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2016

I interviewed Daniel Ekwall who discussed The Displacement Effect in Cargo Theft.

 

 

 

 

It's good to speak with you again, Daniel. And today this is going to be another interesting topic, the displacement effect in cargo theft.

 

Yeah, thank you Dustin, it's always nice to discuss these things. As a scholar, you're always interested in discussing your research results. So it's nice.

 

Yeah and my first question is, why does cargo theft continue to occur in the transport network despite all implemented counter measures?

 

The answer to that lies outside the logistics sector or the supply sector. Because we are producing desirable items, that's what we want to produce because that means that we can sell them. The problem comes if you can't sell them, someone would like to steal them. So we can't really solve the problem without people wanting our good without, if you stop producing goods the people want, then they won't steal it. But that creates a bigger problem. So we will continue having these problems regardless of what we're doing. What we can address is the size of the problem and where it occurs and how it occurs, and hopefully getting down to it, these are what we can withstand from a society point of view and also from a company economical point of view that this is an acceptable level. To reduce it either further would cost too much or something like that. So it continues to occur as long as we have various desirable objects.

 

Can you talk about what are the implications of this?

 

The implications of this is quite simple. If you're let's say that you're the top brand of something. This example we can use mobile phones because that's a very desirable product. And you launch a new model of your mobile phone, whatever company. You will want people to have that phone, want to buy it, but the criminals understand that you're marketing it, you want to make sure that the market wants it. Which means that they can also supply the market by stealing from you. So that's one of the implications for it. So that's sometimes the code for black goods, for the marketing which leads to crimes. On the other hand if we know this, we could increase the secured efforts temporarily before the launch of a product. In order to make sure that it sells through the proper channels, everything legal with the brand owner, earning as much money as they were planning to earn from the beginning. And you can see the other way around, your lost mobile phone, whatever company you have, just before you launched a new one will have a dramatic drop in the brand because everyone knows there's coming a new one. So you can in that sense argue also for a reduction in security, but I wouldn't recommend that because then we would really make it relative and that is not really how we reduce it in the grand scale.

 

Examples in dealing with cargo theft.

 

The most prominent example is high valued goods, especially home electronics and actually from that region we have the top initiative. Which is, comes from high value technology assets from the beginning. They are realizing the manufacturer of these products, they realize in the 90s that the transport chain was the really weak link when it comes to protection. So they formed an association, there's now three of us. One in the America's, one in midlist and Africa, and one in Asia. And from that they formulated a number of standardized security settings, especially for terminals but later on even for trucks. So they're looking into what is actually a decent security level. This is a good example because it's structured. These security standards are publicly available. So you and I can just go into any website and download the latest requirement, and then by seeing in detail, what they consider to be elements that builds up a good security around a terminal building. What is interesting is that this is standardized, it doesn't really take into account the local threats. Which means that in some places in the world, the top level for a building will be too high. The only thing that comes out of that is maybe a little bit higher cost for implementing that and with standing it, which means nothing more or less. The problem comes in other places where the top a level, even if it's good security, it will be too soft, it's weak. So you need additional. Every standardized systems that takes place in the relative surroundings has this problem. So this is no surprise. The question comes always, where we make the standard settings in such a way that it's good from a security point of view without being too costly for all the involved partners. That's the trick.

 

And my last question, which maybe I should have asked first, is how do you define the displacement effect in cargo theft? How would you summarize?

 

The summary of that is the dynamics of cargo theft. If you increase security in one area or one becomes less desirable, you can have unwanted effects in some other area. For instance, if you increase security way too much, in this certain area, a certain type of crime will seize to occur. But you will probably hear another type of crime coming up. One good example in the grander scale of this is the introduction of the internet because it has opened up a bunch of new types of crimes that we couldn't think of just before the 90s because you couldn't do them without the internet. So that's also displacement effect, it changes places, it changes how it's done, which means that the preventative effects need to be done as well and follow how they change. Sometimes traditional thieves realize we can’t do this anymore because they get caught. But they stop doing this and then other persons realize, whoa here's the security rep, we can use this. Which means that security can never be stated in a bigger area. You always need to address common future problems. And in cargo theft sadly, I think the trend is going towards more violent thefts and maybe more fraud thefts. But that's only a guess I can make from reasons, you never really know how it ends up in the long run.

 

Well thank you Daniel, for sharing today on this topic.

 

Thank you very much. You can always read my papers and find more details and of course, I would be happy to answer all questions in email.

 

Thank you.

 

Thank you very much.

 

 

About Daniel Ekwall

 

 

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Daniel Ekwall

Associate Professor In Supply Chain Management at Hanken

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Tom Boersma who discussed Opportunities for Textile Recycling Industry in US.

 

 

 

 

Can you first talk about the supply chain in the textile industry in the US?

 

Yes, I'll use ourselves as an example. There's roughly 25 billion pounds of textiles generated per year, that's about 80 pounds per US resident, of which only 15% is recycled – recycled through thrift stores or recyclers like Global Clothing Industries.

 

We purchase all the excess textile products and accessories from Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul and other thrift stores, Salvation Army, in eastern Mississippi. There's only about 500 recyclers like ourselves in the United States. More of the companies are five to 30 employees. Global Clothing, we employ about 160 people, so we're one of the larger companies in the industry.

 

So, we're handling 15% of all of textile products being recycled. There's a tremendous opportunity nationally because there's so much available product to be recycled.

 

Where are the pain points in the supply chain?

 

The pain points... I'll give you two examples. Last year we predominantly sold to Sierra Leone, Africa and Liberia, Africa. And as most people will recall, there was the Ebola going around. That really minimized our problems. So, depending on where you focus on, you need to have backup areas to sell in.

 

Probably the most striking thing this year is China. China is coming in for the used clothes market, and they are underselling all US suppliers. Their economy is very tight. They've devalued their money system. They're selling a container from anywhere from $5000 - $6000 less than what we normally do.

 

So, the foreign competition is really kicking in.

 

How can these problems be addressed effectively?

 

Currently, we're sending employees to our market areas, evaluating the other country's imports into, for example, western Africa, and doing quality studies and comparison. Likewise, we're putting technology into our partner's hands, the people that we sell to. We're providing computer [inaudible 00:03:32] so they can see where their container is on the water coming to them and what is specifically in there.

 

Do you have any good examples of success?

 

Success in our company has been tremendous in the last year. The company has done so well. We have purchased baling machines from Italy that allow stronger production with less employee hours involved. So, we're doubling our production with 50% of the people on the two machines that we bought last year. We're buying two more machines this year, so that's going to increase the productivity.

 

Another good success has been we've put together training manuals teaching our employees what to look for in the quality, sort area, thereby delivering a much higher quality product to the developing countries. Those are probably two of the greater examples.

 

Thank you, Tom, for sharing today on the opportunities for textile recycling in the US.

