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Another Classic Tale of Non-Alignment Among the Business and the Supply Chain Strategy

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The following posting is this author’s weekly guest commentary on the Supply Chain Expert Community web site. Today’s Wall Street Journal features an article, Detroit’s Unsold Cars Pile Up (paid subscription or free metered preview) regarding the building inventory of unsold cars among the U.S. big-three OEM manufacturers, namely General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.  The premise of the article is that despite brisk levels of auto sales across the U.S., domestic manufacturers have built up some alarming levels of finished goods inventories, akin to the economic downturn three year ago. I call special attention to both supply chain management and sales and operations planning (S&OP) teams to perhaps share awareness of the lessons brought forward since, in my view, it is a classic example of how corporate business strategy and desired business outcome can conflict with the realities of the processes and tools provided to operations and supply chain management.  […]

Hoorah- West Coast Port Strike Settled

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Ninety minutes after the call for outside mediation, both sides in the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach labor stoppage came to a tentative agreement last night, ending an 8 day port strike. According to a published report from Reuters, federal mediators who were called in to join the negotiations showed up just as the settlement was being reached. Members of the clerical union are expected to ratify the agreement. Readers can garner the scope of this port strike disruption by viewing our two previous Supply Chain Matters commentaries, our initial commentary, and our second commentary last night.  We were pleased to note lots of reader comments and shared viewpoints. The core of the dispute was focused on the perceived outsourcing of clerical work by port management and reports indicate that a compromise agreement was reached by both sides.  Both union and management negotiators have publically hailed the settlement. […]