Home » 2017 » June

Monthly Archives: June 2017

成层现象与供应链层级 Epidermal Stratification and Supply Chain

在生物和植物学中有个说法叫“成层”现象。讲群落的垂直结构 指群落在垂直方面的配置状态的 最显著的特征是成层现象,即在垂直方向分成许多层次的现象。

There is a terminology in both biology and botany: epidermal stratification . When it comes to the vertical structure of a community, the most significant characteristic of the configuration state of a community in the vertical aspect lies in stratification, a phenomenon that the community is divided into many layers vertically.


Stratification in communities includes supraterraneous stratification and subterraneous stratification. Differentiation of the layer is mainly determined by the plant life form. Different life forms of plants will result in different heights occupied in the air and different depth reached in the soil by plants. As for aquatic communities, they arrange themselves layer by layer underwater at different depth. Thus, stratification of plants based on height (or depth) among the communities turns up.


Stratification in forest communicates appears as four basic layers usually divided from top to bottom: tree layer, shrub layer, herb layer and ground layer. Within each layer, sublayers are divided according to the height of the plants. For instance, tree layer in tropical rain forests is often divided into three sublayers. Stratification in communities enables plants to utilize natural environment more fully in unit space. For example, in a mature forest, trees at the upper layer can utilize sunshine sufficiently, while their counterparts at the lower layer occupy the place under the canopy, and can utilize the weak light effectively. Meanwhile, shrub layer and herb layer under the tree are able to utilize even weaker rays of light, and ground level that is beneath the herb level is more resistant to shade. Stratification under the ground seems to be more complicated than that above the surface, even some aquatic animals appear to be stratified on the basis of sunshine, temperature, food and oxygen content. Among the biotic community, animals also present prevalent tendency of stratification, as the higher it is, the fewer the varieties of organisms are, and the stronger these organisms’viability is—the quantity of eagles is far less than that of the birds, but eagles enjoy lifespan of 70 years compared to that of birds, which is merely 10 years.


Imagine that a large number of birds of different species lives together in a forest. Birds with different species are used to living at different heights. At this time, you may find that birds at the top layer appears to be very clean, yet the birds below them are with droppings on them. More droppings can be found on the birds at even lower layer, then the birds at the lowest level will be covered by droppings without doubt.


In terms of quality improvement, one of the tools used is called Analogy, which refers to transferring some problems in management into real-life problems by comparison. Resorting to this method, we can make an analogy between stratification and management of suppliers and enterprises.

处在森林顶层的鸟就类似如处在价值链上游的组织,他们最接近于消费者,所以面对最直接,最完整的市场要求。这是为什么大家会感觉越处在价值链上游的公司,他们的要求越多的原因,就像飞机行业,他们会要求其一级供应商通过AS9100的认证;汽车行业OEM制造商,他们会要求其一级供应商通过TS16949的认证;医疗器械行业,他们会要求其一级供应商通过ISO13485的认证;电信行业,他们会要求其一级供应商通过TL9000认证,食品加工行业主推供应商落实ISO22000. 但是这些要求落实到其二级供应商,要求就会有打折,再由其二级供应商落实到第三级供应商,体系的要求就变成了期望,再往下就没有什么体系的要求了。

Birds at the top of the forest just like organizations which locate at the top of the value chain. As they are closest to the consumers, they confront the most direct and comprehensive market demand. This is why people perceive that companies at the upper stream of value chain possess more requirements—in aircraft industry, they will require that tier one suppliers pass AS9100; in automobile industry OEM manufacturers, they will ask their tier one suppliers to get TS16949; in the medical instrument field, they will ask tier one suppliers to get ISO131485; in telecom industry, they will ask tier one suppliers to get TL9000; in food processing industry, main suppliers should get ISO22000. But when it comes to tier two suppliers, these requirements will be discounted. As for the tier three suppliers, however, requirements of the system turn into expectations, and there will be no requirements from systems any more for the suppliers next.


