Supply chains in need of greater costing accuracy, study reveals

Costing accuracy within supply chains must improve, a study by APICS and IMA has revealed.

The results of a survey found that supply chain managers agreed, on average, that the benefits of improving their costing systems exceed the investment.

When asked what prevents them from utilising current costing information, 44% of supply chain managers cited a lack of operational data. Instead, costing information is often reported in exclusively financial terms, making it more difficult to leverage.

According to respondents, the secondary and tertiary barriers to useful costing information are inadequate technology and software (39%) and a resistance to change by accounting and finance personnel (30%).

According to the report, there are three root causes of why supply chain professionals are not receiving adequate costing information:

An overreliance on external financial reporting systems:

Many organisations rely on externally-oriented financial accounting systems that employ oversimplified methods of costing products and services to produce information supporting internal business decision making.

Using outdated costing models:

Traditional cost accounting practices can no longer meet the challenges of today’s business environment, but are still used by many accountants.

Accounting and finance’s resistance to change:

With little pressure from managers who use accounting information to improve data accuracy and relevance, accountants are reluctant to promote new, more appropriate practices within their organisations.

The report details various steps supply chain professionals can take to improve costing systems within their organisations.

One strategy presented is for supply chain managers to strengthen their relationship with accounting and finance to foster greater information flow between the two departments.

Read more at Supply chains in need of greater costing accuracy, study reveals

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A Case Study on Leveraging Supply Chain Risk Management Solutions to Drive Revenue for a Leading Consumer Packaged Goods Firm

SpendEdge, a global procurement intelligence advisory firm, has announced the release of their new ‘supply chain risk management study on the consumer packaged goods industry’. A well-known consumer packaged goods company with a considerable number of manufacturing units spread across economies was facing difficulties in identifying the potential opportunities in the market. The CPG sector client wanted to leverage the use of supply chain risk management solutions to achieve a more robust supply chain network. The consumer packaged goods client was also looking at devising an effective risk treatment plan including measures to protect the supply chain.

According to the procurement analysts at SpendEdge, “The CPG industry acts as a foundation for the modern consumer economy as it drives not only huge amounts of money into other businesses like retail and advertising but also generates a massive portion of the gross domestic profits (GDP) for countries across the globe.”

In the consumer packaged goods industry, leading firms are looking at leveraging the use of supply chain risk management solutions, as it helps them integrate several previous or ongoing initiatives, including those for business continuity and supply-chain security. Our supply chain risk management solutions assist clients in the consumer packaged goods market space to align their risk management strategies with supply chain risk exposure.

The supply chain risk management solutions offered by the experts at SpendEdge helped the consumer packaged goods client to monitor the complete process, starting from risk analysis and risk evaluation through risk management and right up to residual risk control. This helped the CPG sector client to achieve productivity and avoid sales losses.

Read more at A Case Study on Leveraging Supply Chain Risk Management Solutions to Drive Revenue for a Leading Consumer Packaged Goods Firm

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Making sure it’s business as usual, whatever the weather

The UK was recently subjected to an extreme cold spell that saw widespread disruption across the UK. Dozens of rail services and flights were delayed or cancelled, thousands of schools were closed, a raft of homes were left without power in certain parts of the country and many people struggled to get to work in the snowy and icy conditions.

This short spell of disruption would have come at a cost to the UK economy, but in reality we should be thankful we’re not subjected to the extremes of weather that can impact other parts of the world. Anyone remember the scenes we saw on our TVs in the wake of Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean and Florida? In addition to the devastation caused to thousands of families’ homes, businesses were left in turmoil too. Florida, for example saw the price of its diesel soar and shipping and trucking capacity was severely limited in the region. It is estimated that the economic cost of the storm which has caused significant damage to homes, businesses and crops could be as much as £227bn.

The knock on effect of the storm’s impact is still being felt, especially for any businesses with suppliers based in the storm-damaged regions. This event highlights the increasing risks businesses face when they have a supply base in a region that could be affected by adverse weather or other environmental factors such as earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions.

No matter where in the world your critical supply base is located it is essential that businesses ask their suppliers the right questions from the start of their relationship. Even with non-business critical purchasing activity, adopting a proactive approach to on-boarding/supplier evaluation and supplier contracting means that you can assess your suppliers and ask questions about disaster recovery, insurances, and best practice around handling large scale environmental events from the outset. Sounds obvious, but it’s very easy to overlook this line of questioning, especially if purchasing is being done on a decentralised basis.

