I like the line "perform or perish." As harsh as it sounds, the truth is, organizations don't expand without meaningful production on the part of every member of the team. If you reward nonproduction, guess what you get - nonproduction.
Innovation is a key ingredient in a vibrant manufacturing supply chain, and I appreciate your concern that innovation in this country is not at the level it should be. One recent study from PricewaterhouseCoopers showed how important innovation is. The report, published last month, found that emerging markets led by China, India and Brazil now threaten to erode America's lead in medical technology innovation. This is not good news.
Ken, and all those who responded to my article, I enjoyed your comments.
Jenifer Baljko and I have both blogged recently about the lack of innovation in the today’s supply chain and your article hits the subject again. In my search for innovation, I contacted Charlie Fine, Chrysler LGO Professor,MIT Sloan School of Management asking about current innovation. He thinks we have been in a bit of a slow period for supply chain innovation but is interested in Li & Fung's value chain model, which is to have make-to-order supply chain for every customer need. He suggested a book titled ``Competing in a Flat World: Building Enterprises for a Borderless World`` by Victor K. Fung , William K. Fung and Yoram (Jerry) Wind.
Set to fail but I wonder if they can do something to stay afloat for a while. As the Google exec said "Two birds with one wing does not make a eagle" (or something along those lines. They also extended an invite to use Android in the future. Pretty much betting on a fail.
Welcome back Ms. Daisy. We've missed your insight! Now, I've been looking forward to your take on some of the latest changes in the corporate world, including the CEO transition discussed by Barbara Jorgensen and especially the Nokia-Windows deal.
Barbara, you make a solid point: You can analyze the heck out of just about everything--whether the demand originated in Shanghai or El Paso on a Monday during a full moon--but you'll never be sure what that demand really is. Or means.
Technology makes a lot of data available for analytics. But all that analysis will not necessarily bring the businesses to the right answer when it comes to planning supplies that will meet demand. We do rely on past performance as a guide, but just as the prospectus on a mutual fund literature always warns, "past performance is no guarantee of future success."
You are not the only person who is alarmed by this conservative mindset that is today all pervasive amongst more North.American Execs.The only way for them to get out of this mindset is if their jobs are on the line-Which will happen if their incentive structures are aligned perfectly with shareholders and the whole company [Company makes money,you make money and vice versa].
Once that becomes clear for the entire line of execs their behavior will start becoming slightly more adventurous than the staid mindset which is all pervasive now.
From your post,This paragraph made the most sense,
The current circumstances offer US manufacturers and their supply chain executives a rare opportunity to apply groundbreaking technologies to better manage a more nimble manufacturing process, while providing products and services that their customers can believe in. Surely, supply chain executives can create a world-class supply chain for the 21st century. If they can't, US manufacturing may be further weakened for years to come."
Problem is that risk-taking does'nt come naturally to most execs.Its even more imperative than ever today,but they choose to play it safe...And Watch as more leaner competitors from Other parts of the country or even overseas grab their market.No matter what the media/Govt says,the Recession is not over-Not by Long-shot.This is the time when you need to play both Offense and Defense on the same Game.Right now majority seems to be playing just Defense....
Today's electronics manufacturing has to accomodate the product introductions happening at a much faster rate than the time taken to establish the related supply chain. Too many new products are getting introduced especially in the consumer market and these new products are making the earler products obsolete by default. So betting on the supply/demand forecasts has become as tricky as trading on a stock exchange. The supply chain professionals are on slippery paths and negotiating their way at the required speed needs a lot of skill. With the new age communication tools and Enterprise wide systems it should not be diffiicult for the supply chain professionals to devise newer methods to effectively cope with this new scenario. The JIT methodology devised by Japanese Auto makers can become a handy tool for the Electronics manufacturers also in such scenario.
The electronics supply chain is complex enough that it doesn't surprise me that executives can't get a handle on demand forecasts. They never could, and it's unlikely they ever will. I don't think the problem is too little analytical information, either. The supply chain now is all about "risk management"--how much you think you will need, when you think you will need it, and how you hedge your bets if you don't need it after all. So there is no real forecast, it's a guess measured against a bunch of "what ifs" that usually don't happen. You can analyze the heck out of just about everything--whether the demand originated in Shanghai or El Paso on a Monday during a full moon--but you'll never be sure what that demand really is. Or means.
I think that's what executives mean by getting back to basics--what is the demand, and how do suppliers meet that demand? If you look at that that way, it's really quite simple.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.