The requirement system of the whole value chain forms a tree structure. Within the whole tree structure, every layer has the opportunity to climb upstream along the value chain, since organizations at the higher level will be likely to gain the greater benefits, whereas those at the lower level can only gain fewer benefits. Organizations at the upper level seems to be qualified, yet those at lower level are unlikely to comply with regulations or requirements. We always complain that our suppliers fail to accomplish this or that, regardless of their positions at the bottom of the value chain. Their calculation formula for business is that benefits equals price minus cost. As the price is determined by customers, the only way to ensure the profit is to decrease the cost. Short of methods and conditions, many enterprises fail to reduce the cost efficiently. Thus, they will probably take risks and reduce the cost by violation of regulations and deception. This is why I once read the news reporting behaviors that against stipulation, say, foreigners under reformation process product components in jails, and enterprises violate the labor law, evade the tax, discharge pollutants illegally. More often than not, these enterprises are at the bottom the value chain, while those at the top, however, are increasingly focusing on human rights, environmental protection, social responsibilities and sustainable development besides quality standards, despite that these requirements finally transform into those met by the downstream companies.

在这个价值链中企业如果不能直接往上游走,经常就会有一些折中的办法。其中在制造行业一个典型的“曲线救国”就是通过贸易中或者中间商将产品售往目的客户,这在起初的贸易公司十分普及,香港俗称“洋行”。贸易公司自有其生存之道,靠提供自身特殊的价值给客户。早期国内的贸易公司靠提供自身所拥有的资源,比如语言上的翻译沟通来轻轻松松谋取佣金,同时也会借双方无法正常直接交流抬高货价赚取差额。在1906年利丰开始涉足贸易行业时,冯氏兄弟的祖父仅仅靠翻译已经能获取至少15%的佣金。而如今,在全球日益网络化平面化的背景下,竞争越来越激烈,价格也越来越透明,因此许多的贸易公司转靠整合自身所掌握的资源来谋取一席之地。无论是当下流行的所谓供应链管理公司(提供资金上的周转服务及供应链咨询),还是人力资源整体托管(客户只需提供技术,生产作业由人力资源公司招募员工及管理人员完成)。比如利丰在“供应链管理 – 香港利丰集团的实践”中提到整体而言贸易行业的利润率约为1%,但通过有效的管理,利丰贸易的利润率曾经达到销售额的3.5%,而这些并不是通过挤压生产商的利润获得,而是从结合生产与运输活动所获得的额外利润里赚得的,即所谓“软收入”。

In this value chain, if enterprises are not managed to go upstream directly, they can make some compromise, and a typical one in manufacturing industry to solve the problem indirectly is to sell their products to targeted consumers via trade or the middleman. This is quite prevailing among trade companies at the early stages. These middleman was once called “foreign firm”in HongKong. Trade companies enjoy their unique ways of living, as they rely on providing their own special value to customers. In the early days, trade companies in China were dependent on their own resources, say, translation and communication in the linguistic aspects, to gain commissions easily. Meanwhile, they were adept at raising the price of the goods in order to earn from the price differences, benefited from unsuccessful direct communication. In 1906, when Li & Fung entered trade industry, Feng’s grandfather could acquire at least 15% of commissions by merely translation. Nowadays, in this increasingly networked and flattened era, competition becomes more and more fierce, and the price becomes more and more transparent. Therefore, many trade companies change to integrate resources they owned to strive for taking a place, whether by prevalent so-called supply chain management companies (they provide capital turnover and supply chain consultant service), or by holistic trusteeship of human resources(customers only need to provide technology, as the production will be accomplished by human resources companies who recruit staffs and administrative personnel). Take Li & Fung as an example. In the book of“Supply Chain Management— Practices of Li & Fung”, Li & Fung mentioned that the rate of profit of the trade industry as a whole is about 1%. Nevertheless, Li & Fung’s profit margin once reached 3.5% of the turnover by virtue of effective management. These profits, by no means, were generated from squeezing the profits of producers, but they were obtained from additional profits that derived from combining production and transportation, which is also known as “soft income”.


