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How Does Supply Chain Management Work?

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There are several different components that make up your supply chain. Proper management of the supply chain will allow you to understand how products are distributed to the customers and how they move along the way. You also get to see areas where your supply chain is failing so you can improve it and give your customers the best possible product in the shortest time frame.

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Steps To An Effective Supply Chain

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Are you looking for ways to create an effective supply chain? When you work on your supply chain you can meet the deadlines and schedules that you have established. You will also be able to exceed the customers’ expectations as you are able to consistently deliver your products to them on time. In order to have an effective supply chain you need to be able to focus on the correct implementation of lean manufacturing. You will be able to see a number of improvements dealing with things like reduced changeover times along with an elimination of waste.

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It Is Important For Companies To Consider All Of The Facts When Using Supply Chain Management

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Good companies are using supply chain management to control waste, manage resources and increase profitability. Supply chain management is usually associated with pull management techniques. Pull techniques are in direct contrast to the old version of inventory management that relies on forecasts and in which inventory is created to meet a possible demand rather than a real demand. Push techniques are really good for taking care of demand immediately as the stock is on hand and just needs to be shipped out. There are unfortunately very few products that actually make for good push products, so a lot of inventory sits in a warehouse waiting for the demand to catch up. This eats up resources both in the making of products that are not immediately sold and in the storing of those products.

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How to set up lean supply chain management

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The supply chain management of your manufacturing organization will play a large role in how ultimately successful your business is. It is important to know that the type of supply chain management that you use will play a direct part in how profitable your production line will be. This is why most manufacturers choose to set up a lean supply chain. You can streamline your manufacturing process and the supply chain by basing is on principles of lean manufacturing. When the supply chain is managed with lean principles there will not only be a reduction in the cost of production but an improvement in the efficiency of the entire production process.

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Components to supply chain management

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One of the critical areas of manufacturing is having a solid supply chain. What is the supply chain responsible for? It is where you have raw goods that are converted into completed products. Effective management of the supply chain will leave you with completed products that are going to improve sales and the company’s reputation. When you have the right manager on the supply chain, you will be able to move materials along the supply chain effectively, giving you a stronger reputation as well. For proper supply chain management to work, you will have 5 different phases that you need to understand:

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The elements of a supply chain

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If you are the owner of a manufacturing company one of the most important parts of your production process is the supply chain. It is important to keep in mind that some supply chains will be fairly simple while others will be complex. The size of the business, the intricacy of what is produced, the amount of production, and the type of business will all be determining factors as to how complicated the supply chain ends up being. However, there are basics parts of any supply chain. Here is what you need to know about the elements of a supply chain-

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Lean supply chain management

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A growing trend in the manufacturing world is the use of lean supply chain management. Manufacturers are finding that by streamlining the manufacturing process, they can bring about significant cost reduction and increased efficiency. Lean supply chain management requires businesses to examine every process in their supply chain and then identify areas that are using unnecessary resources. These resources are items that can be measured in dollars, time or raw materials. Successfully implementing lean supply chain management will improve the organization's competitiveness as well as improve their overall profitability.

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What is supply chain management?

figures19082355.jpgSupply chain management is an integral part of the manufacturing process. Supply chain management (SCM) is defined as the management of the network of processes that are involved in manufacturing. Supply chain managers will follow the production process, from where it begins with the acquisition of raw materials through the work-in-process inventory, and finished goods, and then from point-of-origin to the point-of-consumption by the customer. This entire chain of events is appropriately named the supply chain. Efficient supply chain management is crucial, for the long-term success of the manufacturing organization. When manufacturers have a clear understanding of the supply chain process, they are much more likely to produce a cost-effective and successful, product. Here is a brief overview of aspects of the supply chain management-

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What is supply chain management?

