Sr. Managing Consultant, Electronics Center of Competence at IBM

A Multitude of Metrics

Operations and supply chain people talk about metrics all the time, but we don’t spend a lot of time on the metrics themselves. The nature of how metrics function, and how they are put together, is worth our attention: If we don’t understand how metrics work and what different kinds of metrics are intended to […]

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Consortium-supported Blockchain Applications: Anti-Counterfeiting

In an earlier post[1], I described how some excellent use cases for blockchain technology may be held back by either lack of sufficient information on the full cost of process problems outside a company, or by a general preference at companies to not “go it alone” in building a new blockchain solution. The consortium approach […]

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Blockchain Solutions: Sometimes it takes a village (i.e. a consortium)

I’m often the person who presents the basics of blockchain technology to people at electronics companies, which brings a small but enjoyable reward with it: I get to see the light come on in executives’ eyes when they realize that blockchain can solve a real-life problem for them. Our discussions almost always get more animated […]

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Finding the extra production line(s) hidden in your factory (Part 3 of a series)

In two previous posts on the OEE metric and how to find the extra production line(s) hidden in your factory, we discussed the factors that go together to measure Overall Equipment Effectiveness. Restating a simple progression from the end of the last post, generally you monitor line performance first. Often, simply being more aware of […]

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Hey bud, want a free manufacturing line? (Part 2)

Maybe you’ve been measuring your Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) for a while now, and you now know that your operations are running between, say, 60% on a good day and 42% on a bad day. There’s lots of room for improvement – there’s almost a whole second factory hidden inside your factory! But how do […]

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Hey bud, want a free manufacturing line?

We used to call running out of manufacturing capacity a “good problem to have,” but it’s still a problem. If your customers want more product than you can build at the moment, you need to work out a way to increase production levels. In the short term, you can get your current staff to work […]

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What can you do about a lousy forecast?

One of the oldest jokes in operations management is that “accurate forecast” is an oxymoron. But it seems that many companies have gotten so used to poor forecast quality that they’ve lost focus on this business-critical issue. After all, improving forecast accuracy by even a small amount can have a massive, and very positive effect […]

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So you want to build a Control Tower…

If your business is experiencing issues with assembling all the data it needs in order to quickly get answers to critical questions and determine the best course of action, a control tower can be a great solution. One of the essential things that control towers do is to assemble data from multiple sources, to create […]

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Blockchain for the EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Services) Supply Chain

When you’re first exposed to blockchain technology, one question that comes up is where and how to apply it. The answer is often a variation of this phrase: “Blockchain excels at solving issues with ‘high-friction[1],’ multi-party processes where there is a lack of trust.”   The Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) industry would appear to check […]

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Why use Blockchain instead of another technology?

I seem to get this question every three or four weeks. It’s partly my own fault: when I was first learning about Blockchain, I noticed that many presentations spent 20 or 30 minutes on details of the technology. By the time the topic shifted to how the technology could be applied, most people’s eyes had […]

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Ten ways to Lower Your (Inventory) Level

Inventory performance used to be one of the key indicators of a company’s supply chain excellence (or lack of it), but attention to inventory turns seems to have dropped off in the last decade or so. It’s certain to come back, though — reducing inventory in a sustainable way is often the easiest way to […]

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What is a Supply Chain Control Tower?

The concept of a Supply Chain Control Tower has been bouncing around since before the start of the new millennium – and the idea seems obvious at first. An airport control tower visually monitors and manages the use of the resources under its control (runways, gates, and airspace) through observation of, and control, over the […]

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