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I interviewed Paul Jakubicek who discussed New Book on Understanding Truck Weights and Dimensions.







It's great to speak with you again, Paul. It's been about a year since we talked last. I'm interested to learn more about what you're working on currently. Can you first provide the audience with a brief background of yourself and what you're working on that would be of Interest to the Supply Chain and Logistics Community?


Hi, Dustin. Yeah. Thanks for having me again. Really, I've worked in the transportation and distribution industries for, really, the past 10 years. I've done everything from being a truck driver to working in a transportation company as a logistics person and then as an internal consultant. Two years ago, I started a website, because I saw there was a big gap in information on truck rates and dimensions. So I came up with this idea of putting together information from across all 50 US States and 10 Canadian provinces and the legal sizes and weight limits for semi-trucks.


So I put this website together, and it's been going for a few years. Really, it's targeted at... Initially, I thought it would be really useful for safety people in companies, which at the time, I was kind of aligned with that. So I saw these helpful for them, and it has been. But then over the past couple of years with the website, I saw that a lot more truck drivers themselves were coming onto the website looking for information.


So that's a little bit of the background on what I've been doing in the past and what I've been doing in the past couple of years with the website Big Truck Guide.


Is there more that you could share about why you started the textbook? You said you have an e-textbook that you wrote. Can you talk about that and why you wrote it?


Yeah. Really, I started writing an e-textbook. It's selling well, so hopefully we'll put out a paper copy soon. But really, it's essentially that interest from truck drivers that were coming on the site and then a conversation with an old colleague of mine about the fact that this would be great if the information on this website would be in a form that could be presented in a truck-driver orientation class, like in a larger trucking company or in a truck-driving school,that that information would work well in that format.


So that got me thinking that it would be essentially like... A lot of the concepts that are displayed on the website — concepts like gross weights, axle weights — they're not really taught in any structured way in schools, and there's not a lot of good material on how to actually get to that. So I just saw it as kind of a niche in the market there that needed to be filled.


So I went ahead and started working on this e-textbook. So it's about 50 pages long. It's got a lot of figures and help for drivers, and it's got four different sections. It's sectioned into four different parts, and each has their own quiz that can test the reader's knowledge with the 10 questions and the answer are at the back of the book for the cheaters.


And who will benefit from the book?


Well, really, it's truck drivers. It's really mainly targeted toward truck drivers. So just to give you an example of how complicated the weight rate ratios are... Every truck driver, whether they realize it or not, they have to comply with at least five different types of rate regulations at any one time in the US and Canada. So you have gross weights, which is the limit on total weight of the truck. So the truck driver has to take into account just his payload plus the empty weight of his truck.


Then in addition to that, you have axle weight. So every axle or group of axles on a semi-truck is regulated at a certain weight for most of the time.


Then — not to keep on going —there's also regulation on tire weights. So each state will usually specify... There's a federal regulation, and there's a state might allow a higher weight. And that's a weight per inch of tire width. So if your tire is 11 inches versus 12 inches wide, then you're going to have a different amount of weight that you can carry on that tire, just on that specific tire.


The fourth type of weight are manufacturers weights. So regardless of the other weights that I've just spoken about, you have to comply with the manufacturer's specified weight. So they'll say, "This truck" — it doesn't matter what the government says you can carry on it — "but we the manufacturer of this vehicle say that you can only put 12,000 pounds onto that steer axle." So even though the federal regulation says you can put 20,000 pounds onto one single axle, then you have to comply with that lower manufacturer's weight.


Then the fifth part is bridge weights. Bridge weights are, again, they specify a difference in weight depending on how far apart and how many axles you are. And there's a formula that's put together by the US federal government on specifying that weight that calculates out a weight between a group of axles.


So you have these five different types of weight restrictions that are really confusing, and even presenting them on my website, I wasn't able to really communicate that well what all those weight restrictions are and which ones are displayed. So I went through and explained each one of those in detail. And then there's a final part, a final chapter of the book, which is on kingpin to rear axle measures. I'm not sure whether all listeners know about these. But I found that they've been really important for truck driving. There's really been a lot of interest in that regulation.


Can you share any more of the key takeaways from the book and results that could be expected from following the recommendations?


Yeah. For sure. After you go through that book, then you'll be able to identify those five different weight areas and weight regulations. So gross weights, axle weights, tire weights, and manufacturer's weights, and bridge weights. As a driver, you'll be able to go and identify what is relevant for me in each instance and how those weights work.


The second part of the book goes on to talk about US federal laws, essentially and how they work and a little bit about their history. So there is a couple of pieces of legislation that have a big impact on truck weights and dimensions in the United States. They standardized them. So that's the STAA and the [inaudible 00:07:43]. There's also a lot of talk because there's these federal regulations that apply everywhere and make an 80,000-pound truck network, and that's kind of like the federal standard. But off of this federal network, essentially of federally funded roads in the US, there's lower weight restrictions or higher weight restrictions that can apply. There's also a grandfathered that changed those rates on those federal roads, those grandfathered provisions. So those are explained in another part of the book.


Then it goes on to a second part about US federal law and where dimension regulations come into effect. So you're looking at things like widths of vehicles, overall lengths of vehicles, and trailer-lengths of vehicles. So how long can your trailer be? How long are states allowed to restrict your trailer? Which is 48 feet. How long can... Your state then can say, well, you can run with 53-foot trailers, that's fine, which most states do. So you can take your 53-foot trailer, but then there's a little caveat in there, which is in the final part of the book.


And the final part of the book goes into kingpin to rear axle measures. So these have to do with the trailer lengths. So these kingpin to rear axle measures...what you can do is you measure the distance between the kingpin — and that's the part on your trailer that connects to your tractor and your tandem axles. So states restrict that distance, essentially, because they don't want drivers' trailers to swing out too far when they make a turn. So some states will restrict that distance for longer trailers.


I've found that drivers have a really hard time following this and finding this information because this is governed by the state level, even though it applies on the federal network. So you have to know, as a driver, what the kingpin-to-axle distance is in every state, even though it's not listed in any central location, except for now on Big Truck Guide.


You can also... There's also atlases that you can buy that have this, but I've found that actually some of those are out of date, and they don't have the same information that we do on the website there.


So those, I think, are the big takeaways. So what are the different types of weight restrictions; US federal laws, to really understand what you can do on the federal network; and then kingpin-to-rear-axle measures — how far can you put your tandems back and forward and what are the regulations surrounding that. And then, as I said, there are quizzes that test the knowledge of the student in each of those places.


So I hope that it's used in those situations like a truck-driver orientation class, I could imagine it being used or for truck-driver training schools. So I think it's a good thing for truck drivers in those areas.


Where can people go to learn more and to get the book?


Really, you can go onto You can buy the book there, and it's available in PDF format, and also, if you purchase the book there, there are also all those quizzes are available in separate handout. So if you buy the book, it's only $9.99. You buy the book, and you get a PDF copy and EPUB copy for your e-reader. And you have all those four quizzes, and you have a student version, instructor version, and then just answers. So you have each of those quizzes separately, so you can print them off easily and hand them out.


You can also go onto Amazon, and it's available there. If you have a Kindle and you want to read it on your Kindle, then it's available on Amazon. You can just search for understanding semi-truck weight and dimension regulations, truck driver training textbook.


Thanks, Paul, for sharing today.


Yeah. Thank you very much.



About Paul Jakubicek






Paul Jakubicek


Founder and Head of Research at

Freight Transport Research Institute


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Kathy Bornheimer who discussed The Bridge Generation.








What is the Bridge Generation?


The bridge generation is the workforce with 15 or more years of experience. They tend to be in the late 30s to mid-50s age group. They are in professional jobs, skilled trades, or service workers in all disciplines. They literally form the bridge between the millennials and the emerging workforce with the retiring baby boomers. If you view the baby boomers and the millennials as two cliffs and then how you get from one cliff to another, it's the bridge generation.


