Volume 3 (2020-21)

Each volume of Journal of Supply Chain Management, Logistics & Procurement consists of four 100-page issues published in both print and online. The articles published in Volume 3 are listed below. 

Volume 3 Number 4

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Blockchain innovation in pharmaceutical use cases: PharmaLedger and Mytigate
    Yvonne Ziegler, Professor, Vincenzo Uli, Research Associate, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and Jan Wortmann, Bayer AG

    Blockchain has been often presented as a disruptive technology that affects multiple fields such as finance, supply chain management and the healthcare system. This paper, positioned in the innovation research field, aims at enriching the discussion about real use cases in the context of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. The work is presented as a multiple case study about two recent applications of blockchain technology, PharmaLedger and Mytigate. First, we present the implication of blockchain technology for the pharmaceutical industry value chain. Then, we discuss the specific features of both projects from multiple angles, including ecosystem, governance, and opportunities and risks. Finally, we provide the lessons learned and the implications for the case studies under investigation. Ultimately, identification of the right use case, co-creation, acceptance among stakeholders and data privacy and security seem to be the most critical success factors for the implementation of an effective blockchain operating in the pharmaceutical industry. The paper constitutes a bridge for both practitioners and researchers between the theory behind blockchain networks and its empirical applications within the pharmaceutical industry.
    Keywords: pharmaceutical industries, blockchain, supply chain, logistics, case studies, Internet of Things (IoT), business innovation model

  • How Under Armour accelerates and sustains omnichannel start-up success with performance management
    Mark Wry, Senior Manager, Under Armour and Karen Warren, Senior Manager, Joshua Tree Group

    In the last decade, retail and distribution operations have experienced the ever-evolving omnichannel demand of their customers. For many supply chain organisations, solutions for the omnichannel shift were implemented in existing warehouse space. By taking to the oars, the marketplace has been able to meet their customers’ omnichannel demand, but for how long? In many cases, operations have been retrofit beyond reasonable efficiency and without room for scale. Under Armour’s Baltimore distribution house experienced the same. The strategy for a distribution house start-up, designed with omnichannel in mind, became the clear path forward. Much like the omnichannel shift, facility start-ups have many unique challenges. As Under Armour prepared to open the doors of the omnichannel distribution house (ODH), a broader start-up strategy emerged. The distribution team elected to implement a holistic performance management programme, including leadership training, process improvements, engineered labour standards and labour management software tools. Performance management, while not commonly implemented at the beginning of a facility life cycle, would create a continuous improvement culture for the ODH team, establishing resilience to change and motivation to overcome obstacles common with warehouse start-ups. In this paper, we will share how Under Armour utilised this performance management strategy to overcome human and operational start-up challenges and accelerate success in their ODH.
    Keywords: omnichannel, performance management, facility start-up, leadership development, teammate engagement, automation

  • Cost to serve and supply chain optimisation
    Daphne De Poot, Data Scientist, Noud Gademann, Principal Supply Chain Consultant and Alison Davis, Data Scientist, ORTEC

    Every supply chain company wants detailed information on the costs of delivering its products to customers, yet only a handful know how much it costs to serve their customers. The difference between ten years ago and today is that industry leaders now not only recognise that a company’s profit is often dependent on the costs of serving its customers, but also have available tools and technology to tab into their data for enhanced operational visibility to make better decisions. This paper describes how the supply chain management and logistics industry can calculate the profitability of products, customers and routes using cost to serve technology. The authors describe how advanced analytics and AI break down costs at the customer level, helping organisations set an actionable business plan to increase profits and make customers happy.
    Keywords: cost to serve, data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), operational visibility, supply chain optimisation, inventory routing

  • People-centred manufacturing during a global pandemic: A story of success and resilience
    Heinz Avendano, Vice President of Manufacturing, Primex Technologies and Meng Han Hsieh, Student, Adler University

    COVID-19 is a worldwide crisis that has affected various people and places differently, but it has affected everyone – and in the areas that matter to us: our health, communities, jobs, local businesses, global supply chains continuity and global families. Many businesses and individuals have struggled to stay on their feet and keep moving forward. Yet there are also organisations and individuals that have endured, adapted and even thrived throughout the pandemic, Primex being one of them. This paper presents the case study of Primex as an example of how people-centred business and operations can provide psychological resilience on a personal and business level. There is discussion of how Primex reacted to the pandemic, steps that were taken to prioritise employee well-being, as well as pre-established, pre-COVID-19 cultural factors and programmes that created a foundation for resilience and helped to buoy the team through hard times.
    Keywords: COVID-19, supply chain continuity, people-centred business and operations, psychological resilience

