Supply Chain’s are a complex and fluid network of companies, relationships and transactions. Even minor disruptions upstream in a supply chain can have a bullwhip effect and become major issues. Take cars for example; they’re typically comprised of 30,000 parts and it only takes one of those parts to fail to cause a recall, creating additional costs and the risk of reputational damage to the car brand. Supply chain professionals are only too aware of these risks, but now finance professionals are also taking note.
The average media consumer is now highly aware of smart warehousing technology thanks to the likes of Amazon and Ocado. The media has succeeded in making a typically dull topic – warehousing – something exciting and intriguing. Who isn’t intrigued by the futuristic ideas of robots and drones, working in blissful harmony to deliver our goods speedily from A to B? This futuristic smart warehouse, with tracking and gizmos, is a million miles away from the classic warehouse format of shelves upon shelves complete with a fleet of forklift trucks. Read more
Companies that operate with complex machinery, robotics and technology within their supply chains know that maintenance is a must-do. Continual efficient working of machines cannot continue without it. Maintenance is frequently a juggling act, trying to balance production levels with downtime and the cost of downtime. Therefore, it’s much more efficient and effective to plan maintenance. This ‘preventative maintenance’ is undertaken with the view to reducing down time by giving machines regular reviews and maintenance work. Read more
Globally, we’ve been experiencing far-reaching tariff changes precipitated in the US – and with Brexit on the horizon that won’t be changing any time soon. The ripples of one tariff change resulting in another are inevitable, as countries and marketplaces respond and retaliate. When tariff changes happen, there is a long ‘shaking down’ period of adjustment. However, what the world experiencing now is being described more as a tariff ‘war’. Read more
Most of us are familiar, to some degree, with blockchain. Starting life in 2008, as a public transaction ledger, it has developed considerably since then. It’s now far more than ‘just’ a tool for cryptocurrency exchanges. Hailed for its ability to improve security, traceability and transparency, it’s being used in a plethora of ways. We see blockchain used in cloud storage, payment methods, business contracts and even supply chain management. These are just four of the most useful areas for blockchain for small business. Read more
Machine learning is providing insight and capability to supply chains in a way we could previously only dream of. Through machine learning, we are able to analyse and understand patterns which emerge, using algorithms to quickly utilise the most important data. Importantly, this process is also founded on continual improvement as the technology adapts. Patterns hold the key to business success in a vast number of ways. It can even revolutionise the way we do things. The fact that this occurs without manual input, using machine learning, is even more incredible. Read more