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Think Tank

Blog Photo ... Think Tank is where the editors of SupplyChainBrain share their thoughts and comments on the latest supply chain trends and developments. Read what they have to say and then join the discussion by posting your own observations.
Hosts: Jean Murphy, Russell Goodman, Robert Bowman
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In a Credit Crisis, Small Importers Suffer the Most

November 18, 2009
By:Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

When it comes to economic news, Fortune 500 companies grab most of the headlines. But it's small businesses that make up the bulk of the American economy, which won't recover until they do. All the more ironic, then, that those enterprises tend to suffer the most in a credit crisis.In the weeks and months following the economic collapse of late 2008,...[more]

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i2 Acquisition Brings New Customer Base to JDA, and Also New Challenges

November 11, 2009
By:Jean V. Murphy, SupplyChainBrain

It looks like JDA Software will be successful in its bid for i2 Technologies this time around. While the deal has many advantages for JDA, it also presents its share of challenges, says AMR Research analyst Noha Tohamy. "The main challenge is from a functional standpoint, because there is a lot of overlap between i2's solutions and solutions from...[more]

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Will Buffett's 'All-In' Bet on BNSF Pay Off?

November 10, 2009
By:Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

Economic recovery must be coming. Warren Buffett says so. At least that's the assumption behind his decision to acquire 100 percent of the shares of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. (www.bnsf.com), the nation's largest Class I railroad. The Sage of Omaha, who has a reputation for basing his decisions on solid business fundamentals, is putting his...[more]

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War on Indie Truckers: Port of Long Beach Backs Off, L.A. Digs In

November 05, 2009
By:Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

Score another round for independent truckers, in their legal battle against Southern California's two biggest containerports. But the bout is far from over.The Port of Long Beach (www.polb.com) has reached a settlement with the American Trucking Associations (www.truckline.com), in which it has agreed to scrap aspects of a plan that critics charged would...[more]

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Recession and Downsizing Impact Software Development

October 27, 2009
By:Jean V. Murphy, SupplyChainBrain

QAD, which provides enterprise software for global manufacturers, recently launched QAD 2009.1, a new version of its core applications. In developing this upgrade, QAD worked closely with its customers to ensure that the new release offered capabilities and options to help them move their businesses back toward growth, says Gordon Fleming, chief marketing...[more]

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Supply Chains Will Pay the Price of Going Green

October 26, 2009
By:Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

Lawmakers and regulators are aiming to turn the world green. And they've got supply chains squarely within their sights.Not without reason. Depending on the industry, supply chains account for between 25 and 70 percent of all carbon costs, according to McKinley Addy, program manager with Himoca Consultants. Drill a bit deeper, and you find transportation...[more]

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New Book Defines 'Essential Laws' of Supply Chain Risk Management

October 23, 2009
By:Jean V. Murphy, SupplyChainBrain

Gary Lynch, global leader of the supply chain risk management practice at Marsh Risk Consulting, has a new book out: Single Point of Failure: The 10 Essential Laws of Supply Chain Risk Management. The book is available now on Amazon.com and will be in major bookstores on Nov. 2.The title alludes to "any choke point that jeopardizes an organization's...[more]

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Coping With Complexity, Part 2: It's Not Easy Being Simple

October 19, 2009
By:Robert J. Bowman SupplyChainBrain

We're living in a frighteningly complex world, and the technology that we've embraced to make it simpler has only made things worse. That's the premise of "Simply Effective: How to Cut Through Complexity in Your Organization and Get Things Done," a new book by management consultant Ron Ashkenas. He's no stranger to complexity, having labored to overhaul...[more]

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Coping With Complexity, Part 1: A Veteran of GE's 'Work-Out' Effort Looks Back

October 13, 2009
By:Robert J. Bowman, SupplyChainBrain

Back in the late 1980s, when General Electric Co. (www.ge.com) declared war on a lumbering bureaucracy and set forth to streamline its global operations, Ron Ashkenas was in the trenches. As managing partner of the consultancy Robert H. Schaffer & Associates (www.rhsa.com), he was one of a team of outside experts assembled by then-chairman and CEO Jack...[more]

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Exostar Knowledge Forum Seeks to Improve A&D Industry's Supply Chain

October 08, 2009
By:Jean V. Murphy, SuppyChainBrain

Founded in 2000 at the height of the B2B frenzy, Exostar is one of the few supply chain exchanges that is still standing. Indeed, it has grown into a thriving hub that provides extensive services and support for the complex trading needs of the world's largest aerospace and defense companies, including its founding members: BAE Systems, the Boeing...[more]

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