• image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
  • image
Category Archives for "News"

High Demand for Real Supply Chain Experts

Good solid supply chain thinkers are in high demand and low supply.

I would know, I run this company called Global Supply Chain Group for the last 17 years.

It appears that it was not too long ago (when we formed this company) – most business people were struggling to understand what is supply chain and what does it do. We have come a long way since then.

Every politicians speech today is laced with references to global supply chains and business networks that run the commerce on earth today. Companies that are seen as supply chain trend setters are leaving everyone else (even in adjoining industries) biting the dust.

Take a look at the chart below:

But Amazon.com is not the only one.

Current trend is becoming clear- companies such as Apple, Zara, Uber, AirBNB have one thing in common – Supply Chain Leaders as CEOs. Integrators are in high demand. Optimisers rule the roost.

Every era has its own heralds and the mantle changes every few decades.

Every politicians speech today is laced with references to global supply chains and business networks that run the commerce on earth today. Companies that are seen as supply chain trend setters are leaving everyone else (even in adjoining industries) biting the dust.

As as example, it only one or two decades ago that strategists coming from McKinsey or 3Bs (BCG, Bain, Booz) were the prime candidates for the role of the CEOs. What made this necessary was the need for strategic thinking that was missing at the highest level before that. But clearly the mantle has passed on the the integrators / real supply chain leaders now. Here are the previous trends:

  • 1900 – 1925: Inventors, Creators
  • 1925 – 1955: Makers, Builders
  • 1955 – 1970: Promoters, Marketers
  • 1970 – 1980: Accountants, Finance
  • 1980 – 1990: Human Resources
  • 1990 – 2000: Strategists
  • 2000 – Current: Integrators, SCM Leaders

I know, you are asking where is the proof. Take a look at the picture below:

It will take a long time to explain the picture above, if you don’t get it by seeing it. It is also perhaps unnecessary in that case. Suffice it to say that two skills are becoming critical for business leadership:

Integration – of various parts of the 5-STAR Business network, internal and external resources, into a complete unit that delivers the customer experience

Optimisation – that enables sound profitability while delivering the customer experience

I have many other pretty pictures to expound these points, but I would rather focus on the outcomes.

So, what would you expect if above two skills were available in abundance? For sure, you would expect good business outcomes. These could take the form of any of the 5 possible themes:

This is the topic I cover in great deal of detail in my book THE 5-STAR BUSINESS NETWORK – so I will not talk about it in this post. Rather I want to focus on the reason I wrote this blog:

Now, if you have read it this far, there is a good chance that you know someone who will benefit from this information. Earn yourself some brownie points by letting them know – by sharing directly, or via groups. It only take 15 seconds.

Point to Remember - Two Keys to Success:

Integration – of various parts of the 5-STAR Business network, internal and external resources, into a complete unit that delivers the customer experience.

Optimisation – that enables sound profitability while delivering the customer experience

 

Nokia Sheds Iconic Phone Unit in an Attempt to Re-bundle Itself

Virtually all its shareholders gave their approval, and with a stroke of pen the Finnish firm that once dominated the global mobile phone market officially announced the sale of its mobile phone unit to Microsoft Corp yesterday.

The $US 7.4 billion deal will see Nokia transform its business model into a telecom equipment and network services provider, a major step towards re-bundling itself into a super networked business. The move was given a green light by virtually all Nokia equity owners, who saw it was time to let go of a high-fixed-cost and increasingly-low-margin division. The company has been lagging behind at number 8th in the smartphone arena, although it still maintains number two position in the overall mobile phone market according to Gartner. Chairman Risto Siilasmaa told investors. “We have no doubt that this is the right decision.”

Talks surrounded Nokia’s string of wrong turns in the past such as investing in the smart phone technology too early (as noted by former chief executive Jorma Ollila), and reaping poor results from software design efforts. “Nokia’s high fixed costs signal underlying issues in its supply chain management.

The network of supplies has not been optimally selected and articulated to maximize its product offerings to the end customer. At the same time, both Apple and Samsung have created partnerships to leverage their business network to the maximum. For example Samsung’s partnership with Android allowed it to bypass costly software development that plagued Nokia. Similarly, most of Apple componentry is still manufactured by its business network partners” – said Vivek Sood, author of “Move Beyond the Traditional Supply Chains: The 5-STAR Business Network.”