confidence30842627.jpgSupply chain management is an integral part of the manufacturing process. Supply chain management (SCM) is defined as the management of the network of processes that are involved in manufacturing. Supply chain managers will follow the production process, from where it begins with the acquisition of raw materials through the work-in-process inventory, and finished goods, and then from point-of-origin to the point-of-consumption by the customer. This entire chain of events is appropriately named the supply chain. Efficient supply chain management is crucial, for the long-term success of the manufacturing organization. When manufacturers have a clear understanding of the supply chain process, they are much more likely to produce a cost-effective and successful, product. Here is a brief overview of aspects of the supply chain management-

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Building relationships with suppliers

business41865609.jpgLean manufacturing is used to uncover wastes within a company while improving production and customer satisfaction. Instead of holding inventory like other companies, lean manufacturing companies only produce what their customer demands. In order to find success with lean manufacturing, you must build trusting relationships with your suppliers.

Building a relationship of trust with your suppliers will require constant communication between the two of you. You must also provide them with access to some personal company information. Since they may need to drop shipments after hours, they will need access to the building, requiring you to meet with their drivers and trust in their reputation.

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Working with your suppliers to obtain quality materials

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Total quality management (TQM) is a business process improvement program that focuses on reducing or eliminating waste to produce a product that fits the customer and company needs.

One way to become successful with TQM is to work with your suppliers to obtain quality materials.

Your suppliers must provide you with quality materials in order for you to meet the needs of your customers. Not only do you need quality materials from your suppliers, they also need to deliver your materials in a timely manner. Your workers must be properly trained to take the materials and develop them into quality products. They must also work hard to build the relationships with your suppliers to continue keeping everyone satisfied.

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What are the criteria for choosing projects in Six Sigma?

Six Sigma projects fail or are abandoned for several different reasons. One reason is that participants don’t value the project and can’t see the importance it holds. Along the same lines, if a sponsor doesn’t push for project completion, there is no real connection to the project and no desire to make it successful. Another reason is that the process is performing inadequately. In other words, the project problem is not what it was initially thought to be. Also, projects are often abandoned when it is discovered that the process being worked on is also being addressed by another team. Another factor contributing to abandonment is that the team finds it too difficult to measure the process.
Lack of pre-work and adequate prioritizing are huge factors in leading to project abandonment. It is difficult to identify projects, but by following certain criteria, you can bypass some of these difficulties. Properly defined Six Sigma projects meet these criteria:

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Tracking process flow to improve production speed

Whether you are a business manager, owner, or just a worker, you have most likely been concerned with your production speed at some point in your career. All businesses are always striving to improve their production speed, because a higher production speed yields a higher profit. And every business man and woman knows that a higher profit is good for everyone. So perhaps you’re looking for new ways to improve your production speed, but you’re not sure where to begin. Well this article is here to tell you that in tracking your process flow you can improve your production speed. And here is how to do just that.

Let’s start with an explanation of process flow. Process flow is the steps of a procedure used in making, delivering, or accomplishing a product or service, and how it impacts the layout of your facility and your decisions about technology, as well as how your company works together. Process flow is an important aspect to building a strong company with a competitive edge. A given procedure can be classified as job shop or flow shop when applying the concept of “process flow.” Flow shop is not a flexible procedure and uses specialized resources. Job shop is very flexible and uses general resources.

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Six Sigma Laws – The Law of Velocity

Lean Six Sigma works to increase speed while at the same time reducing waste, and this is accomplished by combining two very effective means – six sigma and lean manufacturing.

Six sigma is a method used to provide business with the necessary tools to increase their overall performance and customer satisfaction. This is done by statistically analyzing various forms of data and information, then using it to anticipate the needs of their customers. The overall goal of Six Sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

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Six Sigma Laws – the Law of Focus

What is Six Sigma?
Six sigma is a method used to provide business with the necessary tools to increase their overall performance and customer satisfaction. This is done by statistically analyzing various forms of data and information, then using it to anticipate the needs of their customers. The overall goal of Six Sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

What is Lean Manufacturing ?
Where six sigma works to improve quality via customer satisfaction and processes, lean manufacturing works to eliminate waste. The first step to eliminating waste, according to lean manufacturing, is to identify what causes the waste. As a general rule, waste is categorized in the following ways:

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Six Sigma Laws – The Law of Flexibility

Flexibility is an important trait in any business or organization. Employers like people who are flexible and willing to learn and implement various tasks. This results in increased productivity and the ability to eliminate waste.