 

You're very welcome. It was good talking with you.

 

 

 

About Tom Boersma

 

 

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Tom Boersma

A Pro at the 140 point SWOT Audit

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Kelly Barner who discussed Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals.

 

 

 

 

What is SMI?

 

Supply market intelligence is all about giving procurement an opportunity to leverage external sources of information that can then be combined with a unique and company specific internal perspective on either the suppliers or the spenders being managed and to combine those two things, to take the external information and the internal perspective and combine them into something actionable that ultimately changes the direction of the strategy or the category plan that is executed. One of the things that my co-author Jeanette and I wrote about in the book with regard to what’s the difference between information, intelligence, knowledge, separating some of these things that seem similar but really are distinct from one another.

 

Intelligence has to be applicable and it has to be actionable. You can have a piece of information or a nugget of knowledge and there is value in those things. But what differentiates those from intelligence is that it's something you can take action based upon. One of the other things that we talk about with regard to this actionability that really proves you're working with supply market intelligence is that it's actually an action, not to take a certain step. And so when we talk about helping people understand when they've created intelligence, it's about understanding that in some cases intelligence will inform a strategy that directs the company to go and take certain actions. In other cases, intelligence informs the decision not to take decisions that otherwise would have been taken but would have proven either suboptimal or disadvantageous to the company.

 

Sometimes intelligence will inform a decision to not take place. The real idea of all of this is that in the past, procurement has been fairly data driven and most of that data has come from within the company. It might be information on suppliers, it might be spend data, and this is very valuable and it still plays a part in informing intelligence moving forward. But that can't be the only perspective that's brought there. Procurement and companies are so driven and influenced by external forces these days and some of that we look at in the context of supply chain risk or things associated with globalization or raw materials markets. But really what it means is that procurement is going to take the most expansive approach to category strategy possible, we have to make sure that all of our decisions and recommendations are influenced and informed by our internal information as well as by information that's available from analysts, from suppliers, from organizations, and from news sources as well.

 

Why is SMI important?

 

Supply market intelligence is particularly important to procurement today I think for two different reasons. One is because of the shifts that are taking place in the larger markets. And the other is because of the shifts that are taking place within procurement itself. So if I start by looking at what’s taking place in the markets, certainly our supply chains have grown longer. We are doing more with suppliers than we've ever done in the past. And the lengthening of supply chains, certainly it introduces risk but it shouldn't be seen as a negative thing because it also introduces opportunity. And just as we've seized opportunity in the past to maybe buy a product or a material from a lower cost place, somewhere else, or contract for a service in a different country because we can get more advantageous fees for the same quality of service, we're also seeing that new qualified alternatives are coming to bear all the time.

 

In the past, procurement would take a very apples-to-apples approach to qualifying solutions being considered when a proposal was being looked at. And it was very literal. So you would have some number of suppliers, all of whom could provide a product that accomplished the exact same thing as one another. And so the decision basically came down to what is the price they're able to offer it at, what sorts of service level agreements or contract terms does it come with, what sorts of other benefits to working with supplier is there?   That is what we largely inform our decision.

 

But today, we're looking at things from a more objective focus standpoint and that is wonderful because it broadens our options. And so what we might say is, rather than pricing out in tremendous detail this product, what we will say instead is, we need something that meets the following requirements or we need something that allows us to accomplish this objective. And that allows the suppliers to introduce their own perspective around materials or combinations of materials or the exact size or how something is assembled. So while you may not have an exact apples-to-apples comparison, you have a greater opportunity to accomplish something unique, which contributes to competitive advantage. So where supply market intelligence comes to play is that not only does procurement need to know that the possibility of these alternatives exists, but we need to know how to structure the bid so that we allow the right level of variability into the decision making process without compromising what procurement was designed to do, which is to find the right products and services that accomplish what the organization needs and find the highest value proposal for bringing those in house.

 

Now the second thing, is what is going on within procurement itself right now?

 

In the past I think we were very transaction oriented. We were looking at very narrow ranges of spend when we were bringing things under management. But we were increasingly being given the opportunity to participate in more value oriented activities. And in some cases, these actually extend outside of either buying things. Procurement might be given an opportunity to collaborate in a research or design process with a supplier. Or we might be given the opportunity to participate in mergers and acquisitions activity. Our ability to go out and pull external information that can be digested and refined and then used to motivate discussion or inform decisions, is incredibly important for what it allows the company to accomplish, but it's also important within the context of how it positions procurement within the organization as a group that is not just capable of working these processes or managing these suppliers, but also in doing the research that broadens the mindset of entire decision-making teams as they enter into a project whether those projects have anything to do with buying a product or service or not.

 

How do you create SMI?

 

Now when it comes to the actual execution of supply market intelligence, there's sort of good news and bad news from an investment standpoint. So the good news is, you don't actually have to invest a lot of money in paying for access to articles or data services in order to get it done. These are very fortunate times and that there's an awful lot of verifiable, high quality information available for free on the internet if you know how to find it. Now what that does, is it presents a challenge in that the difficulty is no longer finding the information, but in filtering and making sure you have the right quality information with an objective viewpoint. So, whe're in the past you would be going to a very narrow range of expensive data services that you knew were providing you with objective, collective, validated information that was up to date and applied to what you were going to search for a. And the work for you was then, just simply digesting that and applying it to your situation.

 

Today you don’t have to pay the money for those services.

 

What you have to do is invest the time to go out and find the information, read through it all and make sure you're dealing with an authoritative source, that the information is up to date enough to still be applicable, and you need to validate it. So we often talk about the idea of triangulation which is something that comes up a lot at least with procurement and spend analysis. Where if you're trying to understand the context of a piece of data, you're going to look at several different sources and sort of connect what they tell you to round out what you understand about that spend. The same is true for supply market intelligence. So what you're doing here is if you find a fact or an idea or a lead that is surprising or goes against what you would have considered to be conventional wisdom, rather than saying,“oh, we found this new piece of information, we need to completely change course and do something completely different,” what you're going to do is say,“okay, I found an outlier, I need to ensure the validity of this outlier.” And so you will go off and see if you can confirm it from another source or have someone that's an expert in that area, give you a good confidence level that even if that outlier piece of information doesn't become the sole driver for your strategy, it can at least be factored into conversations.

 

Now the process that Jeanette Jones and I laid out in our book on supply market intelligence is an iterative one. We start with an initial three steps which is research, read, and refine. And what that basically sets up is you're going to lay out a basic framework for yourself. What are the few terms or names or phrases that I need to go research? You do initial Internet searches, you read information, you give yourself an opportunity to absorb it and think about what it means. And then you refine that initial search strategy. You say,“I need to dig deeper into this area,”“I don't need to worry about this area.” Or you realize that you have more questions than you initially thought you did. Sometimes it requires going back to a supplier or a cross functional internal team to clarify exactly which area you need to be in, and to some extent that's going to depend on whether you have a category driven procurement team, where people are focused always on logistics or always in marketing or whether you have more of a process driven team where everyone is more general from a category perspective but knows how to drive that process effectively from beginning to end. So you're going to go through the research, read, and refine multiple times. Really until you get to that point of diminishing returns.

