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Securing A Stellar Supply Chain

Dec. 8, 2005
Only as strong as its weakest link, the supply chain can make or break manufacturers.

One mismanaged link in the supply chain could prove disastrous, especially in today's economy.

Competition from low-cost-labor countries has every manufacturer poring over their supply chains with a fine-tooth comb, magnifying glass and a microscope.

In fact, Round Rock, Texas-based Dell Inc. analyzes its operation performance on an hourly basis and aligns its supply chain to meet its customer needs.

And Deluxe Corp. understands the changing needs of its customers. Its primary product is paper checks. Noting demand was decreasing, the St. Paul, Minn.-based company decided to change the structure of its supply chain from consumption/replenishment to demand planning.

As for Palo Alto, Calif.-based Varian Medical Systems Inc., creating a program geared toward its key suppliers was in order. The program aims to help suppliers meet Varian's future delivery schedules.

And Lexmark International Inc., based in Lexington, Ky., has created deeper relationships with fewer suppliers.

It is clear that well-managed companies do not ignore supply-chain issues. And as Lawrence J. Mosner, CEO of Deluxe Corp. states in his essay, keeping up with the times is paramount.

The following essays should help you do just that.

Related Essays

Tying Supply Chain To Customers, by Dick Hunter, vice president, Dell Americas Manufacturing & Distribution Operations
Keeping Up With The Times, by Lawrence J. Mosner, chairman and CEO, Deluxe Corp.
Partners For Life, by Tim Guertin, president and COO, Varian Medical Systems Inc.
Cost Reduction Essential To Competition, by Donna Covington, vice president/customer services, Lexmark International Inc.

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