Strategy, Business Models

Organizational strategies related to supply chain, including performance management, policies, best practice/processes, business models, innovation, the global economy, etc.

2024: The World at Crossroads—Part Two

Countries with over half the world’s population go to the polls this year. While none of these elections represent absolute good vs. evil, the outcomes will still make a big difference. In this global tug-of-war of ideas and institutions between democracy and autocracy, much is at stake for all of humanity, including peoples’ rights and liberties, the rules-based global order, world peace, and global prosperity.

2024: The World at Crossroads—Part One

Vital decisions in 2024 will affect all of humanity in areas such as democracy vs. autocracy, the future of AI, and dealing with disinformation. In this first article in the series, we focus on AI, which is poised to provide enormous benefits for mankind. At the same time, it presents considerable known issues right now; and speculative very-high-consequence risks in the future. Here we discuss why 2024 will be a pivotal year, setting the direction for how mankind addresses those near-term issues and longer-term risks, with implications for decades to come.

Maritime Risk Remains High for Global Supply Chains Heading into 2024

As we begin 2024, the global economy faces heightened maritime risk vis-à-vis climate and geopolitical crises in the Panama Canal Zone, Red Sea, and Baltic Sea, on top of persistent maritime risks in the Middle East, East Asia, and Arctic Circle. Supply chain procurement leaders need to implement strategies and best practices to improvise, adapt, and overcome disruptions to global supply chains and shipping capacity in order to drive resilience through the global economy in 2024.

Achieving Consistent Produce Quality—Part Two

Kaizen methods can help continually improve produce cold chain processes, starting by addressing low-hanging fruit problems and then progressing to ever more advanced practices. Knowledge-based systems can provide situational awareness and help workers make smarter, data-driven decisions in real-time, taking into account changing circumstances on the ground, such as expected field harvesting rate/timing, pre-cooler capacity and queue length, and projected reefer truck arrivals, departures, and capacity.

Achieving Consistent Produce Quality—Part One

There is an opportunity to substantially improve the consistency of produce quality and shelf life by adopting modern process disciplines and quality management techniques. The produce industry can learn from successful manufacturers who have, for decades, used statistical process control and related process disciplines to continually reduce process variation, minimizing waste and reliably creating consistent products conforming to precise specifications.

Realizing Africa’s Potential – Part One

Africa possesses vital natural and human resources that the rest of the world will desperately need this century. Sadly, these resources are being decimated by autocratic regimes, corruption, and conflicts. Profits from natural resources are pilfered by despots and their supporters, rather than being reinvested in African countries’ infrastructure, education, and healthcare.

Environmental Markets – Part One

Supply chain leaders are in a position to lobby for or influence public policies. What policy is in their best interest when dealing with ‘tragedy of the commons’ issues, such as pollution or resource depletion? Is it better to maintain business as usual/laissez-faire, support regulation, or advocate for market-based solutions? Here we explore the tradeoffs.

Scenario Planning for Supply Chain Risk Management – Part Two

We examine how to weigh and prioritize multiple supply chain risk mitigation options and the use of monitoring and triggers to guide level-headed decision making during a crisis, using the risk of a China-Taiwan-US war as an example. We also look at various other examples of high-uncertainty risks where our framework could be usefully applied.

Carbon-Offset LNG: Africa’s Transitional Fuel

Carbon-Offset LNG provides a transition fuel to help the world meet carbon emissions reduction goals, especially in the near-term. Africa has a combination of substantial natural gas reserves and opportunities for legitimate large-scale carbon-offset projects, such as massive afforestation efforts across the entire Sahel.

Green Hydrogen’s Role in Enabling Zero-Emissions Transportation – Part One

Hydrogen is likely to play a key role as we transition to low/zero-emissions transport. While battery-powered vehicles dominate in cars and light trucks, it will be a different story for ocean-faring ships and possibly for long-haul trucks and trains, where the unique advantages of hydrogen-derived fuels are more important.

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