Don't forget that many of the millennials are already in their mid to late 20s, so this is not the emerging workforce. Your emerging workforce was born as recently as this century. So how are we going to get this people up to the level of the baby boomers? And that's through the bridge generation.


How can they help employers?


The bridge generation provides the skills, experience, and knowledge that's being lost from the retiring workforce. Most employers are focusing on the skills gap. They are not really acknowledging the experience or the knowledge gap, which is even more critical than the skills gap.


The emerging workforce has the current skills needed but not the extensive application of those skills or the experience. Remember, experience takes time. Learning by experience — what works and what doesn't work — avoids or reduces failure. When used effectively, the bridge generation that also possess strong interpersonal communication skills should be used as mentors, supervisors, or project leaders. Again, this increases continuity that saves time and money for the employer.


Now this area is important because of what is happening in the world of work. AARP publishes this information extensively, and they will put it in their public policy section of their website. In partnership with Manpower International, headquartered here in Milwaukie, Wisconsin, they listed the 10 fields that are lacking greatly in the workforce, and this includes personal caregivers. Remember, as the baby boomers age and they get to the senior years, they are going to need more assistance. So the personal caregivers who are retiring, are going to actually need the services themselves.


Ride-share drivers.Don't just think of Uber and Lyft. But as more and more seniors are giving up their car keys, they are going to have to find ways to get to places. So this is where ride-share comes in.


Administrative assistance.In general, office managers, administrative assistants, the good people are hard to find, and it takes time to develop their expertise. Remember, they make the boss look good.


Medical receptionists and administration in medical.Healthcare right now is almost in crisis mode with the increase in the need for the services and then where do we find the workforce.


The fifth one is financial services — not just stockbrokers and financial planning, but again, the baby boomers are now retired. Now how are they going to spend their retirement years and their retirement dollars? This is where financial services comes in to play on how are they going to spending this money wisely. Keep in mind, it is very difficult to take a new graduate out of college and have them relate to somebody in their 60s and 70s. There isn't a lot of mutual reference and cultural references between these two age groups. The seniors feel much more comfortable with people who've got a little more seasoning.


Skilled trades, which gets an awful lot of press in the United States and especially in Wisconsin — machinists, welders, construction, those types of people. They're wearing out. They cannot work until they're in their 70s because of the physicality of the job. Think of people out on the shop floor where there is no climate control. It's very cold in the winter and hot in the summer. They are going to retire when they are able to retire, and who is going to pick up the slack?


Vacation rental managers. Again, you've got these retired people and baby boomers with discretionary income. They will become snowbirds. They vacation a lot, and they'll be going to these hospitalities and resort areas. You need very effective managers at these facilities, or you are not going to have happy customers, and you will not stay in business.


Going back to healthcare. Nurses —don't just think in hospital. Home care is where the big need is. More and more seniors, as they age, and as they run into health situations, are staying home, and so they need nurses to come in. These people are not going into the hospital.


Off-shift warehouse workers. Remember, this area in logistics and warehousing is a 24/7 operation. Again, we're emphasizing off-shift warehouse workers. We, as a species, are not nocturnal, so your second- and third-shift workers are a unique breed, and these people have got to be found wisely and developed. And again, your bridge generation is going to help that process.


Then, teachers. This is national. This is getting a lot of coverage here in the state of Wisconsin because of what has happened in the last couple of years. You've got your new graduate teachers going into some very unique classrooms, and they do not have the experienced professionals who are good at what they do to be their mentors and to be leaders in groups. And this is how it's happening in education in particular. So, again, the continuity and helping the Millennials and the emerging workforce transition into successful work and having good role models. So this is what you need the bridge generation to do.


How can they be developed?


Many of these people are already developed. And most are currently employed. Now hopefully they're working for you, if this is an employer listening to this. These people have already empowered themselves and invested into their own additional skill training or continuing education. They have been mentored and have experience in managing their abilities and how to use them. They generally tend to be self-directed and self-motivated. So this is an asset they have and they display. And for employers and supervisors and managers who recognize these traits, you've got to key-in on them.


The bridge generation has also kept current with for-credit or noncredit courses or classes. This is at a university, technical school, or CEU's sponsored by a professional association. They have kept current on certification. Plus, they belong to professional associations or social groups. They are also very active with these organizations or associations in volunteering, so they are already used to working with people and volunteering and giving of their time and their expertise. So this is an area that you have to take a look at. Your current workforce, you have to know your current workforce very well so that you're aware that they are involved in these type of activities. And this goes beyond just their annual review.


Final recommendations.


First of all, employers need to see the value in this age or experience group. This is especially true with the 50-year-plus workforce. Again, AARP continues to provide data and published this data in their public policy postings. It is still the fact that the 50-plus age group experienced job loss at a higher rate, and re-employment in comparable jobs still lags.


I've been using the phrase "aging out, waging out," because often, these people are at the upper end of the compensation and benefit area. And so they do "cost more" than the younger, less experienced workforce. But you cannot afford to lose these people.


The newer workforce is just not getting the benefits of the bridge generation. The most critical areas are manufacturing, HVAC installation — especially commercial and industrial — construction, skilled trades, direct care medical, customer service, and education. Think of your customer service rep who just goes into the job. They're 23, 24 years old. They have not been trained adequately. They do not have good role models. The supervisors in customer service, especially call centers, are under an awful lot of pressure to produce. If you have the bridge generation mentoring and showing these people the better ways of doing things so that you have happy customers and you keep your customers and, again, retain your revenue.


The other area, again, is education. Far, far too many entry-level teachers are just tossed into the lake, and it's like swim. Stay afloat. Many are good floaters, but if they're not good floaters, they're going to sink. And the parents are not going to be happy; the children are not going to get educated; and that person will leave that school or leave the profession.


What I have seen as I am working with this group... Many of my clients are 50 years or older. And what I'm seeing is the quantity and the quality in the bridge generation is diminishing. I'm also very active with AARP. So I'm seeing the concerns of the senior worker, of those who have retired and why they have retired.And so you have to be mindful now as to how you are going to keep them.


Now if you are the workforce listening to this and you are a bridge generation, and you have all of these skills — the mentoring, the interpersonal communication, the skill, self-motivated, self-directed, let certain people know. Remember to display confidence, not arrogance. UseLinkedIn effectively. LinkedIn is a great tool for you — finding people and for the right people finding you.


Employers, become skilled at networking. Use LinkedIn effectively as well. Take a look at what the strong workforce is doing and do the same thing. Use your best employees who are already the bridge generation to find more. They can be your best recruiters. They are the ones who are active in the softball league. Maybe there's a coach for the volleyball. They know the parents. The bowling team. They all talk amongst themselves, so if they are happy with their employer and the employer is doing everything right, including effectively using the bridge generation, they're going to let other people know.


Those in your workforce who volunteer, again, they have all these connections. They're comfortable, usually, speaking with people and taking the initiative.


So these are the final recommendations that I have for employers. Recognize these traits. See how beneficial this is going to be for you. How is this going to maintain your continuity of services? And how are you going to be able to recruit and retain a quality workforce of all generations? Again, this is the bridge. These are the workers who form the bridge between your younger, less experienced workforce and the baby boomers who are retiring in greater numbers, and it's only going to accelerate as time goes by.


About Kathy Bornheimer






Kathy Bornheimer


Career and Employment Specialist, Speaker on dealing with Satisfying Employment


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Andrea Stroud who discussed APQC’s Recent Analytics in the Supply Chain Research Study.







Today were speaking with Andrea Stroud the Supply Chain  Research Program Manager for APQC. Andrea Can you tell us a little bit about  what you are doing and what are you currently working on regarding APQC recent Analytics in the Supply Chain Research study?


