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Dec. 2, 2022
Supply Chain Digest Flagship Newsletter


This Week in SCDigest

bullet A Supply Chain Christmas List 2022 bullet SCDigest On-Target e-Magazine
bullet Supply Chain Graphic & by the Numbers for the Week bullet New Stock Index

New Chain Cartoon Caption Contest!

bullet Trivia      bullet Feedback
bullet New Expert Column bullet On Demand Videocasts




New White Paper:


Understanding WMS in the Cloud


Lessons Learned from Dozens of Cloud WMS Implementations




first thought


Supply Chain Graphic
of the Week


The Still Soaring Price of Diesel Fuel

This Week's Supply Chain Numbers

Mixed Data from Extended Opening Retail Shopping Weekend
Amazon Announces New Drone Model
US PMI for November Falls info Contactopm
Shoplifting Levels are Soaring


Show Us Your Supply Chain Wit!


 This Week's SCDigest OnTarget Newsletter

Cartoon, Top SCDigest Stories of the Week


Six Ways Supply Chains Can Transform Packaging
These Trends Will Become Even More Important as Disruption Continues in the Packaging Segment


Linda Dunn

Director, Georgetown University's School of Continuing Studies

"Alex Rogo" was the main character in what seminal business novel?
Answer Found at the
Bottom of the Page



A Supply Chain Christmas List 2022


As we head rapidly into the Holiday season, I will note that every few years about this time I offer my supply chain Christmas list for Santa's consideration, and am doing so here again in 2022.

Let's start with my wish that the war in Ukraine ends very soon, though I am not hopeful Santa can come through on this one. The human tragedy of those poor Ukrainians facing a brutal winter of freezing temperatures, no lights, food scarcity and more is hard to process, as Scrooge Putin targets such civilian infrastructure.



I have written on this before, but I would like to see a little more clarity on what "supply chain digitization" really means, even as it is currently much in vogue.

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There are supply chain implications too, including high energy food and costs that are a factor in global inflation - while who knows what a desperate Putin might do. May we find a path to peace.

I wish we had more supply chain thought leadership. Who are our thought leaders today anyway? A few come to mind: my friend David Simchi-Levi and Yossi Sheffi of MIT. I will add Thomas Choi of Arizona State, who consistent produces interesting content. Others may come to your mind.

Gartner certainly produces a lot of content, but that's a little different.

I have said this before, but in these challenging supply chain times we need more thought leadership from our top consulting firms. We get some for sure, but is there a consultant name that comes mind today? Probably not. George Stalk, now partly retired from Boston Consulting, is one exception worth mentioning.

This may be a bit of an odd one, but I wish RFID would finally gain some critical mass. Odd in at least the fact that I was a major skeptic for few years in the face of the massive initial RFID hype, tied in large part to the (in)famous Walmart RFID mandate. The announcement of that mandate will see its 20th anniversary in 2023. Time flies, doesn't it.

Yes, a few retailers (Target, Macy's, Walmart) are very invested item-level RFID - but it's not enough. RFID is simply not widely used in most supply chains. That's two decades of modest progress at best.

But you know in many applications RFID just really is better than bar code, and some day will largely win out, bringing greater efficiency and accuracy of many supply chain processes.

I am wishing it really starts to happen in a few years - and we don't see more decades of market underperformance.

I have written on this before, but I would like to see a little more clarity on what "supply chain digitization" really means, even as it is currently much in vogue.

From what I have seen over a number of years, digitization is generally defined in relationship to adoption of a wide array of individual technologies: 3D printing, advanced analytics, digital twins, drones, robots, RFID, sensors, etc.

These can all be useful tools, but there has to be some more meat behind what digitization is all about, doesn't there?

I actually have some thoughts on this I will share in 2023 - and know someone else who has his own thoughts on this topic.

I would also like Santa to clue me in as to whether "Lean" approaches can work in distribution. I've seen a handful examples over many years (as with a few employing "Theory of Constraints" principles), but usually in isolated processes, not at all in a broad sense.

My thinking is that the answer is no, Lean does not really apply in distribution centers - but I would be happy to have Santa prove me wrong.

Finally I do really ask that companies bring production back to US soil. Thus far, despite some anecdotal successes, the numbers simply show very little "reshoring."

But the country would in total benefit enormously if it were to happen, I believe. To be clear, these would involve new age, heavily automated factories that individually offer a fraction of the jobs per level of output versus yesteryear.

However, in aggregate, the number of direct factory jobs could be substantial, but to me more importantly, research has shown that where a product is made is eventually where product engineering and innovation research and development take place - and we have been bleeding this intellectual property and competitive advantage to China for three decades.

We need to keep it here.

With that Santa, I think I will end my Christmas list for this year. There's actually a few more in my head, but I don't want to look like a greedy kid and wind up with just a lump of supply chain coal instead.

What do you think of my supply chain Christmas list? What's on yours? Let me know.

Any reaction to this these thoughts on Gilmore's Xmas list? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.



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On Demand Videocast:

Understanding Distributed Order Management

Highlights from the New "Little Book of Distributed Order Management"

In this outstanding Videocast, we'll discuss DOM, based on the new Little Book of Distributed Order Management, written by our two Videocast presenters.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Satish Kumar, VP Client Services, Softeon

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

The Grain Drain: Large-Scale Grain Port Terminal Optimization

The Constraints and Challenges of Planning and Implementing Port Operations

This videocast will provide a walkthrough of two ways to formulate a MIP, present an example port, and discuss port operations.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Dr. Evan Shellshear, Head of Analytics, Biarri.

Now Available On Demand

On Demand Videocast:

A Blueprint for WMS Implementation Success

If You Want a Successful WMS Project, You will Find the Blueprint in this Excellent Broadcast

This videocast lays out the keys to ensuring your WMS implementation goes smoothly, involves minimal pain, and accelerates time to value.

Featuring Dan Gilmore, Editor along with Todd Kovi of Radix Consulting and Dinesh Dongre of Softeon.

Now Available On Demand


Feedback will return next week.

"Alex Rogo" was the main character in what seminal business novel?

A: "The Goal" by Eli Goldratt, which introduced the Theory of Constraints.

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