Supply Chain Management

Supply Chains are all of the organizations, people, and processes that are involved in the sourcing, creation, distribution, and consumption of your product or service. Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the effective design, operation, and improvement of this network of organizations and people that may exist on a global basis.

Most organizations have only given serious attention to their supply chain in recent years. Previously, individual organizations were only concerned about their own operations, those that they owned and controlled. Now it is recognised that the product or service that the end customer receives will be influenced by actions across the whole supply chain, and that the success of individual supply chain organizations is strongly influenced by the actions of the other supply chain members. Supply chain management is based on this understanding and is focused on maximizing the performance of the whole supply chain.

How it all Began Today, Stonyfield Organic is a New Hampshire based organic dairy brand specializing in the production of yogurt, smoothies, frozen yogurt, milk and cream as well as some lactose free soy based products. The mission of the company is to provide healthy organic options to everyone that are free of pesticides, antibiotics, artificial hormones or GMOs while helping family farms survive and doing it all in a sustainable manner. However, 3o years ago the two founders Samuel Kaymen and Gary Hirshberg didn’t think it would be their dairy products changing the world. Stonyfield began as non-profit organic farming school where the two men shared their love of healthy eating, protecting the environment and family farming. They needed a way to fund their school so they started to make organic yogurt with the 7 dairy cows that they had. They knew that they were staying true to their values by producing the organic yogurt they just didn’t know how much everyone else was going to love it! 30 years later and only 30 miles East of the original farm, the business is stronger than ever providing a plethora of tasty and healthy options with the same goals in mind from the start.

Amazon is a corporate behemoth that dominates e-commerce and e-fulfillment. What started out as an online bookstore is now a complex online ecosystem that involves thousands of moving parts, including employees, suppliers, and shippers. As Amazon expands and grows, the need to innovate and streamline their supply chain becomes paramount. One of the ways that Amazon innovates their supply chain management is via technology like mobile apps and social media. Their increasingly automated systems alleviate costs, and improve overall speed and productivity.

If you live in Ontario, have eaten in a food court, local restaurant or pub or ordered room service then chances are Flanagan Foodservice helped make your meal possible. Although they didn’t help prepare or serve the food, they did make sure that it arrived on time, fresh and ready to consume through their vast distribution network. From small operations to iconic food chains with multiple locations, Flanagan services over 6000 customers across Ontario. Let’s take a small step back for a moment to discuss this network before we get into how Flanagan is taking an innovative approach at social media and supply chain management.

The clothing brand Zara is world renowned for its affordable yet trendy, high quality products. With over 1,770 stores, Founder and CEO Amancio Ortega has grown his small store in Spain into a well-recognized fashion brand in more than 86 different countries! Fast Fashion Trends The secret to all this success? Zara has managed to keep up with the constant change in fashion throughout the world – whether it’s in Japan, Italy, Canada or the USA. Like a chameleon, Zara has been able to quickly adapt to the fast fashion trends. As a result of keeping up with constantly changing consumer trends, Zara ends up producing approximately 450 million items a year for their stores. Just walk into a store and speak to an associate. If you ask them when they expect new product, they always respond with something along the lines of “We’re getting new shipments in every day.” Are you now looking for that dress shirt you were thinking of buying last week? Chances are your size or that style is gone! If you get to the store a week too late, nearly half the products will be completely different.

If you’re looking to get things done around your home or yard, many turn to the quintessential home improvement store – The Home Depot. The entire essence of their company is helping YOU, the customer, get things done. But they really have a knack for getting things done FOR you as well. Let’s take a step back. Supply chain management (SCM) and social media have a rather new connection. As Ranjan Sinha points out in his post on LinkedIn on the subject: “There was once a time when companies were adding policies that discouraged their employees from using social media while on the job. Over the course of the last few years, this notion has taken a turn for the opposite.” Of course, we already know this – there are jobs in all sorts of fields these days that completely revolve around social media. Managing a Twitter feed, Instagram account, or blog could be someone’s primary function in his or her employment. The marriage of SCM and social media is what has changed.

