Supply Chain Agreement Reached Between Total Kenya and DHL

Recently, Total Kenya and DHL Supply Chain announced they have signed a three-year supply chain contract covering diesel, petrol, lubricants and LPG gas.

The contract also allows DHL Supply Chain personnel to use the Total Bon Voyage card for purchasing petroleum products from the network. There are more than 160 Total service stations throughout Kenya.

The supply chain card system eliminates cash payments and helps DHL Supply Chain with the tracking of movements of their vehicles and with general fleet management.

The Managing Director of Total Kenya Limited, Alexis Vovk, and the Operations Director of DHL Supply Chain, Ben Clay, signed the three year contract at a ceremony held in the DHL Supply Chain Regional Office located at the Nairobi Business Park, Ngong Road in Central Africa.

DHL Supply Chain is a full subsidiary of German multinational Deutsche Post DHL. They are the largest supply chain management and logistics service provider in Kenya providing solutions in inbound and outbound logistics, warehousing and distribution, as well as reverse logistics.

During the signing ceremony in Africa, Vovk repeated Total Kenya’s commitment to the provision of quality products and services. He stated that the company will be operating responsibly and in an innovative way.

Total Kenya will offer value to all of their partners in general and commercial business in particular, as a way of helping them grow their businesses sustainably.

This agreement between the two companies not only extends the capabilities of the supply chain, it also helps to strengthen the brand for both providers as this contract will have far-reaching implications. As long as it is handled with a quality approach to service, everyone is bound to win.

Supply Chain Excellence Results from DEX, DHL Partnership

DEX and DHL Supply Chain have agreed to a partnership deal. The merger will provide end-to-end technical services for service parts, finished goods and parts management to new and existing customers across all sectors.

DEX delivers innovative supply chain solutions to clients by leveraging expertise in consulting, engineering, software, systems, and operations.

Founded in 1980, DEX offers four types of business services addressing all aspects of supply chain management. The company has facilities in the Eastern and Western U.S., as well as in Europe and Asia.

DHL manages the supply chains for 200+technology, electronics and engineering companies. They are devoted to expertise in international express, air and ocean freight, road and rail transportation, contract logistics and international mail services to its customers.

The joining of DEX and DHL will give the customer exemplary customer service and technical support and will reduce turnaround time of services by as much as five days.

Sheldon Malhicoff, Chairman and CEO of DEX, says that in addition, the combination of the two companies will allow them to deliver customers a fully integrated operation of service parts, finished goods and parts management.

The expertise of DEX and the capabilities of DHL will bring customers a reduction in transportation time and costs, as well as outstanding repair capabilities to DHL’s customers on a worldwide basis.

The operation will use the DEX IT system with its suite of software modules that will give DHL customers a full vision of the reverse logistics of their operation. It will include inventory statistics engineering data, failure analysis and parts consumption data.

The companies are both eager to see results of their merger and to keep providing customers with exceptional solutions in supply chain innovations.

Brightpoint Brings Wireless Supply Chain Services to Poland

Brightpoint, the Indianapolis, Indiana-based company has re-entered the market in Poland. The company has expanded its wireless supply chain service capabilities and is now able to better serve its partners in that eastern European nation.

The move was prompted, at least in part, by the introduction of a new and more sophisticated mobile gadgets which are now available there. The combination of the new devices, along with over-the-air technology and a faster mobile network with larger bandwidth is a much needed service for those customers throughout Poland.

Brightpoint will also focus on the need to develop the mobile business for its channel and vendor partners. They will now offer expanded product and service offerings which will include an advanced E-toolbox with white-label Web shops as well as procurement services. This product will offer forecast and demand planning tools also.

Brightpoint recognizes that its customers need a broader range of value-added services and the decision to re-enter Poland is part of their global strategic plan to expand their geographical footprint. Brightpoint officials have shared that the company is aware that Poland is one of the largest markets in Europe and that they have a growing demand for wireless devices.

The company will provide its supply chain services to both vendors and the channels and thus reinforce their position as a leading provider of value-added logistics and distribution services in Europe, according to Anurag Gupta, the president in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

As the demand for innovative supply chains continues to increase in international markets, opportunities for companies like Brightpoint continue to grow. At the same time, competition demands that companies take innovation and leverage key platforms to drive visibility and success. An inability to do so will quickly render a supply chain competitor ineffective.

Apple Lines Up New Supply Chain Partners for iPhone, iPad

Now that the iPhone 4 has landed on the Verizon network, demand for the popular smartphone is sure to increase. With Apple’s dominance in the smartphone market, as well as its leadership in tablet computers, the company is focused on refreshing its products in order to maintain its strong market positioning.

As a result, supply chain sources indicate that Apple has already lined up four new component suppliers for the iPhone 5, the latest in the line of iPhones scheduled to launch summer of 2011. Considering the overwhelming demand for the iPhone 4 in June of 2010, supply chain partners will have to prove their worth.