Absolutely. Thank you, Dustin. It's always a pleasure to speak with you about our research. APQC is actually a global membership-based organization that focuses on best practices with organizations and bench marking. And what I do is I focus on developing a research program and conducting primary research and published relevant and meaningful content for our members. So we've had some pretty exciting research in the analytics area focusing on analytics in the supply chain.


There's been tons of buzz about analytics. It's everywhere, especially with regards to its use in the supply chain. An increasing number of organizations are tapping into the power of analytics to improve performance and identify improvement opportunities. APQC's recent analytics in the supply chain research really looked at organizations that have an analytics department or program and also how analytics is used to help make decisions that impact supply chains.


Supply chains are using analytics for a number of activities. So things like creating scoring models for vender and supplier quality cost and stability, detailed demand forecasting at the level of point of sale, and even safety stock level recommendation. This is just to name a few.


Even with the manufacturing groups, we see that they're using data to help predict when maintenance is needed for things like refrigeration and air conditioning units. So it's really all very interesting and companies are very excited about it.


And do most Supply Chain organization have a formal analytics program or structure?


Dustin, that's a great question. From our research that we've conducted, three-fourths of the survey participants for our study report that their organization has a formal analytics program or structure.


So typically what we see is about a third have a centralized analytics function where there is like a center of excellence that supports the entire organization. And then we see about another third that have a hybrid of both a centralized and a decentralized function. So they have that center of excellence that supports the entire organization, but then there are these subgroups. For example, procurement may have an analytics group or supply chain planning may have an analytics group that are supporting that particular area as well. And those groups tend to report back up to the centralized analytics group.


Then about 15% have a decentralized function. What we notice is the programs and the structures vary depending on the structure of the company and the company size and whatever the needs are. A good example of this really is for oil and gas. Many oil and gas organizations are very large and often have a decentralized organizational structure. These are the organizations that often have that hybrid structure for analytics that includes an analytics center of excellence and a decentralized programs and/or analytics teams throughout the organization.


But a problem that is often seen when an organization has a hybrid analytics program or structure,and that's that the groups aren't talking to each other and sharing knowledge about their process. So organizations sometimes end up replicating work in invested-in areas. They don't need to invest in it. If you already have those resources in the organization, you want to make sure that they're being utilized in certain skill-set criteria, training criteria are all being passed down to some of those decentralized groups. So the communication has to happen for it to be successful.


Can you tell us what are the challenges or barriers to organization  analytics efforts in the supply chain?


Absolutely. In our recent analytics in the supply chain study, we found that supply chain organizations that provided the challenges, that their organizations were experienced. And there were really five top ones that came out. The first one was really about maintaining organizational momentum for analytics activities. These are companies or organizations that have started an analytics program, however to keep people continuing to be interested in it and to find it beneficial, organizations have to keep making sure that they are communicating the benefits of the program and all their resources that are available from it and its uses. So that's the first barrier is, again, that momentum for analytics activities.


The second barrier we found was finding the tactical resources. So the people need it to carry out analytics activities. A lot of organizations look outside. But a lot of times they can look right inside their organization. And there are a lot of people that have certain analytical abilities. They may not necessarily be at the most advanced level, but these are people who you can train who already have a certain amount of subject matter expertise. So finding the tactical resources that are needed, you don't always have to go outside. But that is a major barrier for organizations.


The third one is executive buy-in, getting that approval and acceptance for analytics activities. It's a challenge because executives want to see... They want to know what those business performance impacts will be for analytics. And you really get that buy-in through pilot programs. But it's very challenging for organizations initially to get the buy-in. But if you start a pilot in either a decentralized group or on a specific project where you're applying analytics, it really helps to get that executive buy-in.


And then the fourth barrier that we often see is having the right technology, the tools, the infrastructure in place for analytics to actually happen. Really, part of that comes down to making sure that you communicate with your IT groups and you lay down specifications for the data, for how the data is going to be collected, how you'll receive the data back once it's collected. So that communication piece is very important, and having the right technology and tools is essential.


The fifth and final barrier, this came up in our research that financial resources were needed to carry out analytics activities. However, the research also showed that organizations over the past three years have actually been increasing their budget. I think the thing that comes up here with the barrier is that even though you're increasing the budget, you have to show that return on investment in order to continue to get financial resources that are needed for analytics and to keep that analytics program continuing on.


What are the most common type of analytics being used within the supply chain?


Dustin, supply chain organizations conduct and use three different types of analytics. So there is descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics. So the descriptive analytics really combines your business intelligence with existing data to provide a vision of what's currently happening in the organization. So you typically see things like your mean, median, mode, frequency distributions, or discrete data points, percentile rankings, that sort of thing.


Supply chain organizations have reported... This is the most common type of analytics that's being used in the different areas of supply chain, and especially for benchmarking projects. Even though this is useful as an indicator of an organization's current performance in certain process areas, the descriptive benchmarking does not provide information on why performance is what it is and how it can improve. You really find out those things from the predictive analytics as well as the prescriptive analytics.


Predictive analytics, however, uses historical data and various algorithms to predict outcomes of various scenarios to help anticipate future events and predict trends. It really uses things like forecasting and statistical models to help to form analytics to judge and provide recommendation about what could occur.


When we look at prescriptive analytics, which not as many supply chain organizations are using, unfortunately, except for in the supply chain planning area. We do see a lot more of the prescriptive analytics. But in that area, it uses optimization or embedded decision rules to find out what should happen in a certain situation. So this form of analytics is really the most advanced because it uses insights that are actually gleaned from the prescriptive analytics that have occurred, to recommend business decisions or actions that are likely to produce a specific result.


And what enables analytics and an organization?


Well, Dustin, that's another great question. APQC's research has shown that there are really four factors that help enable analytics. So the first enabler of analytics is having the necessary data available, and the data has to be a high degree of quality.


So using quality data will help ensure that you get a quality analysis that would allow for more accurate interpretation of the data. So without quality data, the analysis is flawed. So receiving data in a timely fashion for timely decision-making is very important. Many people at organizations have to go through so many hurdles to even obtain the data, and then once they get the data, it could potentially not be in a format that they want, or there is something wrong with the data. So there is a lot of question in organizations about the validity of the data that they're using for analysis. But an enabler of a good analytics program is having that accurate and timely data.


Another, the second enabler, is having the ability to interpret results then clearly visualize and communicate those results. So you have to have not only the ability to look at the data, to make sense of the data, but if you make sense of it, but you can't communicate it back to the rest of the organization, then it's not very helpful, so you have to really make an effort to communicate that back. And a lot of times, that's actually done through visualization tools or dashboards. A lot of organizations use that to communicate the data and information back so that supply chain managers can make decisions off of it.


Then the third — I had talked about technology, tools, and infrastructure earlier, but that's our third enabler. Having that in place is essential, and it requires, as I mentioned before, good communication between the business and IT groups regarding analytics, needs, data needs. It really helps to put the criteria of the data in place.


The fourth enabler is around executive buy-in. So analytics can't be supported without executive buy-in. Organizations with effective analytics programs — those are our best-practice organizations — they don't just have executive buy-in, but they have executives who are actively communicating the importance of analytics use within the organization. So it goes back to what I mentioned earlier about keeping that communication of the success and what's going on with the analytics so that everyone in the organization is aware, and they are knowledgeable, and they know what they can use and what they can do with the data.


Do you have any practical tips for organization with analytics program?


I do. APQC's recent study, as I mentioned, had showed that the majority of participants were reporting in increasing investment on analytics. And even though there was that increase over the past three years of funding for analytics projects and activities, however, when I talked to different organizations and looked at our recent research, it's clear that even though the budgets have increased, many organizations may not be seeing the return on investment that they were hoping for.So I do want to cover some tips that organizations can use to help them see the performance and value of an analytics program.


