Supply Chain Strategy
Press Releases
 

Please Note: The first two press releases are available by clicking the links that follow. Others that follow are provided in their entirety.

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

CGR Renews its Roadmap for Supply Chain Transformation

April 9, 2010

Fight Barriers to Make Supply Chain Cost Reduction Stick

March 17 2004

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Project Management is Crucial to Successful Supply Chains, Says Author of New Book

LOS ANGELES -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Oct. 15, 2003 -- "Supply chain management has rendered inflation dead in its tracks," so says Shakeel Mazaffar, global supply chain executive for Imperial Chemical Industries. This is good news for consumers but bad news for managers. The job of providing products and services is forever transformed. To survive, managers must design and implement supply chain strategies -- a complex and difficult task.

"Supply Chain Project Management: A Structured Collaborative and Measurable Approach" from St. Lucie Press describes using a step-by-step disciplined approach. The book blends knowledge and practice in both supply chain and project management. Sources for the described processes are many, including the author's own "Handbook of Supply Chain Management" and the Project Management Institute's Body of Knowledge, known as "PMBOK."

The blueprint for designing supply chains will improve any company's competitive position. The tools covered include the following:

·           Benchmarks to assess company abilities in supply chain and project management.

·         Why supply chain projects fail and the root causes.

·         How to enlist people in one's own company and from partner companies.

·         How to scope projects and the rewards and pitfalls that go with this important process.

·         How to adapt project management knowledge areas to supply chain realities.

·         How to put the Supply-Chain Council's SCOR model to work.

·         How to define and reduce project risk, including that from new information systems.

·           How to organize and implement multi-company projects with risk and reward sharing.

·         Case studies describing what works and doesn't work in real companies.

Project templates detail four core supply chain project processes:

1.       Formulating the supply chain strategy,

2.       Developing collaborative relationships within your own walls,

3.       Forging partnerships with supply chain partners, and

4.       Improving processes and systems all along the supply chain.

Integral to bolstering the bottom line is the demand-driven supply chain. Implementation steps, described in detail, shift decision-making from forecast-driven to decision-making based on actual demand. Small shifts produce huge benefits for the implementing company and its partners

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Managing supply chains -- a new resource

(BW) (CGR Management Consultants)
Managing supply chains -- a new resource
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Business Wire, October 2000)

A clear lesson from today’s business scene is that the “business model” matters. The recent stock market pounding of dot-com companies provides ample evidence. We now witness companies like Amazon and Webvan (now out of business) striving to build the supply chain infrastructure needed for product delivery. Managers in multiple industries confront issues that are no less important, if not as well publicized. Answering challenges like these embodies a new discipline called supply chain management, or SCM.

James B. Ayers of CGR Management Consultants has authored the Handbook of Supply Chain Management intended to meet this need. CRC Press and the Educational Society for Resource Management, or APICS, published the handbook.

The Handbook describes how management tasks will change as companies compete as supply chains, not standalone companies. The five tasks are:

  1. Designing chains for strategic advantage. Innovation is essential to competitive advantage. How can I stand out in a crowded marketplace?
      
  2. Implementing collaborative relationships. New structures will replace command and control. How can I organize strategically to serve my customers?
      
  3. Forging partnerships. Working with partners beats going it alone. How do I know what kind of partnerships I need?
      
  4. Managing information. Opportunities to succeed wildly or fail miserably abound. How do I make information systems support supply chain processes?
      
  5. Making money. Measuring and managing costs is no longer a single company process. How do I share profit and cost with my partners?

The Handbook supplies hundreds of answers to questions like these. Over a dozen other contributors have added their insights into the issues related to SCM. Four sections with 49 chapters contain theory, methodologies and cases.

While manufacturing and distribution companies will surely benefit from the Handbook of Supply Chain Management, companies that deal with services and provide “intellectual capital” will as well. Supply chain issues are no less important in these industries.

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CGR Management Consultants supports Lockheed Martin survey of supply chain management practices

(BW) (CGR Management Consultants)
CGR Management Consultants supports Lockheed Martin survey of supply chain management practices
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Business Wire, September 1997)

CGR Management Consultants - a leading consulting firm providing supply chain services -announced the kick-off of a comprehensive survey of supply chain issues. Lockheed Martin’s C2 Integration Systems Division of Manassas, Virginia will conduct the survey with CGR’s assistance. This unit of Lockheed Martin helps business and government clients implement complex supply chain information technologies.