Risk brought by adding the intermediate layer between different layers or the trade layer lies in insufficient direct control. In 2014, Aston Martin recalled 17,590 problematic automobiles worldwide because it was unable to control the genuine origin and quality of its raw material—the pedal arms were in fact produced at a small manufacturer of the tier three level supply chain in China, as Aston Martin passed through the Britain and Hong Kong merchants who were at the intermediate layer.


Adding levels in supply chain will simultaneously weaken the manufacturers’ understanding towards the terminal market, aiming at improving products and services. Similarly, levels within organizations tends to increase with expansion of organizations. When the organization has developed to a specific extent, and the levels have been added to such an extreme that nearly 30% of staffs become administrative staffs or managers, the organization is always expected to adopt flatter management with the purpose of developing its staffs’ independent working skills, or adopt cellular model, an autonomous management model which is recommended by some corporations. Take the steel market as an example. I have once got in touch with some steel manufactures and merchants. For steel manufacturers, they are more willing to have dealing with enterprises of manufacturing type, not only because manufacturing enterprises own more stable demand expectations and prices, but also because they are able to collect the market information timely and then give the feedback to steel manufacturers so that manufacturers can improve their manufacturing quality, which is hard to be achieved by merchants due to existing technology and management. As for steel manufacturers, their defective products may still be produced continuously, or their competitors embark on providing modified products at the same time because of overdue feedback of their products. Cost, together with time, will be an enormous obstacle for the growth of one enterprise.


If the enterprise wants to get business by competitive bidding, it has to try as many means as possible. It is nothing to blame, since everywhere in the world appears to be the same. Strategy is given by the decision maker in the enterprise, while tactic is made by middle managers after they understand the strategy, and the implementation belongs to staffs of low level. The upper level should be committed so that they will generally not indicate their subordinates to violate the laws, but some executive staffs of low level who are motivated by benefits may resort to improper measures to contribute to transactions. This is also similar to stratification within the organization of the enterprises. People at the low level have to undertake more basic tasks to balance benefits, despite that these tasks are always further beyond their abilities. To be more specific, you need operators to balance quality and quantity; you need merchandisers to balance delivery time and service; you need purchasers to balance quality and price. As they always fail to accomplish their jobs, they tend to choose what seems to be more beneficial to them. This depends on how the organization will manage their performances. If they are managed well, their value will be consistent with that of the organization; otherwise, they will be divergent. This is why cultural development is considerably important, and why it should be advanced together with performance management.


With the gradual improvement of various domestic laws and regulations day by day, the increasing transparency of the internet, the aggravation of the competition globally, the rising production labor cost, and the rapidly explosive development of science and technology, enterprises of every type are placed in a more competitive environment. If the company aims to establish itself in the competitive environment, it should keep an aggressive attitude every day without doubt. Only doing so can it go upstream in this stratified ecosphere so that it can get better survival.

Great Acknowledge Given to Ms. Akiko, ZiZhu Wang from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies for Translation.

塑身与公差 Slim and Tolerance


It has been three months since I took the physical exercise and insisted on sit-up exercises. Consequently, my waistline size declined from 36 to 33, and I feel good about myself. When recollecting the past experiences on purchasing clothes, I just cannot help myself but to feel funny. It is quite easy for middle-aged people to get fat, regardless of their nationality or gender. Before I took more exercise, the size of their trousers increased freely with their waistline—the trousers I bought become bigger and bigger, from 32 to 33, then 33 to 34 since 33 is not enough. Finally, the size reaches 36. In fact, I did not notice too much change from 32 to 36, nor did I realize the seriousness of the problem until I found my BIM exceed the standard when taking the physical examination. Definitely, not until I took exercises, controlled my diet and improved my daily schedule did I found the advantages among it in turn: the size of the trousers can be controlled. Thus, the superfluous trousers with big waist size can be donated, which will reduce the inventory and “undesirable” waste.


