Wednesday 21st Nov 2018 - Logistics & Supply Chain

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Avoiding risk is no longer enough

The warnings of the past decade are starting to manifest themselves in new, sometimes unexpected ways and harm people, institutions and economics – that stark warning is the starting point for the World Economic Forum’s latest Global Risks Report.

Rising cost of supply chain disruption

Business interruption now accounts for a much higher proportion of the overall loss than was the case ten years ago – and that is down to increasing interdependencies between companies, the global supply chain and lean production processes.

Time to think again about sustainability

The issue of supply chain sustainability might have slipped down the agenda slightly as organisations have faced up to more pressing issues, such as weaker than expected economic growth in China, and political unrest in the Middle East.

Time for some non-linear thinking

We have had “push” model supply chains – and we have had “pull” models. And now we should abandon the idea of a chain altogether and think instead in terms of a network.

Could you cope with Storm Desmond?

Storm Desmond dropped 341mm (or 13 inches) of rain on parts of north west England in just 24 hours over the weekend, overwhelming recently completed defences and flooding thousands of homes and businesses, and making roads and rail lines impassable.

Is your business resilient enough?

Apparently, only a third of business chiefs think that their companies have the resilience to survive into the future.

The £29 billion supply chain trap

The squeeze on bank lending to business became a big issue a few years back as the recession took hold, leaving companies looking for new sources of supply chain finance.

Congratulations to all our Award Winners

Not so long ago it seemed that the twin developments of online retail and e-books spelled the end for traditional book retailers. But Waterstones has responded to these challenges by strengthening not only its customer experience but also by working with its logistics partner UTL to strengthen its supply chain. No wonder it has become […]

Online grocery poses unforeseen challenges

Is online shopping actually a good thing? The question is prompted by some research from the IGD which suggests that four in ten grocery shoppers could potentially be converted to online shopping.

Value chain growth drives global economy

  First we had off-shoring – and the we had re-shoring and near-shoring. And we have also had a world financial crisis. Nevertheless, the latest analysis of global trading trends by the World Trade Organisation shows that the average share of exports and imports of goods and commercial services in world GDP has increased from […]

Changing the balance in automotive supply chains

Formula One is often seen as a test bed for developments in the motor industry generally. Normally this refers to developments in technology rather than supply chain. But followers of F1 will be well aware of the supply chain difficulties being experienced by the Red Bull team at the moment.

Engineering a better supply chain

Engineering and manufacturing have seen big changes over recent years with the emergence of China and India as major players. But the changes ahead promise to be even bigger and will have a significant impact on how supply chains are structured.

Going eyeball to eyeball

For many supply chain professionals, last week was a particularly gruelling one – it certainly was for me. It was also one of the most exciting, because this was the week when the entrants in the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards went eyeball to eyeball with the judges.

Time to get closer to your 3PL?

Seven out of ten users of logistics services reckon that using third party logistics providers has contributed to overall logistics costs reductions, according to the 20th annual Third Party Logistics Study.

Is your supply chain ready for Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution, started out four years ago as a German government project on advanced manufacturing involving the use of electronics and IT to automate production.

Time to go channel-hopping

According to IMRG, it was the “Weakest August in 15 years for online retail sales”. In this context, “weakest” is a relative term reflecting the fact that online retail sales grew by only five per cent on August last year.

Christmas starts now

The summer holidays are over so it must be time to worry about Christmas. And, after the debacle of black Friday last year, it will be particularly worrying for some.

KitKat just got a little bit sweeter

It might be sweet and gooey and deliciously chocolatey, but, in the UK at least, there has always been a strong moral dimension to the cocoa business.

Why Wal-Mart is putting the focus on inventory management

 It’s not just the UK where food retailers are facing tough markets. Walmart’s second quarter results highlight not just the competitive nature of the grocery business in the US, but also how the retailer is focusing on inventory management as part of its response.

Milk curdling times in the supply chain

When was the last time you saw an automotive component supplier blockading a motor manufacturer? Or angry component supplier executives drenching themselves in brake fluid? I’d be astonished if you said anything other than “Never”.

The £212bn supply chain risk

The issue of supply chain finance came to prominence during the recession as large corporations started to realise that the collapse of key suppliers was a real possibility and could seriously disrupt their business.

Is your supply chain ready for HS2?

 High Speed 2, the planned fast rail link from London to various points north, promises to be a massive boost to the economies of the places where it stops – in fact the government has adopted the title: “HS2 – Engine for Growth”.

Time for a conceptual leap?

Are we ready to make the next big conceptual leap in the way we think about supply chains? In fact, should we be even thinking about supply chains at all any more?

Are we seeing fundamental change in the food supply chain?

You could almost hear the sigh of relief among financial analysts last month when they saw Tesco’s first quarter results – there was clear evidence that the decline in like-for-like sales was being turned around.

Time to look again at VMI

Some 36 per cent of senior managers in retailers and manufacturers reckon their organisations have too much cash tied up in inventory – and 29 per cent think they have too much excess and/or obsolete inventory.

Pricey platitude

It has become a platitude to say that returns are a problem for retailers – particularly with the growth of online shopping. But the problem is costing retailers some $642.6 billion (£409bn) globally.

Getting to grips with greenhouse gases

Most of the focus of emissions legislation for commercial vehicles has been on pollutants such as NOx and particulates. For example, last year saw the introduction of Euro 6 legislation in Europe – the latest in a series of steps to cut these pollutants.

The bright star of the mail market

Royal Mail’s share price rose after Whistl revealed that it was abandoning its end-to-end service. However, the move was less pleasing for the regulator, Ofcom, which has now launched a “fundamental review of the regulation of Royal Mail”.

Wal-Mart’s challenge to retail supply chain

“I want us to stop talking about digital and physical retail as if they’re two separate things. The customer doesn’t think of it that way, and we can’t either. Customers just want us to solve their everyday problems with an easy, seamless shopping experience.”

Take the robot challenge

Can robots pick single items efficiently? It’s an important question for e-tailers that need to pick a range of disparate items to fulfil an order. So it’s no surprise that Amazon put up $20,000 as first prize in a competition to find the best robot.

Time to follow the Bank of England’s example?

Discussion of supply chain risk tends to focus on problems with suppliers, or wars and natural disasters, but the biggest issue for supply chain strategies in the UK at the moment is likely to be the government’s efforts to renegotiate British membership of the European Union.

What happened to Apple?

This is the time of year that I normally get to write: “Apple tops Gartner supply chain rankings”. But not this year. What is going on?

3PL market is ripe for consolidation

For many years, it’s been axiomatic for third party logistics providers that the best place to recruit new customers is from the own account sector – those retailers and manufacturers that have historically chosen to handle their logistics in-house.

Does supply chain make people happier?

If you live in Switzerland, congratulations – you are officially one of the happiest people in the world. At least that is one of the conclusions of the World Happiness Report, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Pressure is on EU-US trade negotiators

Negotiators from the European Union and United States government are meeting in New York this week to hammer out  the terms of a new free trade agreement – it’s the ninth round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Healthcare commoditisation puts focus on supply chain

To the outsider, the healthcare sector is characterised by the critical nature of so much of the activity. Getting the right drugs and equipment to the right place at the right time can mean life or death.

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