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LSCMS Blog

Blog for updates and happenings in logistics in the Asia-Pacific region

July 3, 2015

Global Logistics—June 2015

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 8:55 am

Middle East countries show signs of regional collaboration around transportation and logistics; China’s “red supply chain” threatens Taiwanese semiconductor industry; India looks to Korea as both a model and partner for its economic modernization program; U.S. fashion industry supports extension of African Growth & Opportunity Act; Cuba’s Port of Mariel attracts investment from CMA CGM; China looks to replicate U.S. rail freight model

[Read more… A round up from Inbound Logistics]

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June 27, 2015

10 Points to Cutting Costs While Delighting Customers

Filed under: Logistics,News,Newsletter,Resources,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 11:14 am

reduce-costsCost reductions are uncovered from raw materials to end delivery, but companies must focus on its customers to keep them satisfied.

North American companies increasingly are seeking data-driven supply chain strategies to lower costs while improving customer satisfaction. Robust technologies and advanced analytics drive the business insight needed to streamline processes and reduce costs from raw materials to end delivery. Sophie Dabbs, vice president of client solutions for third-party logistics provider Transportation Insight, discusses the art and science of how shippers can reduce cost while creating more customer value with 10 points that include elimination of expediting costs to technology use in your supply chain.

[Read more… Curated from Inbound Logistics]

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June 26, 2015

Pharmaceutical Companies Need to Revamp Supply Chains to Ensure Quality

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Procurement,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 11:10 am

pills-2-1160486-mOver the last several years, the biopharmaceutical industry worldwide has intensified its focus on quality in manufacturing – but with little to show for it. Manufacturing quality levels remain well below those in other industries, such as semiconductor manufacturing and aerospace. And major recalls are still all too common. From 2010 through 2014, 11 of the top 15 biopharmaceutical companies (by revenue) received warning letters from the US Food and Drug Administration. Such problems can come at a steep price—in some cases, hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue, remediation costs that run in the tens of millions of dollars, and a big hit to the company’s reputation.

There are a number of reasons for the persistent quality challenges. First, the focus on quality has itself too often meant racing to put out fires when compliance issues surface, instead of addressing the root causes of quality problems. Increased investment in areas such as quality personnel or software can help in the short term, but the resulting improvements are rarely sustained and are not always commensurate with the investment. Second, when a company does implement a program aimed at delivering long-term results, it is often rolled out in a rigid, one-size-fits-all manner that ignores differences among manufacturing plants and their progress in improving quality. The result can be programs that are poorly matched to individual facilities and that miss the root causes of their quality problems. Further, such programs typically reside exclusively within the quality function and fail to address organization-wide processes that can have a major impact on quality.

[Read more… Curated from BCG Perspectives]

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June 23, 2015

For Trade Agreement Backers, It’s a Slow Path to Fast Track

Filed under: Economics,News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 11:27 am

forecasting tradeOn Capitol Hill right now, “fast-track” is the slowest thing going.

The House of Representatives voted last week to give President Obama the authority to negotiate free-trade agreements with minimal interference from Congress. Following legislative review, the pacts would be subjected to a simple yes-or-no vote, with no amendments permitted.

In reality, the lawmakers’ action wasn’t quite so straightforward. House Republicans decided to move forward on fast-tracking, or what is officially called Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), without the protection of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), a mechanism for aiding U.S. workers who have lost their jobs as a result of trade pacts.

The reason? House Democrats, who have previously supported TAA as a necessary safeguard against the impact of free-trade agreements on the domestic economy, shot it down earlier last week, even as they voted in favor of TPA.

At issue are two big trade agreements currently under negotiation: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), covering trade with Asia and Europe, respectively.

TPP, which includes 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, has been a particular lightning rod for criticism. Opponents charge the pact would result in the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs, and place the interests of multinational corporations ahead of government policymakers.

U.S. backers argue that participation in TPP means an enhanced American presence in the Asia Pacific region. In its current form, the agreement pointedly excludes China, and it wouldn’t be farfetched to suggest that TPP is a calculated attempt to offset that nation’s growing economic and political clout.

This is supported by analysis from the Asian Trade Centre:

The process through which goods and services are produced and consumed is shifting rapidly. We are increasingly living in a world of global value chains (GVCs) or global supply chains. We’ve had supply chains of one sort or another in trade for centuries, as firms have traded with one another for raw materials, components, or final, finished goods. What is different now is that, with falling costs of communication and transportation, it is possible for companies to source exactly the right inputs from exactly the right geographic space to take advantage of different costs in materials, services, labor, and capital. The world is literally the “oyster” for global companies.

In this world, trade agreements have not kept pace with changes on the ground. The WTO agenda is nearly 15 years old. Bilateral agreements between two countries are not particularly helpful for value chains that span dozens of places.

