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  • Insights On Efficiency


Wearable Technology and the Supply Chain

Posted by Joe Andrews - IT Manager

Since March of this year, it was nearly impossible to avoid news concerning Apple’s iWatch. The buzz surrounding the benefits of wearable technology (WT) was suffocating. Gartner describes the current stage of WT maturity as the “Peak of Inflated Expectations”. 

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Elements of Demand Planning

Posted by Michele Vrankar - Director of Materials

Many factors affect a company’s ability to service its customers and optimize the supply chain. One of the key building blocks in achieving those goals is having a reasonably accurate prediction of demand, including: (a) what goods will be demanded, (b) how much of each item will be demanded, (c) when the goods will be demanded, and (d) where the items need to be at the time they are demanded.  

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Topics: statistical analysis, demand planning

Hydrogen Embrittlement Risk Management with Mechanical Fasteners

Posted by Brian Murkey - VP Technical Services

Hydrogen embrittlement is a serious phenomenon that affects the strength and performance of materials in application. This becomes particularly important when fastening hardware fails to perform as intended due to this condition. Minimizing risk should always be a consideration when establishing product specifications. Understanding the causes and steps to mitigate its occurrence is beneficial to customers (end users), suppliers, and manufacturers. 

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Topics: Hydrogen embrittlement, failing parts due to hydrogen embrittlement, risk management with mechanical fasteners

The Power of Data Integrity and Discipline

Posted by Sean Jackson, Director of Strategic Pricing & Business Analytics

In today’s data-driven organizations, it is increasingly important that data governance be business led and discipline focused. 

The equation is simple: to draw meaningful, actionable conclusions from your transactional database, you need to sweat the small stuff early, often, and consistently. It is critically important that each discipline in the business vet and ultimately align on data labels for effective segmentation. If you don’t, analytical exercises may not yield the big data results required to supplement your already-sound business practices. Data classifications need to be structured to fill the various needs from the Sourcing, Sales, Procurement, and Quality departments.

Each department must understand and accept their responsibility in maintaining data integrity. To get there, you need to start small. It begins at the part-build level. Each department will need to help build the part number to allow you to go deep and wide with summary data builds. For example:

  •          Sourcing for commodity classifications and costing profile
  •          Quality for inspection requirements and material/finish designation
  •          Sales for sell price and E&O categorization
  •          Materials for inventory policy
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Topics: Data Discipline, Data Integrity,, Data Governance

12 Key Elements of Total Cost of Ownership

Posted by John Chrzanowski, Senior VP Operations & Admin

Traditionally, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) has been a calculation intended to help buyers and owners determine the direct and indirect costs of procuring a product. In supply chain management, vendor managed inventory programs involve managing the process up to and including point of use on an assembly line. In this case, the calculation includes the direct and indirect cost of procuring a product but extends beyond the procurement process to include the costs incurred throughout the supply chain to assure a smooth integration into a final assembly.

The materiality and value of each component of the TCO in Supply Chain Management will vary significantly by item depending on specific characteristics, some of which include:

  • Item value
  • Minimum order quantities
  • Material content
  • Physical characteristics
  • Method of delivery/lead time/freight and logistics
  • Source of supply
  • Volatility of demand
  • Product life cycle/obsolescence
  • Order processing costs
  • Application
  • Program management costs
  • Opportunity costs
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Topics: Total Cost of Ownership

Supply Chain Strategies for Mitigating the Impact of the US West Coast Port Disruptions

Posted by James Smetham, VP Global Supply Chain


The U.S. west coast ports handle over 60% of all import cargo coming into the United States. Throughout 2014, a number of different factors have escalated and resulted in disruptions to imports coming into the U.S. through these ports. 

As businesses reliant on importing through the west coast wrestle with uncertainty of transit times and delivery dates, the situation could worsen further. Supply chain disruptions could result in:

  • Imports at sea being backed up offshore without access causing increased carrying costs
  • Inventories being rapidly depleted
  • Manufacturing facilities production disrupted due to lack of components
  • Lost sales through a lack of goods

For businesses reliant on imports through the west coast, developing a robust risk mitigation strategy is imperative to navigate through these disruptions.

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Topics: Impact of the US West Coast Port Disruptions, Supply Chain Risk Mitigation Strategies

Company Spotlight Series Part 1: Acquisition Q&A with Jason Crabtree "Onwards and Upwards"

Posted by Jason Crabtree, Managing Director

As of the 1st June 2014 Apollo Aerospace Components Limited has become a part of Supply Technologies, a subsidiary of Park-Ohio Holdings Corp, a listed company on the NASDAQ stock exchange (PKOH). We sat down with Jason Crabtree, Managing Director of Apollo Aerospace Components to talk about the acquisition and the history of his company. 

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Topics: Apollo Aerospace Components, Acquisition, Supply Technologies

The Importance of Supply Chain Collaboration

Posted by Joe Andrews - IT Manager

With China emerging as a manufacturing superpower at the same time as the European Union began to flex its collective strength, the past several decades has seen supply chains become increasingly more sophisticated and complex. 

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Topics: Supply Chain,, Supplier Collaboration

Optimizing Your Supply Chain Information Flow

Posted by Joe Andrews - IT Manager

Little has changed in supply chain management theory since Forrester’s groundbreaking study over 50 years ago showing the correlation between a company’s success and the interrelationships between company functions and its network of suppliers and customers. Forrester identified a system consisting of five key dynamic “flows.”  Information, materials, money, manpower, and capital equipment determine the basic tendencies towards growth or decline of a company.

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Topics: Supply Chain,, Supply Chain Information Flow

Top 7 Benefits of Global & Local Resource Access On Your VMI

Posted by James Smetham, VP Global Supply Chain

Recently we posted a blog that touched on the respective benefits of local versus global supply. We think it’s worth reiterating the benefits of each (separately and in combination) to an organization. As Supply Technologies sources many products from both global and local suppliers (billions of parts from more than 7,500 suppliers), we believe we have the expertise to know when a global supplier makes sense for a customer’s supply chain fulfillment, when a local supplier is more practical or beneficial, and when and how to blend the two for optimum supply chain performance and results.

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Topics: VMI Program, Supply Chain,