It suddenly reminds me of the quality control of the factory. Without control, the tolerance of the product will become bigger and bigger. The quality cannot be enhanced if the accuracy cannot be improved. Since the tolerance cannot be widen within a single day, the negative impact brought by enlarged little tolerance every day will not be noticed. Not until the product was involved in quality problem, complained by customers and abandoned by the market and clients did they realize the seriousness of the problem. It is quite similar to boiling a frog in warm water: as the temperature of water increases gradually, the frog loses its ability to be aware of the changes in temperature until they get boiled thoroughly by boiling water. However, what seems to be different from boiling a frog is that when the enterprise is about to collapse, the problem has already become considerably complicated. In fact, it is quite difficult to figure out the problem which results in such outcome. Likewise, it is hard to say that obesity is caused by the single factor such as increasing age or irregular diet, or simply caused by differences in human races, or combination of multiple factors. Nevertheless, the every country in the world has reached a consensus that one of the indispensible stages for controlling the weight and waist sizes lies in intensive exercises. Just as Motorola that conducted and promoted the six sigma management method yet sold its mobile division with dismal achievement, it is not the six sigma method but other multiple factors like product position, product design or marketing strategy mixing with each other that gives rise to this outcome— conversely, six sigma management method is able to generate positive effect at any stage of the company development.


Quality is closely related to brand. Establishing a good brand requires efforts from several generations. Without good quality, the brand cannot survive. I once visited the biggest ceramic sanitary enterprise which possesses high brand-awareness and even engages in setting up the ceramic standards in China. As it belongs to a family business, each child of the president was assigned a brand and operated them individually. Once someone found that the South-east Asian market required less on quality while its market was booming, thus he asked whether they can establish another brand that focus on low-end market. This idea was rejected by the president, and the one of the reasons is that it will be difficult to deliver a clear concept and positioning from upper-level leaderships to middle managers and then to general staffs if producing both high-end and low-end product simultaneously in a group company. Under the motivation of  performance, sales will introduce , this product and those well-known brands come under same leadership team” when promoting products. It is relatively hard for staff to focus on high-end products today while emphasizing on low-end products tomorrow, despite different product line or different branches. Nowadays Japanese quality as well as German quality can indicate that products from these two countries are of high standard, yet speaking of the international influence exerted by Chinese quality, although China has owned numerous big brands, consumers from most of the countries still tend to label China as “the country of low to middle end products”.  People are accustomed to labeling people: people from Beijing are all officials, people from Shanghai are all petty bourgeois, while people from Guangdong are all bosses. This is the influence from brand on cities. It is easy to go downstairs yet hard to go upstairs, If an enterprise want to make progress, it should rise rather than decline, whether it is the sales volume, management standard or quality requirement.


One of the steps in controlling quality is to control tolerance. This is why quality should be built in product design. Tolerance will directly influence the consistency, stability, reliability and functions of products. It is easy to design tolerance, yet it is difficult to control the tolerance in a limited range. This is why America cultivated over ten thousands of engineers studying the control in statistical processes to ensure the quality of military products during the 1940s. The aim to control statistical process is to minimize the product defects which exceed the tolerance, and to inform the engineers of the investigation reasons to take precautions via the form of graphic trend in advance before producing defective goods.


Tolerance does not mean that sometimes we can achieve it while sometimes we cannot— Instead, it refers to the ability to achieve a long-term stability, this is the so-called reliability. There is a joke: cranes manufactured in Japan claim that it can lift cargos up to 100 tons. If you lift cargos of 105 tons, the arm will break. Cranes from another country claim that it can lift cargos up to 150 tons, but it can only lift cargos of 80 tons once in ten times. That is to say, the arm breaks when the 80-ton-cargo is about to lift. The outcome seems to be beyond the imagination, and this is the consequence resulted from stability and reliability.


