Tag: supply chain enhancement

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Top 4 Benefits of 3D Printing in Supply Chain Management

The 3D printing technology has been much hyped lately. The immense benefits of 3D printing technology can help the supply chain of the company in multiple ways. The most innovative companies have looked upon the benefits of 3D printing technology to overcome logistical challenges and optimize their supply chain. The increasing levels of customer demand have placed immense pressure on the supply chain to deliver perfection both in terms of time and quality. For instance, a few years ago consumers were okay with waiting for a week to receive their products, but now with the advent of one-day or same day delivery, fulfilling customer demand has become challenging. So what are the benefits of 3D printing technology that can help companies to meet this ever-increasing customer demand and save costs?

Benefits of 3D Printing in Supply Chain Management

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Provides Mobility

Mobility is one of the most useful benefits of 3D printing technology. Instead of going through the laborious process of land acquisition for infrastructure, buying machinery, and managing assets, all that’s required for 3D printing is a 3D printer and some input materials like plastic, powder, and resins. One of the remarkable benefits of 3D printing is that it gives customers the power to customize their goods even with instant deliveries. E-commerce retailers like Amazon could vastly benefit with such technology that puts power in the hands of the people.

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Virtual Inventory

At present, companies have to maintain an inventory of goods in terms of finished goods, in different SKU’s in various shapes and sizes. This can take up a lot of space adding to the inventory and warehousing cost. However, with 3D printers, all the raw materials are in the form of plastics and resins. So instead of keeping stock of different kind of goods, a 3D printer can instantaneously print required goods on demand. So, virtual inventory is one of the exceptional benefits of 3D printing that makes supply chain management even more efficient.

Manufacturing Aids

The manufacturing industry is intensely competitive with almost all companies following management principles like Just-in-Time (JIT). Additive manufacturing allows companies to develop spare parts, tools, and other fixtures to speed up assembly lines by developing durable and accurate parts. This is one of the extraordinary benefits of 3D printing that helps in maintaining optimum efficiency in manufacturing. For specific products, it can also hasten up the time-to-market thereby contributing to inventory turnover.request proposal

Reducing Transportation and Logistics Cost

Reduction in transportation and logistics cost is one of the most productive benefits of 3D printing. This technology allows the manufacturing processes to be decentralized. The traditional practice of having one manufacturing hub distributing the products all across the world adds to the product cost with increased logistics and transportation cost. Since 3D printers are very good at producing products even with moving parts, the assembly phase can be eliminated to save on labor and transportation cost. 


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Rethink Your Supply Chain with Crowdsourcing

The term crowdsourcing is an extended version of the proverb “the more, the merrier.” The idea of soliciting ideas, services, or information from a large pool of people has been there for quite some time. Traditional companies function within their closed boundaries with few people in the chair making a decision based on what they think would be good for the company. However, the more customer-centric companies involve multiple people in the ideation process, collecting feedback from a large group of people toSE_Demo2 deliver a truly great product. The advent of the internet era has made the crowdsourcing process even more easier. Procurement and supply chain professionals are now turning their focus towards crowdsourcing to bring such valuable inputs for their supply chain.

Why are supply chain professionals emphasizing on Crowdsourcing?

On-time, Cost-Effective Delivery

If there is ever a company that provides on-time, cost-effective delivery delighting the customer, Amazon would be the top name in people’s mind. Their delivery services are so impressive that even after choosing standard 4-5 business days delivery, they show up on your doorstep the next day, or sometimes even the same day. They are able to do this because of the vast distribution network and independent delivery fleet. Part of this success can be credited to their effort to crowdsource their delivery to service providers such as Cargomatic, who connects local shippers with carrier companies having extra space in their trucks. Delivery companies are also trying to solve the last-mile connectivity problems by crowdsourcing traffic apps, which help drivers find the most efficient routes with data from other real-time drivers.

Supports Risk Management

Most companies put in proactive risk management strategies to limit the damage and be adaptive in case of unavoidable circumstances like a natural disaster or geopolitical turmoil. In order to be prepared for situations like this and avoid manufacturing and transportation breakdown, companies are resorting to crowdsourcing. For instance, a project called zeean, enlists public feedback to collect data on economic responses to extreme weather. The company uses such data to improve supply chain responsiveness and resiliency. Additionally, crowdsourcing technology can enable companies to communicate and collaborate with their suppliers in real-time in order to mitigate supply chain risks.

Product Innovation

The advent of social media platforms has allowed brands to communicate and engage with their customers and gain valuable inputs on product development. For instance, Lego has a dedicated site for their fans and customers who can contribute design ideas for the new product. Additionally, users can vote for their favorite idea and state how much they are willing to pay for it. In case the idea gets support from more than 10,000 people, the official Lego board will decide for its production. Companies not only crowdsource ideas for the product but also for marketing and communication as Oreo did by devising the brand positioning for new Mini-Oreo cookies. The company received more than 500 ideas from over 42 countries and was able to identify ten potential ideas for their brand positioning.

