Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Art of War and Supply Chain Management

In “the Art of War” Sun Tzu defines leadership or generalship as the ability to influence people by providing purpose, direction and motivation. Applying this definition, leaders should be viewed as “assistants” to the company. When their assistance is complete, the company is strong and when their assistance is defective, the company is weak.
It is the same in any supply chain, when the supply chain leaders are strong, your company is strong. Supply chain leaders determine and communicate the strategy of their supply chains. When all of the leaders of the company understand the supply chain strategy of the company, the company will be stable and prosperous.

5 Tips for Better Work-Life Balance

1. Build downtime into your schedule. When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends and activities that help you recharge.

2. Drop activities that sap your time or energy.

3. Rethink your errands. Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands.

4. Get moving. It's hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but experts say that it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.

5. Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way. Don't get overwhelmed by assuming that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life.


5 Tips to Live in Drop Shipping Industry

Rule.1. Verify the credibility on the wholesale dropshipper inside the Eee. Check out the time they’ve been in the market and see when they have got any grievance. Recognize what sort of grievance is settled and check what sort of corporation improved their support.

Rule.2. look at the shipping and delivery time. Recognize the time it should take to help them to offer product to spots. Be sure about how correct and ways in which online loan they approach order placed. Also, discover that fix unpredicted shipping and delivery waiting times. You should know these types of as is available to communicate shipping and delivery data on your consumers.

Rule.3. Be skeptical about drop shippers who will need a number of rates so that you can watch their list. Although it isn’t all bogus websites, will still be far better to use caution. Research before you buy and see which source of information listings are reputable. Find out if they soft a reimbursement ensures for those who did not like what they’ve got to supply.

Rule.4. Just be sure you get affordable wholesale charges. Check the charges available from other middlemen and see which offers the top. It can be tolerable for the greatest wholesale value supply ahead of ultimately eliminating business that has a representative.

Rule.5. And finally, bear in mind to evaluate both the item and the support. Especially when appointing the latest wholesale dropshipper, be sure that you examination the goods your self.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

3 Tips for Leading People Older Than You

Seniority no longer reigns in today's organizations. In fact, it's not uncommon to manage people 10 or 20 years older than you. Leading is hard enough when you have experience on your side. Here are three ways to make sure your age doesn't betray you:

1. Be confident. Start strong. Don't qualify your statements or ideas. Speak with conviction and assume that your ideas are good ones.

2. Be open-minded. Balance your poise with an open mind. Put your proposals out there and then solicit opinions and ideas. Give your colleagues a voice.

3. Ask for feedback regularly. Make sure people know you care about continuous improvement. They'll be more likely to give you useful feedback about your performance.

Source: Harvard Business Review Blog - Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Leading Older Employees" by Jodi Glickman

Make Communication About Them, Not You

When having a difficult conversation, it's easy to get wrapped up in what you need. You're angry so you respond with anger. You're frustrated so you respond with frustration. It makes sense, but it's not effective. Instead of reacting, ask yourself a question: what is going on for the other party? Then, ask yourself another: what can I do or say to help? By focusing on the other person's needs, you can avoid unproductive emotions and find ways to support your employees and colleagues. While this may be the last thing you want to do in that moment, it's a much more effective way of getting your needs met.

Source: "A Simple Communication Mistake to Avoid" by Peter Bregman

Signs of good Luxury Yacht Management & Chartering

This is the main criteria that yachts owners must analyze and decide. Every Luxury and Mega Yachts are different, owners’ mindsets are different; hence the treatment and objectives must have individualistic-approach. Owners must keep few things in mind in order to get the best from their yachts.

Whenever you are handling away or chartering your luxury and delicate yacht; think, analyze the pros and cons and make futuristic judgments. Remember “A profitable Luxury Yacht Management & Chartering company will always think the benefits and successes for the vessel owners”.

Ocean cargo carriers can take nothing for granted

The container shipping industry stands on the brink of an “era-defining moment” as it faces fundamental challenges. Maersk Line CEO declared that if container the shipping industry is to secure its right to operate in the future, the industry needs to change now.

He noted that containerization – often referred to as the engine of globalization – revolutionized world trade. The potential it unlocked by connecting producers and consumers across the world enabled both shipping lines and their customers to develop their businesses in ways that previously had seemed impossible.