Hence the drive to create larger trade agreements. In Asia, many governments have been very promiscuous, signing up to all sorts of trade deals. Singapore, for example, has more than 20 in force with more under negotiation. Such agreements can be helpful in spurring economic growth, especially for some companies or covered industries.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain & the Asian Trade Centre]

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June 20, 2015

Conflict Minerals Disclosure: A Progress Report

PodcastIt’s been about a year since the Securities and Exchange Commission began imposing its rule on the disclosure of conflict materials from the Democratic Republic of Congo in manufactured products. Are companies up to speed?

Mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, the rule applies to tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold sourced from mines in the DRC that are controlled by armed gangs. Companies are now required to reveal the presence of those commodities in their products, despite the difficulties of making that assessment in complex, multi-tier supply chains.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]

Conflict Minerals

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June 18, 2015

3D Printing Brings Competitiveness to Regional Manufacturing

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:23 am

3d printingUsing a cluster model developed at the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, Cliff Waldman, MAPI Foundation economic studies director, says 3D printing has caused an increase in regional manufacturing competitiveness.

It creates smaller and more agile industries, he said, which itself allows for specialization and the inclusion of 3D printing in product development. 3D printing is the most powerful way to shape both products and processes, Waldman said. The number of commercial printing machines in use worldwide has grown from 355 in 2008 to 23,000 in 2013.

The ability to produce materials proximate to the point of input has shortened supply chains in a number of sectors. 3D printing could also make product design a more prominent part of supply chains and clusters.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]

There is a lot of discussion about this on the internet that addresses this from a present and future perspective, including the impact that it will have on our children – the “makers” of the future.

This includes discussions about food manufacturing using 3D printing – pizza anyone?

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June 16, 2015

How RFID Can Ensure Product Quality and Reduce Recalls

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:34 am

dataYou can’t tackle the problem of product recalls without data.

We’ve learned of the impact that a single contaminated ingredient can have on a global food supply chain. One small mistake at the outset can resonate throughout hundreds of products, posing a serious threat to public health.

Yet each year brings fresh reports of illnesses and deaths caused by products containing ingredients that either were misidentified or weren’t supposed to be there in the first place. Damage to items in transit can have also a serious impact. So how can companies put a stop to this seemingly intractable problem?

From a logistics standpoint, visibility is key. That means having access to critical data at the right time. With the recent spate of supply-chain disruptions, including natural disasters in Japan and Thailand, and congestion at West Coast ports, companies are beginning to realize the value of knowing exactly where their products are at any given moment.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]

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June 10, 2015

Japanese Shipbuilder Tests Drones for Safety Inspections, Productivity Boosts

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management,Technology — admin @ 11:43 am

DronesTsuneishi Holdings Corporation is exploring the commercial applications of drones at its Hiroshima shipbuilding facility in an effort to increase both safety and productivity in daily operations.

The drone, weighing in at about 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) is able to capture high-quality photos and video and transmit the data live back to a central information processing area. From there, the Tsuneishi team hopes to use the collected information to oversee operational progress, facility inspections and potentially manage disaster situations from a distance.

In a written statement yesterday the company spoke about the technology’s potential to aid in business operations by saying, “We have high hopes that this latest technology will help us increase efficiency at our factories and facilities, and also allow us to gather information quickly in times of disaster.”

[Read more… Curated from The Maritime Executive]

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June 9, 2015

When It Comes to Public Safety, There Are No ‘Small’ Recalls

Filed under: News,Newsletter,Reverse Logistics,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 11:08 am

poisonThe recall of a single spice can have huge ramifications for food safety.

For proof of that statement, look no further than the recall of cumin, along with products that contain it, that occurred in the first quarter of this year. The spice was found to contain undeclared peanut proteins, threatening the health, and even life, of those with an allergy to any form of peanut products.

The issue turned out to be responsible for 95 percent of all food recalls in the first quarter of 2015, according to Todd Harris, vice president of recalls with Stericycle, Inc. During that period, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had more than 19 million food units recalled, a 40-percent increase over the first quarter of 2014.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]

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June 7, 2015

Putting a Stop to Contaminated Product From China

Filed under: China,News,Newsletter,Supply Chain Management — admin @ 11:14 am

PodcastWill we ever cut off the flow of contaminated product from China and other offshore manufacturing sites?

The recent revelations surrounding Lumber Liquidators, which faces criminal charges for the alleged presence of the carcinogen formaldehyde in flooring made in China, are only the latest example of serious slip-ups in manufacturing quality control. It’s tough enough to police one’s overseas suppliers for violations of human rights in the workplace – and even more challenging to detect the use of unauthorized and potentially hazardous ingredients in toys, apparel, home furnishings and consumer electronics.

[Read more… Curated from Supply Chain Brain]

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