Author Archive for James LeTart

How Consumers are Transforming Supply Chain

There’s a new boss in town and she is tougher than any boss you’ve had before. She wants what she wants, when and where she wants it. She’s the new digitally-empowered consumer and she is dictating how retailers and consumer goods companies must transform their supply chains to serve her. This new boss will access your brand wherever and whenever she wants through the device of her choice. There are no channels for her, just […]

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ERP vs. Best-of-Breed is History

Do you remember the old days when the hottest topic in supply chain software evaluations was whether it was smarter to go with the “good enough” applications from the major enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors or to go with the superior functionality of the best-of-breed vendors even though integration was a concern? IT argued that having a fully integrated approach and “one throat to choke” was more important than covering 100 percent of users’ needs. […]

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Can’t We All Just Get Along?

As the senseless violence in Charleston reminded us, as did similar episodes in Baltimore, Ferguson, and Newtown, we are far from living up to our nation’s ideal of “One nation, under God.” The question is whether we will once again wring our hands, say our homilies, and perhaps remove a flag, and then go back to business as usual, or whether we are able to really come together to create needed change. As Rodney King […]

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The Darwinian Supply Chain

Supply chain processes have existed since Eve brought the forbidden apple to Adam, even though the term supply chain is a relatively recent one. Over the millennia since, supply chains have evolved at an ever-greater pace. During the long evolution of the supply chain there have been certain inflection points where significant change happens fairly quickly. We are in the midst of one such inflection point right now, with another one just around the corner. […]

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Guest Commentary: Supply Chain Resilience, Agility, Efficiency and Innovation

During her welcome remarks at the 2012 Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Annual Conference in Atlanta, Nancy Nix, chair of the CSCMP board of directors, said that companies should judge the value of supply chains going forward by their resilience, agility, efficiency and innovation. This is a far cry from the traditional view of supply chains as a trade-off between costs and customer service. That got me thinking about what common thread might […]

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Guest Commentary: The 4 Building Blocks of Inventory Visibility

Achieving inventory visibility across the enterprise and extended supply networks has been a goal for supply chain professionals for over a decade, but achieving true visibility is no easy task. As recent analyst research indicates, while supply chain visibility is very important to almost all companies, there is a large gap between the importance of visibility and their ability to provide it to their organization. Most attempts have failed when trying to bring together all […]

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Guest Commentary: Are You Spilling Savings from Your Transportation Buckets?

We’re all familiar with the problem of silos within organizations and how unproductive they can be to the company as a whole. But have you thought about how the same thing tends to happen with your transportation operations? Can you truly claim to have “one-stop shopping” across all locations, carriers, modes, fleets and parcel? If you have separate “buckets” for any of these, you’re spilling cost savings all over the place. While we all might […]

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Guest Commentary: Invisible Visibility

For well over a decade we’ve talked about how supply chain visibility will help minimize the impact of disruptions, decrease order cycle times and risk, and improve service levels. Yet, after all these years, why are people still talking about supply chain visibility like it’s in the future? About now you may be thinking you’ve had visibility within the four walls of your DC for years via your warehouse management system (WMS). If you have […]

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Guest Commentary: Inventory–Not What It Used To Be

Remember when inventory was just something off the production line stored in a warehouse until it was pushed out to customers? In the past, companies worried about how much safety stock to keep, along with inventory turn rates and the associated carrying costs, but the most important thing was keeping production lines running, driving the most efficiency one could from the machines. Fast forward to today, and those production lines are likely halfway around the […]

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