According to the Taiwanese trade publication, DigiTimes, Apple is also bolstering its printed circuit board supply chain as it prepares for the next iPad release. Apple once relied on just three printed circuit board suppliers to meet manufacturing demand for the iPad; the company has now boosted that number to seven.

This growth in the company’s supply chain efforts shouldn’t be a surprise for the industry, given that Apple sold 14.8 million iPads in 2010. According to the DigiTimes, the company is scheduled to begin small volume shipments next month, with a full-blown launch in April. As the company sets its sights on a refresh cycle, a spring launch will be perfectly timed to meet strong demand.

Always focused on innovation and improving upon successful products, Apple has some new ideas for the iPad 2, including a thinner design. The manufacturing will be the same unibody design the company uses for the MacBook and will feature an LCD backlit display, Facetime video chat support and a front-facing camera. The iPad 2 is also expected to be powered by multimode chips from Qualcomm and to run on GSM and CDMA-based networks.

Canadian Innovation Gets Boost from Supply Chain Partnerships

Canadian manufacturers looking to stay competitive will need to focus on cost and risk mitigation, according to a recent survey from KPMG LLP. The report says that they should find new ways to compete with their global counterparts when faced with the reality of a strong Canadian dollar and lower cost jurisdictions.

Cost is a key factor in addressing supply chains, according to one executive. He also stated that they are looking at their entire supply chains to establish partnerships and generate efficiencies. Canadian companies should enlist multiple strategies to remain competitive, including a focus on innovation and product development.

The survey conducted among executives in Canadian manufacturing showed a number of differences between how Canadian manufacturers and their global counterparts approach their supply chains. In fact, 60 percent of Canadian executives shared that they have been forced to develop new business models to reduce supply chain risk. Only 43 percent of global manufacturers have reported the same.

The survey also found that global manufacturers are prepared to accept and manage more risk to achieve lower costs, improve efficiencies, and access innovation. Canadian manufacturers prefer to avoid high-risk jurisdictions that would provide competitive opportunities.

Canadian businesses have traditionally been very conservative and more risk averse. However, if they want to succeed with increased globalization and a strong Canadian dollar, manufacturers should develop strategies to drive innovation at home and through collaborative partnerships with supply chains abroad.

Logistics are largely fulfilled by Canadian manufacturers at home and in the United States, while global manufacturers look to new low-cost districts such as China and India. To help spur growth in Canadian manufacturing, drastic changes may have to be made.

Rapid Ratings Turns to Supply Chain Risk Management Expert

Rapid Ratings is making some internal changes as part of its strategy to improve its supply chain offerings. The company has added Rose Kelly-Falls, a respected supply chain risk management expert, to expand its supply chain risk management services to corporations and financial institutions.

Rapid Ratings is also expanding its operations, opening a new office in Indianapolis at the Purdue Research Park of Indianapolis. Supply chain professionals throughout the financial services industry rely on Rapid Ratings to assist in monitoring the risks of public and private companies with which they are doing business.

James H. Gellert, chairman and CEO of Rapid Ratings believes the company will benefit significantly from the addition of Kelly-Falls as she offers extensive knowledge regarding the implementation of best practices for mitigating risks within the supply chain. As a former Rapid Ratings user, Kelly-Falls brings valuable insight for clients seeking to better understand and mitigate the risks involved with their overall supply chain.

Gellert also highlighted that the company has a strong client base in the Midwest and the expansion to the Indianapolis market will continue to support the company’s strategy for growth. In addition, the location of the Purdue Research Park offers an extensive network for potential collaborations and partnerships.

Rapid Ratings operates as an independent ratings, research and analytics firm focused on managing risk for companies worried about the health of their supply chains. With superior analysis generated with unbiased, forward-looking tools, companies can make comprehensive decisions to move the focus of the company in a positive direction. The company’s proprietary ratings have been proven effective and are in use by Fortune 1000 companies for complete supply chain management.

JDA Reshapes Supply Chain Management

There has been considerable interest growing in the cloud computing space as companies throughout the global marketplace are discovering the benefits of software deployed as a service. The economic downturn certainly helped to spark interest, but the benefits delivered in the cloud go beyond mere cost savings.

For manufacturers, new challenges are emerging everyday and those players who once had the luxury of lengthy implementations are now facing tighter budget restrictions and intense pressure from customers to speed delivery. As a result, supply chain management solutions that deliver faster time-to-value and a lower total cost of ownership are in high demand.

Manufacturers seeking to streamline the entire supply chain often access physical computing resources and connections through the Internet. Partners in the supply chain often share information through these methods in order to keep processes running smoothly and waste minimized.

As the focus has moved to the cloud, however, mission-critical business applications are increasingly being access through Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms. Companies of all sizes are leveraging the power of moving these applications to the cloud, enjoying the benefits to the bottom line as a result of the impact on the supply chain.

