Supply Chain Station reviews Day 2 of the CSCMP 2015 conference

Here at Day 2 of the CSCMP 2015 conference part of the opening session expounded what CSCMP advocate; namely supporting young supply chain professionals and helping them to further their careers through the Circle of cscmp logoExcellence they talked about in Day 1 – getting young people still in the education system involved in supply chain as early as possible and bolstering their “Roundtables” – local events that CSCMP hold across the US and the world to support supply chain professionals.

The American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN)

Part of the general opening session was dedicated to the American Logistics Aid Network or ALAN for short which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. ALAN was set up by Mark Richards of Associated Warehouses following in the wake of Hurricane Katrina which devastated many supply chains at the time.

The aim behind ALAN is to provide a resource following natural disasters like Hurricanes and Tsunamis which can help victim companies to organize alternative warehousing and distribution services, and provide expertise and help to manage the recovery process. The organization is supported by many businesses that provide the wherewithal to help disaster victims in terms of repairing and shoring up damaged supply chain functions.

New Predictive Logistics Index initiative

CSCMP also announced a new Predictive Logistics Index initiative which is being created to help supply chain professionals to solve various issues. The index is to be run via crowd-sourcing and CSCMP are looking for experienced, qualified CSCMP professionals to form a body answering questions put to them every month on supply chain topics such as the expected future movements of transport rates, transport capacity predictions etc, whereby it is hoped to create an index that can be used as a predictor of what is forecast in the near future.

Keynote Amazon presentation

Dave Clark, SVP Worldwide Operations and Customer Service Director at Amazon gave a presentation explaining how Amazon as a huge multi-million dollar organization manages to maintain its innovative, entrepreneurial approach to business. He explained that their philosophy is based around 3-key issues:

  • Taking a customer based view on issues
  • The utilization of what Clark termed “single-threaded leaders” – employees with one single, key responsibility or target
  • Clear definition of one-way doors versus 2-way doors; a 1-way door being one that doesn’t permit backtracking once a decision is made, as opposed to a 2-way door that permits retrospective change.

Amazon Prime

Mr. Clark also talked about Amazon Prime, the adoption of a one and two hour delivery service which they had fully operational within just 111 days from scratch having agreeing it in principle.

Amazon Flex

Mr. Clark then went on to announce the new Amazon “Flex” program which is similar to Uber in providing a new App that local delivery drivers can use to fulfill the Amazon Prime one/two hour delivery service; something that could cement “Flex” in place, as opposed to other companies like eBay who were forced to abandon their same-day rapid delivery services.

Now let’s take a look at some of the breakout sessions.

Ontario Liquor Control Board – Automatic palletization process

Ontario Liquor Control Board who operates liquor stores in Canada gave a presentation on the automatic case palleting system they’ve introduced, replacing the old manual system they operated. They built it using existing technologies. It allows them to maximize trailer capacity thereby lowering transport costs as well as reducing the number of injuries that arose through manual pallet building.

The system works by shunting products into a “buffer zone” while individual custom pallets are built based on product sizes. Pallets are built a tier at a time providing maximize consolidation.

The project to build the new system, including developing all of the algorithms, took 2 years and cost $5 million. It has however delivered significant cost savings and improved the health and safety of the workforce. They save around 75,000 man hours per annum and cost-wise save about $2.2 million year on year. It was a terrific project which could well carry off the CSCMP innovation award.

Home Depot – lowering global shipping costs

A breakout session delivered by Home Depot explained how global sourcing and global transportation can be used in partnership to significantly improve transport costs, manipulating key factor such as product design, packaging design and country of origin. There are a wide variety of variables to take into account, and they’ve developed a system for evaluating any given scenario automatically. It’s something that they do for themselves and that they also offer as a service to their partners and customers within their supply chain.

HP – Geographical Analytics

The last breakout session we review in today’s article was given by HP on the topic of what they call “Geographic Analytics.” It’s a system which speeds up the decision making process of shipping by displaying relevant information on a map. They refer to the process as, “harvesting the intuition behind the problem”. It simplifies supply chain decisions and ensures that the analysis is targeted in the right direction from the onset.

Look out for the review on Day 3 of CSCMP 2015 coming shortly here at Supply Chain Station

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>