Category Archives: Uncategorized

Lean Procurement is more than ordering materials

As someone who has expertise in both procurement and in lean, I’ve always been interested in what writers and pundits have to say about lean procurement. Mostly, they are saying that lean can help firms save on headcount in Procurement. …

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5 ways small companies can manage supplier performance

Smaller companies often do not believe that they can do much about evaluating and managing supplier performance. The oft-repeated phrase is, “We can’t because we’re small.” However, I’ve found the reverse is true in many cases: We can because we’re …

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A cereal killer is thwarted

On June 17th, 2010 at midnight, someone got by PR Newswire’s vetting process and issued a fake press release about cereal maker General Mills. The press release falsely claimed that President Obama was launching an investigation into General Mill’s supply …

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Failure to Thrive: A TQM Story

Davis Ballistracchi recently penned an insightful piece for Quality Digest, Why Did Total Quality Management Fail? One of the key reasons is management. They talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk. They sit on the sidelines, cheering employees …

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Automotive Bankruptcies: An Inconvenient Competition

Some people are heaving sighs of relief that Chrysler is emerging from bankruptcy in the arms of Fiat and that GM is officially in bankruptcy soon to emerge as leaner and meaner entities. However, many are left holding the proverbial …

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Giant performance failure in a peanut supplier

The failures at Peanut Corporation of America are tragedy in every way. This supplier failed to meet both regulatory and customer requirements. Its customers failed either to uncover or report the failures, and people died as a result. Now a …

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Lean supply chains and the white spaces

In an effort to flow lean to suppliers, firms are often internally focused. They are concerned with how suppliers can support their needs and tend not to view the situation from a systems perspective. Often it is about what suppliers …

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The Linked In Supply Chain – Who’s in YOUR Network?

From the title, you might have visited this blog to learn more about sub-tier supplier management. Not today. For April Fools’ Day, I’m deviating from the serious and sometimes deadly boring business of supply chain and lean to talk about …

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Supply Chain Cost Drivers: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You

The wastes that are part of lean thinking are well-documented, waste being defined as anything that doesn’t add value to the customer or that a customer would not be willing to pay for. The classic seven wastes in lean thinking …

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Lean Supply Chains – What Are They?

The term “lean supply chain” is bandied about by many to the point where the term is becoming a bit generic or even meaningless. Just like the lean enterprise, the lean supply chain is easy to understand, but harder to

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