 

Then you stop and you work on documenting the information such that it can be shared. At this point we recommend stopping and having an internal approval hurdle. So what you're going to do if you're the person who has been responsible for doing the research and collecting the information and putting it to paper, you're then going to stop within procurement and you're either going to meet with the CPO or the category lead or just going to pull together a number of other colleagues that understand what you're trying to accomplish and you're going to present to them what you have found. And what this allows you to do is have a quality assurance on the process. It's going to make sure that some of the obvious questions or the obvious holes get answered or filled in before that documentation leaves procurement and goes elsewhere in the organization. Once it has passed that hurdle, at that point you're really working on the research or an executive brief. And the goal of this is to keep it brief. It doesn't have to be all encompassing, it needs to hold enough information to capture the attention of the person or team that you're presenting your recommendations to. It is important in that that you lead with facts and numbers.

 

Of course, documenting the sources that those came from is critical. Nobody expects that in order to be good at creating supply market intelligence that you go out first hand and do all this data collection yourself. It's more about being able to validate that you've pulled information from quality sources. And it gives you an opportunity to put the basic facts in front of people. Get their attention and hold it long enough to fill in the blanks by becoming an information resource yourself. So having gone through that research, read, and refine process, you as a researcher within procurement are enriched. Your knowledge and understanding are enriched. And it means that the person accompanied by the document in the right meaning context is a very powerful combination in terms of what enables the organization to accomplish.

 

How have I seen SMI be effective?

 

There are a couple different scenarios where I have seen supply market intelligence prove itself to be particularly valuable to procurement. One is actually purely internal. If procurement finds themselves leading a sourcing or other project with internal stakeholders that are very well informed in a category or an industry or a market, and also very influential in the organization, it definitely benefits procurement to be educated enough in that category to earn that cross functional team's respect and to ask good questions. The goal is not to be able to walk into a meeting and go toe to toe with people that have specialized in a particular area. But you do want to be knowledgeable enough to be more than just an information gatherer. You want to know the appropriate questions to ask, what things you should be inquiring about how the company currently handles things or why you work with an incumbent supplier versus an alternative. Simply asking blank questions that seem like they're asked in every category isn't going to do a whole lot to demonstrate that procurement is a worthwhile and strategic function, to invest time in over the course of the project. So that's one area where supply market intelligence can be very effective.

 

Another is sort of the corresponding external version of that and that's where procurement is put into a position to need to negotiate with very knowledgeable suppliers and while most negotiations are based on an RFP or an RFI or an RFQ process, where some sort of information gathering has already been done, you know that when you're in that negotiation session, external information is going to be brought in as a justification for why prices can't be changed, or why terms need to be set in a certain place. And the more informed procurement is, just like with the cross functional internal team, the more likely they will be able to be to earn the respect of the suppliers that they're sitting across the table from. And this in fact, can convert directly in to benefit either in the form of prices or in service levels for the company.

 

Now not that it's the only third but I would say the third big area where supply market intelligence can be particularly effective is when something is being purchased for the first time.

 

This might be a case where it's not that the spend has been unmanaged in the past or you have legacy suppliers and they've just sort of always done things the way they've done them, this is the company looking to buy a product or service for the very first time. So there are no incumbent suppliers. There are no internal owners of these relationships or owners of the product or service that are knowledgeable about what the company needs and what the company should expect from a supply partner. When you're looking to do something for the first time, you need to have an understanding of the range of things that are available in the market, what will affect the availability or the cost of those things, what risks needs to be planned for, and also what internal conversations need to be had about exactly how that product or service will be leveraged as part of the company's overall program. And this is where procurement's ability to go out and find new information, bring it back in a digested actionable format, can really inform decisions and enable the company to accomplish something in a very purposeful way that they would not have otherwise been able to do.

 

Can you provide a brief background of yourself

 

My background in procurement is not unlike that of many other people that are in the field. And that is, I was not five or six years old telling everyone that I wanted to be in procurement when I grew up. I sort of fell into the field. And part of the advantage to that is I came to procurement with the library and information science degree that ended up positioning me to be able to bring supply market intelligence capabilities to the field. But it gave me an opportunity to see some other things before I got here. My initial start was as a practitioner. I worked for a not for resale sourcing team at a large US based food retaile and food service company. From there I made the switch and I actually spent several years as the associate director of consulting at Emptoris before they were purchased by IBM. So they were an e-sourcing/analytics provider and I worked on the services team there. Which was also great because I got to, once I had established my understanding of process and technology and what needed to be done, I got to see the application of that in a number of different sized companies as well as different industries. Because each situation and context does bring with it different requirements and different opportunities for success.

 

Now after doing that for several years, the travel started to become a little bit of an issue and when the opportunity came up to join Buyers Meeting Point, I jumped at it. It was a largely virtual opportunity, it gave me the opportunity really in its simplest form to learn for a living, which I love. And so in the earliest days of Buyers Meeting Point, we were mostly just collecting information and when we find that our collection of resources intended to allow procurement professionals to do their jobs better, had gotten so large that people were looking for help finding what they needed from their own collection, we shifted and our function became more of a filter than as a consolidator. And so we started recommending books and blogs and events and information resources that we felt like were valuable to others. And the only way to truly make that determination is actually to consume the content yourself. So you attend events, you read books, you read blogs, you listen to thought leaders, you watch for trends and you share what you've learned with others. And that's what I think led us to sort of where we are now which is through the blog and our Blog Talk Radio station, where we offer up information as well as opinion and interviews. We're able to pull in thought leaders and authors of new books and bring people together to share ideas and discuss the opportunities that are available within the procurement profession.

 

Jeanette approached me about writing Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals because she and I, our experiences kind of complement each other. She is purely a research professional that has chosen to specialize in procurement and I'm more of a procurement professional at this point was sort of a thread of research of supply market intelligence running through my background. And so we were able to bring those perspectives together to create this book that not only allows us to say this is what supply market intelligence is and the value proposition associated with it, as well as how to put a program in place and how to execute. But then to collect all of the information resources which form the second half of the book to say okay, now that you've got the process in place and you understand what the potential that’s at stake is, where do you go to start collecting this information?

 

 

 

 

About Kelly Barner

 

 

kelly barner.jpg

 

Kelly Barner

Editor

Greater Boston AreaInformation Services

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Anshumann Goel who discussed Recruitment of Supply Chain Professionals.

 

 

 

 

Can you tell us a little bit about how recruitment is done in India and some of the challenges?

