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By Mark Pearson · May 1, 2014
A growing number of manufacturing companies are warming up to sustainability—taking aggressive steps to soften and shrink their environmental footprints. However, buy-in from those companies’ suppliers has been less encouraging.
By Mark Pearson · March 1, 2014
Volatile markets. Unstable currencies. Vacillating demand. Unpredictable commodity costs. Manufacturers, like most companies, have plenty to worry about.
By Mark Pearson · February 1, 2014
In previous centuries, international trade volumes typically flowed east to west, with more goods, materials, and components journeying from emerging markets­— largely in Asia—to mature economies in Europe and North America.
By Mark Pearson · January 1, 2014
They may not recognize the term, but a lot of logistics and supply chain executives are concerned about “permanent volatility.”
By Mark Pearson · November 1, 2013
Innovation isn’t the only path to prosperity. However, a growing number of companies have come to think that innovation’s risks outweigh its benefits. Thus they’ve opted to retain their “safe” business models and also focus more on product line extensions than real breakthroughs.
By Sarah · October 1, 2013
Every year, more products are being produced by companies whose supply chain operations are intelligently linked with suppliers and business partners. Many of the machines that make those products are guided by advanced data analysis, decision science, and other smart technology. The people who consume those products are probably using digital connections to guide their choices and ultimately make a purchase.
By Mark Pearson · September 1, 2013
This is no magic bullet that makes it possible for organizations to suddenly excel at end-to-end inventory management: to hold the right amount at the right place at the right time; to maximize enterprise-wide responsiveness to shifting demand; and to ensure crystal clear views of in-transit, in-process, and finished-goods inventories.
By Mark Pearson · August 1, 2013
A lot of global companies are hoping that emerging markets will prop up their bottom lines. They could be disappointed.
By Mark Pearson · July 1, 2013
Some large companies believe that their commitments to risk management stifle innovation.
By Mark Pearson · May 1, 2013
This is the final column in our series about dynamic operations, or global supply chains imbued with the ability to alter the function and focus of key processes (manufacturing, transportation, distribution, etc.) in response to changing events.
By Mark Pearson · March 1, 2013
In this column—the third in a series of five articles focused on dynamic operations—we look at the role and importance of adaptable structure.
By Sara Pearson Specter · February 1, 2013
In our previous column we introduced the concept of “dynamic operations:” supply chain networks that respond quickly and smoothly to changing business conditions. We also identified dynamic operations’ four enabling capabilities and looked briefly at how they work together to help companies identify, accommodate, and even benefit from supply chain disruptions. The first of these capabilities is “insight to action.”
By Mark Pearson · November 1, 2012
One hallmark in the era of permanent volatility is fluctuating commodity prices: everything from aluminum (variations up to 30 percent in 2012) to zinc (variations up to 25 percent in 2012). The result is endless headaches for people and departments in virtually every industry: the procurement folks buying materials; the logistics and transportation staff moving it; the finance guys forecasting expenses; and even the sales and marketing staff struggling to pass unanticipated cost increases on to customers.
By Mark Pearson · October 1, 2012
Effective use of business analytics—using quantitative methods to derive forward-looking insights from data—is essential for companies that are serious about supply chain excellence. Why? Because with analytics, supply chain managers gain a deeper understanding of what is happening upstream and downstream. As a result, they’re better able to assess the operational impacts of prospective supply chain decisions.
By Mark Pearson · September 1, 2012
Today more than ever, innovation is a top priority. Sixty-two percent of executives questioned in a recent Accenture survey noted that their business strategy is “largely” or “totally” dependent on innovation. Nowadays, however, companies don’t only need to innovate, they also need collaborators—partners—to help make innovation happen.

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