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Bricks Matter

2016: Building a Balanced Scorecard for Discrete Industries

By | Bricks Matter, metrics that matter, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Excellence | No Comments

2016 is around the corner. For the supply chain leader it is time to reflect and build budget targets. To  help, in this blog post I share industry trends. For the discrete industries we contrast the industry averages for growth, operating margins, inventory turns, cash-to-cash cycle, revenue per employee, and SG&A ratio for the periods of 2006-2014 and 2011-2014. For each metric we show the averages and the percent change from…

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Rethinking the How…

By | Big data supply chains, Bricks Matter, Demand, Downstream data, Market-Driven, New technologies | 2 Comments

The sun is shining brightly through the conference room windows as I listen to the consultants talk. It’s buzzword bingo at its finest. The air is thick. It is comical. The term ‘big data’ is all the rage. The market has dried up for large Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementations, and the large consultants are prowling the market staking their claim for their next gig. For me, buzzword bingo on big…

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Throwing Down the Gauntlet

By | Big data supply chains, Bricks Matter | No Comments

“We live in a world where supply chains, not companies, compete for market dominance. But companies often have diverging incentives and interests from their supply chain partners, so when they independently strive to optimize their individual objectives, the expected result can be compromised. ” Hau L Lee, Triple-A Supply Chains, Harvard Business Review, October 2004 “The idea of the value chain is based on the process view of organizations, the…

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Whew! It Is Finally Happening.

By | Big data supply chains, Bricks Matter, Market-Driven, New technologies, Open Content Research | 3 Comments

I am an old gal. In six months, I will raise a toast to my sixtieth birthday. It is hard for me to believe that I am that old and still working. Many of my friends are retiring. The industry is in flux. Daily, I get notices from Linkedin of job changes. Sometimes, I ask myself, “Where has time gone?” Other times I celebrate how much I have learned. It…

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What Should Be the Role of the Store?

By | Bricks Matter, Demand | No Comments

I love retail research. While some gals would call it retail therapy, I actively converge my days of shopping with supply chain research. Let me give you an example. Recently, I needed new bowls for French onion soup. So I placed the same order on Amazon, Macy’s and JC Penney’s websites. I had some trepidation. The reviews on Amazon listed “in-transit breakage” as a problem, but I shrugged my shoulders…

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Please Tell Me HOW

By | Bricks Matter, Demand, Market-Driven | No Comments

I love hearing from blog readers. This morning, I woke to receive this email in my inbox: Good morning Lora, I have read with pleasure the insightful report related to SC 2020 (race for Supply Chain – April 2013). If it is possible, I would like to use some of the info for a presentation I will deliver in a couple of weeks to the General Management.  I have a…

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How Can I Move Forward if I Cannot Align?

By | Big data supply chains, Bricks Matter, Market-Driven, Supply Chain | No Comments

For years, as an industry analyst, I have written  the statement that “IT and line-of-business teams need to be aligned.”  As I finished the report on organizational alignment, I felt a bit silly ever writing this statement. Why?  The statement is hogwash. The functions within the line-of-business teams are so misaligned that I cannot imagine that IT could ever align to all of them. In fact, as the research shows,…

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Taking the Hill

By | Bricks Matter, Market-Driven, Supply Chain | 2 Comments

For most companies, growth has slowed. Profits are sluggish. Complexity reigns and cycles are longer. The challenges and opportunities of business are greater.  We believe that supply chain excellence helps a company to better balance demand and supply. We also believe that it helps companies to be more resilient:  weathering demand and supply volatility while maximizing opportunities and mitigating risks. We believe that supply chain excellence matters and is important to improving…

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Bait and Switch

By | Bricks Matter, Demand, Downstream data, Market-Driven | 2 Comments

Bait and switch:  A form of fraud.  A dishonest marketing tactic where a marketer advertises a very attractive value proposition and then switches the offer to something else after gaining interest by the buyer. Source Merriam-Webster Dictionary DDSN. DDSC. DDVN. CDSN. The acronyms keep coming…. The cadence does not stop. Everyone seems to have a new one. Today, they swirl in the market forming a fog. The term demand driven has become…

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Does Your Warehouse Need Voice?

By | Bricks Matter, New technologies, Supply Chain, Supply chain excellence | No Comments

A warehouse is not a warehouse and a supply chain is not a supply chain. They come in various sizes, varieties and specifications.  They vary by industry and product requirements. So, in short, it is hard to generalize. They need to be designed and fit for purpose, but there is no question that they are growing more complex. As complexity increases, manufacturers and distributors are seeking new ways to optimize customer…

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