 

Basically, the challenges would be the fee part, firstly. The most important part is fee, which is a challenge in many other countries, I believe, but definitely in India because the employers do not want to pay. I think that would be a universal phenomenon, but still in India, people are very value-conscious and would definitely not like to pay the fee that we ask them to pay. They tend to bargain a lot on that.

 

Having said that, I also say that a lot of customers are willing to pay for quality work, and it is always a pleasure to work for them and always a learning experience to work with them. A lot of that I hear pay well, and they demand the best service. That is definitely a good value addition to our experience.

 

Can you talk about how you overcome these challenges?

 

It's just that you need to keep pushing, Dustin. Just keep pushing. Make your point. Make your value known to them, how you would be different to the major people in the market, and how, since you're commanding a certain fee, how you would justify that fee.

 

Also, if you're asking for, let's say, one-month salary or 12% or 25%, whatever the fee you're asking for that particular position or vacancy, you have to justify that. And if you're able to justify that, I'm sure you'll find some organization which is willing to pay you the fee. I think that will help, definitely. I've worked with foreign agencies and organizations that is international, and that is the feedback we get from many other countries as well, including the developed countries.

 

So, I would not say that India is different to that extent, but slightly the fee would be a challenge more than developed countries.

 

And how can recruitment be done effectively?

 

Recruitment is... There are only a few important factors that come into play when you're recruiting. And one of those goals, definitely, is that you need to have the right network. You can always go to a job portal and look up people but they might be the ones who are already there with the organization because some of the active people that we call actively looking for jobs are everywhere.

 

So, we tend to target the ones who are not really actively looking for a job, but the ones who are really good in their work and those happy with their current positions. So, those are the passive one. And those are the real diamonds, so to say, of their trade. So, those are the ones we're targeting.

 

If you do manage to get one or two of those such people to agree for this position, then those are the actual ones that are valued most by the clients as well.

 

Where do you see the supply chain recruitment going in India? Is it changing? Is it growing?

 

I would definitely say that what I have noticed here in India is that supply chain professionals are not paid as well as some of the other industry people, especially the IT people, and maybe a few other industries. The supply chain industry tends to pay their professionals a little on the low side as the other industries. I'm talking about the Indian market.

 

Yes, that is one need definitely, where improvement should take place and will definitely take place, because there seems to be an abundance of people in that sector and a lot of people keep moving around. But again, the salary is definitely low. So, once the salaries improve, I think, that will definitely improve also. And I would say, it's now going in the right direction because the market, the industry, per se, is developing. Because the ports are growing. There's a lot of growth in terms of economy. So, we're just pushing the demand of these professionals. Supply chain is a very crucial industry for any growing country to move their goods, to move their commodities, products, whatever, finished products, raw materials.

 

Thank you. Can you provide a brief background of yourself?

 

I basically have a master’s in business administration on the finance side. I've been in recruitment for almost six years now. I started out in 2010 with [inaudible 00:05:24] International. I was a managing partner there and started out. I realized that not many people are working the supply chain sector, so I started working that sector and got in touch with a lot of senior professionals in that sector. I've been active in that sector for the last...maybe one year I've not been so active. But otherwise, I've been pretty active in the supply chain sector of India.

 

Thanks for sharing today. I hope we can learn more about what's happening in India in the supply chain. We could have an update in the future.

 

 

 

 

About Anshumann Goel

 

 

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Anshumann Goel

Partner & Supply Chain specialist @ Antal Int'l

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Dagmara Glowacka who discussed Frustration and its Impact on Operational Performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you first provide a brief background of yourself.

 

Yes. Hello, Dustin.Thank you for having me here. Generally, I would say I am combining several roles in my life, and I will tell you later when I am starting like this. So, I am a happy woman. I am a wife and mother of two kids, and professionally, I'm Global Logistic Manager in automotive industry, where I'm responsible for several plants all over the world. At the same time, I'm coach, mentor, and trainer. And generally, I am working mainly with the subjectswhich are relatedwith difficult emotions, especially in a business environment. So, that's from where I'm coming.

 

I'm treating all of my employees and clients as a whole individuals. So, I'm not splitting them between personal and business site, but I'm taking them as a global, one whole person.

 

From then it's coming as well to the subject of frustration, I suppose.

 

Can you talk about frustration? What does it mean? And how does it impact operations?

 

Generally, each emotion we are having is telling us something. So, I know that people are differentiating between positive and negative emotions. I'm more focused on emotions generally, and that each emotion is coming from something. It's willing to tell us something, show you something, and focus our attention onsomething which is happening in our life, which is important.

 

And frustration generally is just making a point. Look, what you are doing is not bringing you the results that you expect. And that's why we start to feel this frustration. It is not bad. It is just showing us that it's not potentially the way you will achieve your target. Or maybe the target is not the correct one. So, that's what we should take from the frustration.

 

Unfortunately, very often we have tendency, when we meet frustration in our way, that we start to blame people. We start to look for excuses, etc. So there comes this powerlessness feeling, which is not making the whole situation better but worse.

 

And then people, especially at work, they start to feel demotivated because I'm repeating and doing all the time something. And that's not bringing the results. Then they start to feel guilty. There is pressure for the result, which is not coming. So, it is really a lot of different things, which are influencing the way we feel.

 

And then, because we don't feel well, our operation and performance is not the best one. So, there is a direct link between why frustration which is not addressed, which is just the beginning of this period of negative behaviors, is influencing our operational result.

 

What are other areas from where frustration is coming? For example, we think that we deserve to be promoted, that we deserve to have a salary increase, that we deserve to be appreciated by a boss, and that's not coming. So, once more, we have an expectation that is not met, and then it's really a point when frustration is raised, when it is really just coming to the surface.

 

Then, when we don't look into it, when we don't understand from where it's coming and what it's telling us, we just go on with blaming and looking for excuses circle, which is bringing us nowhere.

 

Then we have people who are demotivated, who are not satisfied with work, who don't see a future in the company. And they are leaving, especially with the young people right now, which is very, very visible, as well as with high potential employees, who, when their ideas are not implemented, when it is not appreciated enough, as they expect it should be, they are just leaving the company.

 

How can you effectively address this problem?

 

In the easiest possible way, it's just to talk. Because once you start...what you are doing is not bringing you the result; it's not meeting your expectations. And then you differentiate between the things. Have I really impacted it, or is it totally out of my influence? And then really take care of what you change.

 

For example, I feel frustrated because I'm not appreciated enough by my boss. Is it really something which is so important for me? Is it something I can influence? Because I can always ask my boss directly, "I'm not really sure if you appreciate what I'm doing. Could you give me feedback if it's so important? And then I will at least know."

 

If, for example, I am making something, and it is not bringing the result, I'm doing the same thing all the time. So the question is, is the way I chose to do this task the correct one? Maybe I can change something, or maybe I can find someone who will help me.