Really, analytics programs will want to make sure that the goals and objectives of their analytics program align with organizational objectives. It is through this alignment that they can ensure that you are collecting the right data and analyzing it in a way that will help supply chain professionals make business decisions.


It's also important for organizations to examine their map supply chain processes and look at where analytics fits into their supply chain process. This helps an organization identify any gaps in the process or areas of need. So one thing that we find with a lot of organizations is they haven't mapped their supply chain process, whether it be something like procure-to-pay process or source-to-pay. If those processes aren't mapped, you really can't see where you can include analytics to help support your efforts. So you really have to have those mapped.


One other area, another tip, for organizations is having the right resources in place. And this really relies on three realms of expertise to make it successful. So you have to have domain experts who can really define the problem and understand what needs to be solved in the supply chain area.Second, you need the analytics experts who know the limitation and possibilities of analytics. Finally, you need data management experts who know where to get the data and what the data means.


Going back to the analytics expert, when we think about that person, we also should consider what level of analytics is needed and being conducted at the organization. Some organizations have invested in data scientists and statisticians but are only reporting descriptive statistics that a data analyst could technically report. So you end up spending a lot more money than is necessary for the program or for what you're doing currently in the program.


Organizations have to think about the number of analytics people that are needed to be on a more advanced level of expertise versus lower-advanced level data analyst or statisticians.


Organizations can also take someone on a very advanced level and bring other analysts or statisticians within the organization up to a higher level through mentoring. Again, if you hire a statistician or a data scientist, and you have others within the organization who have some knowledge of analytics and some analysis capabilities, you can have that person really train and develop those people to conduct more sophisticated analysis. And I highly recommend that for organizations, because we've seen that to be very effective at best-practice companies.


The final and very important point that I want to make is that for supply chain leaders to understand the impact of analytics to its organization, it is important to assess the measures that are being used to evaluate the program and make sure that the right ones have gone chosen.


So an organization shouldn't just focus on business performance measures such as revenue, cost, customer [inaudible 00:16:57] and cycle time, even though that is what a lot of our executives like you to focus on. They are important to look at, but that's not the only thing you should be looking at. You also want to look at things like behavioral change measures. These measures typically help an organization monitor the adoption rates or changes in norms and practices within an organization. They also monitor an organization's use of analytics outputs to help support the decision making.


Behavioral measures that are often overlooked are the number and types of actions taken, based on analytics. So you use analytics to [inaudible 00:17:45]. Well, you need to record that and note that, because that's really going to help you determine the success of your program.


Looking at utilization and consumption or downloads of analytics outputs, managers download in reports based on analysis. That all should be documented and tracked. The number of service requests for analytics projects, that's another one to track and look at, because that tells you, one, are people utilizing the services that are offered through analytics, and also are they finding any benefit. You'd definitely want to track those things.


And the final, the number of employees requesting analytics training, whether it be formal or informal, as well as the outcome of that training, that is essential, because if you have more people interested in training for analytics, you will have more people doing some basic analysis and even learning how to do more sophisticated analysis. It really expresses the need and interest within the organization to have that training and to track that information.


Thank you for having me, Dustin. It's always a pleasure, and I look forward to sharing more information with you on our research in the future.


About Andrea Stroud




Andrea Stroud.jpg


Andrea Stroud


Research Program Manager APQC


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Julio Franca who discussed Part 3 - What Trends will affect the Next Generation of Supply Chains?







1. Please provide a brief background of yourself


Sure. I am a Naval Engineer with a Master in Finance and a MBA at Rotterdam School of Management (top 5 in Europe). I have over 20 years of experience in Supply Chain, having spent ½ of my time as a Supply Chain executive in a FMCG manufacturer, running operations, and the other ½ of my careers as a Supply Chain consultant.


Currently I am one of the founding partners of Spin Consulting (, a specialized SC boutique who differentiates by deliver fast, tangible and sustainable results to our clients.


Thanks for having me here.


2. This is the third interview in our 3 part series about the top 10 issues affecting the next generation of supply chains. Last time you discussed to issues 4, 5 and 6. What would you say are the next 4 issues in order of importance?


7. Micro segmentation will be key to success

8. Technology to support SCM will primarily be “on tap.

9. Leaders will leverage social media in a closed loop feedback process

10.  Artificial intelligence will be embedded in mainstream supply chain activities


3. Please explain what each issue is and why it is important and what can be done to effectively address these 3 issues? 


7. Micro segmentation will be key to success:


Do you have a detailed knowledge of your individual consumer or customer segments—your micro segments?   The honest answer for most companies would be “no.” A micro segment is defined as that exact part of the general buying category that triggers the purchasing decision—not the category itself. To illustrate, in recent work with a provider of smart phone accessories, we discovered that the company had several underserved micro segments—specifically, the design your own/assemble your own accessory segment. However, the ability to identify and service those segments was far beyond the reach of this company’s supply chain. Going forward, organizations will need to know their micro segments, and their supply chains must be able to effectively service them based on the business strategy. I always encourage clients to think of their business in terms of the individual consumer or groups of consumers as opposed to a broad brush view of categories. Put another way, adopt a B2C (business to consumer) mindset even if your operation is predominantly B2B (business to business).


8. Technology to support SCM will primarily be “on tap. :


SaaS (software as a service) is gaining main- stream attention. We contend that most if not all supply chain technologies by 2020 will be delivered and consumed via this method—or “on tap.” The user will pay for the ability to use the capability and will not have to incur the large fixed costs of ongoing maintenance, upgrades, and infrastructure expenditures that can amount to almost 25 to 30 percent of the cost of ownership. The widespread adoption of SaaS constructs will likely be accelerated by the rise of cloud computing and diminishing concerns about the security aspects of SaaS.


9. Leaders will leverage social media in a closed loop feedback process:


Social media data is everywhere today. In recent work we did with a durable goods company, we found that they had 2,000 websites/ blogs that were discussing their products and service needs on a fairly regular basis. However, this company—like most—did not have a systematic method to study the data and disseminate the information to the various supply chain constituencies (design, planning, procurement, service, manufacturing, and so forth). This is necessary to provide closed loop feedback processes that allow the company to proactively respond to the feedback. The winning companies will be able to receive, process and act on the data that is being provided to them by their constituents via social media.


10.  Artificial intelligence will be embedded in mainstream supply chain activities:


Humans learn by doing and processes improve as they get “leaned out.” Yet somehow, every time we build a supply chain system we begin the process from the ground up. Planners go through the same calculation steps every time they start; procurement folks repeat approximately 35 percent to 40 percent of the activities they did in the past. The same holds true for people involved in building logistics and execution systems. The problem is that when embarking on a supply chain program or initiative we do not have access to algorithms that learn and retain the knowledge and experience of the past. We contend that supply chain artificial intelligence will need to be embedded in more effectively automating mainstream supply chain activities.


About Julio Franca







Julio Franca


Director at Spin Consulting


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Tim Calie who discussed Leadership for Business Improvement with Existing Salaries and Systems.





Can you first provide a brief background of yourself?



Yeah. Certainly.Good morning, Dustin. I have been a supply chain executive for the past 27 years with various distribution [inaudible 00:00:36], various distribution, transportation, warehouse, third-party logistics, as well as asset-based firms. In every single environment, I was able to reduce cost and improve service levels with the existing salaries and systems by an average of 10 to 20%.


Can you introduce this topic about Leadership for Business Improvement and discuss what it's about?


