on a continuous upward curve and this means that forecast accuracy inevitably declines in parallel - and much of that inaccuracy is hidden by the statistics. For instance a company with, seemingy good, 80% mix accuracy will find that figure is skewed so high by the few high volume / low variability items. 80% of the items will be achieving considerably less than 60% error.

So most item level forecasts used for driving replenishment through an MPS (be it ERP or APS) are simply leading to unbalanced stocks, service threats and continuous expediting / fire-fighting. These schedule interrutions are "variability" that is disrupting flow and, thereby, increasing lead-times, using unplanned capacity and generating excessive (and still unbalanced) inventories.

The replacement in ex-stock supply chains is "enterprise(s)-wide" pull which also uses "push" for extreme/exceptional events. Its other key characteristics are that the supply chain is decoupled and is demand-driven. And now it can be implemented using SAP since they announced they they have co-developed an enhancement for IBP that supports this transformational way of working - up to 50% inventory reduction, requiring less capacity and shorter lead-times all while achieving planned service levels. See https://www.camelot-itlab.com/en/camelot-demand-driven-lean-planning-suite-for-sap/ and https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/supply-chain-flow-what-why-how-simon-eagle/


John Smith

Research & Development, Octopus Tech Solutions
Posted on: Sep, 18 2017
IoT is without a doubt starting to become a major factor in the profitability of various companies. In the manufacturing sector, we will see it come into the front by the end of 2020 completely. Various sectors have already adapted IoT solutions like the security industry or companies offering BPO Services India. Contact centers not just in India and China but across the world have adapted technology following the principles of IoT. The manufacturing sector is soon going to follow.

Girish Maniyar

Chief Manager Development Initiatives, Asian Paints
Posted on: Sep, 28 2017
I  can speak with some context. While efficiency and tools can reduce inventory, we also see the number of SKUs and new products increasing, and also the number of sales/depot points. This means the inventory in such cases, can start with very high number and with more customization and choices available to the consumer, so there is no end to the long tail of products available within a category. It is unlikely that the slow/dead goods are written off so easily to be not included here.

A larger question, would it be purely an IO problem or also a Demand Planning (Forecast Error) problem? A higher cycle time of service but a better fill rate can improve inventory performance, by aggregation. But a bad forecast can do away all the good work you do in inventory planning.

Do you have numbers for decorative coatings in the list? I did not see something there only for decorative coatings.



Reo B Hatfield

Chief Operating Executive , BestTransport
Posted on: Oct, 20 2017
My opinion is that peaks and valley are just nice graphics to explain.  Smooth responses save the day.   3PLs  just adjust to the climate and the areas of movement of Logistics.    One purpose of the 3PL movement was to adjust to an always changing market.   They will never be fixed and will flex as the logistics changes.   3PL companies have vast knowledge of their business.  Their success is their ability to move up and down as the market flows.  They bring a level playing field to the transportation world that in the past was rigid but looked good on spreadsheets.  Industry graphic personnel like to be able to answer all the changes because they can only see documents.  3PLs see the needs, the issues, the positive changes and the knowledge to know why and when to adjust.   They (3PLs) have smoothed the waves of the past and everybody likes to see the spikes so they know something is there to clearly report on. Smooth sailing is boring but sure gets you where you want to go. 

Catherine Dennis

Supply Chain Manager, Indak Mfg Corp
Posted on: Oct, 26 2017
So the horrific and severe worldwide allocation of electronic components is not an issue?  Don't tell that to the automotive buyers.  It's HORRIBLE.  Lead times out to up to 76 weeks.  Why not write about that?  It's killing us, our customers and the big automakers.   

Huub

Logistics Manager, Shell
Posted on: Nov, 11 2017
I suggest McKinsey to do a bit more research in Prof Gattorna’s dynamic alignment. This article only scratches the surface a tiny bit. Much more to be found reading about the alignment concept.

Joseph George

Farmer, Field Vista
Posted on: Dec, 07 2017
Primarily Vision is required followed by Assigned Focus on objectives.  Or maybe just love for USA.  The market will not find its way unless it's for organic vegetables and RRR.  Two to three years later will take two to three years longer to the end of the decade, and this is viable today.  God bless america from its present distraction.

Gary Buchs

Owner Operator , Self, Landstar Business Capacity Owner
Posted on: Dec, 17 2017
In My Opinion, the fact that capacity will tighten should be obvious to everyone engaged in the transportation. 
Capacity to move freight isn’t how many trucks or trailers are in the system or what a computer 
program says, it still is truck driver based and poorly-managed companies won’t be able to imporove
this fact.  Investing in people is still most important!

Get ready to pay higher prices for goods and services. I think we could lose 10% of Capacity in many areas. 

Dan

Pres., Bioptechs
Posted on: Dec, 20 2017
After all the ground we have lost in the productive sector and the additional burden that loss of our productive momentum has placed on our society, somebody tell me why so many people are against the actions necessary to restore our vital productive infrastructure! It is like the left enjoys shooting itself in the foot!

Jayaram

Business Development, Raghava Logistics
Posted on: Mar, 04 2018
Great article and thank you for summerizing the predications. 

What does it mean to country like India where the labour is still cheap? Where the logistics cost is still on the higher side compared to some of the developed nations?

Herb Shields

President , HCS Consulting
Posted on: Mar, 06 2018

 I agree that robots can replace some amount of manual labor in logistics centers.  However as you mention, the labor pool is shrinking.  We need more training programs such as the one provided by the Greater West Town organization in Chicago.   Www.gwtp.org.  (It is a program that your readers should find interesting.)

Billy

Associate, BJO
Posted on: Mar, 13 2018
Thanks for this very informative article.

Doug Murless

Country Manager, krunchbox (www.krunchbox.com)
Posted on: Mar, 18 2018

Gone are the days when consumers will wait for a retailer to have the product back in stock, those days are done. We live in the "I want it now" society and with Amazon in their pocket consumers can easily "now" it to themself the next day right from their phone.

The importance of product availability is under the microscope at all retailers as an empty shelf equals lost customers, a poor customer experience and entirely abandoned purchases.

We are on a mission at krunchbox to help suppliers fix their product availability and sell thru and improve their buyer relationships, hopefully before their retail partner fines start rolling in and or we see more retailers close.

NikhilSingh

Executive, Carmatec INC
Posted on: Mar, 21 2018
You are correct There are government programs to encourage investment at small and mid-size manufacturers, but McKinsey says these programs generally have smaller budgets, less certainty of ongoing funding, and more constraints on their mandates than comparable programs in other countries. Policy makers should examine which existing initiatives are producing the most promising results, then scale up those efforts and commit to them for the long term.

Mike Mortson

CEO, Supply Chain Game Changer
Posted on: Jun, 15 2018
I wrote a similar article on supplychaingamechanger.com about the same topic:  Gartner's 2018 Top 25 Supply Chain List!  Is it Still Relevant?  at https://supplychaingamechanger.com/gartners-2018-to…t-still-relevant/
 
 

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