 

Really to address why the result is not coming and what I can do with it instead of feeling frustrated about this, because frustration, if it's not addressed, will just bring us down with our mental state, with the way we really feel.

 

But when we start to talk about this... For example, with my employees, they are local logistic managers who report to me. We have quite systematic discussions. What's happening? How do you feel? And what are the subjects that are not really going as you wish. And then we just talk about the way they feel about this, and just speaking about this is bringing a lot of different ideas, it's changing the perspective.

 

So, you stop looking at the subject from your correct way, as you are right now. And you start to see it from a totally different angle. And then suddenly you discover, I can do this, this, this, and this. And why do I feel so frustrated about this? That's okay.

 

So, it is really the easiest, from all the methods, to talk about this. Try to understand, and look at the frustration as something which is bringing you some interesting input.

 

Do you have any other success examples?

 

From my environment, because I've been working with emotions for four years already, I'm working with my clients in coaching sessions or during the training, where really just addressing this frustration and asking people to talk about this is really improving their well-being and the way that they see themselves.

 

However, the biggest success I have is maybe not from business side, but from my kids. I have a son who is four years old, and he gets frustrated very often, because that's the age when they really start to be angry if something is not going as they want. And exactly the same methods that I use with managers, I'm using with my kid. And he's able to calm down within a couple of minutes and immediately find another solution.

 

For me, it is a great example of how the simplest possible method -- just ask questions, give time for reflection, change the perspective -- is bringing wonderful self-reflection and giving access to totally different solutions. So, that's what I'm implementing in my work, and I really see great results in the way that people behave, how they feel satisfied at work, and they are getting wonderful results on the operational site.

 

Thanks for sharing today of this very enlightening topic, which is useful for managers in their work, to have a happy work life.

 

Yes. And you can believe me. Frustration is just the beginning of all emotions, which we do have in business; however, they are very often not addressed properly. But I hope it will come. It will come. Thank you as well for this discussion, Dustin, today.

 

Thank you.

 

 

About Dagmara Glowacka

 

 

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Dagmara Glowacka

Global Logistics Manager at Kongsberg Automotive

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Jason Zhuang who discussed How Supply Chain Management Helps Catch Orders.

 

 

 

 

How does supply chain management help to catch orders?

 

Because the customers will consider the following aspects before they place orders: The first is product capture, then the product price, product quality and trust. Trust is how they trust your company and your personnel. Then there is availability, the convenience of purchasing. Finally, there is the service and the service quality. Now I want to explain how the supply chain can help these aspects.

 

Firstly there is production capture that is related to the development and designs.The way we design the product. We need to be concerned with the spare parts and the materials availability. So design and development are indeed helped by supply chain platforms to make sure the spare parts and the raw materials are available.

 

Then there are vendors doing research and development. They can give the materials and the process and the technologies we use to our engineering and development people. This is an aspect of the product capture. Pricing can be also related to the cost and the cost can be chosen. We can optimize our supply chain commerce including the customers and vendors.

 

We can optimize the process, the working process, and optimize our net--supply chain network. These two or three aspects can be good to reduce our cost. We can understand the cost of vendors--the costing modules, and then we can control the cost from the vendors and also we can work with the vendors to reduce the cost by some value string and some other value engineering--industry engineering methods.

 

Thirdly, regarding how customers trust your company. My point is that you can make on time delivery, one time or two times. But it is not easy for you to achieve on time deliveries every time. If you can have the high on-time delivery rate, this is a very strong reason for our customers to trust this company. So many have the trust to our companies. They can freely increase orders to us. And the fourth point for the availability is data management. This is a core part or function of the supply chain. If you can make good availabilities and good return promises to the customers, they will suddenly like to place order to us.

 

Do have any examples of success?

 

For example, HTC. Because HTC had a shortage of their camera. So they could not deliver on time for their new model mobile phones. In that case, the customers had to choose Samsung or Apple. In this example, they could not deliver on time so they could not take a market position. Samsung and Apple were more successful.  The customer did not trust HTC. So HTC could not get more orders from the customers and they could not get a position of the market.

 

A good example is Apple. Apple can improve their on time delivery. Even in a short deliver time,they can make their supplier to make on-time delivery. Thus, the customer is very happy to buy Apples because they can provide sufficient supply. And this is a example for the availability.

 

Regarding convenient purchasing. Because sometimes the customer places an order with you is due to not wanting to place an order, they didn’t want to spend time--spend more time to deal with the other suppliers. You need supply chain organization abilities. Also, you can provide these amenities. You can also provide your supply chain solutions to your customers. When you can provide this kind of solution, the customer will likely place orders for more items because they can get more convenience for the purchasing. There is no need to deal with more suppliers. There is no need to negotiate with other suppliers. On the final points is the service and quality. Service includes whether you can provide the shipping, door-to-door service. You can provide the shorter time. You can provide less MOQ and also they can provide full set solutions.

 

Can you also provide a brief background of yourself?

 

Yes, I’m a freelance supply chain consultant. I started to work in this industry from 2000 as a supply chain manager. I have been in the consulting area for more than three years. I focus on change management including the organization, reconstruction and team building. I have been in supply chain consultant, I have worked in various areas and projects including auto parts, machinery, and cross border e-commerce and logistics.

 

And thanks again for sharing today.

 

Yeah, thanks.

 

 

About Jason Zhuang

 

 

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Jason Zhuang

Freelance Supply Chain Consultant

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Thomas Peters who discussed Job Labor Shortages Impacting Manufacturers Today and in Future.

 

 

 

 

Can you provide a brief background of yourself.

 

I’m the director of Workforce Development at Symbol Training Institute. I’ve been here for 5 plus years and in that time… what Symbol does is actually I’ll give you the whole history on us. Symbol Training Institute was initially a tool and die shop called Symbol Tool Inc. that was founded in the early 80s. And we had skill labor shortages that we were experiencing even back in the early to mid-90s and here in the United States of America we just confine the local talent and we rely on a steady pipeline of immigrants coming from the eastern block of Europe. You know countries like Poland, Russia, etcetera. And overtime, that’s kinda dried up, that well of talent as well have dried up and we were just perplexed as to why we couldn’t find any locally grown talent here in the States either be it from the community colleges or local training provider.

 

Symbol’s management team decided to reach out and speak to some of the local manufacturers who were experiencing some of the same thing, certainly we were talking about skill labor shortage before the media ever got around to doing it or, I guess, presenting it to the general public. And we decided to initially band up with some local manufacturers in the Chicago land area cos we’re right outside Chicago and we service that whole area. And we decided to start training combat workers initially and overtime we started with our popularity and the success of our training. We expanded out to just the general public in general who, I guess we would call them greenhorn folks who’ve never set foot in a machine shop before or folks who’ve never been you know doing anything manufacturing related but they could have been truck drivers, they could have been bank tellers, etc. We’ve even have, believe it or not, a Grammy artist that come here who used to write a lot of song for some of the famous artist. He always had the passion and the mechanical attitude for advance manufacturing and that’s how he came over here. So we got about 250-300 students a year currently. And we have two locations, one is in Skokie, Illinois, which is just north and is almost adjacent to the city of Chicago, a suburb there. And then one that is west of O’Hare of village called Addison which is a suburb in the Chicago land area in a very heavy industrial area here in the Chicago land area.