The given tolerance resulted from understanding the manufacturing capability of actual process. With the same product design, the given tolerance from Germany and Japan will be relatively small because their capability of manufacturing process is strong and their processing precision is high. For instance, the domestic bearing exhibited in an exhibition can only rotate for one minute, whereas bearing produced in Germany can keep rotating for at least 10 minutes. Likewise, I heard that the retail price of accessories from Japanese cars will be higher than those of German cars, as the randomly selected accessories of German cars from stock is unable to match other accessories of the original car, while those from Japanese stocks can be perfectly matched. You can imagine that the unnecessary waste of accessories of German cars will be much more than that of Japanese cars.


One of the aims that we talk about the early engagement of suppliers is that we hope to understand the manufacturing capabilities of suppliers in advance, as well as expect suppliers to understand the expectations of designing product tolerance. Therefore, the requirement and the practical ability can be matched better, reducing the time of designing the product and reviewing the drawing specifications instead of repeating proofing and revising.  The cycle of Toyota from freezing the product concept design to batch production is about 18 weeks, which is nearly 2 months shorter than Hyundai. What’s more, the period is even much shorter than that of American cars and Chinese cars. Although this development period examines the comprehensive ability of a company in developing products, it is well-known that the relationship between Toyota and its suppliers is much closer than that of the American or German automobiles with its suppliers. Therefore, it can be concluded that early engagement of suppliers is beneficial for both improving the product design and shortening the development period.


Let’s come back to the story at the beginning. If we regard the requirement on clothing size as a tolerance to conduct management—for instance, limiting the tolerance from 32 to 34— then the quality is under requirement. Since we have the objectives, and the next is the method. Methods can be various, just as the methods of controlling tolerance within a factory can be various. Exercising is like improving, and continuous exercising is like continuous improving.


Let you be slim forever, and let your factory keep lean always.


Great Acknowlegement Given to Ms. ZiZhu Wang (Akiko) from GuangDong University of Foreign Studies for Translation.

好的质量也意味着好的装柜 Good loading is a nonnegligible part of quality.





















质量八大原则 Quality Management Principles















































没有通过ISO认证行不行? —-有些可以
没有质量管理者行不行? —-有时可以
没有技术部门行不行? —-也许可以
没有检验设施行不行? —-大概行吧
没有过程管控行不行? —-这能凑合

















国际采购课堂案例分享 Traditional Purchasing Dilemma Case Study


In a lesson on International Purchasing, the professor provided a case study for students to discuss. It is said that currently this case study is typical in the field of purchasing in China, with about 70% companies faced with similar problems or dilemmas.


There is only a printed version of the case study and no electronic one, so you have to look at a picture.


As far as I am concerned, this is a traditional practice typically adopted by a purchasing company, falling in between small purchasing and big purchasing. The former focuses on order execution while the latter values relationship establishment and optimization. JIMMY also plays an important role in rescuing emergency and solving problems. Busy as he is every day, most of the issues that he deals with are short-term supplying problems while mid-and-long-term issues of process and regulation remain to be put on the agenda and into effect.

JIMMY 在很多公司都很常见,在一些公司老板会看到JIMMY的不足,以及要改进的地方,但是在相当多的公司内JIMMY也许还是公司的红人,要人,老板的左膀右臂,遇到问题其他的部门都会为他让路,全力配合他去解决交货与生产短缺,原因在于他还能解决一些问题,以致于给人一种错觉好像公司缺他不可,从而更让他反而有一种自豪感,不思进取。就如同品质部在很多公司画很多精力在解决“纠正措施”的问题,疲于应付客户的投诉,没有解决“预防措施”的问题,反而让老板觉得质量部解决客户的投诉由“责任”变为了“贡献”,最终成为了“增值”的活动,的确有效的解决客户的投诉和诉求能增加客户的满意度,但是最终客户要的效果是没有投诉,事前有效的预防和管控,而不是事后的纠正。