Born in 1937 under the name of Trans Canada Air Lines, Air Canada is the results of the fusion of many Canadian airline companies. Serving customers from coast-to-coast and even abroad, the largest Canadian airline has built a strong and efficient supply chain management through the years. Did you know that Air Canada has put in place the first computerized reservation program in the world? The computer system ReserVec was introduced in January of 1963. Already making sure it is using the best technology possible, AC continues its growing supply chain on social media.

Dow Chemical is a global monster when it comes to manufacturing chemicals and plastics. In one year Dow procures over 100 billion pounds of raw material from over 1000 suppliers and manages around three million product shipments. With operations like these Dow faces challenges managing such a complex supply chain.

As a loyal fan, I have been using iPhones for 5 years, never thinking about to look at other brands. I fell in love with Apple products right after I received my first iPhone in 2010 as a gift from my husband. It was also in the same year, I learned about Foxconn (Apple’s most important manufacturing supplier) Suicide on Sina Weibo (China equivalent of Facebook). A spate of worker suicides highlighted the conditions at its supply chain led to the worst public relations scandal in Apple’s history. In 2010, from January to June, 18 Foxconn employees attempted suicide with 14 deaths at the Foxconn City industrial park in Shenzhen, China. Their ages were between17 and 25. The way they chose to end their lives were jumping from their factory dorms. The company was pilloried in the media over allegations of poor working conditions and bad management, including long hours, crowed dorms, involuntary labor, record falsifications, improper disposal of hazardous waste, under-age worker. Another brand name “Apple” was being mentioned in every article and sometimes was put on the headline purposefully to drive attention. Foxconn was described as “Apple’s sweatshop” in massive social media posts. No matter that Apple wasn’t the only company that hired Foxconn to build its products, success made it a target.

Utilizing social media and technology is an excellent way to ensure solid communication throughout the supply chain. Without communication, the chance of an error (or a perceived error) greatly increases. Such is the case with Purolator. Think about it—customers are entrusting their goods with the company, so it’s only right that the customer remains in-the-loop throughout the entire process. As you can see in the video below, Purolator is well-aware of just how important it is to simplify the supply chain process for customers.  

To infinity and beyond. Why the desert, and not outer space could be the next great frontier for a company looking to push it’s supply chain into HYPERDRIVE!

Okay a show of hands… who doesn’t like chocolate? Anybody??? Didn’t think so. Perhaps one of the most loved foods in the world, chocolate comes in so many forms it’s virtually impossible to find someone that doesn’t like chocolate in at least one form. I don’t actually have any data to back that up, just my own theory that you’d have an easier time finding a unicorn or a Sasquatch. Perhaps I’m letting my own love of chocolate cloud my judgment but I can’t be that far off considering that the average Canadian consumes 5.5 kilograms or roughly 12 pounds of chocolate each year. Ferrero SpA is the fourth largest manufacturer of chocolate and confectionery products in the world, behind only Mars, Mondelēz International (makers of Cadbury, Oreo and many other brands) and Nestlé. The Italian manufacturer is probably most recognized as the makers of the famous Ferrero Rocher chocolates but are also responsible for bringing us Tic Tac, Kinder and Nutella. Ferrero is responsible for using about one quarter of the world’s hazelnut supply and have almost single-highhandedly caused the hazelnut industry to soar.

Being a mom, juggling work, and writing blogs for my Social Media for Business Performance course, keeps me very busy.  My biggest challenge these days is finding time to go to a grocery store… or two… or three, just to pick up things I need for this week’s meals. Thank goodness for price matching! Time, is one of our most precious commodities yet every day we struggle with having less of it and craving more. So much so that we often succumb to paying a hefty price for it. It has revolutionized the way people buy groceries, giving busy professionals, parents, elderly, student’s and even businesses back valuable time they don’t have to spend shopping. The increased demand for this type of service has resulted in a large number of companies entering this online space.  With competition being so fierce three factors will influence which business will rise to the top:  Innovation, Speed of Delivery and Efficiency in their Supply Chain. The application of social media in the supply chain process is no longer an option but rather a requisite in order for a company to accelerate and propel ahead of the pack. “Using modern technologies, such as social media, can improve an organization’s supply chain management. It can create more visibility, improve communication, increase control, and reduce operational and labor costs. When you have a more efficient and stable supply chain, you can enhance your customer satisfaction. The ripple effect of using social media to improve your supply chain management can expand outwardly across virtually your entire organization, which is great for business.”[1]

