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.

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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.

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The Next Revolution in Supply Chain Management

In the first revolution, the concept of supply chain, as opposed to logistics, was put forth. Constraint based optimization tools for the extended supply chain were developed to support the new philosophy. As this was going on, Lean and Six Sigma approaches to improving capabilities, not just at the factory level, but in other internal departments, as well as across the supplier and 3PL base, were gaining in strength.

It took a while, but it was recognized technology was not enough. The key process in SCM is the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process that balances supply with demand intelligently. S&OP itself is going through a second rev and we now talk about integrated business planning (IBP), a form of S&OP that is more closely aligned with finance. A related “revolution” that improves the demand half of S&OP is based on the concept of demand driven supply chains; this is the idea that it is important to not just create a forecast based on historical shipments, but having real visibility to demand at the point of sale to improve demand management.

In recent years, the topic of supply chain risk management has emerged and new processes and ideas have begun to be codified and turned into a distinct discipline. An emerging topic is supply chain sustainability; and indeed in many corporate social responsibility reports the topics of both supply chain risk management and sustainability are addressed.

Read more at The Next Revolution in Supply Chain Management

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Sustainability Drives Supply Chain Professionals to Learn New Finance and Accounting Concepts

At JDA’s Focus event, Rich Beck, the Sr. Vice President of Global Operations at PepsiCo, gave the keynote on the second day of the conference. Rich said that their supply chain goals included “digitizing the value chain” (JDA was a key solution provider in this area) and “sustainability.”

I’ve been covering supply chain management for twenty years. Last year, I spent 20 percent of my time on the road. And I hear many, many supply chain speeches. I can count on a few fingers of one hand the number of supply chain executives I have heard say sustainability was one of their major goals.

That will change. 72% of the companies included in The S&P 500 Index® publish sustainability reports, up from just under 20% in 2011. Over time, companies’ sustainability efforts become more mature and corporate sustainability goals filter down and become key supply chain goals as well. And these are not incompatible goals. At PepsiCo supply chain sustainability includes “reducing their inputs while optimizing outputs;” but really, that has always have been a goal for supply chain organizations.

The CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, is the best known of the organizations that are helping (or pressuring, depending on your point of view), companies to do better. Thousands of companies work with the CDP to measure, disclose, manage and share environmental information.

The CDP scores companies on their performance. “A high performance score signals that a company is measuring, verifying and managing its carbon footprint, for example by setting and meeting carbon reduction targets and implementing programs to reduce emissions in both its direct operations and (the extended) supply chain.” Companies score higher if they are focused not just on internal emissions, but the emissions caused in their extended value chain. This causes a ripple effect as big companies with sustainability goals request their suppliers to also reduce their emissions.

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Could Your Supply Chain Be The Weakest Link In Risk Management?

Supply chains are a vital component of every organization’s global business operations and the backbone of today’s global economy. However, security chiefs everywhere are concerned about how open they are to an abundance of risk factors. A range of valuable and sensitive information is often shared with suppliers and, when that information is shared, direct control is lost. This leads to an increased risk of its confidentiality, integrity or availability being compromised.

Data Protection

Security is only as strong as its weakest link. Despite organizations’ best efforts to secure intellectual property and other sensitive information, limited progress has been made in effectively managing information risk in the supply chain. Too often data breaches trace back to compromised vendor credentials to access the retailer’s internal networks and supply chain. Mapping the flow of information and keeping an eye on key access points will unquestionably remain crucial to building a more resilient information.

Take a moment and think about this: Do you know if your suppliers are protecting your company’s sensitive data as diligently as you would protect it yourself? This is one obligation you can’t outsource because, in the end, it’s your liability. By looking at the structure of your supply chains, determining what information is shared and accessing the probability and impact of potential breaches, you can balance information risk management efforts across your enterprise.

Organizations need to think about the consequences of a supplier providing accidental, but harmful, access to their corporate data. Information shared in the supply chain can include intellectual property, customer-to-employee data, commercial plans or negotiations and logistics. Caution should not be confined to manufacturing or distribution partners. It should also embrace professional services suppliers, all of whom share access, often to your most valuable assets.

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