Five Supply Chain Drivers

Supply chain capabilities are guided by the decisions you make regarding the five supply chain drivers.  Each of these drivers can be developed and managed to emphasize responsiveness or efficiency depending on changing business requirements. As you investigate how a supply chain works, you learn about the demands it faces and the capabilities it needs to be successful. Adjust the supply chain drivers as needed to get those capabilities.   Continue reading

A Multiplayer Online Game of Supply Chain Management

Let’s investigate a high-level conceptual design for applying game mechanics to coordinate the actions of a network of separate companies that all do business together. These companies are manufacturers, logistics providers, distributors, and retailers, and they are all members of a common supply chain. Continue reading

Four Participants in Every Supply Chain

In its simplest form, a supply chain is composed of a company and the suppliers and customers of that company. This is the basic group of participants that creates a simple supply chain. Extended supply chains contain three additional types of participants.  First there is the supplier’s supplier or the ultimate supplier at the beginning of an extended supply chain.  Then there is the customer’s customer or ultimate customer at the end of an extended supply chain.  Finally there is a whole category of companies who are service providers to other companies in the supply chain.  These are companies who supply services in logistics, finance, marketing, and information technology.

In any given supply chain there is some combination of companies who perform different functions.  There are companies that are producers, companies that are distributors or wholesalers, companies that are retailers, and companies or individuals that are the customers who are the final consumers of a product.  Supporting these companies there will be other companies that are service providers that provide a range of needed services. In this post we’ll look at the four main participants in every supply chain.

ExtendedSC1 Continue reading

Key Supply Chain Practices from Wal-Mart

Sam Walton decided to build a company that would serve a mass market and compete on the basis of price.  He did this by creating one of the world’s most efficient supply chains.  The structure and operations of this company have been defined by the need to lower its costs and increase its productivity so that it could pass these savings on to its customers in the form of lower prices. Continue reading

Getting Started – Just Jump in and Try It

Using SCM Globe is all about designing supply chains and then simulating their operations to see how well they work. When problems occur you edit your supply chain design to fix those problems and run the simulation again to see the effect of your changes. You cycle through several rounds of design and simulation until you get a supply chain that runs for about 30 days. And in the process you will learn a lot about how supply chains operate.  Continue reading

Supply Chain Design and Simulation Made Easy

In SCM Globe, supply chains are created by comginations of the four supply chain entities – Products, Facilities, Vehicles, Routes. So to build a model of any supply chain involves defining the characteristics of these four entities and then combining them to create supply chain you are modeling. Continue reading

Alexander the Great Needed Great Supply Chains

In the spirit of the saying, “amateurs talk strategy and professionals talk logistics”, lets look at the campaigns of Alexander the Great.  For those who think that his greatness was only due to his ability to dream up bold moves and cut a dashing figure in the saddle – think again.

Alexander was a master of supply chain management and he could not have succeeded otherwise.  Continue reading

SCM Globe Simulation Concepts

As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, but what you can remember when you need it.” Since there is an infinite amount of detail in any situation, the trick is to find useful models that capture the salient facts and provide a framework to organize the rest of the relevant details.

SCM Globe is a way to model the salient facts of any supply chain anywhere in the world. Continue reading

What is Supply Chain Management?

The practice of supply chain management is guided by some basic underlying concepts that have not changed much over the centuries.  Several hundred years ago, Napoleon made the remark, “An army marches on its stomach.”  Napoleon was a master strategist and a skillful general and this remark shows that he clearly understood the importance of what we would now call an efficient supply chain. Unless the soldiers are fed, the army cannot move. Continue reading