Yes. The topic thatI'm going to discuss is after being involved in the executive leadership role for 27 years. The past five years I've been doing consulting projects. And as a consistent viewpoint of all the other consultants that are out there to [inaudible 00:01:25] businesses is that normally, a consultant will go to a business for improvements that are warehouse, transportation, distribution. Again, third-party logistics as well as asset-based. And what they will do is they would put in a new software system or a new hardware system which means a [inaudible 00:01:49] scanning system to improve the existing operation as well as put in a new salary to improve existing operations, that they're having service-level issues, or more importantly, high cost within the existing operations.


So what I've seen is that they have to put in more money into the system to improve the current system as far as salary or a hardware/software system, whether it's something as far as integrating the existing software or a [inaudible 00:02:33] forklift operating, RF system, or any kind of scanning mode. So that's where I'm at, and I'm able to improve the existing operation without putting in new salaries.


Can you talk some more, a little bit about how it's done?


Yes, of course. I'll describe to you the brief methodology of it. The [inaudible 00:02:59] of the methodology aspect is leadership, culture, analysis of the suitability of the associates, the re-structure and the reorganization of the environment regarding process flow. Also, the analysis implementation, formatting of process and procedures and lastly, engagement, motivation, and empowerment of teams. Those are the key focal points in the methodology to improve the existing operation, again, with no new software, hardware, and no new salaries.


The next point would be to create a culture. By that, I mean create a motivated culture that fosters and promotes teamwork and collaboration. The second [inaudible 00:03:48] culture aspect would be to improved communication among associates and management.


The leadership aspect — the key is making the time to orchestrate a business [inaudible 00:04:02], to perform at a high [inaudible 00:04:04] with motivated associates. This breaks down to two simple entities— people and processes. Again, leadership. Leadership is a critical component of creating a high-efficient, profitable, and motivated business environment. [inaudible 00:04:22] industries and have a superior work ethics to possibly produce prolific results. But a highly prolific leader will first engage all the associates on a consistent basis with a positive, professional, and supportive demeanor, and most importantly, respect the care for all team members. That's very, very important.


A consistent, engagement verbiage will open-ended inquiries to learn about all the associates [inaudible 00:04:54] performing their responsibilities is very important for a leader to obtain the full pulse of the operation.


Again, the leader most [inaudible 00:05:06] with the associates know many reasons why the issues are occurring, that are its high cost or low-service levels. And then he has the solutions, get leaders that are engages, cares, and respects the [inaudible 00:05:18] in general.


Some [inaudible 00:05:24] a greatly...also very respectful and open to admit that they make a mistake and engages in a very collaborative, open-ended inquiries. "Does that make sense?" Or "What do you think?"


The [inaudible 00:05:39] issue history regarding root cause... Many businesses in our world, when an issue occurs, [inaudible 00:05:46] an abundance of people into a process [inaudible 00:05:49] creating an [inaudible 00:05:50] scenario. It involves an analysis of the root cause of the issue, proper restructuring at the processes, procedure, to ensure there is accountability to present any further issues if required.


Analysis process flow will be the next step. Again, regarding the analysis process flow, if its own inspection and analysis of the environment to identify optimum process flow of product throughout the operation.And the second point would be the identification and analysis of daily, weekly, and monthly reports to be monitored and assigned to pertinent product leaders. [inaudible 00:06:39]


Streamlined process of procedures would be the next step. And that would involve creating a flow chart to track all the activity within operation. Then a complete review [inaudible 00:06:57] on all processes and procedures to ensure that there is firm accountability [inaudible 00:07:05]...


The next step would be analysis of the [inaudible 00:07:29]. And that would be the research of all pertinent reports that show volume, velocity, and trends of [inaudible 00:07:37]...


The next step would be the implementation of metrics and measures, which benchmarks and KPIs called Key Performance Indicators. This is very important to structure and organize the environment. [Inaudible 00:08:08] standards, benchmarks, KPI (Key Performance Indicators), [inaudible 00:08:14] departments.


[inaudible 00:08:21]...


...and the second point of metrics and measures, it’s important that all positive progress is shared in open forums to [inaudible 00:08:39]... well as sharing positive details with subordinates and presenting it in a positive professional manner, such as [inaudible 00:09:07] positive awards, such as keep the pulse going [inaudible 00:09:12]...


...documented for [inaudible 00:09:29] accountability and corrective action. Again, that's going back to the root cause of the issues that are one of the root cause. And when an issue occurs, most businesses put many people and many procedures on it and do a crisis management without finding out the root cause of the [inaudible 00:09:48]...


.. Accountability is critical in an operation, because if you don't hold people accountable in a positive, professional way, the same occurs. It will happen over and over again. [inaudible 00:10:17], as far as accountability goes, [inaudible 00:10:18] with all the climate meters, coach, train, and motivate all areas of concern in a progressive manner.


Products [inaudible 00:10:26] standards. [inaudible 00:10:29] of all activity to each area and obtaining average time and process for each department activity. Productivity standards, as far as incentives goes, there can also be incentive [inaudible 00:10:43], implemented from [inaudible 00:10:45] productivity which will also greatly reduce the number of associates required to process all products in their operation which will greatly impact your cost reduction aspect of your goals to improve the operation.


Productivity standard incentives, this program should be implemented by analysis of the best [inaudible 00:11:04] productivity versus the incentive productivity level, which again, will also [inaudible 00:11:11] reduce your staff and reduce cost if I give them incentives to produce a higher standard of productivity than with the average standard productivity is, which is called the benchmark.


Going back to leaderships.Leadership goals. [inaudible 00:11:27] company goals in open forum and also individual goals of all associates in individual sessions. More about leadership goals.It's very important that these goals, expectations of both overall company and associates have been carefully measured to ensure they're achievable of all associates.


Going into continuous improvements.It's very important to continuously communicate with your associates and a continuous sense of urgency over the environment. The continuous improvement methodology must always be inhigh-gear to maximize any areas of further improvements.


The next step would be going into morale and motivation. The final component is a focus of optimized associate morale. This is very important as this will further raise the service and productivity level and raise the bar to collaborate and foster an environment to achieve more.


The establishment of an appreciative, [inaudible 00:12:35], and motivating leadership to promote a team environment and a [inaudible 00:12:40] associates to provide their feedback for general improvements.


Another aspect of morale would be implementation of an associate of the month award to reward and recognize appreciation for outstanding [inaudible 00:12:55].


Associate of the month. The associate of the month is to be decided by a committee of all department leaders in the initial states. Also, the group of people who have been awarded associate of the month award, those associates form a committee to elect the further associate of the month, future associate of the month, to maintain the integrity of the reward and their [inaudible 00:13:27] overall.


The awards for the associate of the month can include any or all of the following. Days off from work, cash bonus and check, a parking spot close to the warehouse entrance, [inaudible 00:13:44] associate of the month. And we'll put your names in a designated area by the cafeteria, in the hallway, in an entrance way, [inaudible 00:13:54].


And again, finalizing the overall purpose of the business is the consistency. [inaudible 00:14:05] also needed is consistency of all [inaudible 00:14:09] areas to be improved in a progressive and continuous improvement level. Consistency brings a constant awareness and provides a pulse of progressive improvement of both service, productivity, and overall morale.


Any follow-up of documentation can be seen in our LinkedIn profile. Our email address is for any further information that you want to ask. That's t-i-m-c-a-l-i-e, the number six,, as well as my cell phone number 718-431-3050.


Thanks for sharing today, Tim.


You're very welcome, Dustin.



About Tim Calie






Tim Calie


Top 1% Supply Chain Executive

27 years Reduce Costs/Improve

Service Levels 10% - 20%

Existing Systems & Salaries


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Dan Rimkus who discussed Dynamic 3PL: Ahead of the Curve.







Dan, can you first provide a brief background of yourself?


Sure. I started Dynamic 3PL nearly 20 years ago. My entire career has been in logistics of some sort. Prior to starting Dynamic, I worked for a couple of tank truck carriers. We did a lot of work for Dow Chemical, and that had led to Dow requiring a third-party logistics company to manage some of their tank truck shipments. So that is how I got started back in 1997.