“However, container shipping, is also the story of an established business model that often disappoints customers: one in every two containers is late, shipping lines are complex to do business with, and the industry, even while being the most environmentally-friendly transportation mode, still lacks transparency and common goals.

With examples from the automotive, aviation, portable music players and mobile phone industries, Maersk Line CEO told the conference that just because an industry is established it may only be a “few years from being completely overtaken” by new technology. And, that market and customer behavior is forcing companies to “never lose sight of what customers really want” - including the needs that they are not even aware of.

“Why not see these as fantastic opportunities?” he asked. “What if we could guarantee that cargo would be on time, every time? What if placing a shipping order was as easy as buying an airline ticket? What if the shipping industry was known for beating environmental expectations – not struggling to meet them?”

4 Network Redesign Tips

Successful network design will always come down to the specific needs of your business, the needs of your customers, and the types of products moving through its veins. Our panel concludes that while there are a lot of options, there’s no silver bullet.

Tip # 1: One size does not fit all

The high-performing network is usually one that responds to the specific needs of each customer. This may involve designing and engineering a unique path flow for a specific customer or customer segment.

Tip #2: Get down to the nitty-gritty SKU level

Managers need to determine, at the SKU level, which products should go direct to store and which should go through DCs. You can figure this out once you know which product should be stocked and at which DC, including how much and where, and which product should be cross-docked.

Tip # 3: Being green can bring more green

The whole movement towards environmentally-friendly or green networks has certainly helped companies enhance their level of social responsibility—but it’s also saving them money.

Tip #4: Get creative with transportation

The biggest cost drain on distribution networks has typically been transportation costs; thus, finding creative low-cost ways to reduce these costs can certainly go a long way. Much of it involves collaborating and negotiating with trading partners and other carriers to create more efficient loads, eliminating “empty miles,” and achieving lower transportation costs overall.

Note: The original article provided 6 tips but I only included 4. I believe only those 4 are relevant to the local logistics industry.


5 Tips to Manage Logistics Efficiently

The logistics chain in any operation is difficult to manage, and unless you’re extremely efficient, prepared to anticipate problems and execute contingency plans, you’re going to find it stressful. Efficient logistics managers generally adopt the following practices in order to excel at their jobs:

1. Plan ahead: The hallmark of an efficient logistics manager lies in the planning process. When the plan is foolproof, there is minimal chance of failure or a breakdown in the chain, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

2. Don’t be overconfident: Even though the plan may be foolproof, logistics managers worth their salt know that they can never be overconfident that nothing can go wrong. They always keep in mind Murphy’s Law: if something can go wrong, it will. So, have contingency plans lined up.

3. Never panic: Keeping a cool head in the face of a disaster is essential if you want to improve your logistics management skills. If you panic or worse, show that you’re losing control, the situation could go haywire and your entire operation could end up in shambles. To become a better logistics manager, you must be able to think on the fly and come up with temporary solutions instead of going into a tizzy and losing your cool.

4. Cultivate strong relationships along the supply chain: Logistics managers know that their entire operation is only as strong as the weakest link in the supply chain. So they take great pains to forge strong and honest relationships with their suppliers and vendors so that the goodwill they earn keeps their operations moving flawlessly.

5. Learn from mistakes: And finally, the best logistics managers know and accept that they are bound to make mistakes. They don’t make excuses for them, rather, they use them as stepping stones to success, learn from their mistakes and chalk it up to experience.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Queen Mary 2 Fails Health Inspection

ATLANTA, June 25 (UPI) -- The luxury cruise ship Queen Mary 2 failed an inspection by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vessel Sanitation Program, officials said.

The QM2 scored an 84 in an inspection conducted June 10, with officials finding extremely dirty water in a splash pool, a hair in an ice making machine and chemicals stored near napkins, paper cups and utensils, CNN reported Saturday.

The government has two score classifications. A score under 86 is "not satisfactory," while a score of 86 or higher is "satisfactory."

Conditions found on the QM2 are unacceptable, said Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor in chief of She said failing scores for large ships are very rare -- there have been no failing grades since Albatross, a private ship, scored 69 in February 2010.

"I've been chronicling the CDC scores for 14 years and this one is unusually bad," Brown said. "What really bothered me was the use of the word 'filthy' five times."

