Our recent article on Opportunities in Your Supply Chain listed “Developing Supply Chain Talent” as a major opportunity. The “newest kid on the block” is the SCM Control Tower. I have been collecting personnel requests over the Web from recruiters for folks to staff these towers. All have some sort of job responsibilities, so we can compare responsibilities. Almost a third of these have salary too, which makes it very interesting.
A purchasing and supply company is looking for a “Control Tower Manager” in downtown London for £45,000 a year (almost $75,000). (a “global” tower). A transportation company is only paying about $10,000 in Manila (a “regional” tower).
SCM towers are sometimes regional, not centrally located, an example is DHL. Makes sense: at first, air traffic and railroads depended on numerous towers too. Railroads are moving to centralized control towers, for example, Metro North.
But we are heading for GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAIN CONTROL TOWERS.
I searched around for some folks to back me up. Ajesh Kapoor has written about A Broader Approach to Control Towers. I agree with him that the definition has different meanings depending on who you ask. Unfortunately, the vision and strategy are narrow and miss the mark on delivering true end-to-end visibility. Some companies, for example, have regional control towers that translate into outsourced activity to a 3PL or logistics partner.
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! In Part 1, we examined Supply Chain Visibility: A Critical Strategy to Optimize Cost and Service
I have found some good ideas on how visibility can cut supply chain costs from consultant John Berry.
There are plenty of sophisticated methods and algorithms out there to help calculate safety stock levels. However without good supply chain data, it’s almost impossible to implement any kind of rigorous inventory management process.:
- The unfortunate reality is that organizations frequently don’t have precise information about on-hand inventory counts. This could be caused by a less-than-reliable ERP or WMS implementation. Data latency is another common culprit for inventory blindness. Often inventory data is processed in batches. In a high velocity distribution center operation, even a 15 minute batch window can cause huge distortion on on-hand inventory counts. In fact it’s common to see daily, weekly or even monthly inventory reconciliations. Often organizations outsource fulfillment operations to 3PLs without properly thinking through data integration. And often, inventory visibility is completely based on an emailed spreadsheet! Keeping safety stock to offset bad processes is completely wasteful.
Read more: http://ec-bp.com/index.php/advisors/ec-bps-bloggers/10583-supply-chain-intelligence-using-your-visibility-to-reduce-supply-chain-costs-part-2#ixzz35dzRa3vx
As our faithful readers know, we have covered Supply Chain Control Towers for quite a while. Now everybody is getting into the act. SAP just announced SCM Control Towers are a new product offering.
See Scott Koegler’s article on SAP and SCM Control Towers.
SAP’s recent conference – SAPinsider – was held recently in Las Vegas. That isn’t really much news in itself. But one of the key revelations from the conference was its announcement that the company will be releasing something we at ec-bp.com have been talking about for quite a while… a Supply Chain Control Tower.
A quick search on ec-bp.com for Supply Chain Control Tower (SCCT) shows more than 20 entries that provide a fairly complete description and explanation of just what SCCTs are, should be, need in order to be successful.
Our own Ken Kinlock has devoted considerable time and expertise to providing this information, and at this point the resources he has compiled may comprise the most comprehensive description of SCCT function and operation available. Whether it is indeed the largest compilation, it is at least a great place to start your exploration.