 

The benefits here in Illinois I guess in the northeastern part of Illinois is it’s very manufacturing… or you know it has a very long legacy of being an industrial kinda capital of the Midwest here in America. And there’s a good wide range of manufacturers in multiple industry that service manufacturing be it automation, aerospace, green technology, medicine, etc. They are all these job shops that make a wide array of parts. A lot of these job shops you’ve never… the general public has never heard of. But they do do business with you know, the big boys such as Caterpillar, GE, etc. even one of the large automakers too. And they make those parts and our graduates end up working at these manufacturing job shops. So my job here, one of my roles here at Symbol is of course go out to the manufacturers, let them know that a training such as ours exist. And also to supply them with the talent that they are sorely lacking. I’ve talked to many many manufacturers these days and I would say that even their biggest hindrance to growth is the fact that they can’t find enough quality people. Even the tool builders that sell the actual machine, you know this advance technologies and the shops they tell me all the time they could sell more machine tools if they could attach operators to actually operate them. These are some of the hindrances of growth that are impacting the, you know, Chicago. They’re right here.

 

Why would you say that there is this problem?

 

Well, it’s been a you know a long-standing issue where manufacturing probably the last 2 decades has received a lot of negative press. Everytime there is a plant closing or just the advances of technology which inherently took up some jobs here and there. Everyone was just scared to get into this field and it didn’t appeal to them, unfortunately even today it still doesn’t appeal to the millennial generation so that’s why they’re experiencing the shortage for the last 20, 30 years. People have just not bothered to get into it. Also with a lot of our high schools, a lot of the machine shops have been kind of taken off the budget line there, eing removed from you know. For instance, in the city of Chicago they used to have a lot of these vocational tech high schools and they have gone by the wayside or they’ve changed their names from vocational to college preparatory.

 

I know the government’s insistent on getting more people to college kinda needlessly at the time, really impacted the manufacturing because at the end of the day even all these folks going to a 2 or 4-year school, people are still out of work and still can’t find a job nor do they have relevant skill set at which we supply here at Symbol Training Institute within a four-month time-frame so it’s a very fast track type of training program that we can get someone the skillful... I guess employment skills that would help them gain fully employed within 4 months. That’s a wonderful thing we could offer to the general public and even those who want to advance on the field. Again there’s that skill-shortage which is really hurting the manufacturers mainly because people’s lack of awareness or the negative stigma that is associated with manufacturing cos again a lot of people think of it more like in the… you know those 1940s or 1950s black and white videos of just an assembly line and someone doing the same thing over and over and over. A very mechanical process whereas that is not the case, there’s a lot of modern machine shops. You’re working with a lot of technology, you’re doing many processes any given day and that’s a very fast-paced and challenging environment.

 

Can you talk about how do you address this labor shortage a little bit more?

 

Yeah so it’s been a difficult… certainly it’s been a hard sell to try and get folks to get in this field. It obviously require a lot of outreach to the high schools, to the community centers to practically everywhere that anyone will you know get a gathering, of folks who will listen and just letting them know that manufacturing jobs here in the States are alive and well. They’re high demand, high paying jobs just trying to get across to it you know… our youth, it’s getting across to the parent even though that’s a very difficult proposition. Just getting a bunch of parents sitting in a room. Just trying to get the message out before we can talk about what we do as a training provider and you know job placement agency in an essence. We have to first talk about the merits of why an individual should enter this field and how it could be lucrative for them.

 

Thanks Tom! How can people learn more about your training?

 

Sure! You could visit our website at http://www.symboltraining.edu/. That’s S-Y-M-B-O-L training dot E-D-U. Feel free to also follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Our twitter feed is @symboljob and if you know just… for those who don’t like to use the phone and actually talk our phone number’s 8476736500 and those who live in the area certainly you’re more than welcome to stop by and go in there and you know. We’re more than happy to speak to anyone and everyone.

 

Thank you!

 

All right, thank you!

 

 

 

About Thomas Peters

 

 

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Thomas Peters

Director of Workforce Development at Symbol Training Institute

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Ashok Muttin who discussed Healthcare Supply Chain at Cross Roads- Changing Landscape & Cost Implications.

 

 

 

 

Ashok, there are a lot of changes happening in the healthcare supply chain in the US, referencing our conversation of last year, you had predicted that GPO’s are going to consolidate and change business models, we are seeing that happening now, what do you think is contributing to this activity?

 

I think there is a realization that the traditional GPO model has lived its course supplemented by the increasing number of regional, local and national coalition and integrated delivery networks (IDN). Many of these coalitions and IDN’s are forming their own group purchasing and benefitting from the same.

 

Do you see this as a positive development, will we see cost of healthcare coming down?

 

Ashok: We at SupplyCopia definitely see this as a positive development for all the stake holders i.e. patients, care providers and suppliers. We have always believed in the power of the group purchasing as a concept, a lever to reduce costs but weren’t particularly fans of how the traditional models were implementing that concept.

 

What kind of model do you see emerging from the current developments and where do you see the future?

 

Obviously, many models will emerge from the current events. Two notable models that will have a profound influence on the cost of supply chain are:

 

     a. Traditional GPO’s morphing into more of technology enabled, end to end solution companies vs purely a fee based model. They will build or buy parts or entire supply chain management solutions from smaller technology companies. However, this may take some time as they still need to figure out the monetization model. There is a fair amount of challenge involved in communicating this message to both hospitals as well as suppliers.

 

     b. Local and national coalitions will take more daring steps towards a self contracting and distribution model with or without their GPO partners. Our read on the situation is that this transformation will happen in two phases, phase 1 will be a hybrid model and phase 2 is more leaning towards being entirely independent.

 

At least in the next 3-5 years, we see both the models coexisting and over a period of time, they may merge to become one or entirely new models could emerge with the entering of Amazon, Alibaba into the competition mix.

 

How is this situation going to benefit the common man?

 

More competition means lesser cost of goods and hopefully these savings are passed on to the patients by the hospitals either in terms of lower procedure costs, more people being treated, more economically disadvantaged people being care, less write offs and hence no more closing of hospitals for lack of funding etc.  We have reason to believe, Alibaba and other outsourced manufacturing companies will become more daring and bring their products and services directly into the providers via their coalitions and integrated delivery networks (IDN’s). Today, these manufacturers are delivering a $10 product directly from China into American homes and making money, we assume they will penetrate the providers as well.