From there, we've now developed it into three different divisions. The first is transportation management, which is now encompassing of all modes. So whether it's LTL, truckload, intermodal, international container, we can manage that for our customers, including small parcel warehousing and order fulfillment. So we can bring product in from overseas, store it in our warehouse, ship it out to all the fulfillment throughout North America.


Lastly, our contract packaging. So, many of our customers now have us do display building, kitting, gift building, and we're actually packaging food-grade products in a clean room environment into retail packs.


So those are the three different areas that we've developed and become experts in over the past 20 years.


Why is the greater Chicago area an ideal location to find a full-service 3PL?


Well, there's many reasons. First, Chicago is a natural hub. Much of the country's interstates run right through Chicago. Within the Chicago radius, or from Chicago, we can serve 66% of the population within two days and over a third of the population overnight. So you can hit a large portion of the country in a very small time frame out of this region.


Secondly, it's also cost-efficient from a transportation standpoint. Because it's a natural hub, there's quite a few various modes of, whether it's trucking companies, inter-modal rail ramps are all based right here in Chicago. And that allows us to provide the most efficient shipping operation for our customers.


Being close to the Elwood container ramp, the BNSF ramp, there are thousands of containers a day that come in through the west coast and are de-vannedright in our backyard.


Other companies...let's say you're based in Indiana or a couple hundred miles outside Chicago, there's a fairly significant increase in your rates for those containers, because they'll still coming into ramps right here in the Chicago area.


So those combined forces companies, our customers, to look for 3PLs like us, right here in the greater Chicago market.


What is meant by a full-service 3PL?


Well, there are many firms out there that consider themselves 3PLs today. Some will provide packaging services, some warehousing, some fulfillment, some transportation, where we do all of those things for our customers. So each and every one of our customers is unique, and we provide unique solutions to them that are tailored just for their needs.


I know there's a competitor of ours, for example, that will provide the warehousing and transportation, but they outsource the kitting operations to an assembly company. That creates extra time in the supply chain for our customer as well as cost in transportation to and from that third party. So by provided all of those services under one roof, we are able to meet every logistics need for most of our customers.


Your website refers to a one-stop shop. Can you explain what that entails?


Yeah. That's kind of a carryover from what we just discussed. A typical customer of ours, for example, one of our customers, a healthcare company, is basedout of Canada. Their product is brought in from overseas. We manage that aspect. So we bring their product in from the manufacturer overseas. We put it on the rails in LA, bring it into the Elwood ramp, dray it into our warehouse, which is just a matter of minutes away, de-van it, take their product, [inaudible 00:05:10]it, separate it by like items, but an I-tag on it, or a license tag, scan it, put it into inventory. And our WMS system is a real-time system, so as we scan the inventory, our customers can see that through our web portal.


Then we do, literally, everything they need us to do after that. All fulfillment needs. So whether we have to kit that or stretch wrap it through our heat tunnels, or just ship full pallets to distributors, or large big-box retailers like Costco and Rite Aid and CVS. We can manage that entire process, including all the EDI compliance issues, like advanced shipment notices. We take care of all of those aspects for our customers. So the only thing they need to focus on are their core competencies, which tend to be producing and procurement of their goods and the sales of their goods. Everything else is handled by us.


So that's what we mean when we say "one-stop shop."


What makes you different or unique in the industry?


Well, many of our competitors focus on one or two of those services that we provide, where we provide all of those services. We also provide contract packaging, which is unique to a 3PL. This is really getting us into the manufacturing belt. We have a chocolate product that we actually package the bulk chocolate into 4.7-ounce retail bags that you'll see at Costco, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS. We have granola products. Same way.It's in all the big box food stores.


We also do liquid transloading. We transload liquid products out of bulk tank trucks, stainless steel tankers, 7,000-gallon tank trucks into 55-gallon drums or 275-gallon totes or even pails, down to a 1-gallon size.


We do this in a clean-room environment for any food-grade product. So we have the HEPA filter system, positive airflow, so that it's a very clean environment whenever we're doing any packaging.


We also have a refrigerated section. So we can provide both ambient and refrigerated storage for products that require refrigeration. And we will have our SQF level 2 certification completed this December.


What is SQF? And how can that be a benefit to your clients?


Well, SQF stands for Safe Quality Foods. That has become the go-to standard within the food-grade industry and anyone who is associated with servicing the food grade industry. A lot of this has been pushed by the big-box retailers. But they are now requiring anyone in the supply chain... Well, I should say they're requiring it yet, which is why I say we're ahead of the curve. They will soon be requiring anyone in the supply chain to become SQF certified.


We believe we will be one of the first 3PLs in the country that will achieve the SQF certification. It's part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which went into effect in 2016. It's forcing all the food manufacturers to take a closer stewardship of their product throughout the supply chain.


So basically, what SQF is, is similar to an ISO 9000-type quality program where there's a strive for continuous improvement. But it takes that much farther. It also gets into cleanliness because you're talking about food and sanitation. So it documents everything you do. Every employee has to be trained to SQF standards. Every employee has to be documented that they've been trained. Those files have to be maintained. So it's a very strict quality program that's not only good for our food-grade customers, but it's good for any client in general. It helps us run more efficiently. And that's another unique part of the SQF program. They actually put an emphasis on being efficient as well as being safe and running a sanitary operation.


Thank you, Dan, for sharing today.


Thank you, Dustin. Appreciate it very much.



About Dan Rimkus






Dan Rimkus


President at Dynamic 3pl, llc


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Julio Franca who discussed Part 2 - What Trends will affect the Next Generation of Supply Chains?







1. Please provide a brief background of yourself


Sure. I am a Naval Engineer with a Master in Finance and a MBA at Rotterdam School of Management (top 5 in Europe). I have over 20 years of experience in Supply Chain, having spent ½ of my time as a Supply Chain executive in a FMCG manufacturer, running operations, and the other ½ of my careers as a Supply Chain consultant.


Currently I am one of the founding partners of Spin Consulting (, a specialized SC boutique who differentiates by deliver fast, tangible and sustainable results to our clients.


Thanks for having me here.


2. This is the second interview in our 3 part series about the top 10 issues affecting the next generation of supply chains. Last time you discussed to first 3 issues. What would you say are the next 3 issues in order of importance?


4. Knowledge work and workers will become global in nature.

5. SCM will have a standard certification process similar to that for CPAs

6. Product clock speeds will determine the number and nature of the supply chains


Knowledge work and workers will become global in nature:


Knowledge work in supply chains today accounts for approximately 40 percent of the total labor hours spent. Much of this work deals with complex analytics, planning, procurement processing, and provision of services. This nature of the work, the need for multi- language support, and the associated local complexities of the different geographies being served will necessitate the seamless globalization of supply chain knowledge work.  As an example, you could see a U.S.-centric company performing supply chain planning in the Philippines, operating procurement centers of excellence in Singapore, and conducting global business analytics in Brazil.


SCM will have a standard certification process similar to that for CPAs:


Many universities offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in supply chain management. In addition, professional associations such as APICS, CSCMP, and ISM offer a range of certification programs. However, in most cases these programs either focus on the basics of SCM or on a specific activity such as import/export or financial analysis. I believe that a fundamental shift will occur in the normalized delivery, content served, and certifications of supply chain professionals.


Many other professions like accounting (Certified Public Accountant) and engineering (Professional Engineers) require national board examinations as well as continuing professional education (measured by a specified number of hours per year). I contend that a similar professional credentials program will be required for supply chain professionals to normalize the knowledge base of the incoming resources.


