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CO2 Emisions & Greece

June 11, 2010

Having just spent a week on a small Greek island, of such beauty only heaven itself can serve as a comparison. In a little village caressed between the hills and the ocean, I spend a week trying effortlessly to relax and unwind.

Sadly like many of you out there my mind struggles to relinquish its grip on the world of supply chain.

While I sat sipping my various cocktails of all different colours and flavours, I planned to write a blog. Using my now holiday hindering ability to watch the movement of goods & look out for differences within others supply chains, I came to the conclusion that no blog of any use could come from my observations.

I have however come home to find a comment on a blog I created before I left, by a Mr Oudenes. Who answered the question “what topics would you like to hear about”, with, “CO2 footprint could be an interesting topic. Logistics is per definition the main user of fossil fuels. More and more it needs to be part of the yearly statement of companies”

And I couldn’t agree more with that statement, many companies have been making huge efforts to reduce the amount of emissions the product through the movement of goods, for example Marks & Spencer’s new lorry designs, helping to make them more streamlined thus reducing CO2 emissions. How much of a difference this makes is not something I know too much about, but I would be surprised if it was not significant.

However in my opinion –

Transportation Planning and Optimization delivers a robust solution to optimize an organization’s daily transportation plans. Including some if not all of the below –

– Mode Selection – proper mode selection to maximize service and minimize cost
– Aggregation – consolidate like shipments with the same origin, destination, pickup and delivery dates
– Consolidation – combine shipments into multi-pickup and/or multi-dropoff moves
– Pooling / Cross-Docking – identify shipments that should move through consolidation or breakbulk points
– Continuous Move and Backhaul – effectively utilize assets (private and common carrier) to minimize deadhead and empty distance
– International Multi-Leg – plans complex global logistics movements
– Backhaul Management – increases dedicated and private fleet asset utilization

I would really like to hear your thoughts and opinions so please let us know.

Thanks again




May 14, 2010

New challenges are an everyday occurrence is the world of supply chain; we all thrive to improve areas throughout the supply process. But improvement comes at a cost, and that is quite literally the truth, cost. Whether it be cost in staff recourses, physical improvement, company growth or software installation.

In these times of economic turmoil the mere thought huge spending is a tough one, at the end of the day money is tight. But improvement is necessary, so what is the answer? Simple low cost spending, over shadowed by saving.

What could you do to improve your supply chain for low cost, which would provide you with rapid ROI?

It’s a tricky question but there are answers, becoming lean and mean is still a phrase very important to growth. There are however a few things to avoid to reduce costs, large software implementation, projects that need masses of human recourses and long winded projects that take months to implement.

Short projects, low cost, huge return.

Thanks again


Where is your Supply Chain going

April 29, 2010

In the 80’s it was clear the most important issues that surrounded supply chain were the ability to look over the wall and work with your monopoly. The organisation focus was department and ring fence based, the time focus for the business was weeks to months and the drive was to make stock solely to deliver. 

Moving on ten years where had we got to? Later in the 90’s we saw the need to become more responsive, and tackle rival suppliers head on in the market place. The customer approach was much more “they can have it when we’ve got it”, the ERP was born and the time to focus was now at days to weeks.

Again moving ten years on and the “network” was first heard, the idea of collaborating together was born. The customer was now the most important aspect of the chain and all strived to fore fill demand, the pull chain was now in full swing. The web was now ready for use in the supply chain and time to focus is now in real time.

Well we have now breached the 00’s, have you caught up with the flow of trends? There are still companies today that are stuck in the 90’s, a much harder place to move forward from that the 00’s. We continue to see the Supply Chain improve through new innovations but how many are being caught out by not improving there systems?

The future for supply chain is multi party, 100% visibility, cloud computing, appointment scheduling and time to focus, real time. Are you in a position to make these changes, and more importantly do you want to?

In your opinion where is the supply chain going?

Thanks again.


Track & Trace Solution

April 27, 2010

Parts management today is a critical and integral component in the service chain & is directly related to the health of corporate margins. Getting the right part to the right place at the right time dramatically impacts a service organisation’s margins as well as its customer satisfaction metrics. As a result, supply networks for spares have grown exponentially in their complexity and typically involve multiple locations and many independent companies, particularly when repair is often the most economically viable supply solution.

Therefore you need to support a service chain that defines & optimises all the processes in the flow of people, parts, instructions, maintaining, repairing, returning, refurbishing, and disposal of assets. As you don’t want to carry excessive inventory nor incur excessive expediting costs due to lack of network visibility, what is needed is a powerful solution that delivers better performance through:

• Full visibility across the entire supply chain providing real-time information for every asset across the multi-party supply and repair network, whether under your control or not

• Complete track and trace down to individual serial numbers, complete with full history of usage and repair, for each item as it progresses through its lifecycle.

• Authentication capabilities to individually mark and identify parts to ensure their provenance and identify potential leakage points in the supply chain.

• Full reverse logistics service managing repairable items, and tracking all inspections and logistic activities throughout this process.

• Optimisation tools to rapidly match requirements to potential supply options and automatically recommend the most effective and efficient re-supply option (including repair.)

Spares Management solution encompasses all aspects of multi-party, multi-transaction processes to enable superior service performance through :-

• Integrating the parts management function with logistics processes

• Optimising safety stocks across service operations, utilising either the in-built demand forecasting capabilities or other existing forecasting tools.