The cruise ship is operated by Cunard Line. It said the ocean liner's recent "uncharacteristically low score" is a quirk and it has taken steps to prevent it from happening again.

"The poor assessment on 10 June resulted largely from one small area of the ship's overall operation. All the issues raised in the report were immediately addressed and have now been corrected," said Cunard spokeswoman Jackie Chase in a statement.

Read more:

Multimodal Transport System

A multimodal transport system integrates different geographical scales from the global to the local. With the development of new modal and intermodal infrastructure, urban regions have a growing accessibility to the international market; several parameters of regional transportation are transformed, or at least significantly modified. The above figure represents the regulation of movements of a corridor within a multimodal transportation system composed of a set of competing hub centers where converge regional and local transportation networks. Depending on the geographical scale being considered, the regulation of flows is coordinated at the local level by distribution centers, commonly composed of a single transport terminal, or at the global level by articulation points, composed of major transport terminals and related activities.

An articulation point can simultaneously have a modal and intermodal convergence of functions; particularly if it is the interface between several modes. Its modal function relates to its while its intermodal function indicates its level of service. The regional multimodal network converges at major articulation points allowing linkages with the international transportation system through a maritime / land interface. Port cities are the main agent of that function. Containerization has particularly developed the maritime / land interface. It insures flexibility of shipments and several ports have opted for this multimodal transportation technology to keep and consolidate their status of hub center.

Source: The Geography of Transport Systems

Know the 6 Steps in Cost/Benefit Analysis

We all know we should make an investment when the benefits outweigh the costs, but few people understand what really goes into the analysis. Here are the six steps:
1. Understand the cost of status quo. You need this to measure the relative merit of an investment against the "do nothing" option.
2. Identify costs. Consider up-front costs as well as any in future years.
3. Identify benefits. Ascertain what additional revenue will come in from the investment.
4. Determine the cost savings. What can you stop doing if you make this investment?
5. Create a timeline for expected costs and revenue. Map out when the costs and benefits will occur and how much they will be.
6. Evaluate non-quantifiable benefits and costs. Assess whether there are intangible benefits such as strengthening your firm's position with distributors, or costs such as creating unnecessary complexity.

Source: "Guide to Finance Basics for Managers."

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kiss up

Pinoy golfer finishes second in US Open

MANILA, Philippines – Rory McIlroy is the current toast of the golf world, thanks to his dominant victory in the US Open.

But golf fans should not sleep on Jason Day, who came in second to McIlroy and has finished in the top 10 of five PGA events this year.

The 23-year-old Filipino-Australian is enjoying a brilliant 2011 season; He is ranked number 9 in the world and is currently Australia's top ranked golfer.

Day was born to an Australian father and a Filipina mother, who were both employed as meat workers in Queensland.

Day was unable to provide a serious threat to McIlroy in the US Open, but the Fil-Australian is determined to bounce back this November in the Australian PGA Championship; It will be his first time to compete in the event.

"This year will be big. It's going to be a great field and I'm looking forward to playing well in front of my friends and family and all the young golf fans."

Day is determined to improve his ranking and reach the pinnacle of the golf world.

"I want to become No. 1 in the world. I was taught in my life, by my parents, that you don't get anywhere without working hard," he said.

With reports from and Agence France-Presse

Counter-piracy measures are becoming tougher

The continuing success, increased violence and escalating costs associated with combatting piracy are driving new industry initiatives and equipment, as well a hardening of tactics and attitudes.

IMO's action plan for 2011 has six (6) prime objectives

1. Increase pressure at a political level to secure the release of all hostages being held by pirates.

2. Review and improve IMO guidelines to administrations and seafarers, and promote compliance with industry best management practice, also the recommended preventive evassive and defensive measures which ships should follow.

3. Promote greater levels of support from, and coordination with navies.

4. Promote anti-piracy coordination and cooperation procedures between and among states, regions, organizations and industry.

5. Assist states to build capacity in piracy infested regions of the world, and elsewhere, to deter, interdict and bring to justice those who commit acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships.

