Supply Chain Intelligence: Using Your Visibility To Reduce Supply Chain Costs


If you have followed my writing at all, you already know I am the great advocate of Supply Chain Control Towers. Why, because they provide such great VISIBILITY into the whole supply chain. That easily translates into reduced supply chain costs. Let’s see how!

Supply Chain Visibility: A Critical Strategy to Optimize Cost and Service is a great report from Aberdeen by Bob Heaney and posted by GS1. A survey of global companies shows that Supply Chain Visibility (SCV) is a high priority for improvement and a critical strategy. Supply chain execution and responsiveness require the tight synchronization of supply and demand, as well control of the three flows of commerce (movement of goods, information and funds) across a large number of logistic and trading partners in a wide geographic area.

It requires supply chain visibility which they define as “The awareness of, and control over, specific information related to product orders and physical shipments, including transport and logistics activities, and the status of events and milestones that occur prior to and in-transit.”

Visibility means more than just track and trace. It begs a control tower approach which covers everything from raw material to the delivery to the end customer. A global supply chain can be huge and every member must be in synch. This approach is defined as “A set of integrated processes and technologies that support a seamless flow of product from source to end customer, regardless of global complexity, or sales and logistics preferences of customers.”



ImageOn June 14, 2014, Nice Matin surveyed the major bars in Nice, France and awarded the maximum score of five “trophies” for its screens. And it’s more than deserved as La Canne à Sucre flies over the competition with its twenty televisions of all sizes. However, it was clear that this abundance does not ensure a crazy atmosphere. Thursday night it was very quiet. Wedged comfortably in leather seats or bucket seats, customers were in the bar like being at home. This may have its charm. It is, however, probable that the atmosphere will be different on a game night.
60 seats interior and 30 exterior
04 93 87 19 35

11 Promenade des Anglais

See more about La Canne à Sucre on our Nice, France Sports Page


Supply Chain Intelligence – Utilizing the Services Hub


It is a given that to manage our supply chain, we have to have as much visibility as possible. Our SCM Control Tower is hooked up with logistics providers, parts suppliers, customers, manufacturing, procurement…did I forget anybody? Yup. The electronic commerce people who move this data all around for us: the Services Hub.

Yes, we are getting good info from these other sources, but our Services Hub could add value too.

Leveraging the Services Hub for Supply Chain Visibility is just one example of what services vendors are capable of. The approach to better visibility is combining existing IT technology with some more unique tools.They have explained the language of supply chain visibility, measuring the value of visibility, and building a solution with a step-by-step strategy.

Now we could look at all the current definitions of “Supply Chain Visibility” and write a book (gee, what a great idea for my spare time)! Let’s use the following definition for now: Visibility gives you the information you need, when you need it and in the right context to make business decisions. It finds root causes, which now makes it “actionable intelligence”.

2014 US Open Day 4

ImageWell, Martin Kaymer did it: He beat Pinehurst and won the US Open Wall-to-Wall. Kaymer set the 36-hole scoring record by opening with a pair of 65s. He never let anyone closer than four shots over the final 48 holes. Equipped with a five-shot lead, he was the only player from the last eight groups to break par.

”You want to win majors in your career, but if you can win one more, it means so much more,” Kaymer said after closing with a 1-under 69 for an eight-shot victory over Rickie Fowler and two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton.

Only twice in the last 20 years of the U.S. Open has the 54-hole leader managed to break par in the final round. Then again, both were runaway winners. Rory McIlroy had an eight-shot lead at rain-softened Congressional in 2011 and closed with a 69. Tiger Woods had a 10-shot lead at Pebble Beach in 2000 and closed with a 67.

Kaymer returned to the elite in golf by turning the toughest test in golf into a runaway at Pinehurst No. 2, becoming only the seventh player to go wire-to-wire in the 114 years of the U.S. Open. Only three players finished the championship under par.

Martin’s 271 was good for $1,620,000;

Compton and Fowler got $789,330 each

Now for our picks:

Matt Kuchar Tied for 12th and got $156,679

Rory McIlroy Tied for 23rd and won $79,968

Graeme McDowell Tied for 28th but still won $59,588

Bubba Watson Didn’t even get a bus ticket home


US Open Day 3


Martin Kaymer did not break par on a tough Day 3 at Pinehurst, but he did enough to retain a healthy lead.

After Saturday’s tough round at Pinehurst, Martin Kaymer admitted he didn’t have his best stuff. After matching 65s to open this U.S. Open, the first time in major history someone had shot those numbers in Rounds 1 and 2, Kaymer was struggling, both with the tougher conditions and his own golf swing.

