Category Archives: Supply Chain

Brexit and Supply Chain Management

It’s time to revisit supply chain design and optimization books, software and research papers

Here is the initial list. Please revisit this page as I will continue to add to the list.


Supply chain design software


Adding Clicks to Bricks, and Vice Versa

The omnipresence and influence of Amazon is felt everywhere by the retail industry, even though actual e-commerce volume is currently less than 10% of the overall retail volume. With e-commerce expected to grow at a healthy clip the next several years, the urgency to develop cost-effective omni-channel capabilities for traditional retailers cannot be overstated. Continue reading Adding Clicks to Bricks, and Vice Versa

Can Connected And Smart Products Reduce Bullwhip Effect in the Supply Chain

Amazon’s collaboration with Brita on the Smart Pitcher is what busy parents have been waiting for a long time. It brings us closer to the Jetsons era and “The Autonomous House”. There is, however, one group that will be even more thrilled than busy parents with this development – Supply Chain Planners.

To understand why this is the case we revisit the Bullwhip effect. You can review the background in the seminal paper on The Bullwhip Effect in Supply Chains. Continue reading Can Connected And Smart Products Reduce Bullwhip Effect in the Supply Chain

Zara’s Agile Manufacturing And Supply Chain Operations Have Toyota Production System Written All Over

Inditex, the parent company of Zara, at one point in 2015 was worth over $100 Billion in market cap. It is unusual for a company in Fast Fashion to be so valuable. Only Nike comes close. Obviously, such performance attracts all kinds of interest to understand the secret to its success. I read a number of research papers and case studies, which are listed below, to understand the secret sauce. After reading the papers and case studies, it became apparent to me that Zara practices a version of Toyota Production System suited for Fast Fashion industry. Continue reading Zara’s Agile Manufacturing And Supply Chain Operations Have Toyota Production System Written All Over

Supply Chain Innovation

This paper by Dr. Rice and Mr. Cottrill highlights three innovations that have the potential to transform supply chain processes. One can argue that cloud computing and 3D printing are are not fundamentally supply chain innovations as much as innovations from technology and manufacturing areas that have the potential to improve supply chain processes and design.

There is certainly a lot of hype around 3D printing, but the authors observe correctly that the use cases for 3D printing are still limited to limited order or one off manufacturing. Although a large 3D print catalog for service parts is a worthy idea.

The omni-channel/integrated retailing is a supply chain innovation that has the highest potential to transform retailing. Companies that can master omni-channel by leveraging physical retail presence, on-demand logistics/transportation services such as Uber/Lyft and effective placement of inventory will be next generation retail leaders.

Sustainable Supply Chain

Sustainability is our generation’s biggest challenge. Supporting Sustainability is the right thing to do even though the expected benefit is some times hard to quantify or takes a long time to materialize. That is often the case when it comes to Sustainability in the supply chain. Your suppliers may balk at it, resist it and in some cases even ignore it. But your customers want your suppliers to be sustainable. You should too. Continue reading Sustainable Supply Chain