Read more at Making sure it’s business as usual, whatever the weather

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Helping Procurement Professionals Build Resilience in Their Own Supply Chains

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) has launched a free online tool to support procurement and supply management professionals and those with an interest in buying to develop resilience in their own supply chains.

A CIPS survey in 2016 of 900 professionals revealed a growing awareness that unmitigated risk can have disastrous consequences for companies in terms of revenue and impact on margins.

Of those surveyed, 46% ‘sometimes’ have mitigation strategies in place and yet 52% expected the same level of service from their suppliers in the event of a disruption.

The Risk and Resilience Online Assessment Tool helps procurement professionals to identify where specific risk exists in their supply chains in seven key areas:

  1. Geographical. Restrictions on commodities or trade tariffs can have devastating effects on supply chains along with environmental concerns and reputational damage.
  2. Functional. Poorly conceived strategies and poor systems controls can make critical parts of the supply chain high risk.
  3. Performance. Suppliers may be engaging in bad working practices or failing to provide the right product, at the right time, to the right place.
  4. Technical. An inadequate level of internal security surrounding IT systems could lead to cyber risk and loss of customer, or partner data and loss of revenue.
  5. Governmental. Actions from governments could influence the movement of goods, with sanctions and embargoes and could affect reputation if found to be supportive of human rights abuses.
  6. Ethical. Dents in customer confidence will affect revenue streams and reputation, disaffected workforces can produced delayed, poor-quality goods.
  7. Legal. Breach of laws and statutes will cause delays and issues in supply chains. Diligence is required to ensure suppliers and contractors are also compliant.

Read more at Helping Procurement Professionals Build Resilience in Their Own Supply Chains

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Four Steps to Building a Global Chain Risk Management Platform

Be proactive – and significantly reduce global supply chain risks, discover the 4 steps to building a global supply chain risk management platform in a white paper from Avetta.

A global marketplace presents a complex set of challenges, especially when attempting to maintain a safe and sustainable working environment for your employees, contractors, and suppliers.

A minor detail, if left unresolved on the front end, can explode into a financial or operational disaster.

But the implementation of a world-class risk mitigation solution can save time, money, and even lives.

It’s critical to have the plans, resources, and technology in place that verify credentials, measure financial stability, and encourage sustainable business practices.

A proven supply chain risk management partner can ensure that your program is configured efficiently, intuitively, and effectively.

Save your business from negative impacts to its revenue and reputation by taking the right steps to minimize global supply chain risks.

In this white paper from Avetta, you’ll learn the keys to successfully managing your supply chain, protecting it against avoidable situations, and recovering from unforeseen disasters.

Find out how to better equip your business to prevent:

  1. Incidents caused by under-qualified or untrustworthy contractors or suppliers
  2. Injury to employees, contractors, suppliers – and the obligation of medical expenses associated with them
  3. Direct costs such as damaged goods and materials, machinery repair, and insurance deductibles
  4. Indirect costs including revenue loss from brand damage, employee and supplier down time, production delays, and fines

Read more at Four Steps to Building a Global Chain Risk Management Platform

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Five Techniques to Manage Supply Chain Risk

Risk has always been part of the supply chain. It’s a reality inside and outside the four walls of any organization. It’s no surprise then that as Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) programs proliferate, they have naturally begun to address anticipated and unanticipated events occurring both upstream and downstream in the supply chain.

Upstream of an organization are the suppliers who create goods and services used in a company’s own operations. These include raw components or materials that flow into direct manufacturing as raw materials. There are also indirect products and services that facilitate the company’s actual operations.

The downstream supply chain efficiently distributes a company’s products or services to its customers. All contracted suppliers, both upstream and downstream, must be proactively managed to minimize financial, confidentiality, operational, reputational and legal risks.

You don’t have to look any further than recent headlines to see potential fallout here. Did Equifax have proper data liability insurance coverage in place before 143 million accounts were hacked? And even if they did have coverage, how much was their reputation and customer account credibility damaged? This is still playing out, so not even Equifax management yet knows the impact of the risks taken.

Read more at Five Techniques to Manage Supply Chain Risk

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Hurricane Harvey Causing Concern for Ground Freight Operations

While it is no surprise that a hurricane can cause hazardous weather conditions for the trucking industry, it is always important to be vigilant, check reliable sources of weather information, and heed the postings of local, state, and federal emergency management.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind if your shipping schedule takes you into or near the impacted areas of Hurricane Harvey:

Hurricane is much more than a storm that impacts the landfall location.

