Tag Archives: supply chain

When you’re seated at a restaurant, hungry, enthusiastic about eating, you don’t turn away the wait staff, right? You might ask for a few minutes to decide, but you don’t put them off indefinitely. When you go to the salon … Continue reading

Posted in entrepreneurship, general business, merchandising and marketing, supply chain | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A depressed economy takes existing conditions and magnifies them. It’s like stop-action photography. The bad business decisions we make that would normally unfold over years, instead unravel in a year, a quarter, or even a month. This is how we explain some organizations in every industry thriving while their competitors contract and fail. Continue reading

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What you are measuring is whether or not your cost trend mirrors the industry pricing trend. In the example shown, the trendlines for the baby doll category are roughly equivalent, suggesting that costs are not decreasing at a slower rate than competitive pricing. However, the trendline for the dollhouse category indicates that costs are decreasing disproportionately to competitor selling prices, indicating a need for deeper analysis. Continue reading

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Supply Chain Management represents the best opportunity to maintain your footing in a difficult economy. Buyers have particular responsibility related to high volume/high profit potential products. If any product is responsible for a significant percentage of the firm or division’s profitability, it is not enough to make sure the product or its components arrive on time and are of acceptable quality. It is also important to understand the manufacturing process related to that product, the market conditions affecting the components of that product, and the vendor’s ability to manage those manufacturing and market conditions.

Beyond those obvious high-focus products, where is the next best place for a buyer to focus their attention? On products where the labor cost is a high percentage of total cost. Why is this so important? Because your opportunities to work on productivity improvements with vendors are very high on these products. Continue reading

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Though cost-based accounting methods can be credited with advancing organizational ability to dissect operating processes and analyze where change might be most beneficial, cost accounting also has a downside. The very process of apportioning costs applies component-based to thinking to system-wide problems. Does this mean that cost allocations are bad and should not be done? Definitely not! (though I have discovered that this topic has a strange knack for bringing out the argumentative extremist in far too many businessmen). The solution is to recognize that component-based thinking creates a certain type of bias, and that bias can be offset by approaching the same problem (or, ideally, set of problems) with system-based thinking. Here’s an example of an actual problem Continue reading

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