Product clock speeds will determine the number and nature of the supply chains:


I recently worked with a global consumer durables company where over 70 percent of the products had a life span of less than 18 months. Another 20 percent had a life span of three to four years, with the remaining 10 percent exceeding  5 years.  This “fast clock speed” life cycle is becoming more the norm than the exception.  The days of the steady and static product catalog is past; thinking otherwise, in fact, is a recipe for disaster. However, we continue to  find companies using a single supply chain approach to service all segments irrespective of the time constraints. The winners of the future will have the same number of distinct supply chains as there are product clock speeds. In addition, supply chain organizations will need to be aligned by product segments as well as functional segments in a matrix fashion to serve the distinct supply chain needs.



About Julio Franca







Julio Franca


Director at Spin Consulting


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Mike Dalton who discussed Unlocking Innovation Productivity.






Mike, can you first provide a brief background of yourself?


Sure. I'm happy to, Dustin. My background really comes out of industry. Originally started as an engineer and then moved over into the marketing and eventually business management roles actually within the SC Johnson family of companies, which is a pretty large consumer company in the U.S., and ended up running the industrial polymers business for the Americas as part of that. And that's really where I got interested in some very different approaches to new product innovation. We had tried a lot of things over the years. I studied everything I could on innovation. We had implemented Stage-Gate. I had also carried out an organizational transformation to move the business to very focused business units, focused on very market-driven business units.


Even after going through all that...


Can you talk about the strategies for dealing with these new product delays?


Sure, Dustin. I'd be happy to. There are seven strategies that I put together. And these are really based on my years of experience at Johnson, and I've sort of built it all into a system. I call it Guided Innovation System that I've been using for a number of years with companies in a lot of different industries.


What I'll do is I'll briefly describe each strategy. And one of the things I can offer is a white paper that goes a little bit more into each of those strategies so you get a better idea of what I'm talking about.


The first one is establishing governance. The key there is really being able to filter kind of the low-feasibility, low-impact work and force ranking your projects so that you know that you're working on the right projects.


The second strategy is building robust project plans that are realistic and have timelines that your people can commit to. The traditional, conventional project management tends to build multi-tasking in the plans. And we want to take the multi-tasking out of the plans. We use a methodology called critical chain project management for that. But the key thing here is that you need to be building plans that are much more robust and realistic.


The third strategy is regulating your pipeline entry to avoid derailing projects under way. You need to have a mechanism in place that doesn't just allow work. As soon as it's been planned, it doesn't just automatically go into execution. You have to look at it and say, "When can I let it into execution where it won't derail the work that is already underway?"


So think a little bit about the traffic meters that you see on highways that control the on-ramps and let traffic flow onto the roadway. Kind of the same idea. We're making sure there is room in the portfolio before we're letting projects in.


The fourth strategy then is executing with synchronized priorities for crystal clear work flow. We want to make sure is that organizations are not letting the loudest or most influential voice determine what is worked on in the pipeline. We already said that we're going to use governance to decide what we work on next, what goes on the backlog, what's most important. So in managing the execution pipeline, we want to make sure that what we're doing instead is managing the resources so that they're working on the project that's most at risk of finishing late. When I say resources here, I'm talking about shared resources — resources that are shared across multiple projects. Most organizations have some degree of that going on.


The fifth strategy then is visualizing flow for early warning while you can still recover. So using a daily stand-up meeting, using a visual board, and using some tools from critical chain project management software, we get a view of what's going on in the project. And every day, the team is communicating and talking about the projects, and the focus here is on the projects that are having problems. We don't need to worry about the projects that are flying through with no issues. But the team is talking about the projects that are. And in this 15-minute meeting, they are identifying them and identifying what resources are needed, who needs to be talking about it, and whether it needs to be escalated to management, if there's a special decision or something else that's needed. They're not doing the problem solving in the meeting, but they are making sure that it gets taken care of after the meeting. It's a really powerful 15 minutes of communication.


The sixth item is boosting your pipeline for better opportunities. And the idea here, governance, at the front end, is all about making sure that only good stuff gets in. Now, once you've gotten to think point and implemented the first five strategies, a lot of the chaos goes away. And now you begin to free up some resources. Now you can begin to get some of your technical resources working with your commercial resources to identify even better, more powerful, higher-impact opportunities that your organization ought to be looking at.


So this is about going out and actively finding those opportunities, versus just governance as to what comes in. They use a lot of the same tools, but one is proactive. The other is a protection mechanism. So this boosting your pipeline is really about getting out and doing it proactively.


And then the final on is structuring for continuous improvement from the start. A lot of transformation efforts make the mistake of trying to be perfect and taking a long time to develop and decide what's going to be changed. Instead, the approach that I find the most powerful is to figure out just the opposite. What's the minimum amount you can do to begin to make some changes and put some of these strategies in place. And then see how it works. Get some experience with it, learn from it, and then make the next series of changes. And then continue to... The first one might only get you a passing grade, but then you keep raising your grade on every iteration of the system.



About Mike Dalton






Mike Dalton


Advisor to Business Leaders Tired of Throwing Resources at New Product Delays I author Unlocking Innovation Productivity


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Vladislav Mandryka who discussed Value Analysis and Value Engineering






Can you first provide a brief background of yourself?


Hi, Dustin. Thank you for the opportunity to provide my latest thoughts about Value Analysis and Value engineering. Well, I am procure-to-pay manager with over ten years’ experience in different multinational corporations who is linking Strategic Business Plan to Supply Chains Strategy. I have a variety of skills in Strategic Model Sourcing, SRM, Cost analysis Management, Supply Performance Evaluation. I have consulting experience and support my personal blog about best practices in procurement.


Can you talk about what value analysis and value engineering mean?


Okay. Well, value analysis and value engineering are quality improvement tools. And as the main aim of reach is to achieve required output for that minimum cost and resources. As the main objective of managing techniques, is to increase profitability. That is the main objectives. The next other objectives, which is improvement qualitative features of the products and services and to increase customer satisfaction respectively.And finally, the next objective is to reduce cost.


Value analysis check the cost components of the product or service and then find the areas where the cost could be reduced or value could be added. It could be a substitution or elimination result in decreased quality. And you could imagine a washing machine, for instance, which consists of 60 different parts. The weight of the washing drum, for instance, could be removed with the help of value analysis and value engineering techniques from 1.3 kilograms to 0.8 kilograms. The control units and the wiring could be modified in light of the best technical design results sacrifices the quality.


As a result, material cost is reduced by twenty mere dollars. This example is described by A.T. Kearney agency in his book, Purchasing Chessboard.


Another example is a revolution of standard international telephone design. The old phone weighed around two kilograms, you could imagine, and consisted of brass ringer, electro-mechanical parts and rotary dial. As an international manufacturer significantly reconsiders this approach, to design a more user-friendly and light version of the telephone.


Of course, he's using value analysis and value engineering techniques. They could design a connecting device to provide a dial tone. As a result, the new telephone was lighter, user friendly, with multiple features.


Can you talk about the structure of value analysis and the value engineering approach?


Well, if your company needs to improve the value and quality of the products, first of all, you should evaluate them. This stage of evaluation includes the next steps. First steps is gathering information. The next one is the section of a feature or function. The third stage is an analysis of the feature or functions. The fourth stage is a design plan. The next stage is defining opportunities. Six stage is a formulation of ideas and the final stage is identifying tools to provide idea and solutions.


Well, that's the describe briefly each of the stages. First stage includes establishing performance metrics, the final customer expectations, gathering important cost data, obtaining detail of manufacturing process, determining quality issues, defining function, and developing function-logic diagram. Finally, it includes allocating costs to function, focusing on improvement areas.


The aim of the second stage is to quantify the total cost. There are four basic costs that the analysis team should target. First of all, it is direct cost. Also, it includes cost of acquisition, cost of operation, and performance cost.