This is where Lean Six Sigma comes into play. Lean Six Sigma focuses more on improving process flow and speed than on improving quality by combining the laws of six sigma with that of lean manufacturing. The concept of lean Six Sigma utilizes five different “laws” in order to make the process successful. The Law of Flexibility is the second law of lean six sigma. It states that the speed of a process is dependant upon the workers’ ability to switch back and forth among tasks. This is important because the overall goal of six sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

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Six Sigma Laws – The Law of Complexity and Cost

The Law of Complexity and Cost is the last of the five laws of lean six sigma. In order to properly explain this law, however, it’s useful to know what exactly lean six sigma is.

Lean Six Sigma, which combines six sigma with lean manufacturing in order to increase overall speed and customer satisfaction. It does so by focusing more on improving process flow and speed than on improving quality by combining the laws of six sigma with that of lean manufacturing. The concept of lean Six Sigma utilizes five different “laws” in order to make the process successful. The Law of Flexibility is the second law of lean six sigma. It states that the speed of a process is dependant upon the workers’ ability to switch back and forth among tasks. This is important because the overall goal of six sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

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Improving processes through process flow

Whether you own a business yourself, are a high level executive in a national company, or just an aspiring manager, it’s likely that at some point you will find yourself wanting to improve some aspect of your business. Maybe you want to increase the amount of product you put out onto the market. Maybe you want to improve the quality of your product. Or maybe you want to revamp your entire business. Regardless of what you’d like to improve in your business, one way to achieve the necessary progress is through process flow. Almost any kind of process can be improved through this method.

And what is process flow, you ask?

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Using acoustic insulation to improve your plant

You can use acoustic insulation to improve your plant. Noise is a huge problem in nearly every manufacturing plant. It can cause a variety of issues ranging from lower production to employee injuries. If you can reduce the noise as much as possible you will be able to improve your plant in a variety of ways.

In addition to the noise being created from the plant you have noise coming from the outside. Roads, railways, airplanes, and other machines outside the plant create a lot of noise. Acoustic insulation inside the plant can deter these noises from interrupting operations.

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What is a Pareto chart and how is it used in Six Sigma?

A Pareto chart is a type of bar chart where the values being plotted are arranged in descending order. It is one of the key tools used in total quality control and Six Sigma. The purpose of a Pareto chart is to graphically summarize and display the importance of the differences between different groups of data.
The Pareto chart was named after Vilfredo Pareto and is based on the Pareto principle. Pareto was an Italian economist who is credited for discovering what we know as the Pareto principle or 80/20 rule. It also is known as the law of the vital few and the principle of factor sparsity. What he observed was that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by only 20% of the population. He soon discovered that this phenomenon was evident in other aspects of his life as well. For example, 80% of the peas in his garden were produced by 20% of the peapods. This expanded to become the 80/20 rule: that 80% of the consequences stem from 20% of the causes. The assumption is that most of the results in any situation are determined by a small number of causes. Some examples of 80/20 rule applications are:

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What is a Pick chart and how is it used in Six Sigma?


A Pick chart is a tool used that can be used in any process evaluations when trying to pre-process raw data. It is a method used to narrow down a large quantity of raw data to get to the root problems. It is often used in the pre-processing stages of Six Sigma after data collection.
There are many useful ways for processing data. One of these is to focus on a sample and distilling the data for particular purposes. This is very valuable in the early stages of processing when the volume of raw material is great and you need to glean out the most useful information.

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What is a scatter plot and how is it used in Six Sigma?

