Tag Archives: supply chain

News You Can Use: 10/11/2017

  • Supply chain professionals disagree about value of increased data collection

    In IBM’s presentation on Watson and blockchain, the company said supply chains don’t have enough data and that they need more. But according to a presentation from JDA Software, everyone has plenty of data; what’s needed is the right tech for handling and understanding what it means.

    http://www.supplychaindive.com/news/supply-chain-professionals-disagree-about-value-of-increased-data-collectio/505954/

  • How To Tell Whether You Should Accept A Job Interview

    Truth talk: Taking an interview is a chance to have more options, and while options are great, they can also be overwhelming. The “paradox of choice” is a real thing, and opening up the possibilities could toughen an already challenging search process.

    If you’re someone who struggles with indecision–like if you’re already torn between other roles you’ve applied for–turning down the chance to dive deeper into something you aren’t even interested in can simplify things.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40470132/this-is-when-its-worth-interviewing-for-a-job-youre-not-sure-you-want

  • John Oliver on the Ways We All Get Screwed by Mergers and Acquisitions (NSFW!)

    https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/300817
  • Study reveals IT security and risk management need work at all companies

    security and risk management practices dominate the list of the top five most-mature best practices. That’s good. However, what is not so good is the low percentage of IT organizations that have adopted these crucial security practices formally and consistently. Only about half or fewer of our respondents do so, which means the majority of organizations admit that their security and risk management practices are “informal” or “inconsistent.” In other words, there is a lot of room for improvement.

    http://diginomica.com/2017/09/28/study-reveals-security-risk-management-best-practices-need-work-companies/

  • U.S. Antitrust Law Is Not Broken

    So the focus on consumers is too narrow for ambitious progressives. “We’re trying to agitate a move away from a consumer welfare approach … towards an approach that looks at a variety of factors that I would argue represents a more reality-based understanding of how competition works,” Lina M. Khan, the author of an influential Yale Law Review article on the subject, told the New Republic’s Brian Beutler.

    As listed in the congressional Democrats’ new economics platform, those factors might include just about anything people don’t like: “whether mergers reduce wages, cut jobs, lower product quality, limit access to services, stifle innovation, or hinder the ability of small businesses and entrepreneurs to compete.” It continues: “In an increasingly data-driven society, merger standards must explicitly consider the ways in which control of consumer data can be used to stifle competition or jeopardize consumer privacy.”

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-09-29/u-s-antitrust-law-is-not-broken

Photo: Arnold Exconde

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News You Can Use: 8/16/2017

  • China’s Next Target: U.S. Microchip Hegemony

    Today, the industry is riven by a nationalist battle between China and the U.S., one that reflects broad currents reshaping the path of globalization. Washington accuses Beijing of using government financing and subsidies to try to dominate semiconductors as it did earlier with steel, aluminum, and solar power. China claims U.S. complaints are a poorly disguised attempt to hobble China’s development. Big U.S. players like Intel Corp. and Micron TechnologyInc. find themselves in a bind—eager to expand in China but wary of losing out to state-sponsored rivals.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-next-target-u-s-microchip-hegemony-1501168303

  • Does 99.5% planned uptime = 99.5% actual uptime?

    There are 744 hours in a 31-day month. Without digging further into how the vendor calculates the uptime percentage, it would be natural to do simple math and quickly determine that .005 downtime equals four hours per month. This seems very reasonable, on the surface, but remember math is tricky and the vendor controls the math. Some vendors calculate their uptime percentage as:

    Actual Hours System Up divided by (Hours in the Month minus Planned Downtime)

    The key question to ask is “how much planned downtime do you have in any given month?” You will find a wide array of answers to this question. For example, one leading vendor plans for 40 hours of planned downtime a month to apply patches, fixes, and general system maintenance. The very reasonable four hours of allowed downtime in their marketing equation equals 44 hours, or almost two days, of actual downtime a month. Very tricky!

    http://www.cio.com/article/3209041/cloud-computing/does-995-planned-uptime-995-actual-uptime.html

  • Kristi Hedges: “The Inspiration Code: How The Best Leaders Energize People
  • This is how Travis Kalanick is plotting his comeback as Uber CEO

    Some company executives are concerned that Mr. Kalanick could use a SoftBank investment to dilute other shareholders’ stakes while he continues to buy stock back from employees in a bid to amass power. And aligning with Masayoshi Son, the founder and chief executive of SoftBank, could provide Mr. Kalanick with a key ally, especially if Mr. Son seeks to appoint new board members who favor Mr. Kalanick’s return as chief executive as part of an investment.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/4045787/this-is-how-travis-kalanick-is-plotting-his-comeback-as-uber-ceo

  • Supply chain’s continuing image problem

    And this is making recruitment a challenge. DHL surveyed over 350 supply chain and operations professionals in the five major regions of the world as a basis for its research. Fifty-eight percent of the companies surveyed said that it is hard to find potential employees who possess the right combination of tactical/operational expertise and professional competencies such as leadership and analytical skills.