Imagine it’s a bitterly cold winter day, and the weather forecast isn’t going to improve anytime soon. To make matters worse, your throat feels a little scratchy and you can feel a cold coming on. On days like that, in a country like Canada, it’s easy to want to lock yourself in the house and bury yourself under blankets. But then you quickly discover, you are out of kleenex. And Cold & Sinus Advil. And your pantry is missing chicken noodle soup. You have a few options. Brave the miserable weather and try to make it to the pharmacy. Ask a friend to be a darling and face the weather you won’t. Or as a third option, quickly go online, place an order on Well.ca and have your ordered delivered right to your doorstep! Well.ca calls itself ‘Canada’s online Healthy, Beauty, and Baby store’, carrying more than 50,000 products from thousands of brands, that get delivered right to your doorstep. The online retailer has a warehouse in Guelph, Ontario with a second office in downtown Toronto.

Every day millions of products travel across the globe to reach their intended destinations.  As customers, we dutifully check the weekly flyers or flyer apps like flipp, that showcase our local retailers and their sales for the week, without giving a second thought to the process those products went through to make it onto store shelves.  What goes on behind the closed “employee only” doors is a network of businesses and people all collaborating together to ensure YOU the customer gets the next must have item that was advertised in their weekly flyer. This network of businesses and people form what is commonly known as the supply chain. In order to guarantee fairly smooth operations within the supply chain cycle these businesses must operate within a circle of trust.  According to the authors of the research paper Suppliers’ affective trust and trust in competency in buyers, “In order to create and maintain close relationship with participants in the SC, trust and collaboration have been considered the core factors. These two factors are important to improve SC performance as well as customer satisfaction…close collaboration among SC partner’s results in lower logistics costs, improved SC values, and enhanced service performance.”

Domino’s Pizza, Changing The Game

FBatarse   November 7, 2015

Organization Name: Domino’s Pizza Industry: Food Chain, Fast Food Web References: Domino’s Pizza Channel, USA Today, CNBC, CNN, Forbes, The Washington Post, Domino’s Pizza AnyWare How Social Media Places Your Order Quick, think of your favourite pizza place! We rounded up 3 major players at my last staff meeting when ordering our supper: Pizza Hut – Famous for stuff crust pizza. Domino’s Pizza – Attractively priced… Read more »

Social Media enhances the complex, beautiful dance of Christie’s Global Supply Chain Management

ASeymour   October 28, 2015

Organization:  Christie Industry:  Audio visual, manufacturing Contact(s): Ihor Stech, Executive Vice President, Operations (audio), Warren VanDrine – Commodity Manager, Global Supply Chain Management (written)  Web references:  Christie, ooVoo, Trello, Ushio, Inc., Adelante SCM, SupplyChain247, YouTube   About Christie ​Christie is a global visual, audio and collaboration solutions company offering diverse solutions for business, entertainment and industry. Christie employs over 1,500 people globally… Read more »

Technology Disrupting Financial Services Distribution Channels

Jessica   October 28, 2015

Industry: Financial Services Web references: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/professionals/061013/how-financial-advisors-are-leveraging-social-media.asp, http://www.business-standard.com/article/finance/insurance-sales-through-online-channels-to-grow-20-times-by-2020-study-114031800579_1.html, http://www.investorsgroup.com/en/media-room/media-releases/financial-decisions-influenced-by-bloggers-social-media-and-variety-of-websites, http://www.finance-investissement.com/nouvelles/industrie/distribution-en-ligne-reactions-mitigees/a/61360, http://www.limra.com/research/ The financial industry has always been more conservative than a lot of other industries, like fashion as an example. It is without any surprise that banks and most financial services companies have been late to adopt social media. However, the new generation of customers have forced the industry to get… Read more »