  • Thriving in the digital age: The rise of the PAL supply chain and why businesses need a Copernican business revolution
    Sean Culey, Independent Adviser

    For those unaware of the process of creative destruction and the waves of technological change powered by it, this is a confusing and disorientating time. Unlike the downswing period from the late 1980s until the crash of 2008, the past can no longer be confidently used as an indicator of the future, which creates havoc for those tasked with developing plans and forecasts. In this world of uncertainty and unpredictability, resilience and agility have replaced cost-cutting and offshoring as supply chain leaders’ primary objective. The COVID-19 pandemic that swept across the globe in 2020 rapidly changed consumer behaviours and forced businesses to close, sending the world into government-mandated lockdown. Businesses were presented with a choice: adapt, rely on government-sponsored life support — or die. Yet, some companies have seen opportunity in the uncertainty, embracing the theory that the best way to predict the future in these uncertain times is to create it. They are experimenting with the revolutionary new technologies that have emerged during this wave, creating new business models that transform the supply chain but also exponentially increase its complexity. But to take advantage of these new machines requires a new mindset and a willingness to embrace new methods and management processes, which is where many companies are struggling. This paper aims to explain why this period of rapid, transformative change is happening, what changes we can expect throughout the decade, and how supply chain and business leaders need to adapt to not just survive through the period — but thrive.
    Keywords: robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), digitisation, transformation, innovation, disruption, Internet of Things (IoT)

  • Retail returns: Turning costs into profit at a UK 3PL
    Jonathan Gorst, Deputy Head, Department of Management, Sheffield Business School and Erica Ballantyne, Lecturer in Operations and Supply Chain Management, University of Sheffield

    Returns can be a costly process compared to forward logistics due to the increased complexity of handling returned items that arrive at a returns centre in a random order in batch sizes of one. In order to recover value from returned items, it is necessary to undertake additional activities, from inspections through to preparation for re-sale. This case study looks at a UK-based 3PL and the value-adding activities that it has implemented to improve the efficiency and minimise costs of managing returns with four of its clients. Over an 18-month period the authors worked with Prolog Fulfilment Ltd to identify financial efficiencies, sustainability improvements and general changes to working practices. A reverse logistics toolkit was applied across the four clients to help determine new and innovative ways of processing returns. The paper applies a returned items classification continuum to demonstrate how improving processes can move products up the continuum and hence recover more value. The case study illustrates how returns management services can both add value for retailers and improve the reusability and recyclability of returned products and their component parts, thus reducing the amount of product going to landfill.
    Keywords: retail returns, returns management, reverse logistics, returned items classification continuum, cost reduction, value-adding, third party logistics (3PL)

  • Blockchain applications in humanitarian logistics
    Gurram Gopal, Industry Professor, Illinois Institute of Technology and Alvaro Garcia, Brand Specialist, Amazon

    Disaster relief is a key aspect of humanism and humanitarian actions. The delivery of adequate supplies at the right time and right place is critical for survival and recovery of the affected people, animals, plants and other entities. Since every dollar counts towards saving a life, the traceability of the shipments must be ensured, and the organisations involved in the process need to be aware of the delivered items to avoid duplication of relief efforts. Responsive, efficient and transparent supply chains have been difficult to build and execute as many disasters occur in underdeveloped or developing countries with poor infrastructure, corruption and other challenges. This paper explores the application of blockchain technologies to create a database ledger that can assure traceability and reliability and also avoid duplication. The use of ‘smart contracts’, which can be automatically executed in a blockchain, to promote transparency in contracts and performance and the movement of money across all parties is also studied. Large organisations such as the United Nations (UN) or the World Health Organization (WHO), which often take the lead in organising the relief efforts, can initiate the development of blockchains for humanitarian logistics and draw manufacturers, transportation carriers, other logistics providers, banks and other partners into the blockchain network. Assuring both the aid donors and the recipients that the funds have been used wisely and transparently will expand future aid contributions and enable more effective relief to disaster areas. This is especially critical now as climate changes on our planet are expected to result in more disasters with extremely dire consequences, especially in poorer regions of the world.
    Keywords: disaster relief, humanitarian logistics, humanitarian supply chains, blockchains, smart contracts

