When it comes to supply chain management execution, we have all sorts of great tools (ERP, EDI, SCM). They are mostly designed for traditional manufacturers who own their factories. But we may be ignoring a new reality: the “virtual manufacturer”, one who outsources production. For them, the “tool of choice” is sometimes an Excel spreadsheet.
Managing to meet customer expectations is not like what ERP vendor’s glossy brochure say. In reality, it is not only spreadsheets, but is phone, FAX, email and lots of sweat. Some of these folks who shepherd global supply chain operate with complex “jury rigged” routines.
The circus and the circus train has always fascinated small children and grown-up railfans alike. Circus transportation has changed significantly in the last forty years. The second greatest show – that of moving the
circus by rail, begins even before the last performance begins.
If you ever thought of running away to join the circus, meet New Britain native Joe Colossa. He didn’t run away, but joining the circus was an almost predetermined destiny for this fourth-generation circus worker. Colossa is the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus train master. He is like the ringmaster, but for the train.
ec-bp was established in 2005 as the advocate for lowering the barriers to the adoption of EDI, and our email newsletter has been published every month since that time. Our focus has expanded beyond EDI to encompas the full gamut of supply chain practices and technologies. In addition, our readership has grown to become the largest of any similarly focused publication, and has expanded to include more than 90,000 professionals involved in nearly every aspect of the supply chain.
Today’s supply chain is more than simple transport of EDI documents. The complexity of maintaining compliance with trading partners, managing the ever increasing amount of data, and analyzing that data to drive constant improvement in processes and service take supply chain professionals far beyond the basics of mapping EDI documents.