Hi there , hope you had a great break, I enjoyed a wonderful time in Europe catching up with my daughter who had moved to London and then a spot of skiing in Austria. Only 2 days into my 14 day family ski holiday I ended up hospital with two fractures in my pelvis…the care for broken and fractured bones in Kitzbuhel is amazing, they recognise this hospital as a center of excellence globally and they have on average 10-20 admissions per day (this excludes all the people they put in casts and send home). Anyhoo I discovered we missed the rain and have come back to this incredible summer… glad to be back! Every time I’m away it just reminds me what a stunning country we have right here.
So whats in store for 2016? (apologies for the big block of text I’m having issues with WordPress and unable to create line breaks?)
- Continuous improvement. After a couple of false starts we have finally hired an amazing Operations Manager – Jacqui Whaanga. Jax spent the last 14 years in Australia working through various senior roles with Toll, her final post was in W.A in charge of Tolls large chemical division overseeing a number of facilities. Like many Kiwis, Jax has decided its time to come home. And lucky us. Without blowing my trumpet too much, I reckon I’m pretty good at logistics at both a macro and micro level. In my career I’ve two people who I believed were better than me, one in Australia and one in NZ. Well now there is three, Jax is amazing, her understanding of the complexity around 3PL, staff management, systems and process is nothing short of remarkable. We are incredibly lucky to have her. One of the first initiatives that Jax will be rolling out is the implementation of a formal CI (Continuous Improvement) program.CI is a complex system that is focused on extracting maximum value for customers and shareholders whilst increasing staff engagement. The genesis of CI really started with Ford and Toyota where logistics disciplines such as Lean Manufacturing was born. In the later half of the 1900’s new disciplines like Six Sigma gained traction, fast forward today and the CI tool kit includes not only these at its core but other complimentary process to drive value. In our own way at SCS we have always challenged the current paradigms to deliver the best value for money, we were the first to produce high stud facilities (racking to 11M) and mass utilization of VNA aisles, SCS has also been first to market with a lot of IT innovation. All of which has served to ensure we deliver the lowest cost of ownership (not to be confused with being the cheapest) for our clients.This next step towards a formal CI program is a step up and gives us a solid road map to control costs for the next 5-10 years. My prediction is that the next evolution for us will be the introduction of robotics and more automation. So it is an exciting time! I’ll keep you posted with some key developments of the CI program as they evolve.
- Our professional services division continues to grow we have essentially 3 full time staff employed in the division now and are consulting externally to growing number of clients that are leaders in printing, skincare, fragrance and automotive. The key areas we are involved with include consulting stem from a process we have trademarked called SCORaES and revolve primarily around Supply Chain optimization, IT platform strategies and specifically 1PL Optimisation (companies that don’t outsource but want to gain the skills we offer). Its a fun and exciting development for SCS to enter this space (especially for the nerds here) if you’re interested here is a copy of the SCORaES brochure: SCORaES_brochure_v2
- A new portal for our 3PL clients, for a long time we’ve been wanting to refresh our portal its looking a bit dated and whilst the data model is good there are some terrific data visualization tools that will improve the quality of the data and statistics we store helping our customers get a better understanding of their business and helping them make better business decisions around inventory and order profiles. We’re looking to take an intern from France for a few months who has as background in mining data, statistical analysis and programming to help us develop this next generation of reporting tools for SCS clients.
- PaT, many of you have heard me talk about PaT; its a personal passion, an IT solution I have been working for 3 years, essentially an internal CRM that mashes an effective training application with a sophisticated task management solution into the same app. There is nothing like it anywhere and where we have applied it, we are getting amazing results in compliance and project completion. It has evolved (I believe) a world’s first integrated task management based minutes app that has proven a brilliant way to manage meetings, staff reviews, customer reviews and projects of any complexity level. We have a number of external customers on the system using it in their own business. The biggest lesson we have learnt is that whilst the data model is great the UI (User Interface) wasn’t, so we’re conducting a complete re-write of the UI which we hope to release in March. As SCS customers, I think, it will revolutionise many parts for your business and you will be offered highly preferential pricing if you want to take advantage of this solution. It has certain capabilities in terms of managing people that we’ve been unable to see any task or training solutions in the market that put it in a league of its own … so I’m keen to update you on this over the coming months.
- The big reveal… in the last quarter of 2016, we will be releasing a new service offering! For legal reasons I can’t disclose too much at the moment but for SCS 3PL and 4PL customers it will be another step up in terms of service to further realise additional value in their supply chain, as the drive for continued cost reduction and declining margins continues. Watch this space!
Thank you to the amazing support of all of our customers in 2015, thank you. We are very pleased to welcome a couple of iconic NZ companies to our family in the latter half of 2015 being Smith and Caugheys and Trilogy/Ecoya. We’re looking forward to serving all of our clients in 2016 and as always if you have any questions or need any help be sure to drop me a line.