Volume 3 Number 3

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Managing risk better, faster and smarter with digitised supply chains
    Gregory L. Schlegel, Founder, Supply Chain Risk Management Consortium and Robert J. Trent, Professor of Supply Chain Management, Lehigh University

    The application of diverse technologies such as sensors, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, digital twins and predictive analytics is rapidly changing the way companies design, manufacture, distribute and service products. An obvious indication of this change is the increasing evolution toward digitised supply chains, which support the rapid integration of data and information from different sources to enhance supply chain performance. This paper explores digitisation as a critical enabler of effective supply chain management, including risk management.
    Keywords: supply chain, digitisation, risk, reliance, technology

  • Supplying the circular economy: Seven concepts for partnership
    Deborah Dull, Founder of The Circular Supply Chain Network/Principal of Manufacturing Product Management, GE Digital

    The circular economy will shift supply chain strategies, operations and partnerships. Circularity refers to identifying, tracking and transforming materials and resources for repeated use. This approach forms the basis of a global economy that decouples economic growth from required virgin resources. The three principles of the circular economy are: 1) design waste out; 2) keep resources and materials in use; and 3) regenerate natural systems. Analyst firms predict in as little as five years global supply chains will be required to embrace circular operations, due to depleting natural resources. Partners across supply networks will come together to solve for circularity and introduce new practices and new measures of success. Seven concepts for partnership in circular supply chains are explored: identify circles, intensify circles, narrow circles, predict circles, slow circles, close circles and capture circles. The role of partnership and measures of success are proposed for each. This paper focuses on circularity in partnerships that stretch across these three scenarios. It explores seven concepts for circular supply chains and the role partnerships will play.
    Keywords: circular economy, supply chain, circular supply chain, partnership, innovation

  • Factors in post-COVID-19 global supply chain management
    Daniel Wong, Graduate GSCM Academic Director and Haneen Abu-Khater, Global Supply Chain Management graduate student, Portland State University, Evan S. Woschnik, Procurement Agent, Boeing Space and Launch, Choul Huda, Global Supply Chain Management graduate student, Portland State University and Bradley Mora, Purchasing Agent, Ruda-Cardinal, Inc

    Most companies by and large have tuned their supply chains to either focus on achieving the lowest total cost or providing most flexibility in responding to customer demands. Regardless of the company’s supply chain strategy design, leading companies continue to invest in their people, business process and digital technology to extend their competitive advantage in the marketplace. Leading companies want to be able to predict supply chain performance and achieve above-market returns when supply matches demand. When the global pandemic COVID-19 hit the world, however, most companies’ supply chain systems were thrown into disarray, and companies could not respond predictably. The current supply chain system was no longer operating in a stable environment when both the demand and the supply sides of the equation were simultaneously affected. As pharmaceutical and bio firms raced to develop vaccines to protect citizens, the hope is that the vaccines will be here shortly and the world will be able to return to normal. It is during this period of uncertainty that supply chain management and professionals should consider questions such as what the post-COVID-19 global supply chain management framework should look like and what are the factors that should be considered going forward from a supply chain management practitioner’s perspective. This paper attempts to answer these questions based on interviews from a few selected companies and supply chain literature research and business articles review.
    Keywords: supply chain resiliency, supply chain visibility, supply chain mapping, supply chain control tower, supply chain risk management, business continuity plan, digital technology, digital transformation, national security, essential products, integrated global supply chain management framework

  • The disruptive emergence of integrated business planning
    Spiros Saragoudas, Head of Analytics and Planning, Transport, Travel and Logistics, Board International

    The aim of this paper is to present the topic of integrated business planning and place it in the current environment of the supply chain, logistics and distribution sectors and against the backdrop of increasing technological change. The aim is to make the reader think about the speed of innovation happening around us and the importance of harnessing new technology to improve analysis and planning within the realms of an organisation’s business processes, so as to make faster and more accurate decisions. It is based on the author’s understanding and experiences on this topic, which have been obtained by visiting and talking to many domestic and global retail, distribution and logistics organisations and trade bodies in the UK. It is not intended to be a highly researched/academic paper. Because of the confidential nature of engaging with organisations, most of the examples given are well known and in the public domain, but the general trends and information reflected in the paper are based on the author’s experience of the status of decision making in organisations. The observation made is that despite the advancement of technologies in the personal environment, in larger organisations, decision making is disconnected, less collaborative, slow and inefficient, with hours spent gathering data as opposed to using the time to analyse it. In the current environment of economic and operational turbulence, the author would like to raise awareness of a better, faster, more accurate way of making decisions by challenging the current organisational decision-making processes and technologies used.
    Keywords: planning, integrated business planning, analytics, digital transformation