After bogeys on the 13th and 15th, it looked like Kaymer’s lead could shrink to three or even two, but the German made great pars on 16 and 17 before sticking his approach shot on the 18th to 10 feet and knocking in the putt for the closing birdie.

Now for our picks:

Matt Kuchar Tied for 7th after shooting a 71

Rory McIlroy Tied for 16th after shooting 74

Graeme McDowell Tied for 42nd after shooting a 75 yesterday

Bubba Watson Probably went home

With a five-shot lead over Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton, it will be Kaymer’s to lose on Sunday. But if he plays another round like he did on Saturday, it will be Kaymer’s name on the trophy on Sunday evening.

As for the people chasing him going into Saturday’s third round, Rory McIlroy shot 74, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth both shot disappointing 72s and Brendon Todd, who was paired with Kaymer in the third round, struggled all day on his way to a 9-over 79.

Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton both fired 3-under 67s, incredibly impressive considering the 73.8 scoring average on Saturday at the U.S. Open.

Fowler’s round was solid, making five birdies and two bogeys to get himself in the final group on Sunday with Kaymer.

Compton, playing in only his second major championship ever, got off to a hot start with two birdies and an eagle over his first eight holes, and while a bogey on the 16th dropped him back to 3-under, it was the birdie putt on the 18th he had to get in the final group at 4-under.

US Open Day 2


A very different Day 2 than anybody expected.

The King of the Mountain is Martin Kaymer. Another 65 so now 10 under par. 6 shots ahead of Brendon Todd.

Already seeing stories comparing him with Tiger.

Kaymer, the 2010 PGA Championship victor, has never finished better than a tie for eighth in the U.S. Open. So naturally, he’s come into Pinehurst and posted a score of 10-under that puts him in the company of elite performances like those of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. His back-to-back 65s are records for individual rounds at a Pinehurst U.S. Open. The combined score is the lowest for 36 holes ever posted in the U.S. Open, and matches the lowest score ever in a major.

This is ridiculous. This is scoring 200 points against the 1996 Bulls, homering five times off Mariano Rivera, intercepting Tom Brady a half-dozen times. But here’s the point where we step back and point out that a U.S. Open isn’t over until the final putt drops; just ask Phil Mickelson.

Plus, even a double-digit score below par is no guarantee of victory. A fella named Gil Morgan could tell you that. Morgan was 9-under halfway through the 1992 U.S. Open and would eventually get to 12-under before effectively falling off the edge of the world. He played his final 29 holes at 17-over and surrendered the victory to Tom Kite, eventually finishing in 13th place. Kite erased a deficit of eight strokes, one of three players to do that at the U.S. Open. Lou Graham holds the record for making up a deficit, coming from 11 strokes back to win the 1975 U.S. Open.

OK, so where are our picks???

Rory McIlroy Tied for 10th at 1 under par

Matt Kuchar Tied for 10th at 1 under par

Graeme McDowell Tied for 27th after shooting a 74 yesterday

Bubba Watson Missed the cut

The US Open: Day 1


Day 1 is history. Players did very well considering the new format at Pinehurst #2 makes it probably an all-time toughie for the US Open

Let’s take a look at our picks and see how they did

Graeme McDowell shot a 68 and is tied for second

SHOT OF THE DAY: McDowell, a former U.S. Open champion, knocked his 3-wood to 12 feet at the par-5 fifth and made the putt for eagle.

Matt Kuchar shot a 69 and is tied for 6th

Rory McIlroy in at 71 was hitting the ball very well, but could not putt.

Masters champion Bubba Watson floundered to a 76.

The big picture:

LEADING: Martin Kaymer birdied six holes, including three of the last five, en route to a 65.

PURSUING: Kevin Na, Graeme McDowell, Brendon de Jonge and Fran Quinn were all three shots back.

Every golf tournament claims that pairings and tee times are mostly picked at random. The one pairing that didn’t go over so well with one of the players was the one that included Shane Lowry, Brendon de Jonge and Kevin Stadler. All three of these men weigh in around the 230-pound mark, meaning they aren’t the slimmest group on the course, and Lowry took notice and called the USGA out.Could you imagine if they pulled this same move next week with the LPGA? Players would be livid.

All Aboard Florida: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly


A collection of stories and comments

A privately financed high-speed train connection linking Orlando and Miami is facing mounting opposition in Florida from communities the train will pass without stopping. Lots of reaction to this project.

 Almost a dozen small towns and counties on Florida’s east coast, mainly in the route’s middle section, have passed or are considering resolutions or letters of concern about the All Aboard Florida rail link, citing traffic, environmental and financial concerns.