A key reason cited for the poor performance of Nokia’s phone division is not enough innovation. While its rivals such as Apple and Samsung continue to gather momentum with their smart phone lines revamped utilizing the core of their business network partners, Nokia’s only notable attempt was when it embraced the Windows operating system in 2011. Even so, the move did not substantially lift Nokia to its market leading position decades ago. Life after mobile handsets for Nokia will include attempts to make its existing business units profitable, by focusing on its infrastructure. Speculations are already underway about the new moves.

For example acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent’s wireless-equipment unit could build a substantial competency base to enable robust market competition. A super networked business is created by a business forming strong supply networks that allows efficiency and effectiveness in three core competencies: customers, infrastructure and innovation. Vivek Sood, who is the CEO of Global Supply Chain Group, said: “Now that Nokia has freed itself of its past legacies, it is the perfect time to focus on its core competency and cherry-pick its partners that can complement the gaps. If done properly, Nokia can then re-emerge as a super networked business again ready for the next few decades.” Click here to get first three chapters of the book The 5-STAR Business Network

Asian Banker Summit 2015 – Connecting Finance with Supply Chains

On 14 – 16 April 2015 in Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, nearly 2000 top bankers and other professionals from all over the world are going to congregate to discuss the future of finance in business and society. I am speaking in two panels –  the opening leadership dialogue around 9.30 or so:

The Supply Chain & Financial Performance Conference Opening Keynote Session

Welcome keynote Foo Boon Ping, Managing Editor, The Asian Banker

Opening keynote Alan Bollard, Executive Director, APEC Leadership dialogue

Global supply chain amidst changing economies Rapid increase in trade has occurred both in goods and in services. Though at the current stage, the trends of globalization and the commodity cycle seems to be declining. Gone are the days of double digit growths and replaced by a more modest and sustainable one. Why has this happened and how is this affecting the global supply chain?

  • Multilateralism and trade regionalization against the global backdrop
  • Reducing barriers: Challenges arise from the trade shift to a low cost but more protectionist country?
  • The consequence of competitiveness rebalancing for countries around the world

Speakers/panellists:

Robert Yap, Executive Chairman, YCH Group

Paul Bradley, Chairman and CEO, Caprica International

Vivek Sood, Chairman and Managing Director, Global Supply Chain Group Moderator:

Foo Boon Ping, Managing Editor, The Asian Banker

 

I am also speaking at 15.30 on another topic:

How banks and financial institution are disconnected from their clients Post the great financial crisis, clients have moved rapidly to re-configure their business models into B2B networks of supply chains. Most banks and financial institutions have totally missed this rapid transformation and are struggling to stay relevant in the modern supply chain context.

  • What are the key points of failure?
  • Why are clients unhappy with the banks?
  • What can banks do to recover their position as a trusted advisor in the modern supply chain context?

Featuring: Vivek Sood, Chairman and Managing Director, Global Supply Chain Group

 

Here is a short one minute video introduction to my speech: If you are already attending the summit, or are interested in these topics – I look forward to seeing you at the summit.

 

Dear Hackers – Please Do Not Kill the Cloud…

There are already plenty of nude photos in the cyberspace. No matter how attractive these celebrities are, their photos are not worth what is at stake. News Reports have been taken over by the celebrity nude photo celebration. Here is a good summary, in case you missed out:

” MICHAEL BRISSENDEN: Explicit photos of dozens of female celebrities have been dumped on the internet in what’s believed to be one of the biggest celebrity hacking scandals to date. Jennifer Lawrence, the Oscar winning star of the cult movie the Hunger Games, is among dozens of high profile Hollywood actresses to have naked images posted on the internet by hackers. The incident has raised serious questions about the security of internet storage systems.

work-on-keybordSo far I have not made an attempt to see the leaked photos. Come to think of it, I have seen enough of them (when I was working in merchant navy) to last me a lifetime – so I will do this either. Is it really that big a deal? These people had posed for the photos, so assumedly they did not mind some people seeing them in those poses.

It is really of question of which people, and in what circumstances. When I posed for this photo, I did so with full knowledge that some people will look at it, and it might perhaps even leak from my cloud account. I do not mind if it happens; though now that I have put it here in this blog, hacking them will be purposeless. If you have photos of yourself in the cloud that you would not like people to see, delete them or make them public. Privacy is a luxury that does not exist in the global village.