Feature analysis is provided to clearly understand the exact function of a product and services. First, you should evaluate the product. It's described as a number of word pairs, comprising of verb and noun. The analysis centers on the word pairs rather than the product or service itself. The verb is demonstrable as an action. The noun is ideally a parameter or measureable quantities. Therefore, the answer to the question, "What does it do?" becomes a series of two-word sentences.


The analysis is an organized application of the specific tools called a plan. Such plan includes preparation, information analysis, creation, development, presentation, implementation, and finally, follow up.


The value analysis team should estimate preliminary options, develop opportunities statement, measure benefits, estimate the potentials and development and overall assessment and recommendation. This step includes the identification, prioritization, and quantification of specific short-term and long-term improvement opportunities. The formulation of ideas and the solution is done by workshop setting.


During this stage, as ideas and concepts arise, the team leader may request someone in the group to support specific ideas or concepts. Most of all, familiar is a different techniques of formulating ideas. Hopefully you're familiar with a so widely used tool in this way as creative brainstorming.


What is the Value Engineering Role in Cost Reduction?


Of course, value engineering aims in participating in customer requirements, reducing costs, and adding value to the product during the design stage. This is similar to value analysis where a cross-functional team works together to reduce cost and improve the product.


There are many ways when procurement professionals contribute to value engineering. In design and specification, procurement may help R&D team to revise tolerances and parameters. This is accomplished by review and plan with potential suppliers. For instance, machine shops frequently recommend new materials that hold tolerances better than originally specified, resulting in lower fabrication costs.


This way, purchasers can often recommend parts that meet functional requirements at a lower cost. In one instance, a lower cost diode laser recommended by supplier at design meeting replaced a helium-neon laser in the portable sighting device which significantly reduced the cost.


Finally, this brief explanation, which I, hopefully, helped the procurement professional better implement value analysis and value engineering in their practice. Dustin, thank you very much for the opportunity to share my ideas about this concept.


Thanks for sharing today. 



About Vladislav Mandryka






Vladislav Mandryka


Senior Procurement Specialist at Anadolu Efes, MBA


LinkedIn Profile

I interviewed Christopher Slay who discussed Succeeding with Recruitment in the Digital Age.







Today we're speaking with Christopher Slay, and the topic is Succeeding with Recruitment in the Digital Age. And Christopher is a Managing Director at Skills Provision. It's great to speak with you today, Christopher. Can you first provide a brief background of yourself?



Well, my background isn't recruitment. I spent 25 years in the City of London as a banker. I sat on the board of a couple of banks and then decided that I wanted to get out and left, retired once, couldn’t hack retirement, so built up a [inaudible 00:00:43], and that's how I got involved in recruitment. And that's in the early part of this century in the United Kingdom.It was very hard to find low-skilled workers, much the same as it is today.And I tried various recruitment options and arrogantly decided that I could do it better myself.


So from that springboard, we've developed, in just satisfying our own business needs, into, first of all, a national and then an international recruitment agency.


Can you talk about succeeding with recruitment in the digital age?


Yeah. Sure. In many ways, the digital age confuses a lot of people in that it creates an awful lot of noise around all processes. But if you strip away the noise and actually look at what is going on, there's a French expression, “plusçachange, plus c’estlamêmechose,” which, roughly translated means, "The more things change, the more they stay the same."


And our argument is you have to place your recruitment on very solid foundations. And the way that recruitment has been handled for many, many years, you don't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater by getting suckered into beliefs that you can do everything through social media and by sending out sound bites to various sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, whatever. Yes, it is part of the mix, but it's relatively a small part of the mix.


Fundamentally, any form of recruitment depends on the preparation. We argue that a good 80% is based around getting it right up front. And that means extracting the information you need from the employer so you've got a thorough understanding of what they need. And then 10% of it is perspiration. 5% is probably in the selection processes you need. Yes, the noise generation I referred to earlier plays its part, but we wouldn't allocate more than 3% to this part of the activity. And then, to be honest, you've got to be in the right place at the right time. So there's a bit of old-fashioned lady luck involved.


Now, dealing with the employer, they really do need to know what they want. Now, in that sounds so obvious, but it's amazing. We obviously keep statistics on these things, and 86% of employers who are not employment ready. This could be anything from basically not knowing whether they have a telescopic range skills or whether they just want someone operating on the shop floor, because very often, mixed messages come through from employers. Someone in operations has told somebody in HR who doesn't know a forklift truck driver from a flower arranger, and therefore they have difficulty in specifying what they want.


We're a huge believer in what could be considered quite old-fashioned these days, which is job searches. Now, when I use to run businesses — and I've sat the other side of the fence as well — we used job descriptions throughout our recruitment process from getting [inaudible 00:05:08] to actually going to hire to using it throughout the recruitment systems we adopted, leading to the point of on boarding with the candidates. And then the review process. So, it was the central part of the way we operated.


We can obviously help employers with their definition. But we have to start from something. We can't really start from a blank piece of paper. We need some clues as to what they're actually trying to achieve. And you may be surprised to learn that in the international environment. Many employers have not even considered basic things such as will this employee require a visa to enter my country to work for us. And sometimes you have to go backwards and forwards as part of an education process.


Other times, the big multi-nationals, obviously, have got themselves very well organized, and it's pretty straight forward. But the middle market, which is probably where most of the demand comes from, where they use third-party recruiters, there's still a lot of grayness in what they actually want.


Now, this also goes into what are they prepared to offer. You know, Baghdad is competing against Barcelona. London is against Lisbon. New York is against Newark. So, we're talking about a global market these days for recruitment, and candidates are much shrewder than they used to be, and they understand their market value. A lot of that is thanks to the internet and by being able to google very quickly and to find out their value in that marketplace.


Now, you do have certain areas that think that they can apply their domestic rules into the international market. It never works. They usually try, fail, and then they come back to the table. But they have to learn the hard things themselves.


The Middle East is a good example of where an area of the world had [inaudible 00:08:01], exclusive demand to top talent from 2008 to 2012, because the rest of the world, other than Australia, was going through the global recession. And they became accustomed to being able to do things in their market manner, spending weeks making up their minds, going through endless interview processes, nickel and diming candidates and so on and so forth. Well, that has completely changed.


We've moved from an employer-lead market to a candidate-lead market. And if people are not prepared to come up with the right package -- we're not just talking about basic salaries. We're talking about pensions, healthcare, [inaudible 00:08:53], accommodations, flights, what is a claimable expense, all those sorts of things. And they need to make these decisions before they start recruiting. Otherwise, they won't have time to actually assess the candidate. This candidates won't hang around.


The top past candidate expects to be interviewed within 48 hours of being introduced and to have a job offer in their hand [inaudible 00:09:22] 48 hours. That's quite a tough [inaudible 00:09:26] when the marketplace has been used to getting things in a matter of weeks and months, not hours and days. But that's where we are in 2016.


As to the use of digital within the process, I don't want to belittle it, but I want to place it in context. How many chief executives do you know that hang around on a Twitter feed or a Facebook page? Who many key decision makers do you find investing their time on LinkedIn?So, a lot of the noise that goes out there and a lot of people spam things to death, and I'll put my hand up and say on occasions, we would be guilty of doing that as well.


But you're basically going fishing for a very small transient audience. It can work. When it does work, you think, "Isn't it magnificent?" But then, you have to reflect back on the thousands of times you've tried to use it previously when it hasn't worked.


So we believe in melding together an old-fashioned solidity with new techniques and keeping a sense of proportion and realism when we're going through the process.


Well, thank you, Christopher. Did we cover all the points you wanted to make today?


I think so. Yeah. How did it sound?


This was great. Thank you. I look forward to us staying in touch. If you ever want to share more with the community in the future, we could do follow up interviews.





About Christopher Slay






Christopher Slay


Managing Director Skills Provision



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