Supply Chain Movement Q1 2011 – Visibility Special


Treat others as you would have them treat you: If you want to organise the supply chain properly, you have to take responsibility for the whole chain, end-to-end, says John van Dongen. This is the case at Electrolux Home Products. To achieve the best results, the director Demand Flow Planning & Scheduling Europe stresses the need for a fusion between mission and strategy; a continuous improvement process; and an optimum balance between service and cost. John van Dongen adds that this entire concept is dependent on good people management.  It’s not without reason that he was voted Supply Chain Professional 2009 on account of his excellent knowledge and management qualities.


Supply chain visibility is a somewhat hazy concept. A look behind the scenes at Hunkemöller, Samsung, Heineken and Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group shows that each organisation has different visibility requirements and that, as a result, the solutions needed to improve visibility in the supply chain, differ from business to business.


Supply Chain Meltdown: Japan has been hit. The March earthquake, and subsequent tsunami, has wreaked havoc on the country and its people. And the domino effect continues as nuclear facilities explode and fears of a nuclear meltdown increase. In response to the situation, many Japanese production sites – including refineries, car plants, semiconductor companies and electronics manufacturers – have been closed down, albeit temporarily. Local decisions with global repercussions, these shutdowns immediately led to operational supply chain issues, and may have severe long-term consequences for supply chains.


From static to predictive visibility: Supply chain visibility has been a hot topic for years, among both users and suppliers of supply-chain software. Yet it is still proving difficult to achieve complete transparency of the entire chain – with data exchange presenting a particular challenge. Meanwhile, software developers are already gearing up for the next step: the integration of business intelligence into supply chain visibility software, in order to detect problems early on in the process – because, at the end of the day, it’s all about a healthy supply chain.


The Lamborghini factory is all about people. No robots on the sports car production line in the factory near Bologna, but several workstations for manufacturing improvements. Each working station has its own teal leader. “This new role has created an awareness of possibilities. Therefore, it is important to first discuss the overall organisation before moving on to the methods”, says Simone Zamboni, who is in charge of logistics and engineering at Lamborghini.


Inshore, offshore; which shore? – For the past decade and a half, deciding whether to outsource has been a relatively simple one: it allows companies to cut costs, to make better use of their resources and to focus on growth. Yet over the past 18 months, there has been in shift in the business landscape; so much so, that old realities no longer hold true. The risks associated with outsourcing are more obvious and the financial advantages less clear. The future is not about rapid growth anymore and some companies see big opportunities in insourcing and nearshoring instead of outsourcing and offshoring.


6          NEWS & BACKGROUND

  • Sales & Operations Planning remains a talking point
  • Supply Chain in Boardroom’
  • European supply chain software mapped out

27         FACTS & FIGURES

Supply chain visibility


  • Simulation tool: For logistics service providers, retail and industrial companies, there is a new solution on the market for calculating the optimal composition of a truck fleet. Released by the German company Axxom Software, the benefits are higher transport efficiency, reduced environmental impact and lower costs.
  • Transportation planning: During Logicon on 3rd February 2011 in Amsterdam, Terra Technology – not to be confused with Teradata – presented its newest solution to the European market: Transportation Forecasting. “Most transportation management solutions are based on historical data. Our transportation forecasting tool focuses on what’s going on now”, comments Robert Byrne, CEO of Terra Technology.

38         BOOK REVIEWS

  • The New Supply Chain Agenda. The 5 Steps That Drive Real Value’ (2010), by Reuben E. Slone, J. Paul Dittmann and John T. Mentzer
  • ‘Dynamic Supply Chains. Delivering Value Through People’ (2010), by John Gattorna. Published by Prentice Hall
  • ‘Operations Rules. Delivering Customer Value through Flexible Operations’ (2010), by David Simchi-Levi