For more than a year now, logistics and supply chain managers around the world have been struggling with unprecedented challenges. The impact from the first coronavirus-induced shutdowns, when supply chains and transportation networks around the world collapsed, continues to ripple through the industry. High volatility in demand, natural disasters and vessel incidents such as the recent one blocking the Suez Canal have further aggravated the situation.
Problem is, transportation capacity is extremely scarce and in hot demand. Numerous aircraft are still grounded. Container shortages continue to persist for quite a while. All of this is not only hampering sea and air cargo, but also road transports.
As a result, freight rates skyrocketed, as did uncertainty for manufacturers that rely on smoothly functioning logistics chains. In many cases, it’s unclear or at least hardly possible to plan when exactly their materials are going to be transported. So, the ever more pressing question is: How can companies best secure their shipments and thus ensure the flow of supplies to their plants and customers? Read more
“High demand, low supply”: what a nightmare for supply chain managers. And this doesn’t just happen in boom times. In economically uncertain phases, too, supply bottlenecks are more than painful for businesses. This can currently be witnessed for the microchip shortage the automotive industry (among others) is battling with.
Thus, it is all the more important to safeguard production by having a sophisticated capacity management system for critical components in place. But what does this mean in practice? What is the difference to conventional demand collaboration with suppliers? And which aspects do manufacturers need to consider? Read more
The Covid-19 pandemic has put supply chains under pressure. From Fortune 500 companies to SMEs, through all kinds of industries, the impact on operations and planning activities was and remains real. Supply and demand forces have been tremendously shaken by the accentuation of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (VUCA) driven by the pandemic.
As for digital transformation, the question is not if or what, but when. Read more
Recently, in the first part of my blog article series “Supply Chain Risk Management – far more than just a way out of the current crisis“, I highlighted the importance of linking the two disciplines of Risk Management and Supply Chain Management when managing crises. There is another important aspect to not just surviving times of crisis, but to come out of these strengthened. And that is the time factor.
For this reason, the second part of this blog article series is dedicated to the following questions: Where do I start? What ad-hoc measures can I implement to mitigate impact? What can I quickly do to protect my supply chain? Read more
The coronavirus crisis has revealed a long-standing challenge for suppliers even more clearly: How reliable are the demand forecasts they receive from their customers? High volatility and uncertainties in demand forecasting are not limited to pandemic times. Even in the “normal state”, the originally reported requirements can differ considerably from the materials actually called off. The decisive question is therefore: How can you improve forecasting and thus also achieve a higher level of planning accuracy? Read more
The current coronavirus crisis clearly shows how vulnerable and susceptible to disruption supply chains are today. It also shows how important it is to anticipate disruptions of any kind in order to minimize their impact. In this context, supply chain risk management plays a major role. Essentially, it is a matter of finding answers to the following questions:
- What risks is my supply chain exposed to?
- How can I identify problems in my supply chain as quickly as possible, catchword early warning system?
- What do I need to do to minimize loss and to be even stronger in the end?
- As well as the lessons learnt: Which measures should I implement to ensure that I can effectively respond to any future risks?
Covid-19 has kept big and small players across all industries in check. Given the high levels of interdependence among customers, suppliers and other value-adding partners throughout the supply chain, the domino effect is not yet over. And recovery will be even harder. Read more
The coronavirus pandemic has turned everything upside down: Plants around the world had to shut down production. As a result, supply chains and thus transport networks often collapsed across the board. This is precisely what is now confronting companies with a major problem when they re-start production: even if suppliers are producing the required materials again, how do these get from the supplier’s premises to their plants?
Transportation problems are not limited to shipping and air freight, but also to road transport, which has so far been easy to manage. The transport networks that companies could previously use no longer exist for the most part. As a result, the processes with the carriers that used to work well are no longer functioning. So, what to do? Read more
COVID-19, its effects on the industry and the restart of production currently dominate on the agenda. Everyone is longing for a return to normality and this will be the case in a few months’ time. The world will not stand still and it is certainly not standing still at this very moment. Read more
Planning, purchasing, logistics and transport management are traditionally separate processes, typically located in different departments. The material planners determine how many parts production requires and order these from the supplier, considering safety stocks. The suppliers operate in their own systems, as does the transport service provider. What, when, in what quantity and at what time is to be delivered usually remains unclear until goods receipt. Read more