The media pays great attention to the point of landfall; however, serious impacts of Harvey will be felt more than 200 miles from the eye of the storm.

The most notable impacts to be aware and cautious of are:

High winds and wind gusts

At the time of this writing, Harvey is expected to be packing sustained winds of 115 mph, with gusts up to 140 mph when it makes landfall.

Flooding

Even as this hurricane is downgraded to a tropical storm or even a tropical depression, the amount of rainfall expected as the storm lingers along the coastline is staggering.

Severe weather

Severe thunderstorm outbreaks often occur in the outer bands of a storm.

The best advice for all is to simply avoid the broadly impacted area of this storm leading up to and for the days following landfall. If you are unable to avoid the area, obey postings, road closures, and recommendations from emergency management officials in the area.

Read more at Hurricane Harvey Causing Concern for Ground Freight Operations

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Analysis – what impact will Brexit have on supply chain operations?

Brexit is a great uncertainty for businesses operating cross-border. Therefore, it is crucial for companies operating complex supply chains to consider the implications of Brexit on their businesses.

A PESTLE is an analysis tool that provides an understanding of the factors and external changes to the business, which may impact their ability to operate and thrive.

In this article, Nicholas Hallam considers the elements of Brexit that are out of the control and influence of businesses, but which they should still be planning for, as well as the proactive steps they can take to guide strategic decision making.

Political

Brexit has been an intensely political issue – from the original promise of the In/Out referendum (made by David Cameron to prevent a haemorrhaging of Tory support to UKIP) right through to the political and legal disputes about the triggering of Article 50 and the ongoing controversy about the trade-off between free movement and the single market. The debate – which cuts across traditional political alignments – pits sovereignty against efficiency, and the citizens of definite somewhere against free-flowing globalists.

Economic

The UK runs a constant trade deficit with the EU. While the UK’s biggest individual export trade partner is the US, over 62% of all exports went to the 27 EU Member States during Q1 2017, totalling £33.1 billion. And during this time-period the UK’s top import partner was also an EU Member State, Germany (£17.6 billion worth of goods).

Social

While Brexit essentially means untangling the links that the UK has with the EU, there are many ways in which we will stay connected irreversibly. Some of the biggest technological advances in recent years – such as smart phones and social media – have been made to connect people no matter their location, language or economic status. So, while the government may have a protectionist ethos, it may be increasingly impractical to implement to live up to most people’s expectations and habits.

Read more at Analysis – what impact will Brexit have on supply chain operations?

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Lasting Effects of Supply Chain Mismanagement

In New York City, March 25, 1911, 123 women and 23 men died from fire, smoke inhalation, or falling or jumping to their deaths when a fire broke out in the building where their factory resided on the eighth, ninth, and tenth floors.

The incident was known as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and is the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the New York City.

This tragedy and loss of life eventually led to legislation requiring improved factory safety standards.

While this famous incident is over 100-years-old, workplace deaths and injuries are still happening today.

In a recent case, Cusseta, Ala., Regina Elsea was working at an auto parts manufacturer on the assembly line when a mishap occurred, and Elsea was impaled by one of the robots. She died the following day.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reviewed Elsea’s case and found the contracting company she worked for was in violation of a federal law that could have prevented her death.

Sadly, in both cases these accidents could have been prevented with better evaluation of contractors and adherence to higher standards of safety in the workplace.

Read more at Lasting Effects of Supply Chain Mismanagement

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Disney, Depp and the cyber supply chain risk management problem

One field-tested security strategy for information systems and digital content is to address the problem through processes, people and technology. On the process front, all companies involved in the production of digital IP should, by now, be adhering to a proven information security framework that fully addresses supply chain risks. That includes making sure your digital IP is protected at all times, even during post-production (or maybe we should say especially during post-production, given recent incidents).

Fortunately, there is a ready-made cybersecurity framework that companies can use, at no charge, thanks to the US federal government, which has done some sterling work in this area, namely the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.

The current version is a great way to get a handle on your organization’s cybersecurity, and the next version, currently in draft, goes even deeper into the need to maintain cybersecurity throughout the supply chain. For that reason, the draft is worth quoting at length:

“The practice of communicating and verifying cybersecurity requirements among stakeholders is one aspect of cyber supply chain risk management (SCRM). A primary objective of cyber SCRM is to identify, assess and mitigate “products and services that may contain potentially malicious functionality, are counterfeit, or are vulnerable due to poor manufacturing and development practices within the cyber supply chain.”

Read more at Disney, Depp and the cyber supply chain risk management problem

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