  • Statistical analysis of US government supply chain contract breaches
    Kenneth David Strang, Professor, W3Research/State University of New York and Maria Perez, Civilian Contracting Officer Representative/Project Management Analyst, US Department of Defense

    Approximately half of US government supply chain procurement contracts failed to meet all objectives. In 2018 the US government spent almost US$2bn on procurement contracts. Failed procurement projects represent a lot of public tax-payer dollars which are wasted each year. The US government does not necessarily intend for its government procurement contracts to fail, but when they are awarded on a fixed firm price basis, the entire project management is transferred to civilian contractors for a specific cost. When something goes wrong, contractors are forced to adjust the other parameters such as time, scope and/or quality. It appears many government supply chain procurement contracts are failing despite substantial analysis of project data by academic scholars and practitioners. In the literature, most researchers could not statistically identify the underlying causes of government procurement contract failures. In fact, the sample sizes surpassed 10,000 and in one case almost 60,000 cases were examined without generating a conclusive statistical result. It was clear a new study like ours was warranted. Thus, in this study, we collected a large sample of procurement project data from US government contractors. We tested several hypotheses in an attempt to identify which conditions affected government procurement contract breaches. We applied robust parametric statistical techniques, namely logistic regression, to test the hypotheses. We developed a statistically significant model which adequately explained US government supply chain procurement contract performance. This paper is in a scholarly format using statistical techniques which are primarily aimed at an academic audience rather than practitioners. We followed the well-known American Psychology Association conventions for writing style which resulted in this paper having a strong academic tone. Nonetheless, the results ought to be of interest to scholars and practitioners alike. Scholars will be able to replicate our research design with new sample sizes of at least 1,000 in other states or countries and cite our findings. Practitioners and government procurement programme managers should find it relevant that our statistical model correctly classified 67 per cent of US government procurement contract performance, with an 11 per cent effect size using only two predictors (project manager certification and ISO quality registered). We found that if a project manager was professionally certified, this increased the likelihood of contract success by 2.3 times. Decision makers could use this model for procurement policy revision or to inform selection criteria in government contract awards.
    Keywords: US government supply chain contracts, procurement project performance, project management, statistics

  • Building more sustainable supply chains to support the movement to a circular economy
    Laura Nador, President, CHEP North America and Global Executive Leader, BXB Digital

    Today’s consumers are increasingly eco-conscious, looking for ways to act sustainably in their day-to-day decision making. Unfortunately, some of the supply chain’s most basic activities, such as manufacturing and transportation, are not sustainable. Empty miles, product damage and even traditional recycling are complicating global efforts to reduce CO2. Rethinking how products move through the supply chain will require global collaboration. This article explores business-to-consumer and business-to-business efforts to change supply chain functions with sustainability in mind. Next, it provides examples of companies that are leading their industry’s efforts to ‘go green’, using strategies such as closed loop manufacturing and reduced product touches. Finally, it provides thoughts for companies looking to undertake their own sustainability initiatives.
    Keywords: sustainability, recycling, circular economy, transportation, collaboration

  • Rigour versus relevance for purchasing trends and processes: An analysis of how research trends and business needs are in line
    Erich Groher, Professor, Anna Quitt, Professor and Matthias Lederer, Professor, ISM International School of Management

    The purchasing function is driven by recent trends such as sustainability, supplier integration, digital technologies, trade wars, etc., which result in continuous process optimisation efforts and fluctuating requirements to secure supply and save cost. At least, this is what the scientific discussion suggests through its broad coverage of diverse topics in leading scientific journals in the operations management context. The question arises, however, whether these comprehensively discussed topics in literature, ie rigour, have a direct impact on the concerns and topics discussed by the purchasing practice, ie relevance. This paper is based on a previous study conducted by the authors that consolidates current scientific discussions on purchasing trends and provides a first indication on how they support current problem sets of the purchasing practice. The topics identified include traditionally established ones, such as new product involvement of suppliers and green supply management, as well as initial publications on customer-centricity and creative methods. By integrating in this paper the perspective of purchasing practitioners from the financial services industry through a survey and workshop feedback, a first gap between rigour and relevance becomes evident.
    Keywords: purchasing, financial service industry, relevance, rigour, process optimisation