The survey is part of an ongoing effort by Lockheed Martin to assess state-of-the-art management practice and technology in supply chain management. It follows a pilot survey of 55 companies completed in May 1997.

Managing supply chains is a major challenge for U.S. business. After struggling with new systems and reengineering initiatives for well over a decade, the competitive bar is rising again. Global competitors, starting from scratch in attacking new markets, can bypass U.S. companies with sunk costs in obsolete supply chain processes and systems. The survey will circulate to Chief Operating Officers of larger (Fortune 1000) companies beginning September 10. These executives often sponsor supply chain initiatives within their organizations.

Too often, these issues fall through the cracks especially in big companies. Problems in the supply chain creep up insidiously. They escape attention at the board and CEO levels because these issues are too operational for those with a strategic planning focus. But no one operating department is responsible. Rather, separate departments run their own pieces of the supply chain unconcerned with their impact on the whole.

New product plans also occur in a supply chain vacuum. While the supply chain design targets cost efficiency rather than speed, the marketing strategy is to introduce innovative products that change frequently. Although the products meet market needs, they fail for being too late or unavailable in the market’s window of opportunity.

Another complication is the rapid pace of change in supply chain information technology. Such change brings confusion, false starts at implementation, and wasted dollars. The rules for supply chain management are still being written. Surveys like Lockheed Martin’s will point to the most effective practices. Results from the survey are expected by December 1997.

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Supply chain management - the “right” way

(BW) (CGR Management Consultants)
Supply chain management - the “right” way
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Business Wire, January 2000)

Emerging approaches to supply chain management (SCM) challenge many organizations. A big hurdle is deciding the best approach to SCM for a particular company. An article in the Winter 2000 edition of “Information Strategy: the Executive’s Journal” describes the challenges and alternative paths a company might adopt. Briefly these alternatives include the following:

Functional - the way most companies operate now. Each department - marketing, procurement, manufacturing, distribution, and engineering -- is an island unto itself. Each pursues an independent course, resulting in “local optimums” and little large-scale improvement..

Procurement - SCM is about getting supplier material to make products for the lowest cost. Effectiveness is measured in material prices. A company with this approach puts the purchasing executive in charge of SCM.

Logistics & transportation - SCM is about moving products from the company to its customers. Effectiveness is measured by the cost of logistics - often as a per cent of revenues. Here the distribution executive leads SCM.

Information - SCM is about “integrating” information systems inside and, sometimes, outside the company. Progress is measured by technology budgets. The SCM title may go to a staff executive in finance or information services.

Business process reengineering (BPR) - SCM is all about process improvement, and progress is usually measured in terms of cost and headcount reductions.

Strategic - SCM is gaining competitive advantage through better business models and moving into new supply chain “space” before the competition. Progress is measured by growth in both the top line and the bottom line.

The article takes the position that the strategic view will bring the greatest benefits. It points out the perils that accompany lost market share due to focused competitors with better business models and supply chains. The article, entitled “A Primer on Supply-Chain Management” is part of a forthcoming book titled Handbook of Supply Chain Management scheduled for publication in mid-2000 by St. Lucie Press.

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It's not just the product anymore. Successful products require demand-driven supply chains

(BW) (CGR Management Consultants)
It's not just the product anymore. Successful products require demand-driven supply chains
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Business Wire, June 1998)

CGR Management Consultants - a Los Angeles-based consulting firm -- has reported the need for wider use of demand-driven supply chains in selling healthcare and other technology products. In today’s markets, the vital edge is as likely to lie in the delivery system as it is in product features. In most markets, product features are easily copied and, for mature products, often taken for granted.

Demand-driven supply chains speed products from manufacturer to user. A traditional product lead-time might be measured in months. It should be days, if not hours. This reduces reliance on forecasts where planners “guess” what users want. The result is lower inventory and fewer wasted factories and warehouses. The producer has a major competitive edge with this “lean” pipeline.

