In this month's Harvard Business Review (July-August 2009), George Stalk, Jr.'s article points out that global gridlock will force companies to rethink their supply chain strategies or lose out to more forward looking competitors.
His article sites the growing congestion on the highway system, the ports, the railways, and the airports. The impact of this congestion will be an increase in time and variability in the supply chain.
If your company can master the techniques of squeezing time and variability out of its logistics system, you can avoid some of the degenerating effects of transportation congestion and bottlenecks-- and use your position as a weapon against less savvy rivals.
The solutions we offer can help you take time and variability out of your supply chain:
- Network design helps you make product in the right location and place your facilities correctly to reduce overall leadtime
- Inventory optimization helps you make the trade-off between air and sea as well as determine how you should position inventory in the supply chain. This helps you better buffer variability or understand the cost of long lead times.
- Advanced production scheduling can allow you to react quickly to changes in demand. Combine this with inventory optimization for your raw materials and you can minimize the rigidity of long frozen schedules.