A scatter plot is also known as a scatter diagram or scatter graph. It is a graph used to visually display and compare a possible relationship between two or more sets of related data by displaying points, each having a coordinate on a horizontal and a vertical axis. A dot in the body of the chart represents the intersection of the data on the x and y axis.
One advantage of a scatter plot is that it does not require a user to specify dependent or independent variables. Either type of variable can be plotted on either axis. Scatter plots do not imply any causation, but rather an association between two variables. Your scatter plot may show that a relationship exists, but it does not and cannot prove that one variable is causing the other. There could be a third factor involved which is causing both, some other systemic cause, or the apparent relationship could just be a fluke. Nevertheless, the scatter plot can give you a clue that two things might be related, and if so, how they move together. The two axis can generally be displayed as:

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What is a SIPOC diagram (high level process map) and how is it used in Six Sigma?

A SIPOC diagram, also known as a high level process map is a tool used in the Six Sigma methodology. In order for your company to receive a Six Sigma certification, you must first complete a project that demonstrates your ability to follow the Six Sigma process and show that you understand how to use the tools.

The reason you would want to map your company's current process is so that you can put yourself in a position to be able to quickly define, document, analyze, prioritize and recommend solutions and follow-up plans to move the company toward its financial and customer-focused goals.

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What is a six sigma master black belt?

If you’re looking to get ahead in the world of manufacturing, one way to do so is to become a six sigma master black belt. While it may sound like this has something to do with karate, it’s actually a term coined by Motorola and used to identify someone who has received the highest level of technical and organizational proficiency – and it doesn’t involve and kicking or punching!

What is Six Sigma?
In order to fully understand what a six sigma master black belt is, it’s important to become familiar with the concept of six sigma. In a nutshell, six sigma is a method used to provide business with the necessary tools to increase their overall performance and customer satisfaction. This is done by statistically analyzing various forms of data and information, then using it to anticipate the needs of their customers. The overall goal of Six Sigma is to increase a company’s profits by identifying and then eliminating factors that contribute to waste and customer dissatisfaction.

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How to choose a packing supplier


For general purposes, the most dependable place for you to purchase packing materials to secure your packages is at your local post office. They can provide you with the best quality materials such as boxes, tape, and even mailing tubes for the average citizen that just wants to send a gift to a distant relative.

However, there are more extensive packing needs that exist for some small business owners as well as large companies. They need to have the ability to ship large quantities of products to many different locations. For these people there are packing suppliers that ship the packing supplies to you and you pack it yourself. There are also suppliers that have specialized equipment that will pack and ship your product for you. We will cover both of these types of suppliers.

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What is a time series plot and how is it used in Six Sigma?

A time series plot is a graph showing a set of observations taken at different points in time and charted in a time series. These observations are usually successive and equally spaced in time intervals. A time series plot is a tool used in Six Sigma to depict an orderly sequence of values of a variable that frequently occur when looking at process or product monitoring and control. To better understand what this means, we must first gain a better understanding of what Six Sigma is.

Six Sigma is a methodology used in process improvement. It uses data and statistical analysis to identify and fix problem areas for any particular company. To do so, a problem or process is first identified and defined objectively. The process’s output performance is then measured. Next, the problem is analyzed in all phases of the process in order to identify causes of variation.

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What is a time value map and how is it used in Six Sigma?


A Time Value Map is a tool used in Lean and Six Sigma methodology. It tracks a work item through its process and tracks where it spends its time. It follows the product from raw material to output into the customer's hands to determine where it spends valuable time and where waste time can be eliminated. To better understand what this means, we must first explore both Lean and Six Sigma a little.

Six Sigma methodology is a process improvement methodology using data and statistical analysis to identify and fix problem/opportunity areas for any particular company. A problem or process is identified, and defined objectively. The process's output performance is measured. The problem is analyzed in all phases of the process in order to identify causes of variation. By doing so, output processes can be improved by reducing that variation. This improvement program can affect everyone involved in all processes from production/manufacturing processes to service processes to business processes.