    Although supply chain managers are aware that their jobs require taking on a more strategic role, that perception does not seem to be shared by job candidates or even internally at managers’ own companies. According to the DHL report, almost 70 percent of surveyed companies said that their search for supply chain talent is hampered by a “perceived lack of opportunity for career growth” and the “perceived status of supply chain as a profession.” This same misconception is also an internal problem, according to the survey. Only 25 percent of survey participants agreed that their own companies view supply chain as equally important as other disciplines.

    http://www.supplychainquarterly.com/news/20170728-supply-chains-continuing-image-problem/

Photo: Bryan Minear

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News You Can Use: 5/24/2017

  • Former Google worker barred from Uber’s self-driving division by court

    A judge has ruled that Uber can keep working on its autonomous vehicles with one key condition: autonomous vehicle lead Anthony Levandowski must be removed from any of Uber’s LiDAR-based efforts. Prior to joining Uber, Levandowski worked for Google’s Waymo division and allegedly took some 14,000 documents pertaining to LiDAR and other self-driving tech on his way out the door. He’s still employed by Uber according to TechCrunch, and has voluntarily removed himself from the autonomous division as of late last month.

    TC also reports that the presiding judge ruled that information from Waymo essentially made its way into Uber’s tech by osmosis, “regardless of whether any documents were actually found on Uber computers and devices.”

    https://www.engadget.com/2017/05/15/uber-google-waymo-anthonylevandowski/

  • Supply chain toolkit: How managers prepare for the next crisis

    A tremor hit Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture last year. Hundreds of buildings fell, thousands of people were injured, and, for days, the world watched as a city destroyed picked itself back up. But the ripple effects of the quake spread beyond the island nation to global stores and dealerships as companies like Toyota and Sony halted production due to inventory shortages. Sony later reported the event cost the company over $1 billion.

    http://www.supplychaindive.com/news/crisis-management-supply-chain/442273/

    “The first thing to do is go out there and get some education,” Schlegel says. “There’s a huge body of knowledge out there, a huge, emerging body in supply chain risk management.”

    Step two, Schlegel says, is building that always-hot supply chain buzzword: visibility. And that’s where mapping and monitoring come in. “Most of us don’t have it, whether upstream or downstream.” It’s not just about who suppliers are, or the price, but where they are located, he says. “You have to know where your suppliers, customers, DCs and contractors are. What you don’t know in the global supply chain will hurt you.”

    http://www.supplychaindive.com/news/operations-crisis-management-supply-chain/442218/#

  • Net Neutrality Update: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (NSFW)
  • How To Decline An Opportunity At Work That You Might Want Later On

    The message you want to get across is that you’d like to say yes, but unfortunately, this isn’t the best time for you. The tricky part is: That’s the same thing people say if they want to decline, but think punting comes off nicer than a flat no.

    To separate yourself from them, keep in mind that you have a totally different motivation. Their goal is to be nice–and hope the other person forgets about them. Your goal, on the other hand, is to share that you’re interested, but genuinely can’t make it work.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40421338/how-to-decline-an-opportunity-at-work-that-you-might-want-later-on?

  • The working dead: IT jobs bound for extinction

    “Previously, job seekers with high-demand technical skill sets and expertise were mainly hired into IT departments,” he says. “Nowadays, traditional IT skill sets are in demand across a wider variety of departments—from engineering and product management, to business intelligence and even design.”

    Instead of lurking around the server room, many sys admins can be found in marketing or sales departments managing their companies’ CRM implementations, notes CompTIA’s Stanger. But he adds that IT admins can still remain relevant by attuning their skills for the cloud-mobility-IoT era.

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/3196022/it-careers/the-working-dead-it-jobs-bound-for-extinction.html
    Not sure if I agree with everything on this list, but an interesting conversation starter. 

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News You Can Use: 5/10/2017

  • Microsoft’s CEO Just Gave Some Brilliant Career Advice…

    “I was reading it not in the context of business or work culture, but in the context of my children’s education. The author describes the simple metaphor of kids at school. One of them is a ‘know-it-all’ and the other is a ‘learn-it-all,’ and the ‘learn-it-all’ always will do better than the other one even if the ‘know-it-all’ kid starts with much more innate capability.”

    Going back to business: If that applies to boys and girls at school, I think it also applies to CEOs like me, and entire organizations, like Microsoft.”

    https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/microsofts-ceo-just-gave-some-brilliant-career-advice-here-it-is-in-one-sentence.html

  • How to plan for future supply chain leadership

    To keep up with the growing demand for supply chain leadership, companies need to have a succession plan that helps them identify and develop new leaders who can replace existing leaders as they transition out of the company. Unfortunately, most have no such plan in place. According to a recent study from the American Management Association, only 18 percent of managers and executives have a succession plan in place to respond to a sudden loss of key executives—not nearly enough to keep business productivity up as people retire, despite the added number of supply chain undergraduate and graduate programs.

    http://www.supplychainquarterly.com/news/20170428-how-to-plan-for-future-supply-chain-leadership/

  • Alison Bing: ” High-impact Travel”
  • Tech employees quit their jobs mostly because of unfair work environments, study says

    The study looked at four main types of unfair treatment, behaviors and experiences: unfair people management practices, stereotyping, sexual harassment and bullying/hostility. As it turns out, turnover due to unfairness is a $16 billion per year problem, according to the study. The silver lining, as pointed out in the study, is that people would be down to stay if companies took steps to improve culture.