Volume 3 Number 2

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • Applying sustainability practices: Financial and organisational effect
    Eirini Etoimou, Group Procurement Manager, ODEON Cinemas Group

    Sustainability sparks controversial discussions predominantly because of its vague and unsettled status within the business context. This paper aims to identify the limitations and opportunities of applying sustainability practices. Through studies and case studies, it is suggested that by adopting sustainability practices, a business can have both organisational and financial benefits that are measurable and act as a growth factor, making it a business with purpose. The metrics are not universally accepted, but this can be seen as an advantage, using only those indicators that, by an accredited validation, can be meaningful for the business, the industry and the society it operates in.
    Keywords: sustainability, organisational, financial, accountability, responsibility, profitability, leadership

  • Supply chain agility: An imperative in an unpredictable world
    Terence Leung, Senior Director, Product Marketing — Supply Chain Execution and Logistics, Blue Yonder

    The COVID-19 pandemic has only confirmed what we already knew: modern supply chains must be built on a foundation of extreme agility and responsiveness. Fortunately, advanced technologies are making it easier for the supply chain to consider real-time data as conditions change, perform predictive analysis and react immediately, often with little to no human intervention. This paper discusses how companies can work with their trading partners to achieve profitable agility across their end-to-end supply networks, no matter what the future holds. It posits that they can do this by leveraging advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics.
    Keywords: COVID-19, modern supply chains, advanced technologies, real-time data, predictive analysis, advanced technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics

  • What is the benefit of developing global standards and how can the industry go about successfully formulating and implementing them?
    Christian Hay, Contractor, GS1 Global Office, Switzerland

    The COVID-19 pandemic reveals how much the healthcare supply chain is fragile. Considerable efforts have been undertaken in the last 15 years to improve security and efficiency. Now one can measure the value of standards and require them to be implemented worldwide. This paper discusses how regulatory driven initiatives such as unique device identifier (UDI), identification of medicinal product (IDMP) and the measures to fight against falsification are among those which will provide improvement for global health.
    Keywords: standards, UDI, IDMP, supply chain security

  • Healthcare supply chain resiliency
    Jerry D. Vanvactor, Health Care Administrator, US Army

    This paper communicates an idea that supply chain management is an underlying imperative to organisational resiliency within a healthcare setting. Too often organisations seem to accept the obvious as proof and emotional response leads management to believe perceived regularity and commonality is routine. Instead of looking past gut feelings, leaders instead sometimes allow emotionally driven reactivity to drive decision making despite data and other information guiding organisational requirements in other directions than the way a leader feels. Healthcare supply chain practices and process inefficiencies have been routinely discussed through an industry-specific lens. But how often has supply chain management been examined as a catalyst for organisational resilience? Well studied (and well documented) is the idea that the status quo, among healthcare business operations, is no longer affordable or tenable. By design, then, this work challenges the status quo and expounds upon the impact of incorporating multifaceted, multidisciplinary feedback among a variety of stakeholders. Change is necessary and supply chain professionals are going to have to assert themselves, in an effort to be heard, concerning improvement amid accepted operational practices and processes. Contemporary healthcare organisations are entities within an interconnected, interoperable, complex global environment; contemporary supply chains need to be thought of less as chains and more as webs of interoperable processes amid matrixed departments, sections and sub-entities throughout a healthcare environment. There remains a pervasive need, in many instances, to re-examine existent theory related to supply chain management, operations planning and contingency mitigation.
    Keywords: healthcare, supply chain management, interoperability, collaboration, disruptive events, resilience

  • Adjusting to the new normal: Challenges of the food sector in the wake of COVID-19
    Vikas Kumar, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management and Director of Research, Bristol Business School