JIMMY is a common character that exists in many companies. Some bosses may recognize the disadvantages and shortcomings of JIMMY that calls for improvement. But chances are larger that JIMMY is a favorite by bosses in most places. Since he is capable to solve some tricky problems, other sectors will make way for him and spare no effort to assist him to solve the problems of delivery and production shortage. There is thus an illusion that he is indispensible to the company, which gives rise to a sense of pride in him and may foster his unenterprising spirit. It is similar to the case of the quality sectors in many companies. They are busy addressing customers’ complaints, spending a lot of time and efforts on rectification rather than precaution, which leaves a false impression on the boss that by responding to customers’ complaints, the quality sector is creating value and making contribution to the company rather than fulfill its commitment. It is true that customers can obtain satisfaction when having their complaints settled and appeals met. But what they really need is no complaints: effective precaution and control beforehand instead of rectification afterwards.


After a 15 minutes’ brainstorming by students under the guidance of the professor, a general solution came into being with possible omission of ideas that are not covered.

1.采购经理的能力有待加强Enhancing the purchasing manager's ability.

1.1 采购经理的时间管理和任务优先性管理需要加强The purchasing manager's time management and task prioritization management needs improving.

整体来讲JIMMY应该能意识到很多事情要做,但是如何更好的分配时间和下属资源,以及自身的优先性管理,这是JIMMY需要思考的问题,毕竟长期救火JIMMY是不会有时间来思考更长远的问题,而接到电话就立马处理的办事风格更让人怀疑其管理的计划性。“供应链管理 – 实践者的角度”作者 刘宝红曾经比如传统采购向战略采购如同给奔驰的汽车更换车轮,是一个相当挑战的任务。

Generally speaking, JIMMY is able to be aware that there is a lot of work to do. But what calls for contemplation for him is how to allocate time and staff resource more effectively and realize self prioritization management. After all, always being hooked on emergencies would spare him no time for foresight consideration, and people would doubt his management planning ability if he kept the working manner of taking immediate action upon phone calls. Baohong Liu, the author of Supply Chain Management—from Practitioners' Perspective, once compared the shift to strategic purchasing from traditional purchasing to the replacement of wheels for Benz, a rather challenging task.

1.2 对任务的跟踪能力The ability of task tracing


Common as it may be in daily life, it is not advisable that JIMMY waits along for reply of the design sector after the sample is submitted, or acquiesces in its feasibility before any reply. It should be clear that one skill in management is to trace the implementation process of tasks, rather than just give orders and wait for outcomes.

1.3 采购经理的跨部门沟通的能力不足The purchasing manager's ability of cross-sector communication is deficient.


This can be seen in many stakeholders. JIMMY always plays the role of a kind man, not willing to offend anyone. He helps to the problem caused by others, the company and other sectors. Examples in the case study include the salesmen sealing a deal without any idea about the company's delivery capacity and JIMMY getting to bargain with a supplier randomly designated by the design sector.


Besides, JIMMY does not make up a well-defined cross-sector communication process, the weakness of which has pushed JIMMY to the target of public criticism. The process is a powerful weapon for the weak to protect themselves. Whether in eastern or western democracies, the law plays an important role in guaranteeing people's rights to participate in the country's politics. The process to a company is what the law to a country.


What's more, the cross-sector communicative mechanism needs to be optimized. Although the chief culprit for material shortage should not go to the purchasing sector, it is supposed to carry out and dominate a solution since the core and basic function of purchasing is to guarantee supply. Similarly, products are caused in designing or production process rather than by the quality sector, but it eventually calls for the quality sector to coordinate and solve the problem.In the case study, JIMMY should hold periodic cross-sector meetings so as to have an immediate comprehension of changeable customer demands, dynamic storage situation and fluctuant production planning and quality performance.

2.对于计划与预测的管控要加强Enhancing the control of planning and forecasting.

