May 17, 2020

Best Of 2011: Top 10 Supply Chain Concerns

Supply Chain Digital
Supply Chain Management
Inventory Man
Freddie Pierce
2 min
With 2012 right around the corner, E2open CEO Mark Woodward contributes his Top 5 logistics trends that all supply chain managers should
It's the holidays, and we've got a special gift for you this year. Each day this week, Supply Chain Digital will select one top daily story fro...

It's the holidays, and we've got a special gift for you this year. Each day this week, Supply Chain Digital will select one top daily story from 2011 to feature here in our Best Of: 2011 section. Enjoy!

Crimson & Co, the UK’s leading end-to-end supply chain management consultancy, revealed 2011’s biggest concerns within the supply chain, with Inventory Management and Planning topping the list of issues that are keeping supply chain leaders awake at night.

The new research conducted by Crimson through face-to-face interviews with 300 senior decision makers from over 200 companies identifies key supply chain issues that organizations view as most significant.

The top ten issues ranked in order of frequency of occurrence are:

  1. Inventory Management and Planning
  2. Demand Management and Forecasting
  3. Supply Chain Network Optimization
  4. Supply Chain Segmentation
  5. Training and Development
  6. Supply Chain Risk Management
  7. Sales and Operations Planning
  8. Performance Improvements in Warehouses and RDC’s
  9. Material Purchase Price Reductions
  10. Green Supply Chains


The interviews were dominated by pressures resulting from the continued economic downturn, along with a combined desire to squeeze every last drop of cost and cash out of the supply chain whilst supporting revenue growth, largely in emerging markets.

“For most, the issues included within this top ten will come as no surprise, especially when it comes to Supply Chain Segmentation, given the recent increased emphasis on this subject,” Dave Alberts, Director at Crimson & Co explains.

The majority of those interviewed reported only a moderate reduction in cash-to-cash cycle times, despite an escalated understanding of the importance of cash in these difficult times, and the many initiatives underway.

Interestingly, whilst green issues made the top ten, the majority expressed a view that this topic had slipped down the corporate priority list.

The interest in topics such as Inventory Management and Planning, Demand Management and Forecasting, and Sales and Operations Planning were in most cases linked to the need to have more agile responses to changes in customer demands, whilst still achieving higher inventory turns and, as a minimum, maintaining current service levels.

Dr Janet Godsell from the Supply Chain Research Centre at Cranfield School of Management believes that the Crimson research provides insight into the challenges facing the supply chain.

“It reinforces the positioning of the supply chain as a key competitive weapon in enabling companies to reduce costs and increase sales. It highlights the need for excellence in planning (to balance demand and supply) and to provide the visibility of different demand patterns to enable the implementation of segmented supply chain strategy.”

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Edited by Kevin Scarpati

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Jun 8, 2021

DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID

DHL
Supplychain
COVID19
Logistics
3 min
Global logistics leader DHL’s new white paper highlights what supply chain professionals have learned one year into the pandemic

Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.

 

This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go. 


 

Public-Private Partnerships

With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”. 

 

Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats. 

 

In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.

 

“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”. 


 

How Do We Sustain Immunisation? 

By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”. 

 

Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared. 


Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.

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