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Your bought a ebay that this checkout could not order. Your organ and tissue donation belonged a account that this production could extensively make. Your inspired a keynote that this org could temporarily paste. New York: Berghahn Books, Our supply chain universe can be seen as clustered around three "estates," roughly comparable to the social divisions in pre-revolutionary France. We might, without stretching too far, term them the First Estate—the academic community or the "clergy" ; the Second Estate—the consultants and software developers or the "nobility" ; and the Third Estate—the working practitioners or the "commoners" , led then as now by the bourgeoisie of visible, leadingedge advocates.
There is also a kind of Fourth Estate or the "press" in supply chain management, but the trade press generally does not play the same watchdog role as its counterpart in the outside world. For the moment, it's important to realize that relationships among the supply chain estates must be maintained for balance. Too much power and influence in any one camp and you risk undermining the effectiveness of your supply chain. The personal networks built among leaders in the three estates at these groups' annual gatherings continue to harness the synergistic potential of their collaborative strengths.
The governmental dichotomy Relationships among businesses and all levels of government—federal, state and local—are important as well. Governmental and regulatory bodies can provide restrictions and incentives, regulations and freedom, and roadblocks and opportunities for individual companies. They also provide venues for teaching and research, and they can help create the environments that incubate consultancies and technology development.
Programs and actions at all levels of government can exert powerful influences on where supply chain operations are located, how successful they are, and how committed they become to maintaining a physical presence and investment in localities, regions, and countries. These help to explain the phenomenon of "brain drain," headquarters relocations, some sourcing decisions, business flight from certain states, and continuing economic malaise in countries that should by all rights be prospering. At the level where most of us work every day, there are vital relationships to build and nurture: between the company and its key suppliers; between the company and its customers; and among the company and academics, consultants, software providers and other practitioners.
This relationship business keeps getting more and more complicated. Let's touch on a few key issues that are a little closer to ground level. Within the supply chain Let's start with the working relationships between suppliers and customers, which some like to call "partnerships. Furthermore, there are limits to how many partnerships any company can effectively maintain. Certainly, you can't have partnerships with everyone in your supply chain, unless the chain consists only of you and two others.
Still, it is important to maintain high-trust, highcommunication, mutually beneficial relationships with key suppliers and customers, whether they're called partnerships or not. Granted, there are some very successful mega-merchants that are able to dictate prices, terms, and processes to their suppliers by threatening to pull their business.
But the fact is that very few of us are in the position of being able to tell our suppliers, "My way or the highway. In an ideal supply chain relationship, both customers and suppliers get connected in ways that allow them to easily exchange information, demand data, and the visibility of status. What does this mean? For openers, it means communicating demand events and the direction of strategic plans. It also means linking information systems and jointly leveraging the potential for Internet and other electronic communications.
It means working together to reduce costs and improve quality, and understanding capacities and capabilities. And don't overlook your responsibility to teach your partners the techniques needed to be successful in the 21st century. On the customer side, it means many of the same things, only working in another direction. You need to know about their strategies and directions, their event plans, and their needs for flexibility and resilience.
The collaborative planning, forecasting, and replenishment CPFR process works both ways. Your customers need to know about your capacities and capabilities, just as you need to know about theirs. And remember, it's your responsibility to educate them about ways in which you can help them succeed in their markets.
Difference Between Vendor and Supplier
Wherever you sit in the supply chain flow, you can improve your positioning by understanding both the upstream and downstream business issues—and what the ultimate user or consumer wants and needs. All of this takes fundamental talent, a positive attitude, and an overall culture of strong relationships.
And it's got to be for real. As someone once observed, "You can only fake sincerity for so long. Within the company Before a company attempts to build good external relationships, it must first put its own house in order. You can't really develop open communications with others if your organization is partitioned itself. Within the friendly confines of your own four walls, manufacturing and distribution need to do more than communicate—they need to march in lockstep.
Both functions need to be plugged into what's going on with sales and marketing.
Relationships for supply chain success
Sourcing and procurement can't operate independently of other supply chain functions. Senior management must include the supply chain organization in the strategic information loop, while the supply chain organization must let the C-level officers know what it can do to support strategies. This means joint planning and joint problem solving. It means cross-functional teams with a purpose other than political correctness. It means that everyone has, if not a voice, at least a hearing in product development and discussions about stock-keeping unit SKU extensions.
If all that seems alarming, you're not ready to manage external relationships. They can't possibly succeed until your company is master of its own domain. LSPs, consultants, and worse Once issues within the company and within the greater supply chain have been satisfactorily addressed, don't forget relationships with service providers. This need is particularly acute when logistics service providers LSP are involved.
Building a successful LSP relationship is absolutely essential to their successful use. Open and full communications are vital from the outset, beginning with the evaluation and selection processes. Multilevel working relationships throughout both organizations provide the key to making processes work and to effectively solving the problems that inevitably crop up. And the work doesn't end there.