JIMMY需要和计划,业务交清底牌 – 哪些非标物料的交期是多久,需要提前准备,防止销售贸然承诺客户。对于销售提供的预测数据是需要画个问号先,并不是说销售故意提供假的预测数据,原因在于市场变幻莫测,没准销售从客户那里收到的数据还依赖于上游二级乃至三级客户的准确性,这就是供应链环节的所谓“牛鞭效应”。客户为了保障给其客户的供应,他们可能会将实际1000的需求量扩大为1500,而公司销售收到1500的要求后为了不失信于客户,则有可能会再放大到2000。刘宝红老师的观点是决定由数据开始,判断结束,总比全程拍脑袋的准确性要高,要知道战略层面在年初拍脑袋定下的销售额预测可能还比较准确,生产,采购的年度预测也还行,但是落实在战术层面上每周的预测就可能差之千里了。在此同学们给出的一个思路是计划与预测需要结合静态与动态两块数据,静态指实际已经发生的现有信息,这些包括历史的销售,采购数据,现有的自身仓库和供应商端的库存数据等,动态的则是销售的预测数据,供应商提供的前置期等。两者结合会更接近实际的需求,毕竟想要获得的信息的准确性高低与资源的投入多少也有一定关系。

JIMMY should have an immediate and effective communication with the planning and sales departments and tell them the real capability of suppliers : Which are non-standard materials, what are their deliveries and when should they be prepared in advance in case the salesman rashly accepts an order from customers. The forecasting data provided by salesmen should be put under scrutiny first. It does not mean that salesmen will deliberately provide false forecasting data. But since the market is changeable, it is possible that the accuracy of the data salesmen obtained from customers should depend on the upstream secondary and tertiary customers. This is referred to as the Bullwhip Effect in supply chain. When an upstream customer wants to ensure supply to a downstream customer, it may play an increased order with a supply company. For example, it may enlarge the actual demand of 1000 in amount into 1500. When the supplier receives an order of 1500, however, it may increases the order to an amount of 2000 so as to ensure that the order can be fulfilled on time. According to Professor Liu Baohong, a decision should begin with data and end with judgment rather than be based on groundless intuition. The forecast for sales, production and purchasing casually determined by the strategy layer may be relatively accurate at the beginning of a year, but great discrepancy will emerge in the week forecasting on the tactics layer. Thus the students put up with an idea that both static and dynamic data should be adopted in the process of planning and forecasting. Static data refers to the available data drew from events that already happened, including historical sales data, purchasing data, current stock information from the warehouse and the suppliers. Dynamic data refers to forecasting data of sales and the lead time proposed by supplier. A combination of the two makes it closer to the actual demand. After all, the accuracy of the information is, to some extent related to the input of resources.

3.供应商感知模型的运用Using the Supplier Perception Model


Meanwhile, in view that JIMMY’s company enjoys a double-digit growth, JIIMMY shall keep a good communication with the suppliers in information exchanging and sharing. He should also have a clear understanding of the suppliers’ supplying competence and willingness. Whether they are willing to increase facilities, human resources and so on to ensure adequate supply to the company? How is JIMMY’s company like in the mind of the suppliers? All these questions refer to the use of the supplier perception model. Customers of great commercial value are not meant to be attractive and will therefore become the core customers. A long cooperation calls for two parties that have the willingness to work with each other in order to be well-matched.

4.对零部件的重要性划分Rating Parts by Importance


JIMMY should not attend to big and small matters all at once. But rather, he should tell apart key materials and normal materials so as to have a definite object in view. The supply positioning model can be referred to for more specific information (bottleneck, routine, critical and leverage).  Besides, the suppliers appear to be unitary. An adequate stock of key materials of the same class should be prepared before hand in order to minimize risks.

5. 对风险的管理思路Ideas for Risk management


Apart from rating accessories by importance, some also note that JIMMY should learn from the risk management model for the risk management and control of stock shortage. For example, accessories that easily encounter shortage and have great influence on the company should be given prior attention, described in a coordinate axis with Influence on the company and probability to happen as the two axes.