6. Provide care for those attacked or hijacked by pirates and for their families.

The total cost of piracy

Cost factor Cost (in US$)

Ransoms (excess cost) 148 million

Insurance premiums 460 million to 3.2 billion

Re-routing of ships 2.4 to 3 billion

Security equipment 363 million to 2.5 billion

Naval forces 2 billion

Prosecutions 31 billion

Anti-piracy organizations 19.5 million

Cost to regional economies 1.25 billion

TOTAL ESTIMATED COST 7 to 12 billion

Source: Tanker Shipping & Trade Feb/March 2011

PHL, US to hold navy drills near disputed Spratly Islands

Manila-The United States and the Philippines will begin 11 days of maritime security excercises near disputed waters in the South China Sea (or West Philippine Sea) next week, with the Philippines buoyed by a renewed US pledge of support in boosting its military capabilities.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday vowed to support its old ally amid growing tension between China and its neighbors in disputed of the South China Sea.

Lieutenant Noel Cadigal of the Philippine Navy said two US guided missile destroyers and a salvage ship would join four Philippine gunboats for gunnery, patrol and interdiciton drills off the southern tip of Palawan island.

"We will also hold anti-piracy and anti-smuggling exercises and test the interoperability and readiness of the two navies in responding to various scenarios, such as security, disaster and humaritarian assistance," Cadigal said.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Inspectors from the European Commission's Maritime Safety Agency recently visited the country to assess the Philippine's complaince with the training education and certification system under the STCW Convention. The deficiencies that the EMSA inspectors noted were about:

* maritme administration;
* monitoring of maritime education and training institutions (METIs);
* requirements of seafarers certification;
* management level course; and
* other findings relating to METIs

In a news release posted on the DOLE website, Acting Labor Secretary Danilo Cruz said the Philippines will mostly likely fulfill the requirements before the August deadline. "The Maritime Training Council, Professional Regulation Commission, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the Commission on Higher Education are working closely and doubly hard to undetake the corrective actions on the deficiencies and shall be submitting the report by the end of the month," he said. He also expressed confidence that after receiving the report, EU will continue to recognize our country's education, training and certification of seafarers under the STCW Convention.


Cost Management: Good Cost / Bad Cost

Cost Management: Good Cost / Bad Cost

The UK government’s search for spending cuts is in the headlines everyday.

Some actors were protesting the arts should be exempt from cuts because they were profitable and that the cuts would be damaging to their future success.

While not argued from the procurement perspective, these actor’s point is highly relevant to every organisation seeking to make spending cuts whether in the public or private sector, and one that every CPO should also be making.

The key point is there are “good costs” and “bad costs”. Good costs (or resources) are those that contribute to the company’s or country’s competitive advantage. Bad costs are those that have no major impact on performance. These actor’s argued withdrawing funding for the arts was actually damaging for the country as a whole, which is contrary to the desired outcome.

So what does this mean for CPOs and procurement? It means they must take control of cost to be seen as ‘cost managers’, not ‘cost cutters’. Cost cutting suggests a reactive, short-term, tactical activity. Cost management is a purposeful ongoing activity in search of cost optimisation. This is achieved when internal and external cost levels have reached a sustainable level to maintain a competitive advantage. This is constantly changing.

The question for the profession is how many CPOs are just responding to the pressure to cut and how many are at the table to engage in cost optimisation? The difference between the two represents a gigantic leap in performance for the CPO, the profession, your organisation and even your country.

Ocean Tankers Selects Triple Point to Manage Chartering and Vessel Operations for Wet Bulk Commodities

Ocean Tankers Selects Triple Point to Manage Chartering and Vessel Operations for Wet Bulk Commodities

Ocean Tankers has licensed Triple Point’s chartering and vessel operations software to manage all pre- and post-fixture activities for its wet bulk shipping operations. Ocean Tankers specializes in the transportation of petroleum and related products and provides worldwide coverage.

Incorporated in the Republic of Singapore in 1978, Ocean Tankers has over 2.3 million DWT (Deadweight tonnage) of carrying capacity and services a wide network of customers, including oil majors, state-owned oil companies, and international trading houses. The company manages a fleet of 83 vessels, ranging from small coastal vessels to large ULCCs (Ultra Large Crude Carriers).

“Shipping is a key element of an efficient and effective commodity supply chain, and Triple Point provides the only commodity management solution with the functional depth and breadth to handle voyage estimating, post-fix operations, bunker procurement, and freight risk management in its shipping platform,” said Michael Lolk Larsen, managing director, chartering and vessel operations, Triple Point. “Triple Point is proud to include Ocean Tankers as a customer, and we look forward to supporting its growing operations.”