Supply Chain Management (SCM) Fundamentals


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Strategic Execution
Institute of Management Consultants, June 2010

Advice to consultants to extend their planning capabilities through to client execution. The article describes a Harvard Business Review article emphasizing the need to involve planners and operating employees in the tough job of sharping plans and implementing strategy.

Projects, Profits, and SCM
James B. Ayers
Projects & Profits, October 2009, the Icfai University Press

Increased profits are available to companies that can turn supply chain design into competition-beating delivery systems. Execution is essential to success; supply chain transformation demands deploying best practices from project management theory and practice. The article summarizes the contributions these best practices have for supply chain improvement.

Focus on Operations
James B. Ayers
Retail ME, November/December 2005

Retail’s mission is to match customers with the products they want. This mission calls for two perspectives – often in conflict. One skill set is “right-brain,” the aesthetic, creative, artistic side. The other is “left-brain” or analytical and logical. Often the viewpoints of right- and left-brained people collide.

A Primer on Supply Chain Management
James B. Ayers
Information Strategy: the Executive’s Journal,
Winter 2000         

What is supply chain management? Supply chain management (SCM) means different things to different companies. Why does SCM take root in different ways? Cases from several industries illustrate the spread in the way SCM is practiced in manufacturing and service industries.

Costs: Getting to the Root Causes
James B. Ayers
Supply Chain Management Review, November/December 2003

Well meaning supply chain cost reduction effort often miss their mark. Why can't companies do a better job of addressing the real reasons for cost. Five barriers make this important task difficult. Lack of focus, confusion over real situation, motivation, boundaries, and rigidity in the organization are five of these barriers. They are especially insidious because they are hidden from view.

Reengineering the Supply Chain -- the Next Hurdle
Scott Stephens, Craig Gustin, & Jim Ayers
Information Strategy: the Executive's Journal, Fall 1997

New realities dictate new ways to reengineer processes. Seven innovations will differentiate “Stage 3” supply chain management from past practice. These practices will be necessary to achieve cross-company collaboration. Stage 3 refers to the supply chain level. Stage one is the department or function level. Stage 2 is the business unit or company level. 

Is Supply Chain Management the Same as ERP?
James B. Ayers
Information Strategy: the Executive's Journal, Spring 2001

Why aren’t more new systems successful? Two reasons are often the root cause of failure. One is over-promotion of software, even if the solution doesn't fit. The second is buyer gullibility about the needs for and the benefits from the technology.

A Holistic Approach to Supply Chain Management
James B. Ayers
Medical Industry Information Report (MIIR), Spring 2000

Five tasks for effective supply chain management must be pursued in a balanced way. Achieving balance in pursuit of those tasks is critical. The SCOR model from the Supply-Chain Council can help.

Demand-Driven Supply Chains: It's Not Just the Product Anymore!
Jim Ayers & Dave Malmberg
REPertoire, May 1998

Marketers must compete on extended product features. The physical product is usually a “given.” The ability to provide fast, customized services is often the most important feature. Reaching high levels of sales effectiveness and ultimate market share requires a "demand-driven supply chain," a supply chain that is, to the extent possible, freed from reliance on forecasts.

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Structural engineering and civil engineering for custom homes, residential home remodels, shopping centers, shopping center remodels, and site development for public works projects.