 “It’s kind of hard to envision there is an upside to this train,” said Paula Lewis, a commissioner in St. Lucie County, one of four counties along the 240-mile non-stop route.

The trains are to use 195 miles of existing track along the state’s east coast and then travel northwest on newly built tracks to Orlando’s international airport, according to All Aboard Florida’s website.

All Aboard President Michael Reininger said in an interview on Tuesday that the company turned down numerous requests for stops in the corridor, where the train is expected to reach speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour to keep the Orlando-Miami trip to under three hours.

Reininger predicted a federal environmental impact assessment of the project expected by early July will alleviate most concerns.

At the end of the day we’re building a business which is a consumer product … We think we will wind up with a very positive reception,” Reininger said.

The protests prompted Florida Governor Rick Scott, a strong supporter of All Aboard, to publicly release a letter this week asking Reininger to listen to local concerns.

Election year politics could be playing a part in the opposition. A group called Florida Not All Aboard, which claims almost 16,000 signatures on its petition against the project, posts candidates’ positions on the train.


One of the main complaints about the train include traffic delays at grade crossings caused by All Aboard’s 32 trains per day.

Reininger said a federal environmental assessment of the highest-density leg of the train from Miami to West Palm Beach found no significant impact on surrounding traffic. 

Noise concerns could be alleviated by $10 million approved by the state legislature for communities requesting help to pay for quiet zones, where certain safety measures are used to replace loud horn soundings.

Florida Not All Aboard raised concerns that taxpayers could get stuck paying off a $1.5 billion federal train infrastructure loan that All Aboard is requesting. Reininger said the loan will be fully collateralized by the company’s land, stations and track improvements.

On June 11, Florida”s Governor asked for a longer public comment period for All Aboard Florida proposal.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott asked All Aboard Florida President and Chief Development Officer Michael Reininger to request the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) extend a public comment period on the railroad’s environmental impact statement from the current 75 days to 90 days to better accommodate community concerns about the project.

In a letter to Reininger, Scott wrote he has heard “questions and concerns” about the private railroad’s proposed passenger-rail service between Miami and Orlando.

“We must ensure that there is a detailed conversation about this new rail service. Many families are worried about how these additional trains will affect their neighborhoods and their concerns should be heard,” the governor wrote. 

Scott also said he has assigned Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Secretary Ananth Prasad to meet with community leaders and area legislators to listen to their concerns about the project and “ensure their concerns are heard” by the FRA.

All Aboard Florida has applied for a Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan through the FRA, and federal processes required for loan approval include ensuring the project complies with 26 individual federal regulations, Scott wrote. To better enable federal officials to do what’s best for Florida families, the state will supply input from communities to those who are overseeing this project, he stated.

The additional comment period will enable communities to have their specific concerns about the project addressed, the governor wrote.

“Specifically, the communities surrounding the railroad drawbridges over the New River, St. Lucie River and Loxahatchee River have raised concerns about the impacts from this proposed project,” Scott’s letter stated. “I understand that All Aboard Florida has taken specific steps for the New River Crossing including the reduction of the bridge cycle to limit the delays faced by boaters. During the public comment period, please also review the situation at the St. Lucie and Loxahatchee river crossings to address local concerns.”

In a response to Scott, All Aboard Florida’s Reininger noted the company’s ongoing outreach and education efforts on the proposed project in a posting on All Aboard Florida’s website.

He also noted that the railroad is aware of project misinformation circulating in some communities that have caused some of the concerns. All Aboard Florida is continuing to try to clarify facts and details associated with the project, Reininger wrote.

“We share your desire for a full and transparent examination of our project,” he wrote, adding that the railroad — in response to a previous request from Scott – expressed to the FRA that it is willing to increase the public forums and time frame associated with reviews once the draft environmental statement is made public by the FRA.

“Ultimately, the FRA must define the appropriate timing and schedule of the required reviews under the EIS process,” Reininger wrote. “We respectfully defer to their decision on this matter.”

Next we have another story from Ayn Marie Samuelson, Guest columnist    “Barreling through Brevard:

There are too many unknowns and hidden agendas to support All Aboard Florida’s push for high-speed passenger rail by the newly incorporated Florida East Coast Industries, LLC (FECI).

FECI has applied for a $1.5 billion loan from the federal government under the Federal Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program. Pretty clever to go for the big dollars at taxpayer expense and risk, with no track record of success and insufficient assets on its own to secure this big-ticket loan.

