Our supply chain universe can be seen as clustered around three "estates," roughly comparable to the social divisions in pre-revolutionary France. We might, without stretching too far, term them the First Estate?the academic community (or the "clergy"); the Second Estate—the consultants and software developers (or the "nobility"); and the Third Estate—working practitioners (or the "commoners").
Warehousing is nothing more than the effective management of time and space. It would stand to reason, then, that the material handling tools used in facilities would be designed to conserve both time and space. But it's never that simple.
There's more to supply chain security than foiling terrorists. There are still plenty of challenges for us right here at home protecting our DCs, the people who work in them, and the products they house.
To most everyone in the supply chain world, inventory management essentially comes down to choosing between a couple of unattractive alternatives: keeping a lot of inventory on hand to hide problems or reducing the inventory in order to expose and fix them.
The argument for integrating manufacturing with supply chain functions is compelling, whether the manufacturing source is across the street, across the country, or across the ocean. But whatever the situation, we cannot afford to simply let manufacturing "happen," figuring we'll deal with the consequences later.