Supply chain: a cross-functional collaboration… or the blinkered approach of functional silos?

A recent post in Purchasing Insight, “What can game theory teach us about Financial Supply Chain Management?” highlights the overall financial impact of paying suppliers as late as possible. The key point is that the working capital cost to supplier usually far outweighs the savings to the customer, thereby increasing the overall cost to the supply chain. The post got me thinking about a much bigger issue: how businesses manage their supply chains – a cross-functional collaboration or a collection of functional silos? Continue reading

Lean vs Agile Supply Chain… or can we have both?


This blog is inspired by Rudi Verheyden who posted a question “Does Supply Chain LEANness mean that the Supply Chain organisation is also agile, or are these 2 elements rather conflicting or independent from each other ?”  in the Supply Chain Optimization Group on LinkedIn. (The same question is also posted in the Inspired Supply Chain & Logistics Executives Group but at time of writing had no comments.)

This is a very big question, with many facets to be explored. I look forward to following the discussion. My immediate thoughts are that there is some conflict, some consistency and some dependency. Continue reading

How to Implement and Enhance a Gate Process – Part 6: Summary and 7 Top Tips

This is the sixth in a series of articles on how to implement and enhance a gate process. The series offers advice in the context of consumer products. This article is a summary of the first 5 Articles together with my 7 top tips. Continue reading

How to Determine Procurement Organisation – Part 1: 10 Objectives for Procurement

A discussion has been running in the Procurement Professionals Group on LinkedIn to explore why do centralised procurement initiatives often promise substantial savings, then fail to deliver to the bottom line? Apart from historically falling short of expectations, we are facing new issues such as increasing emphasis on corporate social responsibility and sustainability. The discussion prompted me to write a short article setting out 5 models for procurement organisation and start another discussion, Continue reading

How to Implement and Enhance a Gate Process – Part 5

12 Tips for fmcg and food industries

This is the fifth in a series of articles on how to implement and enhance a gate process (also known as stage gate process). The series sets out to highlight some of the issues associated with the introduction and operation of gate processes, and to offer some advice in the context of consumer products. Continue reading