sábado, 13 de enero de 2018

Extreme engineering: Container ships

One of my favorite programs of all time is Extreme Engineering; I have been fascinated by the mega structures humanity has been building all over the world!

Thinking about it, this will be the first time we talk about this in the blog, and it´s surprising considering how relevant Supply Chain is in any of these humongous projects.

To unveil this new section, I thought that the best episode to share with you is the third episode of the second season "Container ships.

This episode examines the docking of a container and the operation of the water front, where thousands of containers need to be unloaded and loaded in 48 hours. Also covered in the episode is the building of the Adrian Maersk, the world´s largest container ship, and the challenges faced by the engineering team.


martes, 21 de noviembre de 2017

Ocado: Shaping the future

It all starts with a concept and a vision, that turns into a mission, once you have that, the rest of the pieces will come together eventually.

Innovate, invest, empower, respect, change, lead...

From the very beginning:

Through the different stages:

Until the very end:

domingo, 15 de octubre de 2017

Zero waste - the Unilever journey

Waste minimization is the process of reducing the amount of waste produced with the aim to eliminate the generation of harmful and persistent wasters. Waste minimization involves efforts to minimize resources and energy use during manufacture.

Waste management on the other hand, focuses on processing waste after it´s created, concentrating on reducing, reusing and recycling products and components. Waste minimization should be seen as a primary focus for most waste management strategies.

Zero waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused and no waste is generated, it encompasses more than eliminatig waste through recycling and reuse, it focuses on restructuring the production and distribution systems to reduce waste.

Many companies have set ambitious targets waste reduction, and factories have been targeted as the primarily function to trial waste reduction principles.

One prime example of this journey to zero waste is Uniliver; the giant FMCG started his journey back in 2009 with the aim to achieve zero waste across their global factory network by 2020. They achieved this target in 2014, 6 years ahead of plan. Here is how they did it:

The challenge is now to roll out these best practices from factories to distribution centres, head offices and customers. Hopefully one day, the zero waste philosophy will be part of everybody´s life, in the meantime, a few pioneers are showing us the way. Only a few changes in our day to day life will mean a start to a journey to reduce our impact in our planet.

domingo, 10 de septiembre de 2017

Just in time

Just-in-time manufacturing (JIT) also known as the Toyota Production System is a methodology aimed at reducing flow times within production systems as well as response times from suppliers and to customers.

It originated in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s, but the wise use of the term JIT faded in the 1990s as the new term “lean manufacturing” was established as a more recent name for JIT.


- Lower warehouse costs. Since less space is needed, this reduces the amount of storage an organisation needs to buy or rent.

- Less amount of inventory obsolescence, when companies use the traditional method of inventory they can end up with pallets of unsold items that simply go to waste

- Defect rates are reduced resulting in less waste and greater customer satisfaction.


- You become reliant on your suppliers. Suppliers need to be able to supply materials quickly with very limited advance notice and any unexpected even can derive in long term out of stocks.

- Employees are at risk of precarious work as employers seek to easily adjust their workforce in response to supply and demand conditions by increasing the amount of contracting and temporary work.

- By not carrying much of stock, the risk of out of stocks is higher making imperative to have the correct procedures in place to ensure stock can become readily available.

- More and better planning is required to ensure stock is available at all times

If you want to learn more, check out the video below that explains in detail what JIT is and all the elements around this philosophy. 

Couldn´t finish this post without some music. Happy week!

domingo, 23 de julio de 2017

Supply Chain humor

No better way to finish the weekend than with some humor!

Will seep dive into JIT in the next post, stay tuned!

sábado, 17 de junio de 2017

The future of retail shopping

Surely not even in ten years time, this is what shopping will look like. Watch out because before you even realize some of these trends will be at the forefront of the way we shop!

I know this video has already been posted before when we talked about RFID technology, (you can find the post here) but i can´t help it! It´s IBM being almost 20 years ahead of the game!

domingo, 28 de mayo de 2017

One Belt, one Road, The New Silk Road: The beginning

In this second entrance, we will continue exploring one of the most spectacular initiatives in this century, the One belt, One road project.

In words of Swedish explorer Sven Hedin taking about the Silk Road: "It can be said without exaggeration that this artery through the whole of the old world is the longest and from a cultural-historical standpoint the most significant connecting link between peoples and continents that has ever existed on earth"

In the 21st century China want to emulate the old Silk Road, but instead of camels and wooden boats, trains and gigantic vessels will be responsible for half of the worlds trade.

For those of you that are not familiar with this initiative yet, the below video is a short, but very informative version of this project:

For those of you that want to know more, watch the next video, you will have to bear the lack of subtitles, but it´s worth it.

It will frame the context to better understand the importance of this project and how China´s development in the last 35 years has made it possible.

This is probably one of the most colosal initiatives in world´s history, one belt one road will change the world as we know it, and I will be  showing you in the next posts how this humongous project is taking shape.

sábado, 13 de mayo de 2017

One Belt, one Road, The New Silk Road: The first train

This post will probably be the first part of a series of post related to the gigantic Chinese project “One road, one Belt”

In this first entry we will focus in the first string of the project the new rail routes.

Until not too long ago the only two options available to transport Chinese products to Europe were take an ocean bound route, which although cheap can be very slow, or use an air carrier that is considerably faster, but also much more expensive.

A third way was unlocked when the Chinese government launched a rail freight service between China and Western Europe.

This line will connect Beijing and London, making it the first direct rail link between the two cities.

The freight will span 7456 miles (12000 km) of railways crossing Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France and the UK.

The route is actually not new at all, it´s part o the old Silk Road, which commenced more than 2000 years ago, through which Chinese silk caravans carried wears to Europe and Africa. Now Beijing is aiming to resurrect this historic trade route by using rail power.

This new plan is part of Chinese president Xi Jinping´s project to improve the country´s trade links and revive the ancient Silk Road route.

This new route also comes at a particularly well time for the UK, with the government of Theresa May currently sourcing the world for trade deals in anticipation of a departure from the EU.

The first cargo carrying 4 million worth of goods arrived in London on the 8th of January after an eighteen day journey that was as much an engineering challenge as a logistical problem with different types of rail track in different countries meaning the same train can´t travel the whole route and so the containers have to be removed and reloaded onto different carriages at several stages of the journey.

viernes, 14 de abril de 2017

Collaboration as a Supply Chain strategy

This will be the first post of a series that will explore the importance and benefits of Supply Chain collaboration.

Why collaboration between business partners is shaping the supply chain of the future? what are the pros and cons, if there are any, of collaboration? why customer Supply Chain is a growing part of the logistics business and how can companies and individuals improve their relationships by embracing a new mentality of flexibility and openness?

I can think of a better way to start this series than by listening to one of the men that has been shaping the way Supply Chain at L'Oreal looks like today. His day to day work, his vision and a few examples of the positive impact collaboration has had in the recent past for L'Oreal.