    The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than 180 countries around the globe causing severe business disruptions. Lockdown in many countries has led to panic buying and shortages of food, medicines, personal protective equipment, raw materials, basic goods, etc. As a result, while some businesses have benefited from this sudden spike in demand, many have already collapsed and many others are on the brink unless and until rescued by governments or private investors. In particular, the food sector, which relies heavily on global supply chains to meet the demands of local consumers, is working around the clock to maintain an adequate flow of food products to feed the nations. Countries that have taken strict measures such as full lockdown, however, are struggling to balance their demand and supply as in-country and cross-border supply has been severely affected. Stock-outs were much more common in the early phase of the crisis due to panic buying that influenced the vertical supply chain. To meet the changing food demand, grocery retailers have started working more closely with local farmers for the essential supply of food items, thus realising the benefits of short food supply chains. This paper attempts to explore the way the food sector is dealing with the current unprecedented situation and proposes some potential risk-mitigating pathways.
    Keywords: COVID-19, food supply chains, short food supply chains, Industry 4.0, disruptions, resilience

  • Impact of COVID-19 on the textile, apparel and fashion manufacturing industry supply chain: Case study on a ready-made garment manufacturing industry
    Samit Chakraborty, Doctoral Fellow and Manik Chandra Biswas, Doctoral Fellow, Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University

    Over the past few months, the world has witnessed how COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the supply chain of the textile, apparel and fashion manufacturing (TAFM) industry in various unprecedented ways. As the global textile market is interconnected, this outbreak has a global impact due to travel restrictions and raw materials shortages. This study highlights the imminent impact of COVID-19 on the TAFM industry supply chain, focusing on root-cause analysis and statistical data on consumption of textile goods, both locally and globally. There has not been any academic research on TAFM supply chain disruption. This paper has fulfilled this research gap. Our research is a two-fold study. The first part reviews the overall impact of the pandemic on the TAFM industry and conducts a text analysis on the statements collected from business reports, academic journals, market researchers’ opinions, manufacturers’ statements and business journals, in order to identify the most frequently used terms associated with supply chain disruption. The second part is a case study on a ready-made garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh, which showed that the supply chain disruption due to COVID-19 would increase the production cost. This is alarming for garment manufacturers and exporters, as the worldwide apparel consumption is also projected to reduce during and after the pandemic. Lastly, this study forecasts the takeaways of the TAFM industry from this global pandemic and recommends a mathematical model to tackle any similar situation in future.
    Keywords: COVID-19, supply chain, textiles and apparel industry, fashion manufacturing industry, global impact

Volume 3 Number 1

  • Editorial
    Simon Beckett, Publisher
  • From servant to driving force: Transforming the role of the supply chain in McDonald’s The Netherlands
    Jeroen Dekkers, Head of Supply Chain, McDonald’s The Netherlands

    Today, McDonald’s The Netherlands runs 80 per cent of the supply chain in a different way from three years ago. That qualifies as a transformation — a radical 180-degree change. This paper is about how supply chain management can earn a seat at the table. It describes how change came about in McDonald’s — and the efforts it took. It is about the transition of supply chain management moving away from the ‘serving’ role of (just) getting the necessary things done to keep the restaurant business operation going. It is about learning how to be a driving force, playing a central role in the organisation. The report presents a new approach to supply chain management: the idea, the practice, with the pros and cons, and the current outlook. This approach is based on three key steps: 1) creating strong alignment on shared goals between all stakeholders connected to supply chain, the balancing act of ‘the doughnut of stakeholders’; 2) building a new skill set for supply chain professionals to take a central role in this balancing act, geared towards seamless cooperation and better results; and 3) fully utilising and empowering all internal and external stakeholders within the supply chain system. Over the past three years, the supply chain department of McDonald’s The Netherlands has moved towards a new position as facilitator and manager of a dialogue-style process of innovation, development and progress. In this position, supply chain management drives meaningful change while taking into account the needs and interests of all stakeholders ‘in the doughnut’. In the new approach, no stakeholder gets told what to do; supply chain management is the neutral and respected facilitator of change and innovation. It has led to a new way of working, a new positioning internally and, most importantly, a more future-proof supply chain organisation that yields better results, both commercially and in terms of sustainability.
    Keywords: change management, supply chain management, supply chain transformation, supply chain stakeholders, stakeholder doughnut, resource management, McDonald’s The Netherlands, product sourcing

  • Elevating employee competency and engagement through the design, development and implementation of a procurement and supply chain academy
    Shauna Gamble, Chief Procurement Officer, Bombardier Aviation