We are all Kardashians now. But, the purpose of this blog is not to decry the loss of privacy – in my view it is overrated anyway. Plus, that bus has departed long ago. Purpose, of this blog is to make a direct appeal to the hackers to not kill the cloud. Too much is at stake. Global economic integration, supply chain 3.0 planning, collaboration, concurrent engineering, even cool products such as the next generation of phones, watches and tablets – none of this will be possible anymore with data residing in cloud and enabling So dear hackers – you will lose your cool products.

You will lose the low prices for great things – cost of everything will go up massively, if supply chain 3.0 planning and collaboration cannot be accomplished. And, you will lose your own ability to send huge files across the internet to your friends. Would you like to see that happen? A few photos of scantily clad (or unclad) bodies are not really worth that much.

Related articles

 

Is Apple’s 5-STAR Business Network losing its shine?

5star-book-pub-menuJust one day after Microsoft announced its phone-based voice assistant Cortana, Apple made known its plan to dramatically improve Siri. With 15 acquisitions under its belt in the last fiscal year, Apple’s latest purchase is of Novauris Technologies.

The UK-based speech-recognition software company has a team of former Dragon Systems R&D employees. Some of its clients in the past include Panasonic, Verizon Wireless, BMW and Samsung for speech recognition system integration.

Apple’s acquisition, of undisclosed amount, is said to actually have happened last year. Analysts have pointed out that the tech giant seems to be working on Siri’s offline capabilities. One of the shortcomings of Apple’s signature voice command system is its reliance on an Internet connection to function.

“Given Apple’s recent CarPlay initiative, the importance of having stable voice command functionality while on the road is increasingly apparent.

“Meanwhile, we can expect to see intense competition from rival Microsoft’s Cortana, which is set to become smarter. Apple is quietly swallowing a number of smaller companies, giving it the advantage of fast integration and turnaround,” says Vivek Sood – CEO of Global Supply Chain Group.

Unlike its rivals such as Google and Facebook who routinely spend billions of dollars on high-profile purchases, Apple tends to acquire smaller tech companies along with their technology before launching new products or features.

In fact, Siri came to life after Apple’s purchase of a company of the same name in 2010.

Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Apple, says: “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”

Also recently, Apple is looking to improve product displays and battery life through a potential purchase of a Japan-based company. Renesas SP Drivers, a unit of Renesas Electronics, develops LCD chips for mobile devices and owns about one-third of the global market share.

Investors are expecting a lot of product launches from Apple, who have just rebounded from the worst monthly loss in a year. Among the anticipated products are Apple’s iTV and iWatch.

Not only developing new products, Apple is also trying to protect its patents. The most recent, yet familiar lawsuit against Samsung, has evolved to include Google.

At the same time, Amazon is taking on both Apple and Google on the TV device’s front. The world’s biggest online retailer unveiled Fire TV priced at US$99 on April 3rd.

“One of the biggest challenges in this TV gadget market is setting up a network of partners that lets you fully showcase your product’s functionality.

“Google’s Chromecast has had recent issues persuading British media companies, Apple is negotiating with Time Warner, while Amazon’s Fire TV already includes Netflix and Hulu applications. The winner will be the one with the most extensive reach within its business network,” said Sood, author of the book “The 5-Star Business Network. “Gone are the days when companies used to create products on their own and market them on a standalone basis. In today’s networked business world, both product creation as well as marketing required strong ties with an A-class business network.”

Ideas in Action

A switched on team of senior management makes all the difference. No matter which part of the world, and how unfamiliar the concepts are – an interactive team will always find how to use ideas for their business. I recently had the pleasure of interacting with the chairman and top management team of one of the most strategic companies in Asia.  The healthy discussion and the response proved the power of ideas to me once again. Was also pleased to be presented the Chairman’s award. Thank you. Vivek sood receiving the award You can see a gist of ideas I presented on my book “The 5 Star Business Network”.

Airlines are adjusting their 5-STAR Business Networks to the new economic reality

As the economic centre of the world moves more and more towards its more populous nations in Asia, a number of businesses are realising that they must adjust their business models, as well as their 5-STAR Business Networks to this new reality. Take the example of airlines industry. A recent recent article in Bloomberg  explains

Seven of the world’s 10 busiest routes by passenger volume are in Asia, according to the report, with the globe’s busiest link being between the South Korean island of Jeju and Seoul, followed by flights between Sapporo, Japan, and Tokyo.

