Supply chain transformation challenges: How to make a successful change

So how do supply chains handle the rapid pace of innovation?

A pace that can leave them struggling to adapt and make the right decisions?

There’s intense competition in the global economy…where only the strong survive.

Breakthrough technologies meeting the growing demand of e-commerce are the drivers of change. 

Also, the pace of on-demand customers entering the market is always changing.

The speed of technology advances mean entire supply chains are continuously adapting. But major transformations are notorious for not delivering on their original intent.

However, achieving successful business transformation is not easy.

According to the McKinsey Global Survey 2015, two thirds (74%) of respondents said the transformations they’re most familiar with are short term. 

They've been unsuccessful at improving performance and equipping organizations with the skills to sustain improvements over the medium to long term.

Riddled with cost and schedule overruns, critical projects requiring organizational transformation often miss the mark with negative consequences. 

Some of the key considerations are:

  • issues with inconsistent delivery
  • negative impact on service
  • direct impact on profitability
  • potential damage of organizational and personal reputations.

This article will highlight three strategic approaches designed to provide you with some insights and keys for a supply chain transformation roadmap.

Before going any further, let’s get on the same page on what supply chain transformation is about.

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5 ways to vet suppliers to reduce your supply chain risks

One in three organizations experienced cumulative losses in the millions of dollars during the last year as a result of supply chain disruptions.

That’s according to a report, Supply Chain Resilience Report 2015, published by the Business Continuity Institute and supported by the Zurich Insurance Group.

There's no question the risk in global supply chains is rising.

This is confirmed by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) Risk Index.

The index is produced for CIPS by Dun & Bradstreet economists, who track the impact of economic and political developments on the stability of global supply chains.

According to the index, the figure is the highest since 2013. 

It's been driven by increases in supply chain risk in Western and Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

According to Dun & Bradstreet, “The upward trend in supply chain risk is in part driven by a disintegration of the political consensus over globalization, with the World Trade Organization reporting an average of 22 new trade restrictive measures a month in its latest report.”

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How a Donald Trump administration could benefit Canada's supply chain

With United States president-elect Donald promising to renegotiate/withdraw from the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or, withdraw from the as-yet non-ratified Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), there could be impacts to the total landed costs of goods imported by Canadian businesses. 

But, all is not doom and gloom, said Bennett Jones international trade lawyer Darrel Pearson and Jack Mintz, a professor in the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business. 

Indeed, they said there are business and trade aspects to a Trump presidency Canadian businesses might use to their benefit if they do some research. 

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Supply chain cyber security: How to deal with looming insider threats

While many supply chain organizations focus their cyber security efforts on those outside of the supply chain, it’s not enough.

Many cyber security programs develop well thought out defenses to outwit sophisticated hackers.

However, they frequently miss a key aspect to cyber security breaches.

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Cargo insurance in Canada: Why your supply chain probably doesn’t have enough

Everyday, cargo being imported and exported through Canada’s supply chains are at risk due to inadequate cargo insurance.

To make matters worse, those responsible for shipping aren't aware of the growing risk of cargo damage and theft in the global supply chain.

The sad truth is many companies have suffered great financial loss due to inadequate cargo insurance.

Depending on the cargo value, this loss reaches into the hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars.

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How to avoid cargo theft in Canada: 14 experts tips on security

Cargo theft is a serious problem in Canada’s trucking industry.

It’s also a widespread and a serious challenge for the supply chain industry.

A research paper, An introduction to Cargo theft in Canada, by McCague and Borlack, suggests cargo theft has its roots in a $65 billion Canadian industry.

The research states trucking is responsible for transporting 90 percent of all consumer products and foodstuffs.

In addition, trucking also accounts for 75 percent of the goods traded with the USA.


Cargo theft in Canada: $5 billion problem 

According to Dan Duckering, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Alberta Motor Transport Association:

"We need to address the growing problem of cargo theft in this region. It is a major issue across Canada affecting our economy, local businesses, our livelihood, and local trucking companies. Truck transportation is the number one method of moving goods across Western Canada and it is imperative that we collaborate and develop strategies to solve this problem."

Although cargo theft statistics can vary greatly, the Canadian Trucking Alliance suggests in Canada, cargo theft is a $5 billion problem.

It’s safe to say fortunes are lost almost daily with stolen cargo in Canada.

It’s a far reaching problem that requires serious answers.

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How supply chains can survive an economic downturn using these critical strategies

It’s no secret times are tough in Calgary, the heart of Canada’s head office for oil and gas.

There’s also an inescapable ripple effect for other sectors and regions.

But there's also opportunity.

Businesses in the best position to weather the storm must have the right information and deploy the best strategies.

These are three critical strategies to survive an economic downturn:

  1. Getting lean with best practices and efficiencies.
  2. Diversification.
  3. Being ready for the inevitable economic upswing.
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Supply chain security in Canada: What every shipper must know

Protecting your supply chain from terrorism and organized crime has never been more important.

Canada has two measures to help:

1) Under the Beyond the Border Action Plan, Canada and the United States enforce security measures for the cross-border movement of all commercial goods.

2) The Partners in Protection (PIP) program enlists cooperation of private industry with the Canada Borders Service Agency to strengthen supply chain security.

This article focuses on the PIP program and its benefits to shippers moving products to and from Canada. 


Why PIP works?

The PIP runs a certification program that includes:

  • automated application process
  • minimum security requirements
  • mandatory site validations
  • an appeals process

A key reason PIP enhances supply chain security in Canada is its close relationship with the US Customs & Border Protection (CBP).  

In particular, the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.

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9 ways to manage currency fluctuations to reduce supply chain risks

Exposure to currency fluctuations is something most businesses experience in Canada’s supply chain sector.

In a global economy, supply chains in Canada often have more than one foreign currency to deal with. And fluctuations with many currencies pose a serious risk.

With uncertainty in today’s global economy, you want to be sure you’re minimizing your exposure to these fluctuations.

According to Kevin Hakinson, Executive General Manger of FMI Logistics Inc.,  there isn't a simple solution for managing currency risk.

“There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer to reduce currency risk. Generally, we develop a customized solution that best addresses the needs of each of our clients.”

Below are 9 tips on how companies like FMI Logistics Inc. manage currency risk:

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Stop hacks: 7 tips to improve your supply chain cyber security

With recent activity in global cyber crime and terrorist attacks, it’s a good time to protect your supply chain technology.

With each new link in complex supply chain systems, there's a greater risk and likelihood that cyber criminals will find a route into your company's system and other connecting systems, such your supply chain partners.

A cyber criminal can use a single breach to gain access to the private files of major supply chain companies.

There's real risk of having crooks target your supply chain technology. This demands paying increased attention to your company's IT security with consideration to your supply chain partnerships.

Your company may not have the specialization required to carry out the necessary security audits. 

If you do not have an in-house expert, the tips below can help you with future conversations when picking an IT security provider.

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