Friday, August 23, 2013

Black holes in your supply chain?

Black holes have an extremely powerful gravitational force. Virtually nothing can escape from them.

Within a complex supply chain a "black hole" can be a massive (unknown) risk for your entire business.
Are you able to detect black holes in your supply chain?

Here is a surevey to test your knowledge of your supply chains.

https://app.lamapoll.de/SupplyChainMapping/en/

Compare your results with the ones from other participants.

Friday, June 21, 2013

11 Supply Chain Mapping Questions


For most companies, supply chains are a critical part for their strategic advantage. However, 80% of all companies don’t have real transparency when it comes to their supplier network. Usually there is information in different departments, but the big picture is missing. For the company this is like driving at high speeds on a foggy road. It is dangerous.

 

If your supply chains are an important for your business model, here is a test to see whether or not you should further investigate supply chain mapping. Give your company 1 point for each "yes" answer.

11 questions to better supply chain control

  1. Do you have a global view of your supply chains and can you analyze the complexity of the network?
  2. Do all your stakeholders (Procurement, Logistics, Supply Chain, Quality etc.) have the same understanding (and basically the same knowledge) of you supplier network?
  3. Does your risk management cover the entire supplier network?
  4. Can you identify risk gravity in reaction to an incident (i.e. insolvency or natural disaster) at a sub-supplier site?
  5. Can you identify places on supply chains where quality standards or compliance regulations are missing?
  6. Do you have a master plan in case of an incident at a supplier site?
  7. Do you know how a change of supplier would impact the whole supply chain?
  8. Can you manage the leadtime for specific products within the entire supply chain?
  9. Do you know the added value of your products for each step in the supply chains?
  10. Can you identify the critical paths in your supply chain?
  11. Can you use scenario planning to compare different supply chains in your network?

A score of 11 is perfect, 8 is tolerable, but 7 or lower and you've got serious problems. The truth is that most organizations are running with a score of 3 or 4, and they need serious help, because other companies run at 11 full-time.

Supply chain mapping is the basis for understanding your supplier network. Scenario planning based on this data helps you find new opportunities and be prepared for unexpected situations.
Expand your horizon – use supply chain mapping!






Pictures from Photocase
http://www.photocase.com
Susann St├Ądter (Photo-ID:148478), Don Espresso (Photo-ID:205910).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to filter a supply chain out of a complex network


There are many different attributes associated with a given company, such as size and location. To make this information useful, you can filter for these attributes and the map will show you all the companies within these parameters and how they are associated with you. For instance, if you are filtering for companies in Germany, all the companies located there will be highlighted, but also the companies in other countries which are between you and them.

But the most important filter is the one for products. A product can be attached to a relation.
By including product structures, such as bill of material, the downstream supply chain is readily visible when a product is displayed. For example, if your supplier supplies you with a completed engine, when you display that, all the manufactures of the individual components will also be displayed.

This will help you determine potential problems within other parts of your supply chain. When having an incident like for example an earthquake in Japan, you can quickly and easily find all supply chains, suppliers and products that are effected.
Picture 2 shows a filter result of the picture in my last post (filtered for product and company location). The supplier network of the specific product with relations to suppliers and sub-suppliers in Germany is displayed. The red knot in the middle shows the focal company. Supplier locations in Germany are marked with a blue star. You can also see locations that are part of the supply chain, but not in Germany. Additionally relations that have the transport concept “Just in time” are marker yellow.
As a result, a supply chain map shows your complete supplier network - at every stage. By using filters you are able to extract the data you need. All stakeholders will have the same information and “speak the same language”. Risks and potentials can be made visible.
A supply chain map is the basis for all further actions within your supplier network.


Stay tuned

For more information: www.supply-chain-mapping.com

Friday, March 15, 2013

The big picture

In the year 1507 Martin Waldseem├╝ller – a German cartographer - created this map.

The map supported Amerigo Vespucci's revolutionary concept of the New World as a separate continent, which, until then, was unknown to the Europeans.

It is remarkable how he gathered the data for this map and how he put this information together. It is important to note that in these early times most people believed the earth was a disc and that they would fall into infinity if they reached the end of that disc.


What brings us from this great map to the concept of supply chain mapping?
Take a closer look at the map:
  • Germany (Europe) - where Martin lived- is quite detailed
  • At the edges (America/Asia) there is only a hint of what it could look like
  • But the map as a whole gives you a very good holistic overview
This is similar to how supply chain mapping works. Start with your direct suppliers and then expand your base to include suppliers you are further removed from. You do not have to go into details on any level.  Try to get the big picture first.

Right from the start, you will get a new view of your supplier network. The further you go, the more risks and benefits you will discover.

This is why we call our supply chain mapping software AMERIGO.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

What is supply chain mapping?


The basics: How to use supply chain mapping to bring transparency to your supply chain


Multi-tier supply chain visibility is imperative for taking pre-emptive action within your supplier network. This article describes the basic characteristics of supply chain mapping.

The world, with its commercial and organizational interdependencies, is drawing ever closer together. Solutions and strategic approaches can no longer only be pursued on a regional or national level. What's needed is a holistic view. But how can we get there?
As you know, highly complex and intertwined supply networks have evolved over the last few years. Structural changes to supply chains have become part of daily operations and are increasing in pace and intensity. Agility turns into a decisive advantage.
Practice shows, however, that one factor is missing in order to manage complex supply networks: TRANSPARENCY.
Knowing your direct suppliers and managing your direct suppliers' processes alone is no longer sufficient. Multi-tier supply chain visibility is imperative for taking pre-emptive action within your supply network. Research shows that the best way to understand complex relationships is through graphical representation. The problem up to know is to have a system which is both current and complete. Enter supply chain mapping.

What is Supply chain mapping?
A supply chain map is a graphical representation of your supplier network (or selected supply chains). Maps can either be geographical or an abstract network design. 

How does supply chain mapping work?
Supply chain mapping is a living system that graphically represents your supplier network. It does not mean building a model of your supply chain only once. Data changes all the time. To handle this living system you need a database in the backend. Every stakeholder should have access to this database so all users have the same understanding of the supply chain.
The database holds master data of suppliers (and sub-suppliers) and information about the relationships between these companies. When you think about the supply chain, you immediately think of a deliverable relationship. But in reality, the chain includes financial relationships, partnerships, etc. The complexity of the supply chain increases when you include attributes, such as products or transport concepts, to deliverables relationships. When you have all this information you can create a supply chain map like in the example image 1.
Image 1 shows a complex network. The red knot in the middle is “your” company, the so called focal company.


As you can well imagine, the supply network above is too complex to be of any real use. What is needed is a way to filter out the information you need.

Next week I will show you, how to filter supply chains out of a complex network.

Stay tuned.


For more information: www.supply-chain-mapping.com