Archive for ARC Advisory Group – Page 2

The Gulf Oil Spill

Here at ARC Advisory Group, we are well known for our research and expertise on supply chain and automation technologies used by the process industries. I’ve been waiting for one of our process industry gurus to write something about the Gulf  oil spill and Larry O’Brien finally did last week in “How the Gulf Oil Spill Affects Process Automation, Safety, and Asset Management” (available to ARC clients only).    Rather than examining the causes of this […]

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Green Chemistry and the Design of Chemical Supply Chains

My colleague Asish Ghosh has retired—for the second time. Ten years ago he announced his first retirement, got his retirement party, and a few weeks later we called him back in to help us with a quick turnaround project. He then worked part time for another decade, retired again last week, and got his second retirement party. I’m not sure what the moral of this story is, except, perhaps, that two parties are better than […]

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Energy Management in Supply Chains

If you were to conduct a cost waterfall analysis of most manufacturers, you would find that their manufacturing-related costs are greater than their distribution costs. And in distribution, transportation-related costs outweigh warehousing costs. So, a one percent cost saving in manufacturing saves a lot more money than the same one percent improvement in warehousing. This is one key reason why at many companies supply chain personnel still have a lot less clout than their peers […]

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Preventing Counterfeiting in the Pharmaceutical Industry

When supply chain folks think about anti-counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical supply chain, we naturally think about bar codes and RFID. Those technologies have a role to play, but the requirements go far beyond the simple tracking that occurs in many other supply chains.    My colleagues Janice Abel and John Blanchard have written an ARC Insight (available to ARC clients only) on preventing counterfeiting in the pharmaceutical industry that documents the breadth of this problem, outlines […]

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The Toyota Recall

Toyota, the company that invented the Toyota Production System and brought lean manufacturing techniques to the world’s attention, is one of the most respected names in Supply Chain Management. But over the past few weeks, Toyota has recalled about 9 million vehicles worldwide due to problems related to accelerator pedals, and last week the company decided to halt production and sales of eight models. As a result, Toyota’s reputation for quality has been tarnished and […]

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The Dubious Reliability of Online Pharmacies Cold Chains

My ARC colleague Janice Abel told me a story recently that is making me question the safety and efficacy of prescription drugs purchased online. Janice was visiting her stepfather who had been away from home for a long weekend. When he returned and went out to the mailbox, on a hot summer day in the 90s, he saw that his diabetes medicine had arrived, but the ice pack in the package had melted. He asked […]

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Software as a Capital Expense

Earlier this year, some of my colleagues here at ARC wrote a Strategic Report titled “Capital Expenditure Survey 2009” (available to ARC clients only). The report got me thinking about the differences between how hardware and software are expensed, and how those differences affect a logistics executive’s annual budget.  I talked to executives at some of our logistics software vendor clients, including i2 Technologies, RedPrairie, Manhattan Associates, and Tecsys, to see how their customers approached […]

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The Toughest Forecasting Problem: Demand Management in Oil & Gas Industry

“Oil is becoming increasingly difficult and costly to recover, and the problem of managing the supply chain and profits has become more complex than ever. After weathering the economic downturn, the industry must boost capacity for future demand, and keep a close eye on the economics of oil and gas production.” So wrote my colleague Allen Avery, in a recent ARC Insight report titled “In an Uncertain Economy, Oil & Gas Industry Spending Must Stay […]

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Go Green with Natural Gas…But Only If We Have Sufficient Infrastructure

In August, Fortune magazine published an article titled “ExxonMobil: Green Company of the Year” by Christopher Helman (ExxonMobil is an ARC client). The article argued that “The engineering solution to the matter of carbon in the atmosphere [is to] drill for natural gas. Per unit of energy delivered, methane releases 40% to 50% less carbon dioxide than coal and a quarter less than petroleum. Coal fuels half of U.S. power generation. Replacing all of it […]

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The Collaborative Enterprise: A Focus on People-centric Collaboration

Back in 2000, my colleague Greg Gorbach introduced a Collaborative Management Model (CMM) to help companies think through the interdependencies among a company’s various departments and locations, as well as partner networks, when seeking to leverage internet technologies to enhance their competitive position in the market.  At the time, the big payoff from collaboration came from integrating systems and business processes across business functions. In an updated report on CMM, Greg writes “New collaboration technologies […]

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