Fuel costs, warehouse networks a supply chain concern

University of Tennessee forum points to key issues as economy improves

01/18/2012


At the recent Supply Chain Forum at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 146 business executives representing 44 companies across a wide range of retail and manufacturing companies discussed supply chain mega-trends, network optimization, sales and operations planning, inventory management, and forecasting.

“When supply chain leaders assemble from such a rich diversity of industry, the resulting discussions provide deep insights and realistic solutions to the issues faced by today's supply chain professionals,” said Paul Dittmann, PhD, executive director of UT Knoxville's Global Supply Chain Institute, of which the forums are a part.

Major observations from forum attendees were:

  • As the economy recovers, transportation capacity will become increasingly scarce, causing costs to rapidly escalate. Plans to offset these increases need to be put in place now.

  • The rising cost of fuel is causing many firms to rethink their network structure and question whether they have the right number of warehouses in the correct locations.

  • It is challenging, yet possible, for firms to cut inventory while simultaneously improving customer service. All they need to do is follow a number of well-defined strategies such as minimizing the number of offered SKUs, making sure accountability is spread appropriately throughout the organization, and aggressively reducing lead time.

  • Integrating and balancing supply with demand remains a popular avenue to achieve competitive advantage for most firms. Best practices for properly achieving this balance include gaining the support of senior executives, having disciplined agendas focused on strategic issues, and involving all key supply and demand functions (including finance) in the process. 

 



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
click me