It’s the second edition of The Supply Chain Roundup! We created this newsletter to curate the most valuable and innovative takes on supply chains, logistics, and material handling. If you’d like to sign up to get it monthly via email, please subscribe!
Supply Chain Insights
News from around the Industry
Supply Chain Insights
- The Supply-Chain Mystery: Why, more than a year and a half into the pandemic, do strange shortages keep popping up in so many corners of American life?
- Don’t miss this great podcast on how logistics media coverage of the supply chain differs from mainstream media coverage.
- “Supply Chain” is currently the most used word on earnings calls.
- Rethinking conventional thinking…is there really a labor shortage if warehouse worker jobs have grown by 17% in the past two years?
- Three of the largest U.S. goods carriers–Walmart, FedEx, and UPS–will increase their efforts to address supply chain issues after retailers have already begun warning that some products may not make it to the shelves before the holidays.
- Despite the pandemic, Americans are spending more on goods than ever before–which is good for the economy, but bad for an already-snarled supply chain.
- “A big reason is that we think supply chains are old and well-understood parts of the world (after all, ships still ply trade routes that have been in use for millennia), but as I will argue, they’re not. Supply chains as they exist today are as young and mysterious as the internet.” Don’t miss this interesting take on supply chains.
- A 20-year trucker’s take on why the supply chain crunch won’t end soon.
Warehouse automation isn’t a panacea. It can’t fix things you don’t have today. You can’t automate if you don’t have these three things:
- Standard processes
- A strong grasp (probably digital) of your inventory
- A business-driven (not technology-driven) vision of where you are going.
Technology can’t solve bad or inconsistent business processes.
Get the basics down first, before you automate. Here are some tips.
Have you ever thought of automating your facility as a way to INVEST in your people?
Most employees in a distribution center highlight the job as a way station, not a place to make a career. Yet, if you put in automation, you create new types of jobs that require your team members to learn new skills. To adopt software and data-driven approaches. To maintain automation equipment. What if one of our primary goals in automating our facilities was to increase quality job opportunities and upskill our people?
Smart Ideas from Smart People
- The seven most expensive words in business: “We have always done it that way.” – Dr. Travis Bradberry, Chief People Scientist at LEADx and author
- “The reality (about supply chain performance) is that the new normal is continuous disruption, and this will continue to have major negative impacts on synchronizing supply to demand. Anyone claiming we will be returning to the old normal or ending the continuous disruptions is not living in reality. There are many issues that require years to turn positive: semiconductors, ocean transport, labor shortages, work lifestyle, digital supply chains, etc.” – Jim Tompkins, Supply Chain Thought Leader and Entrepreneur
- You’ve probably heard that Hertz is buying 100,000 Teslas, but the deal has far-ranging effects–beyond pushing up Tesla’s market value–including getting “many more Americans behind the wheel of an electric vehicle for the very first time.”
- Brightdrop is building its first electric commercial delivery vans.
- Royal Caribbean announced the world’s longest cruise. It’s 9 months long and hits 65 ports in all 7 continents. Depending on your POV, 9 months at sea is either your biggest dream or worst nightmare.
- That truck driver shortage? Women are starting to fill those openings.
- We hope you never need this info, but if you do…playing Tetris can reduce trauma.
- JAK summed up all our worries in this New Yorker cartoon.
Resource of the Month
From the TFS Team
Material handling is one of the only places where you can drive savings in your supply chain while still improving your competitive advantage. Yet most businesses still run material handling with a static, outdated approach. Why is a top expense and a major business driver still being operated this way?