Tag Archives: Supply Chain

According to Wikipedia a supply chain is defined as a system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. So what is the supply chain in the sport of synchronized swimming?  Specifically for the Waterloo Regional Synchronized Swim Club.

In today’s highly competitive market, organizations must strategize to create avenues of innovation, efficiency, and increased productivity to hold on to their competitive advantage. An area with room for growth for many firms is more effective supply chain management. With a vast array of social media tools available, organizations can improve operations in several ways including but not limited to increased visibility, communication, coordination, and reduced costs. “Although a vast majority of people reference only the most popular social networks – Facebook,  Twitter and LinkedIn when thinking of social media, the true social media experience is much larger for companies. They can engage users through smart phone applications, RFID, IoT, Big Data, business social media (for sharing information between partner groups) in order to help information spread much more quickly.” Ranjan Sinha, Logistics and Supply Chain Management Professional

Clearwater was established in 1976 by two very ambitious Nova Scotians; John Risley and Colin MacDonald. Risley and MacDonald started Clearwater as a local Lobster Pound, named for the cove in which they operated, with only a pick up truck and a vision. Over time, their vision grew from its humble beginnings in Hubbards, NS at ‘Clearwater Cove’. Clearwater grew to become Clearwater Seafoods Inc.; one of the world’s leading seafood companies and the largest holder of shellfish licenses in Canada. Since its establishment, Clearwater has been a company committed to sustainability through science-based management. As company CEO, Ian Smith notes: “Since Clearwater’s humble beginnings, we’ve continued to invest in science and stewardship of the resource to sustain and grow the wild seafood products we harvest. Sustainable seafood harvesting has always been at the core of Clearwater’s business, and will continue to drive our success moving forward.” Clearwater now exports product to over 40 countries and has over 15 offices and processing facilities worldwide. A crucial component to this continued business growth is the way in which Clearwater manages their supply chain; from ‘ocean to plate’.

Supply chain, a process by which we extract raw materials somewhere in the world and convert it to some form of a manufacturing process and deliver it to customers, this is a classic definitaion of supply chain and as most of us know everything is leaning towards digital, and supply chain does not exempt from this. Salesforce introduced a digital and cloud-based platform for sharing information and allowing all stakeholders to visually monitor and view different aspects of the process from manufacturing standpoint to billing and invoicing customers. In classic definition of “Supply chain” the input in the process is the raw material (in possession of a supplier) whereas in cloud industry or any professional services sector the vital substance is the human capital, and sales force is pioneer delivering a magnificent  and innovative service to High tech, telecom, and so many financial service organizations across the world to monitor and track the chain of supply from supplier to the consumer. Salesforce journey is all about improving access to information through streamlining and automating information delivery and simplifying business process where we are referring to as supply chain process.

The 2016-2017 school year began with a wealth of negative media coverage about school bus providers in the GTA. Children were repeatedly late for school when buses ran behind schedule, and in some cases children were stranded without transportation altogether. Indeed, we are still experiencing these issues (but much less frequently) on our school bus route, 8 weeks later. I’ve lost count of the number of temporary drivers who have covered our bus route (until the bus company fills the role with a permanent driver). Because of this, I’ve decided to take a closer look at supply chain opportunities in the school bus industry. I suspect social media can offer viable solutions to some of the issues we’re seeing. First Student Inc. is the largest school transportation provider in North America. First Student completes six million student journeys each day, moving more passengers than all U.S. airlines combined. With a team of highly-trained drivers and the industry’s strongest safety record, First Student delivers reliable, quality services including full-service transportation and management, special-needs transportation, route optimization and scheduling, and charter services for 1,300 school district contracts.1

If you’re an average social media user like me, you can probably attest to receiving regular requests to like a new page, join a group, or follow a new business. In fact, I receive far more business related requests then I do friend requests (imagine a sad emoji here). It seems the fear for businesses to enter the world of social media is dissipating and instead of being out of the ordinary for having a social media presence, businesses that don’t have these networking tools in place are starting to be the minority. For companies just starting out in the last few years, this is a huge advantage. New companies need not worry about the headaches of converting old methods of advertising, collaboration and supply chain management. Instead, new companies are able to jump right into social media and utilize it to their full advantage. Melissa Laking, owner/operator of A la King Culinary Creations in Beamsville, Ontario did just that and has not only grown a loyal fan base that saw her recently nominated for the Hamilton Spectator Reader’s Choice Awards for catering, but has also used Facebook and Instagram to develop and source out suppliers.