    As part of a five-year transformation plan, Bombardier Aviation procurement and supply chain identified an opportunity to address employee engagement, enablement and development opportunities through the design and implementation of a procurement and supply chain learning academy. After consulting with external entities, a team of cross-functional internal stakeholders assessed the needs of the procurement organisation and designed a structured plan to build and roll out the learning academy. Careful planning and design resulted in a robust curriculum to address the needs of all levels in the organisation. Many forms of training are provided through the academy, including classroom training led by both internal and external instructors and customisable online self-led courses. The success of the academy will rely on on-going support and prioritisation from the organisation’s management. The academy is in its relative infancy but initial internal feedback is positive. The results of the programme implementation will continue to be assessed over time. Plans are in place to continue to grow the programme by expanding the scope of its offerings. The benefits of attraction, engagement and retention are expected to be enjoyed by both the employees and the organisation for years to come. This paper intends to relay the process that was followed to innovate and implement the procurement academy at Bombardier Aviation and share the keys to success and lessons learned along the journey.
    Keywords: training academy, training programme design, competency assessment, training implementation, engagement, curriculum design, employee development, employee engagement, retention

  • Best practices in the expanded world of reverse logistics
    Deanna Yee, Solutions and Strategy Support Manager, Hillebrand

    Reverse logistics, of reusable assets, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) or other returns, has sometimes been treated as a tactical afterthought, but not any more. Reaching reverse logistics’ impactful contribution potential is not just a dream or ideal. There is a growing trend of interest in the field of reverse logistics as its world expands beyond these tactical afterthoughts into the areas of sustainability, circular economies, collaboration and strategy. This dream will be worthwhile and influential. It is critically important that the reverse flow of products and materials (for the purpose of returns, repair, remanufacture, reuse, raw materials or recycling) be an integral part of supply chain design. Inefficiencies, capacities constraints, excess spend and shrink are just some of the challenges that can quickly arise with inadequate attention and lack of design involvement. Reverse logistics needs to be defined, measured and managed like all other core processes. But how do we best improve, configure and uplift these workflows, interactions and hardworking, forgotten professionals to solidify the economic influence that the expanded world of reverse logistics will have? Answers can be found through the thought leadership, training and strong professional networks within our trade associations such as the Association of Supply Chain Management (ASCM) which develop and fill the need for knowledge workers skilled in supply chain and strategy. The Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model provides a framework that also aids in this matter by integrating the four Ps (processes, performance, practices and people). This paper describes different reverse logistics scenarios to highlight the areas where supply chain professionals can add value to the company’s strategic plan. Process frameworks and best practices are incorporated with the theme of collaboration, strategic thinking and sustainability. No longer will reverse logistics just be a support role but from that supportive vantage point will become a very active role in the future strategy of the organisation. Reverse logistics is a strategic contributor to the supply chain solutions at Hillebrand.
    Keywords: reverse logistics, reusable assets, SCOR, PLCOR, end of life, collaboration, strategy, sustainability, circular economies, professional development

  • Reducing inventories while improving delivery performance
    Karsten Eller, Chief Operating Officer, Beckers Group

    Industrial coatings are often customer-specific products, which have to be adjusted to the specific application conditions of each application plant. To meet their high specifications, typically more than 15 different raw materials are needed, and the best-fitting supplier is selected. Short lead times and relatively high transport costs require decentralised production. Minimising inventories is therefore difficult. Industry benchmarks show that mid-sized coatings companies typically have a higher ratio of inventories to sales than large companies. Internal benchmarking can reveal optimisation potential if similar-sized and positioned plants are compared on their days of inventory (DOI) as an average of the individual months. By setting DOI targets and introducing regular supply chain telephone conferences with all sites, improvements can be achieved quite easily on excessive inventories. Highlighting the percentage of expired or aged stocks within the total inventory will identify further reduction potential. Here it is important to look at gross values as financially, these expired and aged materials are often already written off. Raw material consignment stocks can be increased in cooperation with procurement while consignment stocks at customers need to be addressed together with sales. Taking these individual measures together, it is possible for even a mid-sized company to achieve a comparable performance to a large company. It is usually assumed that high inventory levels are necessary to achieve a good delivery performance. This is not necessarily true, as the better planning necessary to reduce inventories in a controlled way will also benefit demand planning. Besides, less cluttered warehouses will shorten the time for picking raw materials and increase compliance with first-in, first-out principles. This paper will give an example how inventories were reduced in Beckers while at the same time lead times were improved. It will be demonstrated that the conventional wisdom about high inventories being necessary for a good delivery performance might be a myth when it comes to non-standardised items that are manufactured from varying raw materials. It thus could help supply chain managers in their argumentation with demanding sales colleagues.
    Keywords: inventory reduction, days of inventory (DOI), target setting, aging analysis, consignment stocks, on-time delivery

