Many companies now have their internal automation well organized and under control. But is that also the case through the wider supply chain? Business are not stand alone operators – they are a part of something much bigger. Producers, traders, wholesalers and logistic operators – they all add value to the product arriving at the end consumer. If that’s going to be enough value to protect a profit for those involved, optimal communication between them is essential.
Even within the four strictly organized walls of your company things are happening that are hidden away in the shadows. Out of sight, but gnawing away at your processes, control and understanding. Employees are buying, hiring, downloading or logging into and using applications, tools and services that you know nothing about. That your IT department knows nothing about. This is shadow IT. A subject that’s well worth shining some light on.
The concept of ‘lean’ – full focus on customer value, process flow and the elimination of waste – has the potential to positively impact a business beyond its four walls. The principles are well suited to reducing the impact of challenging supply chains, provided management can embrace an alternative way of thinking.
It’s now all about customer intimacy – getting as close to the customer as you possibly can. Sadly, that sounds easier than it actually is. The majority of relationships between customers and suppliers tend to stick at the transactional level of the product or service. This doesn’t really support the creation of additional customer value, and makes it all too easy for the customer to swap supplier A with supplier B. If businesses want to avoid this issue, how can they actually create that genuinely valued relationship?
Why area manufacturers steadily buying more of their raw materials and components in from European suppliers? Research indicates that sustainable competitive advantage is being increasingly dictated not by the lowest purchasing price, but in the degree of efficient co-operation in the supply chain. Outsourcing to low wage distant destinations is truly 'out'.
Many businesses are fully behind the benefits of supply chain integration and think accordingly about using a Business2Business portal or EDI solution. But which is most suitable, and what exactly are the differences?
The Internet of Things (IoT) has already become a commonplace aspect of everyday life for many, it’s impact both cultural and social. And it’s influence has certainly extended to the business world. Here we look in particular at its application in the manufacturing industry. The possibilities are significant, but where do the challenges lie?
We see it regularly in the news: the ‘robotizing’ of our work. The jobs of millions are going to disappear, their tasks completed by machines. Even the more educated among us are running the risk of being replaced by ASIMO (a project developed by Honda) and his colleagues. The developments are responsible for all kinds of opinions and discussions, it certainly being an interesting stimulus to have a good look at your own business…
Do you manage to set effective strategic goals? And are you actually going to achieve them? All of them?
Every entrepreneur that's willing to take their business over the border will have specific goals in mind. Our experience in dealing with international customers has shown us that there are several key factors that can influence success abroad, independant of the nature of the business.