There is do doubt then that the airlines in rest of the world will have to move to get a piece of action in this growing market. Not only is the market penetration much lower in Asia than it is Europe and the US, but also lack of surface infrastructure makes it doubly attractive to fly over all those bad roads and railway tracks. The two major alliances of the airlines – Oneworld and Star alliance – are a result of an old business model which is now struggling to adjust. Qantas found a way around by making a an alliance with Emirates that could hugely benefit both the companies on trans-continental flights to and from Australia, via Asia to Europe. Lufthansa is talking about starting a low cost carrier focused on Asia. Bloomberg reported:

Air France, Lufthansa and Iberia of Spain are among former flag-carriers revamping short-haul operations in an effort to end losses and stave off the advances of Ryanair and its peers. Cologne-based Lufthansa said last month it might also establish a low-cost operation to Asia in response to airlines that have exploited the Gulf’s geographical position to grab a growing share of lucrative inter-continental transfer traffic.

As I noted in my book The 5-STAR Business Network, the changing economic reality always creates an imperative for newer business models – to survive and thrive. There is no doubt airlines will need to create much more robust and engaging business models in coming years.
What is your view on the emerging business models in the airlines industry? How can the airlines ensure their survival amid the current turmoil? Please comment below.

Green Supply Chains and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

One of the best definitions of Corporate Social Responsibility is perhaps provided by Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s The Benchmark Foundation. It states:

“Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the decision-making and implementation process that guides all company activities in the protection and promotion of international human rights, labor and environmental standards and compliance with legal requirements within its operations and in its relations to the societies and communities where it operates. CSR involves a commitment to contribute to the economic, environmental and social sustainability of communities through the on-going engagement of stakeholders, the active participation of communities impacted by company activities and the public reporting of company policies and performance in the economic, environmental and social arenas.”

There is a strong connection between Corporate Social Responsibility and Green Supply Chains. One of the most effective tools to achieve green transformations in the corporate world is Green Supply Chain management. It focuses on sustainable design that increases environmental and social awareness across the supply chain. Sustainable design involves reengineering of design processes to meet current and future human needs without compromising the environment. The basic objectives of sustainability are to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, minimize waste and create healthy, productive environments through:

Despite an area of significant overlap, GSCM is however not a subset of CSR. While CSR focuses on area under the direct control of a particular organization, Green Supply Chain thinking goes beyond that to recognize that in today’s corporate world, the area of influence of an organization persists far beyond its boundaries. Hence GSCM calls on all partners of a particular supply chain to collaborate to create an end-to-end Green Supply Chain to assure a sustainable and prosperous future.

Source : Emmet & Sood – Green Supply Chains : An Action Manifesto. This book was awarded certificate as “The Most innovative Supply Chain book in the last decade (2000-2010)

Drivers of Green Supply Chain

There are five type of environmental stakeholders group who drive green initiatives within an organization:

Based on the roles of each player in the supply chain there are different incentives to migrate towards Green Supply Chains and briefly these are as follows.
Factors that drive manufacturers towards Green Design and Green Production include:

Environmental drivers of suppliers include:

Logistics providers are implementing Green practices due to government regulations and customer expectations and agreements

Source : Emmet & Sood – Green Supply Chains : An Action Manifesto. This book was awarded certificate as “The Most innovative Supply Chain book in the last decade (2000-2010)

Outcompete anyone using your Business Network

Thought leaders have a five star business network. They leverage of the value created by their business and supplier contacts to outcompete rivals and stay relevant. Your business can outcompete rivals too using its network. There are a number of ways your business can achieve this goal. Firstly, build a good business network. To outcompete your competitors, you must first have a network or trusted suppliers and customers. You can build your business network by joining your local chamber of commerce, optimising your online and offline business networks and attending regular, relevant networking events. The second key to outcompeting your rivals using your business network is to have your network communicate your business proposition. It is often said that the best advertising is done by word of mouth. Therefore, getting your network to communicate why customers should buy your products is essential to outcompeting anyone. The third part of outcompeting your rivals using your business network is to give your network ‘buy-in’ on your products. Your business needs to clearly demonstrate its value to your network, otherwise it will have difficulty demonstrating its value to customers. The final way that you can outcompete your rivals by using your business network is to continually review the contacts in your network to ensure that your contacts meet your goals.

1 2 3 7
>