Thursday, January 28, 2016

How to calculate Lead time within Supply Chain Mapping

Here is an example for a lead time calculation of an Office Chair.

This is how the bill of materials looks like:

First step:  Import the Excel sheet. The following views are generated automatically based on the data in the Excel sheet: 

Product flow (structural network)

Map view (Detail)

Second step: Run a lead time calculation

Within our Supply Chain Mapping software AMERIGO you can run a lead time calculation based on the following parameters (simplified):
•    Total order quantity of the scenario. This is the demand from the customer
•    Maximum capacity per supplier and product
•    Duration of the delivery

Third step: View the result:
For the given example the Leadtime report looks like this:

Test it yourself. Contact us for a trial account:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Geographical maps vs structural maps

When is comes to supply-chain-mapping, everyone has the visualization of supply chains on geographical maps in mind.

Is this sufficient?
Let's assume a use case with a complex supplier network: You want to display all supply chains that are affected by an incident in a specific country.
Please keep in mind: We are displaying supply chains - not only first tier suppliers!
This is the result on a geographic map. All supply chains that are connected to suppliers in Spain:

This view is too mixed up!

Take a look at the structural supply-chain-map for the same use case:
(Suppliers from Spain are marked with a red star)
Since you are not forced to display the locations on a geographical map, you have a lot more options how to arrange the map.For example you can arrange the supply chain by product.

According to our experience, both (geographical maps and structural maps) are needed for an effective display of supply-chain-maps. But the more complex the network is the more you might need a structural supply-chain -map.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Black holes in your supply chain?

Black holes have an extremely powerful gravitational force. Virtually nothing can escape from them.

Within a complex supply chain a "black hole" can be a massive (unknown) risk for your entire business.
Are you able to detect black holes in your supply chain?

Here is a surevey to test your knowledge of your supply chains.

Compare your results with the ones from other participants.

Friday, June 21, 2013

11 Supply Chain Mapping Questions

For most companies, supply chains are a critical part for their strategic advantage. However, 80% of all companies don’t have real transparency when it comes to their supplier network. Usually there is information in different departments, but the big picture is missing. For the company this is like driving at high speeds on a foggy road. It is dangerous.


If your supply chains are an important for your business model, here is a test to see whether or not you should further investigate supply chain mapping. Give your company 1 point for each "yes" answer.

11 questions to better supply chain control

  1. Do you have a global view of your supply chains and can you analyze the complexity of the network?
  2. Do all your stakeholders (Procurement, Logistics, Supply Chain, Quality etc.) have the same understanding (and basically the same knowledge) of you supplier network?
  3. Does your risk management cover the entire supplier network?
  4. Can you identify risk gravity in reaction to an incident (i.e. insolvency or natural disaster) at a sub-supplier site?
  5. Can you identify places on supply chains where quality standards or compliance regulations are missing?
  6. Do you have a master plan in case of an incident at a supplier site?
  7. Do you know how a change of supplier would impact the whole supply chain?
  8. Can you manage the leadtime for specific products within the entire supply chain?
  9. Do you know the added value of your products for each step in the supply chains?
  10. Can you identify the critical paths in your supply chain?
  11. Can you use scenario planning to compare different supply chains in your network?

A score of 11 is perfect, 8 is tolerable, but 7 or lower and you've got serious problems. The truth is that most organizations are running with a score of 3 or 4, and they need serious help, because other companies run at 11 full-time.

Supply chain mapping is the basis for understanding your supplier network. Scenario planning based on this data helps you find new opportunities and be prepared for unexpected situations.
Expand your horizon – use supply chain mapping!

Pictures from Photocase
Susann St├Ądter (Photo-ID:148478), Don Espresso (Photo-ID:205910).

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to filter a supply chain out of a complex network

There are many different attributes associated with a given company, such as size and location. To make this information useful, you can filter for these attributes and the map will show you all the companies within these parameters and how they are associated with you. For instance, if you are filtering for companies in Germany, all the companies located there will be highlighted, but also the companies in other countries which are between you and them.

But the most important filter is the one for products. A product can be attached to a relation.
By including product structures, such as bill of material, the downstream supply chain is readily visible when a product is displayed. For example, if your supplier supplies you with a completed engine, when you display that, all the manufactures of the individual components will also be displayed.

This will help you determine potential problems within other parts of your supply chain. When having an incident like for example an earthquake in Japan, you can quickly and easily find all supply chains, suppliers and products that are effected.
Picture 2 shows a filter result of the picture in my last post (filtered for product and company location). The supplier network of the specific product with relations to suppliers and sub-suppliers in Germany is displayed. The red knot in the middle shows the focal company. Supplier locations in Germany are marked with a blue star. You can also see locations that are part of the supply chain, but not in Germany. Additionally relations that have the transport concept “Just in time” are marker yellow.
As a result, a supply chain map shows your complete supplier network - at every stage. By using filters you are able to extract the data you need. All stakeholders will have the same information and “speak the same language”. Risks and potentials can be made visible.
A supply chain map is the basis for all further actions within your supplier network.

Stay tuned

For more information:

Friday, March 15, 2013

The big picture

In the year 1507 Martin Waldseem├╝ller – a German cartographer - created this map.

The map supported Amerigo Vespucci's revolutionary concept of the New World as a separate continent, which, until then, was unknown to the Europeans.

It is remarkable how he gathered the data for this map and how he put this information together. It is important to note that in these early times most people believed the earth was a disc and that they would fall into infinity if they reached the end of that disc.

What brings us from this great map to the concept of supply chain mapping?
Take a closer look at the map:
  • Germany (Europe) - where Martin lived- is quite detailed
  • At the edges (America/Asia) there is only a hint of what it could look like
  • But the map as a whole gives you a very good holistic overview
This is similar to how supply chain mapping works. Start with your direct suppliers and then expand your base to include suppliers you are further removed from. You do not have to go into details on any level.  Try to get the big picture first.

Right from the start, you will get a new view of your supplier network. The further you go, the more risks and benefits you will discover.

This is why we call our supply chain mapping software AMERIGO.