 

Are you involved with any health systems creating their own coalitions or integrated delivery networks? If so, what challenges and opportunities do you see?

 

We are involved with a number of health systems, some are smaller in size while others are huge and complex. Our advice is to “start with the end in mind” i.e. clearly define why do you want to create an independent delivery network- questions to consider:

 

Are you creating this network to service your own facilities or do you see this as a new revenue generation model, incorporating new members? If the answer is former then solution is somewhat simpler, in that case we measure their desire and appetite for risk for creating an integrated model with self distribution or in partnership with an established organization like FedEx, UPS and others. These organizations would need to then plan for strategic sourcing, category management and contracting staff. The other option is to continue to leverage their current GPO contracts to the extent it makes sense till such a time they are able to develop their end to end infrastructure.

 

If it’s a revenue generation model then obviously the solution is a little more complex. We recommend to our clients not to fall into the trap of replicating a GPO like model and extract fees from the members. There is a great opportunity for them to create what we call as “virtual private network”, where in the coalition would provide a technology platform to its members, real time visibility into their spend pattern, cost savings recommendations, ease of executing transactions and measurable results all delivered on the cloud. Easy to adopt, scalable and extensible. In this model, they would become net revenue generators.

 

All this is great, where do you see weakness or failure points in this journey?

 

Listen, any journey worth taking is not going to be easy. A sure way to succeed is to plan for contingencies and as Andy Grove liked to say “The paranoid survive”. Be paranoid about what can go wrong, anticipate it, plan it and be ready to iterate as often as possible to get to the optimum solution.

 

The biggest weakness in implementing such a unique model is lack of technology backbone and advanced data analytics to understand and support buying behavior. Organizations can partner with us or others to fill this gap and then take a holistic model that can be used by even smaller hospitals that may not have the maturity to execute a solution of this nature on their own.

 

 

 

About Ashok Muttin

 

 

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Ashok Muttin

Purpose Driven Entrepreneur Reinventing Healthcare Supply Chain

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Charles Wehlage who discussed Speed of Supply Chain: Know Sooner, Act Faster.

 

 

 

 

Please provide a brief background of yourself

 

Sounds good. So, my background, I’ve been with Kinaxis, three years. I’m a resident in San Diego and my role is what’s called an Industry Principal. Vice President Industry Principal. What I mainly focus on is really the pre-sales area, getting the sales folks into the door and using my network, my contacts to do that. But then also, once you’re there, is to really look at what Kinaxis does and what’s the value into a business. What’s the benefit going to be received? And really focus on not just the business case for that company,but the organizational--the process changes that are coming with, what would be as an end to end type supply chain and non-functional solution that goes across all their network. A lot of that is in the process, you know, design a process strategy as well as the Kinaxis solution.

 

Prior to Kinaxis, I never worked in software. This is my first three years. My background is running supply chain. I started in my career in Apple Computer. Worked various roles in Apple Computer specifically in Pacific operations. Spent three years in Singapore doing new product introductions, came back and went over to a company called EMC. EMC is a data storage company. I did IT work, I did the creation of what’s called a Portfolio Group or a Business Integration Group of IT. I did mergers & acquisitions when we bought the Data General which was our first acquisition, did a few more. And then went into a supply chain and really focusing on outsourcing activities for EMC. Went over to a company called Bose, the speaker company.Worked on European outsourcing as well as supply chain optimization and did--focused a lot on you know, kind of recovering a—an SAP project that was going on at Bose. Went to a, you know, three years AMR research. Ran a high-tech practice. We sold that to Gartner and from that, I’d say as my wife wanted to be where it is sunny, no longer snowy and cold and so I came out and did--I was VP of supply chain at Sony Electronics for a couple of years and then that led me towards Kinaxis, so that’s my background.

 

Thanks. Can you talk about the speed of supply chain? Why is it important?

 

So, I think it’s getting to a point where we have added so much complexity into the supply chain by outsourcing, by partnering and stuff like that and what we’ve been left with is a functional type of structure for what’s considered a complex network. When I say functional, we plan, buy, make, deliver. We have organizations around there. We have tools around there and we have processes built around there and when you outsource make or you partner through distribution or planning is not in the cloud or something. There’s different processes now that have to be enacted that are leaning on these functional type solutions and so the speed now is incredibly important because what you’re doing now is you’re working not only with the a disparate group instead of systems, maybe a process that isn’t fully baked global complex and now you’re doing with a bunch of partners in various parts of the world and that speed has significant, you know, return because consumers now control, you know, especially in high-tech they control the purchase decision. They have access to a ton of information to make that decision. And the supplie chains now have to react even faster so not just a monthly S&OP but a weekly, not just you know, within the--at the day but within the hour as far as returning you know, sort of answers that’s winning right now, that’s winning. Revenue, sales orders that’s winning from an inventory carrying cost that’s winning from a service perspective so that ability to respond, not just from a risk in supply chain but to the consumer if needed needed in this day and age.

 

Can you talk a little bit about the how. How can this be done better?

 

We have this thing called 'know sooner act faster' here’s our mantra. Yeah and act faster is very easy concept. You know, you get a sales order, you respond faster. You have a purchase order, you know, that’s in the--a shortage or material short, you’ll act faster. You know, the faster you can go, the better business benefits so it’s a very easy concept to go after, you know, whether it’s lowering you’re safety stocks because you’re not--respond faster or whether you can make decisions on freighting you don’t incur. You know, Air freight. Those types of things, if you just act faster when there’s a disruption, you’re going to have a business benefit, in terms of profit margin you know, opportunity.

 

That is what I’d say is the core of what it is. The challenge is people have various sets of data and stuff across and even modules that have middleware cannot do that so this is a solution for an opportunity that’s out there. You can’t have 10 suppliers and expect it to go faster and have 10 in one day. They still have to go back to their disparate system’s run what would be on excel or systems you run their analysis so it’s not just about your people acting faster or making you know, 10 phone calls a day or you know 10 CPFRs a day. There has to be something that’s stretches across at a data layer, that allows you to look at these decisions you’re making at a high level and see what the corresponding impact is to the second or third tier of a network or the second or third tier of a network has a supply shortage. The alerts at the higher level, at the brand or at the retail downstream that this is going to have an impact and right now, it is limited as far as they build what we see is excel. Massive amounts of excel there out there that people try and put this all together or at least try and get this together. The problem with that is multiple sets of numbers, but the real problem is the speed. The speed which you can get the answer just isn’t there and so it’s a huge problem. It’s what Kinaxis steps into but it’s a huge problem. You know, as far as the ability to just act faster. There’s a desire for it but it’s a –but I’d say the solution-driven changed not just a, you know, a better process or reorganization.

 

Do you have any examples of success that you could share?