• Foundation for direct materials cost reductions, through material procurement directly linked to forward demand signal

• Multiple Transaction base support: Requisition, Service Orders, Diagnostic Orders, Work Order, Repair RMA Orders, Shipments, Repair Order, Dispositions

• Multiple Role based security permissibility

Should you wish to learn more about how to improve your total service management network, pease contact me.

Thanks for reading.


How do you ensure your suppliers are conforming to your Corporate Social Responsibility policies?

April 21, 2010

In today’s global market a significant consideration for any retailer is minimising exposure to risks related to corporate social responsibility. We have seen many articles in the press recently on the use of child labour and unethical working practices by suppliers, particularly in the clothing industry where production is largely outsourced in developing countries. As corporate social responsibility has become a very sensitive issues in the eyes of western markets, the risk to brand value from a supplier (or a subcontract to that supplier) who does not adhere to the retailers CSR policies is immense.

Despite the extensive auditing carried out by retailers to avoid issues related to CSR, leakage can still occur at any point in the supply chain from raw material to finished goods.

Only a truly collaborative supply chain with track and trace capabilities can improve a retailers ability to assess the working practices of their suppliers as well as identify any leakage in the supply chain, thereby eliminating risk to brand value. One Network provides a full Product Safety solution that delivers:

• Improved visibility into supplier certification through online certification and auditing which allows suppliers to login and complete audits for initial certification or on-going assessment
• Ability to identify where products originated, through Authentication and Serialisation which can be used to mark goods from raw materials through to the finished goods
• Ability to identify leakage points in the supply chain through Track and Trace which provides end to end visibility of all items to the geographical level
• Ability to quickly identify products which have breached CSR policies
One Network delivers these outstanding results through leading-edge techniques including:

• Overt and Covert Marking which use various types of markers which can be tagged onto products based on where they were sourced from.
• True Multi-Party collaboration that allows retailers and suppliers to work together to assess working practices, monitor compliance and track products real-time through the supply chain
• Real-Time Visibility of products wherever they are in the supply chain
• Smart Device Integration which tracks the tagged products through key points of the supply chain.

Should you wish to learn more about how One Network can help improve your supply chain, please contact Chris Bennett on 0203 355 1646 or visit us at

Kind Regards.


Improvements In Retail

April 8, 2010

In today’s highly competitive high street, all retailers are battling to achieve the highest possible availability at the lowest possible cost.

A highly responsive supply chain can deliver significantly improved on-shelf availability whilst also reducing total supply chain inventories thus delivering competitive advantage. What we need is a solution that provides a full replenishment solution that delivers:

• Both single-tier or multi-tier replenishment all the way from store to the original raw material providers.
• Reduced out of stocks with best in class replenishment policies that can be configured individually from category down to SKU level.
• Increased responsiveness with projected future replenishment plans shared in real-time across the extended multi-party supply chain.
• Proven business results with on-shelf availability improvement typically 1-5% and inventory reductions of 30% across both the retailer and their suppliers.

If anyone has a case study that explains how they have achieved similar goals, we would all be very interested to hear about them.

Moving on from the above, it would also be important to either improve or introduce solutions that could do the following –

• Continuous Forecasting to constantly adjust and adapt incrementally within day, based upon actual demand thus avoiding the delays resulting from traditional batch processes.
• True Multi-Party collaboration that provides full visibility of the latest actual supply and demand across all parties and drives replenishment from these known facts.
• Last Minute Allocation (LMA) to postpone replenishment until the last possible moment and use the latest true demand and supply positions to ensure optimal allocation of available supply.
• Inbound Order Prioritisation to reprioritise critical incoming orders into the DCs thus maximising availability and improving throughput, and using this to drive final allocation of supply onwards.

Thanks for reading.



March 22, 2010

We are always seeking new ways to improve the functionality of our supply chain, always looking to see what others have done, always putting our hands in our pockets to see how much we can spend, and let’s be honest most of us work on the premise “the more we spend the better it will be”.

Of course we know this is not always the case but like the saying goes “I won’t get fired for buying IBM”

Well maybe there is something we can do, that works, is cost effective and will have desired effects we all seek. Everyday retailers produce Data, master data, this includes point of sale, balance on hand, store forecast etc…..problem is though it’s page after page of information that would make even the calmest of people reach for the job section in the local paper.

Solution! Simple invest a SMALL amount in a tool that analyses said data, a solution that provides you with the data you want (need), so that you can see where your problems have occurred…………….trouble is do we really care how the issues we have already had came about?
Does it really help us now?

So working on that, we need a solution that does the above but also works alongside our ERP, so that it can provide us with a real time look into our areas of attention………….but still I think we need more.

What if there was a planning element added into this, whereby we can plan the next set of events using the data we already have, this would make the tool functional and much more useful.

But I think we can go one better, what if we could, using this solution, execute the orders we now know we are going to get?

The big question is why would you want this? Well if you have an idea of what your retailer is about to ask for, you will be given time and that is extremely valuable as we all know. But also you will have the ability to react to changes and as a result lower your inventory and free up much need capacity. It’s as simple as that.

Of course you need a system that can provide you with high accuracy, if you could get a typical forecast accuracy reading of 80-85% one week out, how valuable would that be?

Now there are some people out there that will notice this is already being done by many solution providers, but what I am describing is done by very few. Personally I only know of one.

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this so please let me know.

Thanks again everyone