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What is process observation and what is the best way to implement it?

Process observation is essentially just that. It is data collection method used in Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. It is a way of confirming exactly what is happening during any particular process. One of the biggest time consumers in studying any type of process is data collection. An invaluable way of collecting data is through impartial process observation.
Although every improvement project has its own unique data, it is useful to know of some metrics that can be utilized in your observations to quantify results. You will want to measure these things early in a project and then again once improvements have been made to determine the impact. If the process being measured requires a lot of time and work, try measuring a sample first. Some of those things you will want to take note of in your observations are:

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How to find wholesale suppliers:

Are you looking to start a business, know the product you want to carry, but haven’t yet decided on a wholesale supplier? Well then read on.

Where do you find those ingredients for your upcoming product, products, or services that you can purchase and then sell for enough of a markup – but a reasonable enough prices, to make a profit?

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Buying Corrogate Effectively

There are many corrogate suppliers that would be happy to make the corrogate that is right for the needs of your company. Unfortunately, defining the needs of your company or discovering the advantages of buying corrogate may be a little more difficult.

First, lets start with a definition of what "Corrogate" is. The word "Corrogate" or "Corrugate" as it is more commonly known, means to shape into at parallel angles and in alternating ridges to create a series of grooves. "Corrogate" is the common noun use and "Corrugate" is the common verb or adjective use. The two spellings are often used interchangeably.

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Wisconsin Manufacturers Grow Sales With Exports

Looking for new customers and who isnt? It may be time to take a hard look at opportunities to sell your products overseas or with neighboring Mexico and Canada.

Now that the dollar is falling against world currencies, prices for American goods are more competitive. The 11% fall of the U.S. dollar since the first of the year against major trading currencies worldwide has improved our price competitiveness in all major markets, says Louis Janowski, a Madison-based outreach consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Commerces international trade division. The trend looks like it may be sustained.

In addition, Canada and Mexico offer significant export opportunities for Wisconsin manufacturers. NAFTA gives preferential treatment to U.S.- made products and the proximity helps keep shipping costs down.

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Make Your Company More Valuable to Your OEM Customer

As internal productivity, downsizing, outsourcing and delayering initiatives have progressed, many large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have become increasingly dependent on purchased material and services. As companies become less vertically integrated, they must rely more on their suppliers for product development, quality, productivity and technology.

One objective today for OEMs is to establish vertical integration throughout their chain of suppliers thus the creation and evolution of supply chain optimization. This strategy seeks common goals, linked business processes, consistent improvement strategies and tactics and relationships based on cooperation between OEMs and their suppliers.

OEM supplier networks typically are very broad and often very deep, with many products passing through several tiers of suppliers before reaching the OEM. Because the dependency on suppliers has become so important, most OEMs now are working to reduce the number of alternative suppliers for any given product or commodity. Maytag, for example, has whittled its ranks of direct-material suppliers from 2,700 five years ago to 1,200 and aims to be down to around 300 in two more years.

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Globalization - Another Perspective

Globalization - it's taken on a terrible set of perceptions in modern American thought. But this author argues that Americans view globalization with far too negative of an attitude.

Globalization: a sweet word gone bitter?

With the recent commotion around offshore outsourcing the word globalization has landed in a black book for many citizens of industrialized countries. This is particularly unfortunate, because the very trend of going global was initiated by these same industrialized countries at a time when they were in search for alternative markets for their massive productions of goods.

Heres the perspective that many fail to acknowledge: offshore outsourcing is definitely nothing new. Its just the same ligament on the body called globalization, but now seen from the other side. A recent Business Week article explained it outstandingly by stating that, in the past, the same corporations that are now outsourcing jobs were outsourcing products. Basically, these companies were then offshoring the "demand" for American goods and services to countries such as India, while they are now simply making the next, logical step, which is continuing their strategy of profit maximization by outsourcing the supply of their products.

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