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ASCM BLOG

Conversation Stoppers

February 15, 2019

Although the second-most popular Valentine’s Day confection was missing from store shelves this season, the conversation was kept alive — largely thanks to agile competitors who saw a market need and filled the emotional void with comparable offerings. Sour Patch Kids produced hearts with teen slang, such as “BAE” and “TOTES.” Krispy Kreme baked up doughnuts with pastel icing and more traditional phrases of affection. And Rival Brach’s has long made nearly identical conversation hearts to the Sweethearts variety.

Not Your Parents’ Workforce: The Rise of Contingent Labor in Supply Chain

February 13, 2019

As baby boomers retire en masse, organizations continue to tailor their workforce management strategies to younger generations. This brings an increased emphasis on work-life balance and agile, flexible work options that appeal to millennial and Gen Z employees who want to enjoy work on their own terms. The typical 9-to-5 desk job has given way to the gig economy, which promotes a far less structured workday — and a far more complicated talent supply chain.

Indian Regulations Rain on Amazon and Walmart’s E-Commerce Parade

February 11, 2019

Amazon and Walmart subsidiary Flipkart are scrambling to revamp their supply chains, vendor relationships and systems. New regulations from the world’s fastest growing economy have undermined these retailers’ business models and obstructed their sales in India’s burgeoning e-commerce sector.

Avoid Hard Hits from Tariffs and Global Volatility

February 5, 2019

Global economics can sideline any company that’s unprepared for aggressive competition and drastic shifts in pricing. Even long-standing networks are starting to crack under pressure, as manufacturers, distributors, top brands and retailers struggle to grasp the impact of these pressures on their business models. It is more important than ever for organizations to prioritize supply chain agility and adapt to make changes as quickly and effectively as possible.

Climate Change Disruptors on the Rise

February 1, 2019

As I write this, the National Weather Service (NWS) is warning of severe cold here in Chicago, with wind chill temperatures expected to reach an excruciating 55 below zero. The NWS has even urged us to protect our lungs by minimizing talking and not taking deep breaths. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, people in South Australia’s coastal capital of Adelaide are facing a different kind of lung injury — from dangerous air quality and ozone exposure. Adelaide recently reached 46.2 Celsius (nearly 116 degrees Fahrenheit), breaking a 130-year record.

Check Out Our Transformation

January 25, 2019

For months now, our dedicated board of directors, enthusiastic volunteers across the globe and talented staff have been working toward an exciting business transformation. I couldn’t be more excited to share with you that, as of January 22, we have officially become the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM).

APICS Education Advances People and Performance at Weir

January 15, 2019

The Weir Group PLC is a global engineering and equipment man-ufacturing company headquartered in Glasgow, Scotland. The business is organized in four divisions serving the mining, oil and gas, and power industries, with approximately 18,000 employees in 70 different countries.

POLCA: A Simple Visual-Control System To Boost Profitability

January 8, 2019

Increasingly, today’s manufacturers are reorganizing their shop floors into cells. The APICS Dictionary explains that a cell is “a manufacturing or service unit consisting of a number of workstations and the materials transport mechanisms and storage buffers that interconnect them.”

Does Your Supply Chain Move at the Speed of Customers?

January 4, 2019

Imagine the heart of a city: traffic on the roads, people exiting a bus as they head to work, a vendor on the sidewalk selling flowers. Or picture a quiet, suburban neighborhood with someone walking a dog, kids riding bikes and the hum of a lawnmower. No matter where you are, the scene likely also includes passing trucks from DHL, FedEx, UPS, the postal service and a variety of regional parcel carriers.

Supply Chain Optimization with High-Level Value Stream Mapping

January 2, 2019

Too often, companies view their supply chains as a loose collection of manufacturing sites, warehouses and distribution centers to be managed as separate entities. Professionals fail to realize the full extent of the interconnectedness and interdependence, nor the benefits of a system-wide view. While this behavior usually is intended to enable growth in the short term, it hinders the identification of opportunities for broad system optimization and can negatively affect profitability in the long term.

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