Demand-driven supply chains are especially pertinent in the U.S. healthcare industry as it transitions to managed care. In a time when providers could pass on their costs, the need for efficient supply chains was minimal. Now all supply chain members from users back to manufacturers must work together to reduce material costs.

Unfortunately for many, this new approach means new ways of thinking about design, procurement, and selling products. The companies that master the new paradigms will win the competitive race.

Early adopters of demand-driven supply chain management include McKesson, a pharmaceutical distributor, who applied the techniques with leading retailers like Wal-Mart and IBM in its personal computers business.

An article in the May 1998 edition of REPertoire describes the opportunities for using demand-driven supply chains to innovate the delivery system. REPertoire is published by Medical Distribution Solutions, Inc. in Norcross, Georgia. Its audience includes manufacturers, distributors, and users of medical/surgical products and equipment. The article describes the approach and illustrates its application with case studies.

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Developing great products requires great processes

(BW) (CGR Management Consultants)
Developing great products requires great processes
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Business Wire, February 1999)

Most companies under perform when it comes to managing product development. While dedicating billions to the new product lifeline, they ignore processes for managing that investment. In the current edition of Chemical Engineering Progress, James B. Ayers of CGR Management Consultants describes methods to help companies in any industry fill this gap. Like any other company endeavor, product development must help meet business goals. The article addresses barriers to making this a reality. Examples include:

  • Tolerating the belief that “you can’t manage development.”
  • Gorging the pipeline with too many projects, assuring none will succeed.
  • Neglecting to test the business viability of projects.
  • Failure to design the development pipeline as a process.
  • Ignoring the supply chain until the development is complete.
  • While sound management requires that processes that address these barriers be in place, it’s more likely they aren’t. One obstacle is lack of awareness of ways to discipline how companies make product development decisions. The article describes techniques to protect against the consequences of under-performing development processes. These are drawn from product development literature, concepts associated with “lean” manufacturing, and the author’s experience. Most are easy to implement, requiring modest investments in time and awareness building among company decision-makers.

    Adding urgency to the effort to improve product development is the emergence of supply chain management. Fewer and fewer companies can “go it alone” in developing products. By adding new players, supply chain management only increases the complexity of product development. Now product development requires participation of technology partners, suppliers, and customers. This can be counter-cultural at best or terrifying at worst for introverted engineers. But speed to market means hooking up with others and intimate collaboration to “make it happen.”

    The American Institute of Chemical Engineers publishes CEP. The article, “Apply Management Tools to Development Activities” appears in the February 1999 issue.

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    Supply chain revolution demands new managerial skills

    (BW) (CGR Management Consultants)
    Supply chain revolution demands new managerial skills.
    LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Business Wire, November 1998)
    Date:
    November 1998 CGR Management Consultants

    CGR Management Consultants - a Los Angeles-based consulting firm -- reports the need for supply chain thinking in strategy planning and operations. This will require managers at all levels to cultivate new skills. The report comes in an article “Supply Chain Strategies” in the winter 1999 edition of Information Strategy: the Executive’s Journal (Auerbach Publishers, New York).

    Changes in five managerial tasks drive the need:

    1. Designing chains for strategic advantage. Innovation is vital to competitive advantage.
    2. Implementing collaborative relationships. New structures in the enterprise will replace command and control.
    3. Forging partnerships. Working with outside partners beats going it alone.
    4. Managing information. Opportunities to succeed wildly or fail miserably abound.
    5. Making money. Measuring and managing prices and costs will change.

    The foundation task (#1) seeks competitive advantage out of the supply chain. The article describes innovations in strategy and logistics management that can produce this result. Strategy building begins with the product position. Most products we buy today compete, at the margin, not on the product features themselves, but on their delivery systems.

    These delivery systems encompass physical, financial, and information flows up and down the chain. Even innovative products ultimately compete on their supply chains. For example, today’s monopoly wonder drug will eventually face low cost generics.

    Overcoming market leaders requires supply chain innovation. In books, Barnes & Noble and Borders used up-scale stores to unseat Crown, a bare bones discounter. Internet marketer Amazon.com may in turn upset their model. All along, the books have been the same; it’s the supply chain that’s been transformed.

    The article applies new frameworks for planning in a case study. The case study company, like many others, struggles with widespread changes in its industry’s supply chain.

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