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Supply Chain Challenges
The IBM Report

A 2009 report from IBM entitled "The Smarter Supply Chain of the Future" highlighted five key challenges that Supply Chain Executives will have to face up to in the coming few years :

- Cost containment in a context of rapid, constant change,

- Visibility, or getting the right information when needed through a flood of regular incoming data,

- Risks associated with frailties in supply chain operations,

- Customer intimacy : progress has been made in developing partnerships with suppliers, but with customers it is a lot more difficult,

- Globalisation and the increased complexity of supply chains as companies move to increase revenues and reduce costs.

The report envisions a future supply chain that is more :

- Instrumented, with information gathered automatically,

- Interconnected, especially between supply chains through connected systems,

- Intelligent, with systems making decision-making more straightforward.

Whilst buying in to this analysis from a supplier of software solutions, Lean Business France highlights the lack of the human element in this analysis. We'll leave to t he IBMs of this world the systems aspects, and we will fill the human gap.

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Supply Chain Strategy

Business needs and their degree of dependence on supply chain performance are rapidly changing, Many companies are experiencing significant business challenges characterised by increasingly complex and challenging customer demands, an increasingly complex range of products, and the impacts of globalisation and the speed of information exchange. Existing supply chain capability can fall behind requirements and lead to a degradation in performance and inferior customer service when compared to the competition.

Supply chains have become a ‘supply web’ – a mesh of interlocking relationships where customers, suppliers, producers and other supply chain partners are interlinked. Supply Chain Optimisation and the creation of a Lean Supply Chain integrates all of the key processes and partners necessary to deliver the final product to the user.

However, many companies tend to focus on immediate operational issues within their enterprise to the detriment of the global supply chain in which it operates, without taking account of the fact that optimising the separate links of the supply chain independently does not optimise the supply chain as a whole.

Lean Business France can support your company’s Supply Chain Management through:

  • analysing your current supply chain performance relative to customer expectations and competition and industry best practice
  • understanding the impact and causes of key issues and assessing the potential improvement in supply chain performance,
  • building organisational commitment to the fact that supply chain improvements can drive increases in business performance.

Our approach is made up of four phases

  • Understanding the supply chain context using Extended Value Stream Mapping and/or the SCOR model
  • Using our Supply Chain Assessment tool to systematically assess supply chain maturity and direct focus onto specific areas requiring detailed analysis.
  • Working with your supply chain teams to understand root causes of performance issues and potential solutions to address them
  • Identifying potential actions and projects to deliver the expected improvements and a time-phased project plan and benefits case to enable the organisation to unify around a compelling case for change.

This provides you with 

  • a clear understanding of the root causes of supply chain performance
  • a structured set of improvement projects to address performance issues
  • a robust benefits case to justify supply chain improvement activity.

Lean Business France can contribute to the success of your Supply Chain strategy. For further information, please contact us at contact@leanbusiness.fr


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