By moving application portfolios into the cloud, manufacturers can enable all members in the supply chain real-time access to information that can impact the supply chain. In other words, any problem along the supply chain can be communicated to all members, as well as constant updates and expected resolutions. This helps to keep the problems confined to one area as other supply chain members can make the necessary adjustments when problems occur.

JDA Software is helping to reshape supply chain management by offering robust solutions that perform in the cloud. This approach not only ensures all members of the supply chain are perfectly aligned; it also extends additional capabilities to these members, without significant costs.

Brightpoint Expands Optimizes U.S. Supply Chain Network

Supply chain solutions provider for the wireless industry, Brightpoint Inc., has announced the addition of three new Centers of Excellence in the United States. Metropolitan Indianapolis, Indiana serves as home to two of the centers, with the third located in Reno, Nevada.

The opening of these centers was possible with the purchase of a 533,000 square foot facility in the AllPoints Midwest business park in Plainfield, Indiana, and another 200,000 square foot facility, to support the expanding reverse logistics services offering provided by Brightpoint. The 264,000 square foot facility in Reno, Nevada is expected to be operational in the second quarter of 2011.

Brightpoint expects that the addition of these Centers of Excellence will enable the company to increase its existing operational footprint in the U.S. market. The investment in these facilities was driven by the company’s planned growth and the anticipated need for increased capacity to respond to the demands of customers.

With these facilities and the recently purchased properties in Tennessee and Texas, Brightpoint can now offer more than 2 million square feet of supply chain logistics and distribution services facilities within the United States. This space should enable Brightpoint to meet the forecasted demand and expand its portfolio of offerings.

The company also aims to improve operating efficiencies by eliminating capacity constraints and the risk of business interruption with geographically diverse locations. Brightpoint’s plans for an optimal supply chain network to deliver freight management services will build on this strategy.

J. Mark Howell, President Brightpoint Americas shared in a company statement that the addition of these facilities will provide the necessary infrastructure to support the company’s increasingly sophisticated services offerings. Howell believes the company will be better positioned to deliver value to customers and investors with its extended real estate investments and current business model.

Gartner Names Oracle a Leader in Supply Chain Planning

In Gartner, Inc’s., “Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning (SCP) for Process Automation, 2010”, it was reported that Oracle is seen as the new market leader. The annual reports issued by Gartner position vendors in a particular quadrant based on their completeness of vision and ability to execute that vision.

Oracle Applications caters to over 65,000 global customers. These customers depend on Oracle’s integrated enterprise applications to achieve high performance. A secure path is provided for customers to benefit from the most up-to-date technological advances that help improve the customer software experience, as well as business performance. Oracle is committed to its customers through continuous investments and innovations in application offerings.

Oracle’s vice president shared in a statement that the company is committed to delivering industry leading Value Chain Planning solutions for all ERP users. They also believe their position in Gartner’s report is further recognition that their sustained and focused investment strategy is very crucial in delivering the results their customers require.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant is a representation of marketplace during a specific period of time. It illustrates Gartner’s analysis of how each vendor measure against certain criteria for their marketplace. The Magic Quadrant is aimed toward being solely a research tool and is not intended to be a guide to action.

Gartner’s representatives shared in a statement that the leaders they outline all articulate a strong vision for the ongoing support of process automation requirement and continue to display how they would support a user with the need to select pieces of process innovation as they become more prevalent over time.

AkzoNobel Powder Coatings Selects Quintiq Scheduler for Supply Chain Management

AkzoNobel, a powder coatings manufacturer, has selected the Quintiq Scheduler to support production planning and supply chain management across AkzoNobel Powder Coatings facilities throughout Europe.

AkzoNobel expects the Quintiq solution to help in increasing manufacturing productivity and improving delivery performance. At the same time, this supply chain management solution should also reduce inventory levels throughout the supply chain in AkzoNobel’s complex production environment.

AkzoNobel was facing significant challenges in complexity and flexibility, and looked to Quintiq to help the company to realize the production potential in its supply chain. With the Quintiq Scheduler, AkzoNobel gained access with a complete overview of the supply chain to shorten lead times and reduce inventory.

The Quintiq solution was selected by AkzoNobel due to its proven ability to handle highly complex planning typical to the process and batch manufacturing environment employed throughout AkzoNobel facilities.

Frank van Ooijen, Global Operations Director BU Powder Coatings at AkzoNobel, highlighted that the company really liked the Quintiq supply chain solution and was impressed with the knowledge base of those charged with demonstrating the production planning solution.

Francois Eijgelshoven, Business Director at Quintiq, noted that the complex production processes inherent in the AkzoNobel environment required a sophisticated planning solution to ensure the company could reap the most from manufacturing capabilities.

With the Quintiq Scheduler in place, AkzoNobel can address tactical planning needs and enable the company to optimize interactions between production capacities, raw materials and customer orders. The company can also manage day-to-day planning challenges as it effectively manages the complete supply chain.