Managing Your Supply Chain in 2020

Everyone is suggesting what the trends in Supply Chain Management (SCM) are. Most of the writers agree on a “core” of important trends (sort of like the  “motherhood and apple pie” thing. Then there are even some new ones that pop up too. I am going to bring out as many as I find. Where they are not as common, I will provide a link to more information. Read on and tell me if you agree or disagree.
Everyone agrees that Globalization is important and changes the way SCM operates. Likewise, increased Competition and a push on prices is here to stay. Along with competition, Product Life Cycles are getting shorter and requiring more complex solutions. Throughout 2012 we saw a continuing trend for Collaboration with suppliers. The move towards Lean manufacturing and supply chain means an increase in Demand Planning. We have, of course, see the rise of Outsourcing, but keep an eye on Insourcing too. The growing number of SKUs (because of changing customer preferences) for consumer-facing businesses will impact the SCM operation.  Consumer products folks are pushing to open Direct-to-Consumer Channels. Last, but not least, is Social Media.


Not necessarily major “trends”, but never-the-less “issues” are important too. An on-going reduction of operating costs, remains the primary mission for supply chain managers. Along with this, companies must keep SCM on the same page as business strategy, for example, concentrating on enhancing customer service and loyalty. SCM continues to play an important role in supplier relationships, faster product-development cycles, and business expansion. E-Commerce will continue to be highly important, especially if the end-user is in near proximity.


China high-speed train’s overseas expansion

BEIJING, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) — In a high-profile demonstration of China’s high-speed rail technology, Premier Li Keqiang took the leaders of 16 Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) nations on Wednesday for an excursion on the country’s most advanced bullet train.

The CRH380A, with a maximum speed of 486 kilometers per hour, took the leaders from the garden city of Suzhou 100 kilometers to Shanghai in just 25 minutes.

High-speed rail is the new face of Made-in-China equipment and Li has been at the forefront of the campaign selling China’s technology abroad.

In the latest case, deals were signed on Tuesday with Hungary and Serbia for a rail link between Budapest and Belgrade.

Chinese railway equipment is thriving due to its low cost, quick delivery, and acknowledged reliability. Here are some of the landmarks on the way to this increased popularity.

— In 2004, the medium and long-term plan for the railway network starts the development of railways for trains at speeds of 200 km per hour and beyond.

— On April 18, 2007, bullet trains running at 200-250 km per hour go into service on the Beijing-Harbin, Beijing-Shanghai and Beijing-Guangzhou lines.

— A revised version of the medium and long-term plan comes into effect on Oct. 31, 2008, declaring that the total mileage of China’s express passenger railways will exceed 50,000 km by 2020, covering almost all Chinese cities with a population over 500,000.

— On Dec. 3, 2010, a CRH-380A train sets a new speed record of 486.1 km per hour on a test run on the Beijing-Shanghai line.

— On July 23, 2011, a high-speed train slams into a stalled train near the eastern city of Wenzhou, resulting in 40 deaths and 172 injuries. The accident was blamed on faulty signaling equipment and mismanagement. A nationwide rail safety check follows, with speed reductions for bullet trains and a stagnation of high-speed rail construction.

— The country cautiously resumes construction and operation of high-speed railways in 2012, culminating in completion of the Beijing-Guangzhou link, the longest of its kind in the world.

— In 2014, China has more than 16,000 kilometers of fast track in operation.

Overseas Expansion

After success at home, Chinese train manufacturers have started to explore overseas market. The merger of previously independent domestic rail transit equipment makers CNR and CSR has sharpened the competency of Made-in-China products.

— In 2014, China’s first overseas high-speed rail project is completed in Turkey where a 533-km railway links capital Ankara with Istanbul.

— In June this year, a consortium of Chinese and Russian companies agrees on a contract worth 20.8 billion rubles (around 380 million U.S. dollars) with Russian Railways on pre-construction surveys and design for 770 km of track linking Moscow and Kazan. It is the first time Chinese railway technology is used abroad.

— In October 2015, China and Indonesia sign a joint-venture agreement on construction and operation of a high-speed link between Jakarta and Bandung.

— The first high-speed railway project in the United States with Chinese investment involved is expected to kick off as early as September 2016. The 370-km Xpress West high-speed railway project, also named the Southwest Rail Network, will connect Las Vegas and Los Angeles.


Comets 3 vs Senators 6

The Utica Comets lost by the score of 6-3 to the Binghamton Senators on Friday night at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena to run their losing streak to four games. The road loss was their first such loss in regulation since Nov. 14, a span of nine games.

Travis Ehrhardt (1-0-1), Wacey Hamilton (1-0-1), and John Kurtz (1-0-1) found the back of the net for the boys in blue, while the power play unit stumbled to an 0-for-5 night. Joe Cannata recorded his sixth loss of the season, after making __ saves in relief of Richard Bachman.

A Comets turnover on the power play just 6:22 into the game proved to be a costly mistake. On the attack, the Comets turned over the puck just inside the blue line. Cole Schneider, the Senators’ leading scorer, quickly scooped up the loose puck and took off on a two-on-one break from his own blue line. He elected to forego the pass and beat Bachman short side with a wrist shot.

Three minutes later the Senators doubled their lead with Zack Stortini collected a loose puck in front and slipped it into the empty net.

Fomer Comets defenseman Guillaume Lepine ended Richard Bachman’s night with a flukey goal to run the score to 3-0. Lepine fired a shot on net from along the boards, just above the goal line. The puck found its way through Bachman’s leg pads and just barely crossed the goal line.

Joe Cannata came in to relieve Bachman after the third goal.

The Comets were able to get on the board just before the first period ended thanks to a fortunate bounce. Travis Ehrhardt banked a shot off of a Senators defenseman and into the net when he tried to connect with a cross slot pass. Carter Bancks and Darren Archibald were credited with assists.

The Comets further cut into the Senators lead when Wacey Hamilton stepped into a wrist shot that rifled over the shoulder of Driedger.

Before the second period ended the Senators ballooned their lead back up to three with goals from Ryan Penny and Kyle Flanagan.

Just three minutes into the third, the Senators All-Star representative Michael Kostka scored on the power play to extend their lead to 6-2.

Halfway through the third period John Kurtz banked in an off-angle shot off of the Senators’ goaltender, off of a defenseman, and in, to cut the lead to 6-3.

With the loss the Comets record falls to 16-13-3-2. The Binghamton Senators improved their record to 12-18-3-0 with the win.

The Comets three games in three days weekend continues tomorrow evening in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Puck drop between the Penguins and Comets is scheduled for 7pm at the Mohegan Sun Arena.