6.供应商的选择流程失效Failure in the Supplier Selection Process


The process of supplier selection and bringing in should be clearly defined so that the purchaser can start his work in advance rather than simple fulfill daily purchasing orders that come after the decision on goods specification and suppliers by the design sector. In determining the supplier selection process, a company need to consider how many stages the process comprises, what should be done on each stage and each stage should be led by which sector in order to make sure that the relevant sector can undertake their work in time.  First, make sure that benefits are balanced; second, make sure that demands are met; third, balance between efficiency and risks. In the case study, the company reversed the sequence by first deciding on the sample and then bargaining with the supplier when the order was ready to be played. We should know that there is a high time and opportunity cost for switching suppliers. The normal sequence is to decide on the specifications and quote and then decide on the sample.


Besides, according to the conventional supplier selection process, all the purchasing orders are sent to qualified suppliers which are named in a list by the company for strict management and control. A series of assessments are conducted before a supplier can be listed as a qualified supplier. In this way, some problems encountered by JIMMY might have been filtered in advance. Perhaps he was not aware of this fact.

7. ERP系统的运用和升级Using and Upgrading the ERP System

大部分同学都意识到了ERP的运用给公司带来的便捷与效率,但在实际工作中要说服一个不实际操作系统的老板来讲,的确不是易事。一个好的管理系统其实已经将公司的流程嵌入到了系统内部,就像大家觉得电脑的速度是越来越快,但是体积是越来越小,从操作界面来讲是越来越方便,大家并不会看到各种0/1的算法,但实际上它又确是在电脑的内部计算和处理中实际发生的一样。一方面尽量采用投资回报的计算方式来证明ERP系统的商业价值,另外一方面也需要JIMMY将公司的现状 – 变革 – 未来 里程图展现给老板,让老板看到上一个好的ERP系统如何给未来起到一个建地基,铺路的效果。​有同学结合贴身感受推荐澳洲ERP系统PRIORITY (http://www.priorityerp.com/),但是据说价值也不菲,需要上百万美金,不知是真是假。

A majority of students have realized the adoption of the ERP System will bring convenience and efficiency to the company. But it is not an easy job to persuade a boss who has not used the system into adopting it. As a matter of fact, a qualified management system will have had the corporate process embedded into itself. It is like a computer, which gets faster in speed but smaller in size and whose operating interface becomes more and more convenient. Various algorithms are not visible to us, but they are actually worked on and processed in a computer. On one hand, the calculation of ROI should be put into use to access the commercial value of the ERP System. On the other, it requires that JIMMY present to the boss a situation-revolution-future mileage chart, with which the boss is able to see how a qualified ERP System can lay the foundations and pave the road for the future. Some students recommend PRIORITY (http://www.priorityerp.com/), an Australian ERP System, supported by their own experiences. It is said to be expensive, costing millions of dollars. I am not sure whether it is true or not.

8. 扩展A Real-Life Example


Due to the fact that the information provided by the case study is not comprehensive enough, some students have provided an actual practice in their company. That is, associate customers’ special requirements with prices.  If a customer plays a special order with a delivery time of 15 days while the conventional delivery of the item is, say, one month, the company can accept the new delivery on condition that the price be largely increased or the terms of payment be stricter. On one hand, the whole supply chain has to meet the requirement by working overtime or through extra resource allocation.  On the other, the product profit margin may be increased. But some students who work in the sales domain note immediately that one big drawback of this practice is that it easily drains away its customers for customers will make comparisons in the market and once they find more competent supplies to which they will turn. Perhaps such practice is only suitable for small-volume large-variety products or products with more demand than supply.


Although it is a discussion in class and many students in the discussion are not professionals in purchasing, some suggestions that are proposed by them may be much more practical since they work in different fields and thus can view the same question from different perspectives.