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Building the 'Ideal' Supply Chain

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nimantha.d
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Ideal Supplu Chain
nimantha.d   2/22/2013 10:59:10 PM
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True its not easy and someone has the start it but who is going to do that ? It gets delayed since most of us wait till someone else starts

tech4people
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Ideal Supplu Chain
tech4people   2/16/2013 8:55:54 AM
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Nimantha,

Somebody gotta do the Moulding first right?

Its not so easy to make these changes (for Different Companies) very quickly.

 

nimantha.d
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Ideal Supplu Chain
nimantha.d   2/15/2013 10:54:04 PM
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Well technically you can integrate any application to this if it has a direct link with the supply. I dont think there are tools specifically to be named for this. It should come along with the requirements of yours.

pocharle
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Ideal Supplu Chain
pocharle   1/30/2013 7:34:46 PM
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I wasn't talking differences but trying to figure out market leaders, big brands, etc.

hash.era
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Stock Keeper
Re: Ideal Supplu Chain
hash.era   1/30/2013 10:29:04 AM
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Ok so I dont see any difference in it charles.

pocharle
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Supply Network Guru
Re: Ideal Supplu Chain
pocharle   12/31/2012 11:40:49 AM
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I wasn't talking size. I was referring to popularity.

hash.era
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Stock Keeper
Re: Ideal Supplu Chain
hash.era   12/30/2012 11:27:19 AM
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IMO you cannot catergorize the size of the applications. True there may be several in-built integrations needed and involved but that wont be a problem as such. I think when it comes with data only the size will have to be taken into consideration.

hash.era
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Stock Keeper
Re: What is the level of customization do you see in the Supply Chain today?
hash.era   12/30/2012 11:24:01 AM
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Douglas : This is simply great. Thank you for explaining things in detail. I think you have made a great point here.

Douglas Alexander
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Blogger
Re: What is the level of customization do you see in the Supply Chain today?
Douglas Alexander   12/28/2012 1:55:57 PM
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@tech4people, As you know, customization is highly dependent upon the nature of the product. It is correct to say that Apple's iPhone docking connector, at introduction, was a custom connector that required custom tooling and parts to produce. Then when something becomes a standard in an industry and patent restrictions are lifted, the product can move to a non-custom status given the introduction of multiple manufacturers making the same product. Having said that, there is always a certain amount of customization that differentiates similar function products so that more than one manufacturer can compete on an otherwise level playing field. Bose makes a docking speaker for mobile devices, but so does Sony, Samsung, and a host of others. They look different. They sound different. They have different features, artwork, and I/O. These are the things that generate the custom requirements for materials, laabor, and design. For me to put a percentage upon these would require my viewing every bill of material. But, if you consider the uniqueness differentiating one similar product from another, you will be able to recognize the custom factors in the design that probably involved original tooling, artwork, connectors, and circuits. Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) and masked Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) are prime candidates for claiming custom status. 10% may be not too far off the mark for circuit customization based upon component count, but in most cases when mechanical concerns are involved for enclosures and front panels, you're closer to 100%. It is these unique components that can bite you the hardest if they are not managed properly as far as the supply chain is concerned. Unless the company has licensed the tooling to multiple suppliers, the custom part supplier is usually a sole source and constitutes a higher level of risk management as well. Generally speaking, if you can achieve the same product results with legacy components and multiple material and process sources, the smoother your supply chain will be. But then innovation and cool new tech would be severly limited. It is a trade off for sure.

Douglas Alexander
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Blogger
Re: Defining ideal
Douglas Alexander   12/28/2012 1:27:46 PM
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@Bolaji, I think everyone involved along the chain would answer in a somewhat identical manner as to what would be the ideal supply chain for them. As I see it, each person or department, to some extent, recieves goods, services, or materials, does something with them, and if not at the end of the chain, passes the product in whatever form along. So, I believe whatever minimal process, procedure, person, or capability that is required to facilitate the efficient movement up and down the chain is at the heart of the ideal. For me, that translates into maximum control with minimum effort and time. Looking at the tools for this maximization, they would have to be cost effective and easily accessible for authorized parties. Higher levels of integration resulting from fewer steps or processes fall under the category of time and efficiency. As to the variances from-comapny-to-company, the tools and efficiencies will be deterimined by the fundamental requirements, people skills, and the budgets of each company. Overall, I believe that each company, per project, develop a material plan for each new product introduction that encomapsses all known and prospective sources, contracts, negotiations, lead-times, database updates, quality assurance practices including new supplier surveys and inspection criteria updates. Inventory handling procedures should also be defined so that every department anticipated to be "touching" the product will not be surprised or without sufficient notice to make the necessary modifcations to their internal and external processes. I have seen product held up waitng for Marketing brochures or installation kit or instructions being delayed at the printing house. In the Material plan, it is important to build in the required lead-time to bring all things together that will make the introductory launch smooth and effective. Bolaji, I know I am speaking in generalities here, but if each link along the chain customized these processes to their products and scale of business, the supply chain would be closer to ideal, notwithstanding risks and Act of God. The essence of the flow is that your output, is my input, which in turn becomes my output to someone elses input. I wrote earlier about I/O (Input Output Diagrams) and how if they are inner and interlinked between departments internal to a company that process within a single firm can be harmonized via strong internal links in the chain. If each entity was party to the I/Os and proceses of every other entity involved in a more global supply chain operation, then more control could be realized, monitored, evaluated, modified, and perfected. Simply stated, if I knew your risk factors, I could factor them into mine and make the necessary contingency plans to help mitigate those things I cannot control because you can't control them. A close, integrous relationship between and among supply chain partners is essential to the overall integrity of the entire chain. When I call Digi-Key, I get a different person each time but I know that through a long time relationship with Digi-Key that they have a very good track record for efficient and on-time operations. So I don't have to form a bond with them but the other suppliers that I may not be familiar with, I better concentrate on learning their business I/Os so that my company doesn't get broken because of an unanticipated break in the supply chain that I should have already anticipated as a liklihood or high risk candidate. Getting the right information and knowing what to do with that information is key to moving towards the ideal. Flexibility and rapid reaction are reserved for the non-ideal. Along with planning for the ideal, planning should be in place for the non-ideal as well. Only then can you say you have done what you could to properly manage your supply chain. The every day operations will vary in nature, but written and adhered to procedures help normalize the results and minimize the surprises...moving you towards the ideal.

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