How Social Collaboration and “Spontaneous Association” Drove Drastic Service Level Improvements at TEVA Canada

jvaishnav   October 28, 2015
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Organization name: TEVA Canada Industry: Pharmaceuticals Name of contact: Antonio (Tony) Martins, formerly Vice President, Supply Chain at TEVA Canada and Ratiopharm  Web references: Supplychain247.com – The Social Side of Supply Chain Management  The WallStreet Journal – Teva to Acquire Generics Firm Computerworld.com – Drug maker goes social to end supply chain crisis Article: Want a Fast-Response Supply Chain? Facilitate People-to-People Communication… Read more »

Better Late Than Not Man Crate! Have Fun Gift-Giving and Participating in the Supply Chain.

Forrester Hinds   October 27, 2015

Organisation name: Man Crates. Website: http://www.mancrates.com/gifts-for-men Industry: Curated and themed masculine gift boxes. Brag-worthy Gifts for Guys, Crowbar Included. With only the $1000 he was allowed by his wife, Jonathan Beekman created the business that is today known as Man Crates. Man Crates offers customers the ability to purchase and ship themed gifts contained in unique and memorable packaging; and contents… Read more »

Dimplex Puts the Heat on Competitors with Supply Chain Positioning

jamie.mccormick   October 27, 2015

  Company Name:  Dimplex North America Industry:  Consumer Goods, Electric Heating Contact:  JoAnne St. Louis,  Senior Manager of Finance References: dimplex.com, researchgate.net, pinterest.com, supplychaindigital.com, twitter.com/@scmr (Supply Chain Management Review), linkedin.com   Mention “supply chains” to a business professional and they will typically conjure up images of global networks, linking vast numbers of organizations, in order to improve efficiency and reduce costs.  Vendors, suppliers, manufacturers, buyers,… Read more »

Zara’s Unique Supply Chain Management

Tania   October 27, 2015

Organisation Name : Zara Industry: Fashion  Web References: Supply Chain Social Media and Supply Chain Impact of Social Media on Supply Chain Zara and Supply Chain 7 Rules of Supply Chain ZARA Social media comments about products, services, or companies offer very valuable information for the supply chain and associated processes. The challenge for any company is figuring out how to… Read more »

Mc Donald’s Supply Chain and E-Procurement Management

bmfwong   October 27, 2015
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  Organization Name: Mc Donald’s Industry: Restaurant Web Reference: McDonalds, Forbes, Wikipedia  In this week’s blog I write about Mc Donald’s, the most recognizable and successful fast food chain in the world. McDonald’s has over 36,000 locations serving approximately 69 million customers in over 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local franchisees while the rest are… Read more »

Whirlpool Chooses Penske to Manage Supply Chain

SCapling   October 27, 2015

Organization – Whirlpool Industry – Home appliances Contact – Brian Hancock, VP Supply Chain Whirlpool Corp. web references – Google, YouTube, Penske, Wikipedia  Whirlpool Corporation is the world’s leading manufacturer (American) and marketer of home appliances, with annual sales of over $20 billion, employing more than 100,000 people. Whirlpool brands include Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Inglis, Amana, Brastemp, and other major brands. Today, social media… Read more »

Ikea: Swedish Supply Chain Management Machine

stephanie   October 26, 2015
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Company: Ikea Industry: Consumer Furniture Web References: Ikea, Supply Chain 24/7, Sweden.se, Wikipedia , Trade Gecko Blog, YouTube Ikea is the largest furniture retailer in the world. They are well known for their unique self assemble furniture, and low price points. Founder Ingvar Kamprad’s philosophy that “that anyone should be able to afford stylish, modernist furniture” was executed by selling flat packed furniture at modest… Read more »