 

Avaya and Schneider who came to our conference last year in October and presented. Avaya has some significant benefits that are actually coming and speaking in a couple of conferences. They mentioned two types of benefits. They used to spend a lot of time collecting and gathering data you know, and not enough time really doing proactive planning and they’d pretty much inverted that process with Kinaxis. Now, you know, we lay over a ton of their network. We pull data and allows their planners to be much more productive. It allows them to say, “I’m not going to spend time, hours of time, gathering, you know, and analyzing data, and searching for the exception. I’m going to work on the right exceptions and so massive improvement and a plan of productivity, the obvious, you know, as far as availability and as far as cost are there.”

 

But they also pointed out their planners now are much better engaged. They took this retention study, and they looked at it not just from a business perspective but also from an employee satisfaction perspective. These planners are no longer gathering data from BIs and excel and dump them all in and spending hours searching for exceptions. They’re working on proactive planning. They’re working on scenarios, simulations and trade-offs and they feel much more engaged in what they’re helping the company in a sense of, not just you know, bird dogging or chasing things as far as trying to solve a problem so that’s one.

 

Schneider had a huge network they had what I’d say is , nearly a hundred--over a hundred different instances of an ERP transaction system. I’ll--be it through maybe acquisitions and stuff and they literally could not stick that all together. They didn’t want to wait for the,you know, the endless journey to get to a single instance. They said the transaction systems are separate, the planning that we need to do needs to be on you know, on a--agnostic to the ERP that stitches all together and so what they did is came to Kinaxis and we stitched together all those ERP transaction systems. Allows them to run a global ERP across their suppliers, across their customers, across this really complex, you know, desire to get a network of a hundred and some ERP systems and now they don’t have to wait for all that consolidation to occur. They can still work on the ERP consolidation from a transaction benefit but from a planning perspective, they now can have access across their network and that has a big benefit to them, leveraging suppliers, leveraging capacity, leveraging you know, inventory and sales orders and such. Now, they can make what they deem as much better decisions on margin, much better decisions on you know, where best to place some of their assets.

 

 

About Charles Wehlage

 

 

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Charles Wehlage

VIce President, Industry Advisor, Kinaxis

LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Daniel Ekwall who discussed Seasonality of Cargo Theft at Transport Chain Locations.

 

 

 

 

Daniel, this is going to be another interesting interview, Seasonality of Cargo Theft Transport Chain Locations.

 

Yes. Thank you again for inviting me. It’s always a pleasure to talk to you about these things. Today, we’ll talk about seasonality and that’s an interesting phenomena. Everybody is doing researching in criminology. Knows they are different free crusading for the impacts from different crimes when it comes to time of year, time of week, time of day, and so on. So, in this case we try to utilize all the knowledge that is developing in criminology and try to put into cargo theft risk in road transport for mainly to see what these theories in criminology put forward about seasonality.

 

Can you talk about the paper that you published about this topic?

 

Yes. It’s a paper we published. I think it was 2013 in the International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, which is a good journal in the field of logistics. In that paper we utilized the TAPA EMEA, IIS data which contains roughly over 20,000 unique reported cargo theft incidents which means real cargo theft incidents. The problem is that if the incidents are considered to be too small when comes to impact, it’s not reported into the system if nobody wants to report it, it also is not reported into the system. Nevertheless, even Europe put forward this database as being the most reliable in E.U. when it comes to understanding this problem.

 

With that said, we looked into the cargo theft as seasonality effects from a risk perspective which means that we have a frequency focus, and we have an impact focus, both of these. We need to understand if the frequencies change, if the impacts change because the combination of impact and frequency is, as everybody in risk understands is the risk. We did find something really interesting is that when it comes to seasonality on year which we actually expected, thanks to the theories in criminology, that we would have an increase in number of property-related crimes, which is basically what cargo thefts is about.

 

We expected an increase in winter with non-violent and we expect an increase in summer time with violent behavior. That goes directly back to criminology theories. We didn’t really find the increase with the times. We did find it. The very issue was only on frequency. We didn’t find any variation basically in impact and that leads to the conclusion that if you talk about seasonality time of year, it’s the number of crimes that changes, not how and what they are targeting.

 

If we look into time of week, there is the--understand that you have different attack modes when it comes to time of week. Monday to Friday’s working days, Saturday’s and Sunday’s is free time for the companies, normally, which means that that we would expect--let’s say an increase in frequency over the weekends because then most of the trucks are standing still and that’s called a facility. That’s what we expected from that point of view. We didn’t find that.

 

We did, however, find an increase in frequency when it comes to the less protected areas which means the non-secure parkings and the on route locations which is between facilities. That’s we did find a frequency and change but not any value or impact change. So, basically, again, it falls back to the same conclusion is that, it’s the number of attacks that differs. Not how and when and where they are done]. They are slightly the same which means that you have a number of perpetuate is that it goes back to a preferred modus operandi and they attack like a preferred location and a preferred ratio when it comes to when time of year wiser they attack.

 

What was--Unfortunate, in this data was that we couldn’t really pinpoint the time of day because if we look into other research from the International Road Haulers Union, think it was published in 2007, it’s that the interview started talking to the intrude the number of drivers and that tried to pinpoint where time of day wise. The risk was as high as or the most attack. That started pointed out that main--the main time of day work for thefts is after ten in the evening and before six in the morning. Basically, the higher likelihood that the truck is extra standing still. And, that’s actually not surprising just common sense for one point of view.

 

Unfortunately, in our research from the TAPA EMEA IIS database, we couldn’t double check that. The quality of the data in the IIS database was too low also we couldn’t do that check and that was, unfortunately. But, I think that when it comes to the, at least the non-violent crime, see that the spread for time of day. For the violent crimes, you need someone to track them and they knew we said the opposite instead because you need to threaten someone at work which means basically during working hours instead.

 

What about the outcome? How do you assess these conclusions?

 

As this one of the first where we actually utilized this amount of data from one source and--which is looking into it in this way and the--also, I have a background in the industry and lots of connections that’s what I’ve lost in discussiions about this outcome. What was surprisingly, to me, from a practical background was that we couldn’t really see the Christmas effect which is talked about in security industry. We have an increasing problem in mainly October, November, maybe the first week in December for this activity referred more to that thieves steal in Christmas steal the products so they can sell it before Christmas which also in this case would lead to that you would have a drop in problems directly after Christmas. We couldn’t really see this in this research which was little bit surprising because I did expect that, actually. We actually saw and interesting phenomenal, we called it the reduction during the December. So, the December effect total reduction of crimes in December and that was really unexpected.

 

Thanks again, Daniel, for sharing this important topic.

 

Yeah, thank you again. For everybody who wants to read more detail, you can find it in the paper. It’s publicly linked to the journal so it’s International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management and so on. And, if you email me, I can provide you with a copy.

 

 

 

About Daniel Ekwall

 

 

 

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Daniel Ekwall

Associate Professor In Supply Chain Management at Hanken

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