Visibility Example #6: World as a Warehouse

Imagine a large supply chain, covering 15,000 workers operating in 12 languages and 24 countries. Every day, inventory in various stages of completeness and transit could be valued at over one billion US dollars. Losing even a fraction of those materials would represent enormous wastage. Even without outright loss, a delay or misdirection could cost valuable time during which customer …

Supply Chain Visibility Example #5: Benefiting from GPS

The web 2.0 catchphrase “mashup” refers to the ability to integrate heterogeneous data sources into a single, consistent, view for greater total value to the user. Mashups, both useful and dubious, are making their way into supply chain visibility toolsets in 2011. Today’s visibility example looks at a very simple and productive mashup between order data and GPS location devices …

Visibility Example #4: Lot vs. Serial Number Tracking

Although visibility technology is well beyond “track and trace” of imports, there are still emerging demands for this type of service. In this article we’re going to look at the mechanics behind a good track & trace functionality and then two special situations of increasing prominence: tracking lot numbers and tracking serial numbers. What is “track & trace” visibility? The …

Visibility Example #3: When and How to Capture Data

In 2010 a reader emailed with a question concerning how a visibility solution ought to handle certain data elements, both in terms of when they are captured in time and how they are captured. In answering that real-life question I went on to raise two guiding principles which ought to be behind our supply chain visibility initiatives. I call these …

Visibility Example #2: Save the Sale

This was the second of a series of articles I wrote in 2010 on real-life examples of where supply chain visibility is used. In all of them, the goal was to describe them so that they can be understood without an advanced knowledge of supply chain management. The Setup: A retailer or producer handling higher-margin items: fashion, electronics, etc. Multi-echelon inventory …

Supply Chain Visibility Example #1: Upstream Visibility for Retailers

Visibility Example #1: Upstream Shipments I’m posting here the first of an ongoing series of real-life examples of where supply chain visibility is used. In all of them, the goal is to describe them so that they can be understood without an advanced knowledge of supply chain management. The Setup: This example is probably the most common visibility application in the …

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The Supply Chain of Digital Content

Standing in an elevator in Changi International Airport in 2011, I saw many business travelers reading the newspaper. But how did those newspapers get in their hands? As it happens, many of the newspapers may not be “paper” at all. They are digital content, served up to dedicated or general viewing devices. And since that form of newspaper was widely …

What is Supply Chain Visibility

Hands-down, the most asked question about supply chain visibility is also the simplest: what is supply chain visibility? This short post tries to provide the answer to that question by providing a simple definition and addressing some Frequently Asked Questions. For beginners in this area, I’d also suggest checking out the supply chain visibility effectiveness framework blog post. The short …

Why Define Everything

One piece of feedback that I heard when starting this blog back in 2009 was that the articles in this site spend too much time defining concepts. At face value, it’s a fair critique and one I took seriously. In this post I look at why definitions in supply chain management are so often the focus of our energy, compared …

Five Exercises in Long Term Thinking

Long term thinking is a skill of immense value, both in business and personal contexts. As a long term thinker, I am always interested in what could occur in the future, its consequence, and how that possibility can or should shape my present decision making. But how to think effective about the long term? In this article I will outline …

Best Practices vs. Thought Leadership

One of the questions I had when deciding to start a supply chain visibility blog was whether it would cater more to thought leadership or best practices. In industry, we hear these two terms used together, if not synonymously then at least as partial alternatives. Below I try to define each one within the supply chain context and then discuss …

Jonah Saint McIntire

About this Blog & Jonah McIntire

  Thanks for visiting the blog. This page describes a little about the mission of the blog and how it is managed. Way back in 2009, on the verge of taking a new role that would require me to give companies advice on supply chain visibility, I decided to start a blog on the topic. My main goals at the …

A Busy and Productive Year

Those who followed my blog in 2013 would have noticed a sharp decline in article output. Like many other writers in the blogosphere my writing flow slipped under the pressure of all the other things happening in my life. For one thing, I was launching a new software business focused on tactical transport optimization and planning. But more distracting was …