Hear ye, hear ye! It was in 1670 that Prince Rupert, cousin of King Charles II, and friends acquired the Royal Charter which granted the lands of the Hudson Bay watershed to “the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson Bay.” It was the start of the Hudson’s Bay Company – the oldest continuous running company in North America. It was once the largest landowner in the world owning 15% of North America. For the first century of operation, natives travelled by canoe to trade animal skins for manufactured items. The supply chain was basic relative to today. By the end of 19th century people had cash and not fur to trade, fashion tastes were changing too and so did the HBC supply chain. They have outlived many of their major competitors and have battled social and economic change. But, social media has put the pressure on many retailers including HBC to change.

As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of health care products, Johnson & Johnson’s complex supply chain processes are discussed in detail on their web site. Information about sourcing ingredients, creating products, distribution and consumption of products is demonstrated through info-graphics, web links to other organizations and direct links to many forms of social media. It is interesting to look at one product with essentially one main ingredient to really focus on one supply chain process and its reciprocal relationship with social media. From quieting squeaky floor boards, applying temporary tattoos, removing oil stains to wearing patent leather, baby powder has so many uses other than the obvious. Classic Baby Powder made with talc is one of Johnson & Johnson’s oldest products. This is a product that has gone through a lot of controversy in the media and in social media since it was part of most of our daily diapering routines a generation ago. Baby powder is just one example of a Johnson & Johnson product that has seen huge modifications in product supply chain in recent years as a result of research, media exposure and changes in consumer trends. In turn, Johnson & Johnson is using social media to its advantage in three main areas of the baby powder supply chain: ingredient research/sourcing, product innovation/trends and consumer relations/consumption.

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.

Most of us who went to McDonald’s as kids remember our first taste of their delicious French fries and that special sauce packed Big Mac. We also likely remember as we became adults, just how bad their coffee was (as was the coffee at many other restaurants). Well, McDonald’s listened to its customers over the years and introduced a new coffee and most recently a new McCafe restaurant concept. A winner for customers, the McDonald’s business and for social media.

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.

Share the Experience..with Christie

kcress   November 16, 2015
cypress lobby

Organization Name:  Christie Industry:   AudioVisual, Manufacturing Contact: Kathryn Cress, Vice President, Global & Corporate Marketing Web References: Christie,B2B Social Media, Social Media for Business Performance; Social Marketing About Christie “Share the Experience” is Christie’s tag line, used extensively to promote the primary benefit of Christie’s products and solutions.  The company provides visual display solutions, including content and services, that allow people to view visuals in a… 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 »

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 »

Tesco Bets on Social – Launches Supplier Network

j2condon   October 26, 2015

  Organization Name :  Tesco PLC Industry :  Retail   Web References : Tesco.com, uk.reuters.com, Tescoplc.com, theguardian.com, tescosuppliernetwork.com, supplychain247.com About Tesco Tesco is a British multinational grocery and general merchandise retailer based in Cheshunt UK.  Founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen as simple grocery stalls, this retail powerhouse now operates over 7800 retail storefronts and dot come sites under various banners in… Read more »

Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding together leading a path to Success

Lisa Taylor   October 21, 2015

  Company Name: Outdoor Edutainment, LLC Industry: Educational Gaming Contacts: Kristin Peppel, Management, Design, Advocacy, Sales Web References: Official Appalacian Trail Game Site, New Appalachian Trail Game Receives Full Funding Through Kickstarter in 48 Hours!, Hike the Appalachian Trail in your living room with new game, Kickstarter Campaign, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Mark Hanf is a middle school teacher, an avid hiker… Read more »

Reaching people who need help with National Food Sharing System

C. Laughren   June 24, 2015
Each year an estimated 1.1 million children face food insecurity in communities across Canada.

    Organization: Food Banks Canada Industry: Not-for-profit (Canada) Name of contact: Katharine Schmidt, Executive Director Web references: Food Banks Canada, Capacity Canada, Facebook, Twitter, Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, “Introduction to Supply Chain Management” (Dr. Harvi Millar) It can happen to anyone at any time – a life circumstance interrupts your plans and you need help. A lost job. A broken… Read more »

Food Cowboy Rescues Food from Supply Chain Waste

Paul   June 24, 2015

Title of Post: Food Cowboy Rescues Food from Supply Chain Waste Organization Name: Food Cowboy Industry: Technology & Feeding People President: Roger Gordon Web references: Food Cowboy  Feeding America  Food Policy U of M  World Food Day Food Cowboy is a tech company, a supply chain hub, a re-distributor, and most importantly; helps feed people. The Washington D.C. organization was… Read more »