    Other takeaways from the study were that experiences differ dramatically among groups of people, depending on their race, gender and sexual orientation. For LGBT people and women, bullying was the main reason for reporting unfairness. For people of color, stereotypes were the main driver for leaving due to unfairness. Nearly one in four people of color surveyed (23%) reported being stereotyped at past jobs.

    https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/27/tech-employees-quit-their-jobs-mostly-because-of-unfair-work-environments-study-says/?ncid=rss

  • How to find friends when you move for your job

    Doing so takes a bit of creativity, plus courage to put yourself out there. Oh, and one other thing: “When you’re moving into a new community and trying to find your tribe, let your freak flag fly a little bit,” she says. It’s easier to find real friends when you’re sharing what you’re passionate about and not trying to fit in for the sake of making friends. Relationships built on false impressions aren’t the ones that are going to stick, anyway. And here are some ways you can find likely prospects.

    https://www.fastcompany.com/40413637/how-to-find-friends-when-you-move-for-your-job

Photo: Sam Burriss

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News You Can Use: 4/26/2017

  • Buy American, Hire American – Coming Soon to Impact a Supply Chain Near You

    The Buy American, Hire American order is two-fold. The Buy American agenda will: (1) instruct agencies to conduct comprehensive assessments; (2) target waivers and exceptions allowing foreign goods advantages in U.S. government procurement; (3) require a review of WTO’s Agreement on Government Procurement and other trade deals to ensure compliance with new standards; (4) require Buy American bidding processes to take into account unfair trade practices; and (5) promote American-made steel. The Hire American agenda will: (1) enforce laws governing entry of foreign workers in order to promote rising wages and more employment; and (2) direct agencies to propose reforms to H-1B program.

    Industry trade groups, including the American Petroleum Institute and Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, claim the order will reduce competition leading to higher prices. Ken Simonson of the Association of General Contractors, states he expects prices to go up on key materials for construction projects, such as fuel, lumber, steel, and copper. Simonson warns trade restrictions limit the ability of contractors and manufacturers to control costs leading to projects being deferred or even canceled.

    http://www.natlawreview.com/article/buy-american-hire-american-coming-soon-to-impact-supply-chain-near-you
    Note: I have been trying to keep up with this topic personally and put together this post last week and Episode 58 of SourceCast.

  • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Faces Balancing Act in Net Neutrality Rollback

    No matter which path he eventually chooses—fast or slow—Mr. Pai might feel he has to start soon. That is because he faces at least some risk that the lone remaining Democrat on the commission, Mignon Clyburn, could leave at some point after her term expires in June. There are already two vacancies on the five-member commission, so her departure could leave the FCC without a quorum, at least until a successor is confirmed. Then it would be far more difficult for the agency to vote on major policy changes—even just initiating them.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/fcc-chairman-ajit-pai-faces-balancing-act-in-net-neutrality-rollback-1492340400

  • Has supply chain growth outpaced the talent it requires?

    “There have been a lot of changes. There’s more and more automation; transacting purchases with artificial intelligence (AI) is a radical change,” he told Supply Chain Dive. “Will you need people doing these things? [Currently] you find a supplier, put out the RFIs (requests for information) and get sourcing recommendations. I don’t know if that will be there in five or 10 years.”

    http://www.supplychaindive.com/news/talent-crisis-education-tech-supply-chain-nature/440392/
    Flashback to SourceCast Episode 55 – I go deep on this topic:

  • Most employees willing to share sensitive information, survey says

    According to an end user security survey released this morning, 72 percent of employees are willing to share confidential information. In the financial services sector, the percentage was even higher — 81 percent said they should share sensitive, confidential or regulated information.

    This is despite the fact that 65 percent said that it was their responsibility to protect confidential data.

    “There is an acknowledgment by employees that security is important,” said Brett Hansen, vice president for endpoint and data security at Dell, the company that sponsored the survey. “But their actions are not consistent with good data security.”

    http://www.csoonline.com/article/3191286/security/most-employees-willing-to-share-sensitive-information-survey-says.html

  • Why Tesla’s Future Is So Hard to Predict

    Earlier this month, Navigant Research published a report that declared the worldwide leader in self-driving tech is Ford, followed by GM, Renault-Nissan, Daimler, and Volkswagen—all car companies. Tesla finished 12th. One research report isn’t gospel. But it suggests that the “Tesla Is Apple, and Cars Are Smartphones” thesis has some serious limitations. In 2007, Apple’s competitors thought the iPhone was a terrible idea. But in 2017, almost all of Tesla’s competitors are engaged in a global race to build electric and autonomous vehicles, and some of them are arguably ahead of Musk in software and distribution capacity.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/tesla-future-of-driving/523224/?utm_source=feed

Photo: Sebastian Unrau

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