Internal and External Challenges

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World Class Supply Chain Management
A supply chain is a network of partners who collectively convert a basic commodity (upstream) into a finished product (downstream) that is valued by end-customers, and who manage returns at each stage. Transform inputs in the form of materials and information into outputs in the form of goods and service. Supply Chain processes are the operational heart of a company and are critical to achieve the level of cost, working capital investment and service needed to guarantee the profitability.

Supply Chain managers normally work in the continuous effort to achieve this goal by managing many different trade-offs: "if I need to increase the service my inventory costs will certainly raise", "how to prevent costs and inventory to grow with the continuous product variety increase ?", "how is it possible to increase the service if the forecast is always wrong ?", "how can I improve if I'm always busy in fire fighting",...

The way to improve performance breaking the conflicts hidden in these trade offs exists: Solving Efeso experimented and refined it during 20 years experience in the Supply Chain of many different industrial sectors.

Four pillars belong to World Class Supply Chain Management:

* World Class Supply Chain 
* Lean Flow 
* Distribution Network & Transport 
* Suppliers Integration.

This methodology is based on three key factors:

* KPI focus and selection of specific improvement methods according to performance gaps vs. company vision (Service, Cash, Cost) * Optimisation of the Supply Chain flows and processes to achieve the maximum of its potential * Continuous constraints attack (es. set-up, lead time, product design,...) to increase this potential performance

Through this approach it's possible to:

* Eliminate non value added activities and minimize waiting time in the process * Reduce inventories and WIP through increased synchronisation between process steps, suppliers, customers and different company departments * Identify and remove the constraints increasing the supply chain lead time * Remove and prevent the factors affecting negatively service levels * Reduce the impacts and the costs of variability and complexity

ots of companies today trumpet the fact that they are "world-class" companies, and usually what they mean by that term is that they are BIG and have gained a measure of success in the broader marketplace. Ideally, of course, that broader marketplace would consist of the world, or at least that part of it that caters these days to commerce. In point of fact, though, being big, or even having gained some measure of worldwide success doesn’t necessarily make a company "world-class," particularly if any degree of the emphasis is on the word "class." Lots of companies today compete in the world marketplace, but only a select number possess genuineclass, world or otherwise. Since companiesall companiesare really nothing more than the sum total of the people making it up, all companies can be said to have a "personality." And personality types runs the gamut in companies, just as they do in people. Some are kind, thoughtful, responsible and considerate of others, while some are rude, arrogant, belligerent and irresponsible. Moreover, just as is the case with people, at least in the short-term, the companies with the "good" personalities don’t necessarily always come out on top, either. But long-term that does seem to be the case. Again, just like people, those companies that last, those companies that prosper for the long haul, are indeed the companies with the "good" personalities. What are the characteristics of a genuinely "world-class" company? Here are a few: * These companies don’t merely pay lip service to the term "customer service," they take it quite literally and very seriously. Employees of "world-class" companies view it as a personal affront if customers are dissatisfied with their...
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