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Operational Supply Chain Management

Operational supply chain management decisions are made daily to ensure the efficient flow of material. These articles examine the variety operational decisions that companies make and the effects of those decisions on the supply chain.

Operational Supply Chain Management
Operational supply chain decisions are made hundreds of times each day in a company. These are the decisions that are made at business locations that affect how products are developed, sold, moved and manufactured.

Lean Six Sigma
Many organizations see Lean Six Sigma as the evolution of the Six Sigma methodology rather than a modification. Six Sigma has been developed over the last thirty years and has become the de facto methodology to eliminate defects from a process and improve the quality of the manufacturing process. The objective of this article is to examine the...

Distribution Centers
Distribution centers have been used by major companies for decades and are seen as a vital part of a company’s supply chain. The distribution center can fulfill two needs, the demand of the customer and the supply from the manufacturing site. The location of distribution centers is also a key element in the design of a company’s supply chain strategy.

Six Sigma Terminology
Six Sigma is a business management strategy that was initially developed by Motorola in the 1980’s, and now is used by many Fortune 500 companies. Six Sigma incorporates a number of quality methods and tools that are used by professionals within the organization, who have been trained on Six Sigma techniques. This article explains some of the common terms used in Six Sigma projects.

MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations)
MRO means “maintenance, repair and operations” or “maintenance, repair and overhaul items” depending on the definition or company you are referring to. These items are used in the manufacturing operation to keep the equipment operational, in the repair of items in the factory, or used to help with the repair of customer’s items.

Six Sigma Concepts: The DMAIC Problem Solving Method
The Six Sigma system uses a number of quality methods and tools that are used by Six Sigma trained professionals within the organization. The DMAIC problem solving method can be used to help with any issue that arises, usually by those who professionals in the organization who have reached green belt level. This article examines the elements...

Optimum Warehouse Location
When a company is looking to set up either a manufacturing plant, distribution center, or service center it can use a number of site location theories to help determine the optimum physical location.

Reorder Methodologies in Manufacturing
A crucial activity for planners is to when to decide to place an order. There are a number of reorder methodologies that can be adopted. Although most computer systems are based on the materials requirement planning (MRP) method, there are other methods that planners can use which are examined in this article.

Drop Shipments In Your Supply Chain
In a depressed economy, companies are looking at any supply chain process where they can save time, money or resources. Drop shipping is a popular process where companies can reduce the need to keep inventory in their warehouse, lower their overall shipping costs and improve customer service. This article examines the advantages and disadvantages of drop shipments.

Packaging In The Warehouse
Almost every product we purchase as a consumer or a business is packaged. The packaging was initially intended to provide protection for the item as it being handled in the warehouse or when the item is being shipped. Packaging can be extremely elaborate, and for the consumer it can be an art form to entice you to make a purchase. This article looks at the packaging used in the warehouse.

Shipping Dangerous Goods
Dangerous goods can be safely shipped but they must be shipped correctly otherwise accidents can happen. Improperly labeled goods and improperly packaged goods have caused serious and fatal accidents. It can be a costly mistake for shippers to violate the rules concerning the shipping of dangerous goods, with civil penalties and prison terms.

Warehouse Zone Storage
When storing items in a warehouse it is sometimes advantageous to store together materials that have similar characteristics, i.e. that require refrigeration or that are over-sized. This article examines the storage zones that can be found in a typical warehouse.

Cycle Counting In The Warehouse
Cycle counting is a popular inventory counting method that allows businesses to count a number of items in a number of areas within the warehouse without having to count the entire inventory. Cycle counting is a sampling technique where count of a certain number of items infers the count for the whole warehouse. This article shows different cycle counting methods that can used in a warehouse.

Order Picking In The Warehouse
Order picking can be defined as the activity by which a small number of goods are extracted from a warehousing system, to satisfy a number of independent customer orders. Picking processes have become an important part of the supply chain process. Picking is seen as the most labor-intensive activity for almost every warehouse and this article examines order picking solutions that are available.

Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)
A programmable logic controller (PLC) is a designed to perform industrial control operations which can occur on the production line. The PLC is a microcomputer which has a central processing unit (CPU) that controls all of the activity that is required of the PLC. The CPU contains the main processor and system memory. This article examines the...

Preventative Maintenance
The aim of preventative maintenance is to ensure that the equipment within a manufacturing plant, warehouse, or other facility is to improve the equipment life and to ensure that the plant does not come to a standstill due to an unexpected failure. This article looks at the major elements of preventative maintenance.

Process Control Systems (PCS)
Process control systems (PCS), sometimes called industrial control systems (ICS), are pieces of equipment along the production line that can be supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), programmable logic controllers (PLC), or distributed control systems (DCS), that can gather and transmit data that is obtained during the manufacturing process.

Operations and the Competitive Edge
Operational supply chain is considered to be reactions to day to day business. This article looks at why operations should be examined and how cost benefits can be acheived.

Business Systems for the Shop Floor
Pressures to increase productivity, control costs and manage the day to day operations of the shop floor has led to the increase in the use of manufacturing execution systems (MES). This article examines the use of the MES systems on the shop floor and how they can benefits operational decisions.

Operations and Maintenance
Operations managers can sometimes be reactive and not proactive to the issue that arise with maintenance on the shop floor. This article suggests a number of ways in which operations, production and maintenance personnel can improve the planning and scheduling of maintenance tasks.

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