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Supply Chain Visibility ranks as a high priority according to the Analysts from Surveys and market Research. Where is it in your priority list? Would love to know from this community if that is wishful thinking or it is really a priority in your own words?
Interesting topic Subhash. Suppliers and vendors; contract manufacturers, VMI and distribution/sales…Any one variable in the chain that goes rogue can impact an entire supply line.
It gets worse because there are hundreds (thousands?) of variables to be taken into consideration to help maintain supply line integrity…all of these in the name of forming an extended supply chain on behalf of the OEM.
Whereas in many cases, ultimately its the OEM that pays the highest price (lost market opportunity costs) when shortages and/or quality impacts sophisticated, multi-tier, global supply chains.
Meanwhile, the SW companies each claim to have a better mouse trap to manage visibility.
While not one company really has a crystal ball, some are better than others at seeing the future.
Perhaps managing response times to put out fires is a better metric for measuring supply chain success.
Whether its proactive hard work with everyone paying attention and being accountable, combined with smart supply chain management talent (think: Apple) to help minimize risk (i.e., inventory exposure) and maximize profit (i.e., meet demand schedules), or its managing supply lines against a moving forecast…either approach can sometimes still be like playing Whac-A-Mole.
Well summarized. All of these whac-A-Mole problems will continue with new moles appearing faster than you can whac one. Existing EMS enterprises in the US were so busy with these moles that they missed the changing dynamics of supply chains. Since there is so much interest in Foxconn in this community, I’ll pick on them for examples. Foxconn changed the playing field with the help of Apple to get a fresh start without these problems to a scale that existing EMSs now find hard to compete or replicate in the US. It also obsoleted the Dell model forcing Dell to change its entire strategy and business model.
Foxconn Indonesia is another new start and another opportunity to raise the bar to another level. Visibility requirements for this venture will be different or should be different. What will they be? It was a smart move by Apple to take the focus and its dependency on China and shift it to a more controllable territory.
This will allow apple to focus on a new supply chain strategy which is driven by product launches and launch logistics and not legacy supply chain processes.
Combine this with Amazon’s move to same day delivery and we have a new world of visibility requirements and management in real time.
Any one care to comment on this trend for a new world of visibility?
I would contend that the new amazon delivery paradigm only works if inventory is available on that given day. While I believe competition to compete drives every visible component of the supply chain, it will always be the business relationship between the OEM, the EMS and the suppliers that will guarantee positive outcomes. As long as one is willing to burn the other in order to achieve a level of profitability that shareholders require visibility is not going to happen. If you are an Apple or a Foxconn for that matter you can create visibility at will, if you are a mid tier company with exclusive component and supply needs you might be able to establish discrete relationships with suppliers that will give you visibility to meet your requirement, however, it is my belief that you will always be second in line to bigger companies who command larger volumes of standard components, materials and products.
Amazon’s or any delivery program will work only if there is inventory. Yes, but the first challenge is having visibility to where the inventory exists physically or can be sourced from if it does not exist and have it delivered in the shortest possible time with full visibility to the fulfillment process for all vested parties including the customer.
Valid point about mid-tier companies or smaller companies. However, visibility is essential for any company of any size. The smarter a smaller company works the better the chances of competing with the bigger companies and one day becoming a big company itself.
In my experience, the bigger the company the less the visibility and many more blind spots.
Today’s technology and resources enable more visibility at lower cost without the overhead which only the bigger companies could afford.
The LA/Long Beach Port strike is over. The Holidays are here. The stuff needs to get to the shelves ASAP. Everyone waiting for their container to be unloaded from the ship wants their container moved to the destination ASAP. This scenario is likely to repeat itslef every time at some port all over the world. Is this a problem that should be addressed? Any suggestions from the experts in logistics?
Visibility to supply chain costs is being discussed again. Total Landed Cost is back a second time. The first phase happened between 2001 – 2008 when manufacturing moved offshore. Now manufacturing is moving back onshore (Apple, GM,…) near shore or some other shore. Naturally as a supply chain manager you would like to know what the Total landed cost should be. Anyone else see this in this community? Is there a different or better approach to Total landed cost this time?