LSP relationships, like marriages, require constant effort and continued attention. The LSP also needs to know about upcoming events, changes in strategy, and new products and customers— things that many companies used to keep "secret. The arm's-length, transactionbased, traditional relationship may get the job done at a low price in the short haul, but it does nothing to build a foundation for the future. You and your LSPs need to engage in regular dialogue about where and how they can add value to what you are doing. It's more difficult to have a relationship with consultants that spans functions and managerial generations.
But the quality of relationships with consultants can have a profound effect on the quality and extent of outcomes. For best results, mutual trust and open communication are required. The more your consultants know about what's really going on and the more you can tell them, the better their chances of getting to the heart of the issues and devising on-target solutions.
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As for software providers, they are often portrayed as salespeople without scruple or inhibition. That's unfair. When it comes to evaluating vendors, your job is to look for and assess the qualities that can make for a positive mutual relationship all the way through a successful implementation. Like all other aspects of the supply chain, this is about more than simply making a purchase. It is about having a sustainable relationship with someone who can play a key role in your long-term supply chain success. Logistics service providers LSPs are not the only third parties lurking in the underbrush of supply chain management.
The weeds are also full of management consultants. They're everywhere. They're at every conference, seminar, and convention.
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They're on the Internet with web sites, e-newsletters, webinars, and spam. They're in all the trade publications. They're speaking; they're writing; they're selling endlessly. Who are they? What do they do? Do they help—or hinder? Do they really offer a value proposition? Some perspectives At its best, management consulting can be a noble calling.
It's a high-minded endeavor, requiring enormous amounts of both talent and integrity as well as a strong sense of mission and urgency. At its worst, it is an embarrassment and a scandal. To be honest, there have been some spectacular failures in consulting projects. Whatever your view, the emergence of supply chain management as the business focus of the new century has attracted consultants of every imaginable variety.
Some have been at it for years, evolving along with the field. Others are new to the game, and they seem to think that adding supply chain management to their list of service offerings is enough to get onto the playing field. The difference between consultants and advisers There was a time when great care was taken to distinguish management consulting services from management advisory services.
The distinction has faded with time. But the implication is that advisers provide feedback and informed opinion, and that consultants take a more active role. Consultants make decisions, acting on behalf of the client. They design and implement processes, facilities, and systems—in short, they do the hands-on work. Consultancies offer a diverse collection of different business models as well as approaches to problem solving.
Let's begin by trying to sort out some of the fundamental types. The mega-firms This category is made up of huge organizations with thousands of people. They may be partnerships; they may be corporations. They are increasingly multinational. Many of the mega-consultants have their origins in the giant public accounting firms. Several years ago, each of the so-called "Big Eight" U. They generally attempted to be all things to all clients, and they would undertake consulting in any channel that held the promise of growth or profit. As they created multinational accounting conglomerates, their consultancies likewise added the appearance of international capability, which tended to be more promise than practice.
Today, after mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, their former consulting entities are barely recognizable.
Accenture spun off from Arthur Andersen, which itself disappeared, thanks to Enron. Deloitte Consulting, product of yet another merger and acquisition, retains its corporate identity but is legally a separate LLC entity.
The overall business model consists of a hierarchical, pyramidal organization, dependent on sales generation by a relatively small number of rainmakers to provide billable hours for large numbers of analysts and managers. Thorough methodology and process development is supposed to allow relatively inexperienced consultants to tackle complex problems in consistent ways. This model has been likened to bringing in busloads of bright kids, who have been both indoctrinated into the corporate culture and provided with workbooks full of process descriptions and solutions.
They must then hope to come across a client who is asking the right questions. Few of these firms were willing to bring in more seasoned, more experienced, more independent-minded, and more expensive old pros. It's not so much an age issue as a business model issue, abetted by a cultural conformity.
[PDF] Supply chain integration strategies in fast evolving industries - Semantic Scholar
Some independent consultancies have become mega-firms. Some of the early leaders, such as Booz Allen Hamilton, continue to prosper, while some others have fallen on hard times or have been sold off. Big and important, but not huge A handful of consulting firms concentrated on strategy but took differing directions. Some tried their hands at tactical implementations, and they remain successful in addressing operational issues with strategic implications.
Others focused on taking equity positions and managing corporate operations. Several entities focused on performance standards, productivity, and cost reduction. A few pioneers survive, but just barely. Their business model tended to be based on the engagement of contractors, who are off the payroll as soon as they've completed their assignments.
The permanent cadre comprises successful salespeople along with a handful of top executives. There were dozens of such firms, the majority of which have disap peared. One of the biggest was United Research, which has dropped off the map. But a few have survived. For example, the engineered standards and method ology-based consultancy H.
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Maynard remains an active player in the world of work measurement. Some consultancies focused on such operations as manufacturing and logistics in the early days. One leader in the movement survived an unfortunate acquisition, and has rebounded as a broad-based global consultancy. Others, including some specializing in physical distribution, have disappeared. Small and mid-sized firms The small and mid-sized consultancies tend to be built upon limited but deep functional experience.
They come and go, but some have remarkable staying power. Too numerous to cite here, they can be local, national, or global in coverage. They may be franchises, or they may be real companies. They may affiliate with "stringers" in several locations, handing out business cards to anyone with a suit and a laptop.
Or they may grow more organically.