Rob Tracy at Intek Plastics (one of my customers) has written this excellent synopsis on Driving Lean through Your Supply Chain. Aside from discussing how the breakdown of your supply chain can negatively impact you and your customers and including a supplier checklist for your use, he also talks about the incorrect assumption that going overseas for suppliers is the best way to improve your supply chain.
In the global economy, you often get a better deal by choosing suppliers in low-cost countries — assuming that upfront cost is your only consideration. Forward-thinking domestic suppliers combat this threat by using lean methodologies to define and maximize value from their customers’ point of view. This could include services such as part design, ready-to-use components, shorter lead times, zero defect products and stockless production.
This kind of thought (that cheaper overseas suppliers is the way to go) and the thought that US manufacturing is on the decline are myths that Kevin Meyer at Evolving Excellence has been working to dispel quite often lately.
Now, my tech tool for the day. How did I come across the aforementioned Intek Plastics white paper? I recently started using Google Alerts. They are a great way to get current information about new stuff popping up around the net about your favorite topics. I’ve been using it to get news and info about lean, technology, and even my customers. Great stuff!