Fuel costs, warehouse networks a supply chain concern
University of Tennessee forum points to key issues as economy improves
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.
Case Study Database
Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.
These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.
Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.
Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.