Where will the next big ideas in supply chain management come from? Over the years we have seen the automotive sector coming forth with far-reaching concepts and radical restructuring of their supply chains – introducing just-in-time deliveries of parts to the production line, sequencing deliveries to facilitate the fabrication of multiple models on the same line.
Retail too has shown the way, using information technology to speed goods from suppliers to the shelf-edge, cross-docking goods to cut inventory holding costs and to maintain product availability.
However, it is from the electronics sector that we have come to expect some of the greatest ideas. Dell’s supply chain was held up for many years as the shining example of a highly flexible, responsive and lean supply chain.
By taking orders over the internet and, in effect, building to order, the company was able to avoid holding finished inventory, cutting out problems such as stock redundancy and capital tied up in keeping inventory.
In an industry that experiences rapid product development, short product life-cycles and an expectation from the market of ever reducing prices, the supply chain holds the key to profitability. So perhaps, it is hardly surprising that we look to the electronic sector for our inspiration.
Over the fourteen years of the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards, the electronics sector has picked up the Overall Winner trophy more times than any other sector – companies like Infineon Technologies, Cisco Systems and, of course, Dell.
But will the electronics industry demonstrate to this year’s judges that they have still got what it takes to lead the way? Will we see evidence of innovative ideas being put into practice? Those in the sector will need to start considering their entries for this year’s Supply Chain Excellence
Awards as the closing date is just a few weeks away, on the 3rd June.
More information on entering the Awards at: www.supplychainexcellenceawards.com/EntryInfo.aspx