Wednesday, July 05, 2006

My advice for 3PLs

I'm writing this piece for 3PL companies: Put yourself in the position of your clients. What are the main reasons they use your services instead of developing in-house capabilities?

1) State of the art technology
2) High quality customer service
3) Service flexibility
4) Cost effectiveness

Ok, so these are Key Success Factors in your business. Take a look at your action plans and see whether you see all these elements as part of your objectives...

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Analyzing Supply Chain Dynamics in Modern Industries

The phenomenal growth of wireless industry and the automotive industry has greatly increased the intensity of competition. Modern business competition seems to be undergoing a fundamental change. The concept of threads, fabric and weaving develops a framework to explore this industry dynamics and analyze the changing value dynamics. The study helps to comprehend the transformed nature of the dynamics in wireless and automotive industry.

Thread-Fabric Framework and KSN

As the market is becoming very dynamic and so the wireless industry, firms in wireless industry form and dissolve partnerships and the chains at a rapid pace. Hence, there is much collaboration to bring the products and services to market as soon as possible to gain the competitive advantage. This also applies to the automotive industry.

Same type of product can be manufactured by many different manufacturers and there can be many suppliers to supply the parts needed with equal or competitive flexibility and quality. All such link-ups of the value adding activities are value threads, and the totality of the value threads constituting the industry are value fabric. If so, then there is no fixed value chain linking the companies, rather it is flexible, contingent and opportunistic. This makes the unfolding structure of the industry as continuous weaving of value threads into certain patterns of fabric.

The Knowledge Supply Network (KSN) and the platform priorities upon which the value delivered by the KSN is launched, makes this value thread weaving more complex. The degree, at which the KSN partners share the forecasting information beyond being Suppliers and Customers of one another, plays an important role in creating the value thread and the bullwhip effect.

It is evident that the business competition is becoming fierce as players striving against one another to propose value threads to their potential partners, to weave their value threads into a pattern agreeable to the market, there by shaping the value fabric of the industry to their advantage.

The patterns of pragmatic logic, helps to identify the thirdness of the wireless industry. This suggests that, there is a high level of complexity involved in wireless industry and knowing the game at every point of time is important to take the advantage. The change of platforms leads to the shift of push-pull boundaries across the wireless industry. For example, the ongoing migration from 2G to 3G, the WCDMA technology promoted by GSM players Vs the CDMA2000 technology promoted by Qualcomm and its CDMA-1 partners. Market demand being so dynamic as per the geographical interests of customers, the change of platform is necessary which demands flexibility, speed and timing, in-short correct meta orientation and correct strategies-tactics. This will help to capture most of the market with maximum customer demand satisfied on right time, also confirming the required flexibility in value chain. It gives rise to fabric patterns which are manifold.

Modeling and simulation

Modeling and simulation of these two types of value chains; Supplier driven value chain and Distributor driven value chain, allow us to check the shift of push-pull boundary, to evaluate the bullwhip effect and flexibility of the supply chain. It also evaluates, how fast the industry can adapt and exploit the changing circumstances. It helps to visualize the various ways; the market fabric might unfold, spin and weave its value threads accordingly. The player’s conception and maneuvers in modern dynamic industries are analyzed using the simulation model. The phenomenon that, formation and evolution of value threads are disorderly, opportunistic and contingent can be experienced. The bullwhip effects can be analyzed and compared in both type of supply chain. The same concepts can be applied to the automotive industry.