Wednesday, 24 September 2014

How holy is the Grail of Real-Time in Supply Chain?

A transportation management system (TMS) helps companies move freight from origin to destination efficiently, reliably, and cost effectively. In a TMS survey, ARC found that respondents indicated freight savings of approximately 6 percent with the use of a TMS application.
TMS achieve these savings based on process enforcement, visibility, analytics, and optimization.
Whereas process enforcement and optimization are based on visibility and analytics – any visibility benefits or any analytics functionality is only as good as the data quality and the currentness of data processed.
Capgemini also indicates, that the demand for global visibility is increasing and that shippers want to know where everything is located across the entire supply chain at any given point. Shippers today are still challenged by disparate systems, an obstacle no serious global shipper can afford.
The conclusion is: real-time data is key in order to achieve visibility, analytics, optimization and process enforcement. Real-time is the grail in supply chain.

When does the grail become a holy grail?
  • if 10-15% savings could be achieved instead of the above indicated 6% savings
  • if no additional manpower has to be added
  • if no investment in expensive equipment has to be done
  • if getting-up and running can be achieved quickly
  • if the system does it all instead of people


Three success criteria have to be considered:
  1. the “Indiana Jones” willing to find the holy grail is an adventuresome hero (engaged and experienced)
  2. the holy grail should continuously be used to “drink” from (continuous use of data and new processes)
  3. the holy grail should be “ornamented and decorated” more and more over time (sophistication of software)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Nestlé: Improving global supply chain visibility

Nestlé has implemented a cost-effective solution for real-time monitoring of thousands of container movements around the globe each year. The system has significantly increased supply chain visibility bringing a number of operational, strategic and financial benefits.

IGD SupplyChainAnalysis

Friday, 5 September 2014

How to make your supply chain read your mind?

Forget about Siri!
Talking to your iPhone is certainly cool.
But you still have to tell Siri what you want and what Siri has to look for.
Wouldn’t it be great, if your phone would anticipate, what you want to ask and give you the answer before you have even asked for?

The same probably the case with supply chain managers.
It is certainly cool to “talk” to the ERP system and get the system do the planning, the ordering, the invoicing, ….

But like with my iPhone – every day I manually have to turn on the silent mode, when I go to bed, or I have to turn on the airplane mode when entering the airplane, or turn on/off Bluetooth for my headset in the office.
I want these things to happen automatically, so I don’t have to worry about them anymore.

Likewise the supply chain manager: He most likely would also appreciate, if certain actions would happen automatically and he did not have to worry about. So – how to make the supply chain read your mind?
My answer to this question is: Automate actions based on geozones!

Imagine, your container has arrived at the final destination (= geozone) and an authorized person opened the door of the container. At that moment, you know, that your cargo has been delivered to the client and that you can send the invoice. Or even better: your system knows and can automatically start the invoicing process, which allows you to have the cash in 2 weeks earlier. Automate action based on geozone!

Imagine, your container on the feeder vessel has arrived in the transshipment port (= geozone) with a delay. The transatlantic vessel has already left and your shipment plan is invalid.  Based on the current location of the container, a new shipment plan with a new estimated time of arrival can be calculated and automatically fed into the supply chain manager’s ERP system. Automate action based on geozone.

There are many more such examples.
Therefore, forget about Siri.

Talk to us about how to make your supply chain read your mind.