  • A blueprint for making your retail supply chain sustainable
    David Sobie, CEO and Co-Founder and Caitlin Roberson, Vice President of Marketing, Happy Returns

    Leading retailers worldwide have embraced sustainability. They recognise its role in contributing to a ‘triple bottom line’ that benefits their profits and people while ensuring a healthier planet. This is driven by enthusiastic consumers who overwhelmingly support sustainability — with a large majority stating that they prefer to purchase from companies that advocate for issues that they care deeply about, such as environment causes. This paper presents a blueprint for retailers to reimagine reverse logistics and make their supply chains sustainable in the near term, while creating additional benefits for consumers and their businesses.
    Keywords: retail, sustainability, returns, reverse logistics, shipping, greenhouse gases

  • Supply chain leadership, transparency, workforce development and collaboration through control tower implementation
    Angelo Dalporto, Deputy Vice President and Robert Venn, Supply Chain Coordination Manager, Dormakaba Ltd

    Supply chains can be broad and spread over huge numbers of departments and across multiple sites and countries. Being able to have sight and scope of the performance of each area of the supply chain at any given time is key to an efficient successful functioning supply chain. This paper reviews how we implemented a control tower structure within the supply chain at Dormakaba UK. Dormakaba is a worldwide organisation manufacturing access solutions with presence in over 130 countries. Within the UK, the company employs over 500 across two main sites and eight satellite sites, with a turnover of over £85m. Understanding data flow within all areas and getting engagement with operational team members and supervisors is very important. Supervisors need to deal with operational data on a day-to-day basis, yet at the same time interact with managers and organisational goals, which makes their engagement paramount. The operational data is managed and viewed on a departmental control tower by each separate supervisor, which automatically feeds a manager and director level control tower, so that all people at all levels can view relevant performance and predicted performance against agreed key performance indicators (KPIs) in all supply chain areas. Regular meetings to review control towers invariably drive discussions on improvement ideas and projects, so an additional tool for collaboration was required. We adopted Microsoft Teams as a tool to log and review improvement ideas, task management and to chat to our teams across sites and departments. Obviously, there are always options to improve the structure and the ongoing challenge is to drive automated data across all departments at source, while always seeking to improve fast adoptive collaboration across the supply chain in order to be as proactive as possible in continuous improvement.
    Keywords: control tower, continuous improvement, employee engagement, collaboration

  • Disruptive digital technology adoption in global supply chains
    Edward Sweeney, Professor, Aston Logistics & Systems Institute, Andreas Taschner, Professor, ESB Business School and Hazel Grünewald, Professor, ESB Business School

    Businesses need to cope with myriad challenges including increasingly competitive markets and rapid developments in digital technology. The overall aim of the research described in this paper is to generate fresh insights into the impacts of digitalisation on the design and management of global supply chains. It focuses on understanding the current adoption rate of new technologies in global supply chains, identifying perceived opportunities and challenges and clarifying the critical factors driving (and inhibiting) their deployment. The authors administered an online survey with a global sample of respondents from various supply chain functions, resulting in a sample of 142 responses. Significant differences emerged in adoption patterns between companies of different sizes. Moreover, the study pointed to a widening gap (or a ‘digital divide’) between leaders and laggards in terms of technology adoption. Perceived benefits and challenges also differ notably between companies of varying sizes. Adoption patterns are very diverse across specific technologies. The results further suggest that there is a significant correlation between adoption of digital technologies and different dimensions of company performance.
    Keywords: supply chain management, digitalisation, disruption, global

  • Developing an industry-focused supply chain management major and minor curriculum
    Sanjay Kumar, Professor, Ceyhun Ozgur, Professor and Sanjeev Jha, Associate Professor, Valparaiso University

    In the recent past, universities and colleges/schools of business have been challenged with maintaining and increasing student enrolment. Novel and up-to-date curriculum that meets the needs of the industry could help in addressing this issue. In this paper we elaborate on the development of an innovative undergraduate major and minor in supply chain and logistics management. The major effectively utilises existing resources of the colleges of business, open source software in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and data analytics software such as SAS and R. The course curriculum is benchmarked with peer institutions as well as the needs of the industry. The Regional Logistics Council certified the curriculum.
    Keywords: supply chain management, logistics management, educational majors in supply chain management, curriculum development, operations management