You’ve got to admire the global investment group behind FECI, searching for a real deal without taking responsibility to become a guarantor of the loan. In addition, passenger rail has repeatedly proven it is not financially viable without government subsidy, while defaulting on this type of loan may become an incentive for the FECI limited liability company, whose global investors stand to benefit greatly.

This is a project looking for failure on the backs of taxpayers nationwide.

With the sheer size and high risk of the unprecedented $1.5 billion loan, it’s difficult to come up with any taxpayer benefits to this mega deal. On the other hand, the looming costs associated with All Aboard are easy to enumerate.

First, the expense of maintaining the railroad crossings will escalate for Brevard taxpayers.

Second, there would be increased risks to the health and safety of citizens — think school buses and pedestrians crossing a track where trains speed past at 100 mph.

Third, there is the imminent loss of property values for parcels and buildings close to the tracks. And what about people living near enough to the tracks to hear and feel the rumble 32 times every 24 hours?

Fourth, there is the exceedingly dim short-term and long-term economic value for our residents, as these trains won’t be stopping in Brevard.

Fifth, short-term and long-term employment are dreams. Doesn’t track construction often begin at one or both ends of the tracks and continue along the rails until construction is completed? It would be unlikely that new crews would routinely be hired all along the route. It’s more probable that workers would live and travel in railroad cars as track construction progresses.

Sixth, once the loan is in default and the FECI crumbles, the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC), which in reality owns the tracks, will benefit from our deep pockets. FEC and the global investors who own it will be well-positioned to run additional freight trains on the brand- new tracks between Orlando and Miami to pick up and deliver cargo coming through the Panama Canal.

If anyone can identify benefits for the taxpayers and residents of Brevard, please enlighten us. However, it’s dubious that any benefits discovered will be sufficient to justify the costs.

We should be ready to voice a resounding “no” to All Aboard Florida. Barreling through Brevard doesn’t benefit us.


Historical Jean Moulin Home For Sale In Nice France


We have talked about Jean Moulin, the hero of the French WW2 Resistance, before. We even have a full article on Jean Moulin. No WebSite or email on the sign, just phone number: 04 93 82 97 96 (outside France: +33 4 93 82 97 96)

Well now his old “apartment” at 22 rue de France is for sale! Saw a sign yesterday from Pietonne Immobiliere in Nice (just down the street at 15 rue de France). Yes, they have a WebSite

Pinehurst No. 2: The Way Golf Is Supposed To Be


Pinehurst No. 2 is anything but perfect for the U.S. Open, at least in the traditional sense of major championships in America.

USGA executive director Mike Davis could not be any more thrilled. “It’s awesome,” Davis said Monday as he gazed out at a golf course that looks like a yard that hasn’t been watered in a month.

The US Open will NOT be played this year at one of those perfectly maintained “stadium courses” where the entire leaderboard is under par. This is a real TEST of golf. Sort of an inland version of those “links” courses that dot both sides of the Atlantic plus Peeble Beach on the West Coast.

Shortly after Pinehurst No. 2 was awarded its third U.S. Open in 15 years — the most for any golf course in more than a century — the USGA signed off on a project to restore the course to its natural look, with sandy areas of wiregrass bushes and natural vegetation where there once was gnarly rough. A U.S. Open without rough? That sounds as strange as a British Open without pot bunkers.

The USGA calls it “undergrowth”, Pinehurst Resort officials refer to it as “natural vegetation,” others call it weeds. The project required more than 35 acres of turf being removed, and only 450 of the 1,150 sprinkler heads remain.

Golf is getting used to not having Tiger Woods around. He hasn’t played in three months and already missed the Masters for the first time in his career. The notion of Phil Mickelson winning a U.S. Open at Pinehurst — any U.S. Open, for that matter — is more than enough to fill the void. However, seeing him at The Memorial last week, I think he is going after a tie with Sam Snead as a great “also ran” in US Open history.

Justin Rose is the defending champion, the latest player to have a chance to join Curtis Strange as the only back-to-back U.S. Open champions in the last 60 years. Bubba Watson, the Masters champion and No. 3 player in the world, is the only player capable of the calendar Grand Slam. The story lines haven’t changed much this year. Pinehurst, however, is still the main attraction for this U.S. Open.

The edges of the bunkers are ragged. The turf is uneven just off some of the greens, with patches of no grass. Instead of verdant fairways from tee-to-green, the fairways are a blend of green, yellow and brown.

The past two U.S. Open champons finished over par — Webb Simpson at Olympic Club, Justin Rose at Merion, both at 1-over. A third straight U.S. Open champion over par would be the longest streak in nearly 60 years.