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Why Extended Enterprise is Right for your Business

A business does not operate in isolation as its success depends heavily on its network of partner relationships. The quality of output and level of innovation of is only as good as the input provided by their suppliers. Today, organizations are considering their suppliers as partners in a bid to elevate the level of innovation and drastically improve product quality. The extended enterprise model has been gaining a lot of attention these days with many companies looking for ways to implement it by using LMS, EDI, social collaboration, lean partnership, and partner certification programs. So why are businesses increasingly focusing on implementing extended enterprise model?SE_Demo2

Reduce Costs

For a modern-day business, up to 80% of the operating costs can originate from outside the organization. The extended enterprise model allows an organization to collaborate with the supply chain members smoothly. IT plays a vital role in enabling extended enterprise by providing all members of a supply chain with a shared view of data in real-time. This largely eliminates the costs and risks associated with help desk and service calls, maintaining compliance, and making errors.

Collaboration and Innovation

Extended enterprise facilitates companies to easily communicate their requirements to their partners and drive innovation by collaborating on the development process. Also, integrated systems also allow the organization to maximize benefits of the digital and automation process by streamlining all business processes and marketing efforts.

Shorten Cycle Times

When all the key stakeholders are on the same page of the developmental process, the timeframes for activities like new product introduction, global expansion, and external sales drastically reduces. The shorter cycle time boosts supply chain efficiency and enables an organization to focus on their core activities.

Organizations are emphasizing on ways to integrate extended enterprise to increase product/service knowledge, customer engagement, and accelerate the sales cycle. Extended enterprise also has the potential to improve vital business functions by extending their value chain and engaging more deeply with external collaborators.

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Top 5 Drivers of Supply Chain Innovation

The modern supply chain has progressed leaps and bounds from traditional practices due to intense competition in this sector. WithGet More Info products increasingly becoming commodities, competitors are finding it difficult to differentiate their products. Thus, companies are looking forward to optimizing their supply chain to achieve a competitive advantage. Advancement in technologies, cloud computing, and availability of big data are enabling supply chain managers to optimize their supply chain. In order to achieve greater profitability, increased revenue, and improved service, companies are looking for new technologies and practices, which will drive supply chain innovation.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Supply chain management is a nightmare task for an organization with millions of products, thousands of suppliers, and hundreds of logistics partner. An interconnected IoT system can automate the coordination between all the process and partners. For example, an image recognition software can identify a product in the inventory, and when the stock gets low, it can automatically place an order to the supplier and receive the item.

Complexity of Compliance Environment

Today’s supply chain must deal with increasing number of compliance issues following numerous regulations and guidelines. A supply chain optimized for a particular product or an industry may face difficulty when serving a new vertical. Manually trying to figure out ways to abide by such regulations could eat up valuable time. So, the industry is looking for automation and machine learning to drive supply chain innovation in this field.

Advanced Collaboration Platforms

Optimizing the supply chain goes beyond just internal optimization of supply chain processes. Advanced collaboration platform enables the company to share valuable information across multiple tiers of manufacturers and suppliers. This allows companies to share forecast data with suppliers and obtain their responses in real time. Such innovations help businesses and their suppliers improve transparency and strengthen relationships.

Big Data and Analytics

A typical supply chain can generate an enormous amount of data across multiple parameters. A single item is capable of generating data across all parameters, which poses a problem of storage and analysis. Big data and analytics are driving supply chain innovation as organizations try to figure out performance measurement metrics and set benchmarks in the area of perfect order management, cash to cash cycle, fill rate, inventory turnover, and inventory velocity.

SCM Outsourcing and Rationalization

Many SCM services have emerged in recent times specializing in select supply chain functions. Apart from this, 3PL and 4PL services are in fierce competition to win the business. With the advent of so many service providers, companies have to identify partners who can provide strategic value to their business.

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Chemical Supply Chain Optimization – Simplifying the Complex Supply Chain

Product complexity, multiple suppliers, complex compliance requirements, and changing commodity prices are the major reasons behind the complexity of the chemical supply chain process. Sometimes buyers have to procure dangerous or hazardous materials from multiple distant locations. Complexity in the chemical supply chain is like cancer which can destroy the supply chain efficiency. Chemical companies are always on the lookout to optimize the supply chain and maximize ROI by managing safety, ensuring on-time delivery, flexibility, responsiveness, and sustainability.

Managing Uncertainties and Risks

Chemical supply chain planning faces various uncertainties and risks such as demand changes, machine breakdown, natural disasters, and cost and price fluctuations. Optimization techniques are used in managing such uncertainties for supply chain optimization. Analysis of historical data along with forecasting models can help determine optimal inventory levels and ascertain transportation and sales costs. Also, chemical companies use sophisticated statistical models, scenario planning, and decision model to forecast optimal production levels.SE2

Pricing Strategies

Pricing is a complex affair in the chemical industry due to the volatility of raw materials and increasing fluctuations in the financial markets. The price has to be just right in order to stay competitive in the market. Traditional models and strategies can’t withstand the rigors of complex pricing decision. As a result, automated pricing software is being used to optimize the pricing by taking into consideration various real-time data and simulating the impact of multiple price points.

Sharing of Information

The chemical supply chain is complicated due to the fact that most of the functions are outsourced for cost savings, leading to the proliferance of multiple stakeholders and suppliers. It is essential to have a streamlined communication to optimize the chemical supply chain by reducing the inventories and smoothing production. Enabling information sharing allows for the exchange of knowledge between suppliers for product co-creation.

Geoanalytics based on Big Data

The chemical industry usually procures materials from multiple suppliers dispersed across a broad geographic location. Managing such a complex supply network can be a hassle as errors could lead to increased time to market. Geoanalytics based on big data can simplify the supply network and multiple supply networks can be merged and optimized. The use of such tools ensures timely delivery of materials that are required for production and improves the time to market.

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Supplier Profiling Study Helps Identify Successful EMS Companies

Category Overview

The global electronics manufacturing services (EMS) market is expected to witness significant growth in the coming years as vendors are increasing their focus on introducing new and more efficient technological solutions. Moreover, these requirements will be more beneficial for vendors that offer open architecture and user-friendly products. However, the EMS industry declined significantly in 2015 due to the declining sales of PCs (desktop and notebook). As a result, many EMS companies have started opting for supplier profile studies to develop a superior supplier operational and functional capability matrix.

The Procurement Pain Point and Insights Offered

An EMS firm wanted to gain insights on the supplier capability matrix. Additionally, the client also wanted to identify and develop a list of suppliers and profiles of the key players, covering aspects including business profile, financial structure, and their revenue. Furthermore, the client also wanted to gain insights on the competitors’ service and product portfolio and their geographical coverage.

The supplier profile analysts at SpendEdge followed an in-depth two step research methodology, which included primary andrequest free proposal secondary research coupled with qualitative and quantitative data collection methodologies to cater to the specific category requirements of the client. During this study, the client gained insights on the key supplier profiles in the market and their cost structure. Additionally, with the help of SpendEdge’s SWOT analysis, the client was able to gain a profound understanding of the competitor’s supplier capability matrix and their geographical coverage. Furthermore, this supplier profile study also helped them understand the relationship between the key suppliers and their competitors.

Business Outcome

The supplier profile study helped the client identify the key suppliers in the market coupled with their strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, the client was also offered suggestions on pricing models to improve engagements. SpendEdge’s supplier profile study also provided insights on the differences between the major suppliers.

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Anatomy of an Ideal Procurement System – Disruptive and Entrepreneurial

To reach the ideal scenario, where the entire procurement system is effectively streamlined is a goal many wish to attain. As confusing the process of finding the right suppliers and getting the spend analysis in place might seem, striking a balance between the two is a herculean task for sure. Being experts in procurement plans, we bring you a very close insight into what an ideal procurement system look like.

Disrupting the chaos

Lining out your business goals and aligning it with functional strategies can be a daunting task. Add to this the dynamic supply market scenario, and the constant pressure of spend analysis management – what you get is a perfect chaotic environment to work in. But if you start analyzing things one step at a time, the chaos can be easily disrupted, and order brought back to the process. An ideal procurement system would thus involve:

  1. Building a comprehensive supplier pool
  2. Clarity on bid specifications and quality management
  3. Transparency in sourcing, focus on supply chain enhancement
  4. Global sourcing and inventory optimization
  5. Green purchasing and accurate invoicing

One major roadblock which has a huge negative effect on the entire procurement process is a lack of a comprehensive supplier pool. Often it has been noticed that procurers hardly have any in-depth information on suppliers, and how rarely they move on to new suppliers to meet their requirement. Sticking with standard suppliers, though sounds like a ‘safe’ decision, it hinders your chances of meeting your requirements in a cost-effective manner.

Bid specifications and quality management are the next links in the chain of a decent procurement strategy. While clear bid specifications make it easier to know where to draw the line, better quality management would see to it that cost to the company is brought down substantially. Similarly, a great deal of care needs to be taken on sticking to a transparent sourcing of the suppliers. A lot of confusion and maverick spends are due to the disparity between bid specification, transparent sourcing, and inventory optimization.

Lastly, the idea of an ideal procurement system is incomplete without going for green purchasing and accurate invoicing. Along with bringing down the carbon footprint, green purchasing boosts the market value and goodwill of the organization.

Entrepreneurial skills – Adding an edge to the procurement system

The key to any innovation-centered procurement is adding the element of entrepreneurship to the entire process. With our extensive knowledge and experience, we can assure you that right entrepreneurial skills go a long way in giving your business the much-needed edge.

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