blog main image

Thankful for Effective Supply Chains

Requirements of an effective supply chain, pumpkin pie

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 28th annual survey, the average cost of a classic Thanksgiving Day dinner for 10 people declined .44 from 2012. Now, there just has to be effectiveness and efficiency in those supply chains for that to occur. As you bite into your pumpkin pie this year, contemplate these questions posed by Terry Weiner, supply chain expert with MEP.

The following post is #1 of a series and highlights the requirements of an effective supply chain. This series of posts will provide an overview of the Supply Chain Optimization process and preview some of the concepts and tools that are part of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Supply Chain Optimization program.

  • When was the last time you really looked at how effectively your supply chain is performing? I mean, really looked into all of the aspects of cost, performance, quality, and value.
  • Is the supply chain performing to the specifications of your Supply Chain Strategy?
  • Do you even have a Supply Chain Strategy, and if so, is it in alignment with your corporate strategy?
  • Are your suppliers aware of the supply chain strategy and do they know what their part is in helping to achieve it?

The Supply Chain Optimization Process

This series of posts will provide an overview of the Supply Chain Optimization process and preview some of the concepts and tools that are part of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Supply Chain Optimization Initiative.

This program is based on establishing a comprehensive view of the supply chain and improving the visibility and responsiveness through all tiers supporting the supply chain. It is designed to be scalable, to leverage and coordinate throughput improvements at any level of the supply chain, whether it is supporting a small to mid-sized contract manufacturer or a large multi-national OEM, the concepts and tools are applicable.

An optimized high performing supply chain requires management attention to 5 critical areas:

1. Alignment – The supply chain strategy needs to actively align and support the corporate goals of future growth, innovation and sustainability.

2. Value – The supply chain strategy should identify suppliers who will assist us in achieving our future goals through collaboration and providing a means of growing our mutual businesses through sharing of ideas, capabilities and capacity.

3. Managing Risk – A well thought out Risk Management Plan is necessary to prevent supply chain interruptions and unexpected events that would render our product uncompetitive, unavailable, or unattractive to the marketplace.

4. Comprehensive View – The performance of the entire supply chain must be examined in order to identify current and potential future constraints. If we only look at suppliers who represent current bottlenecks we will fail to recognize potential future constraints.

5. Metrics – We can’t improve what we don’t measure. If we don’t measure the “right things” the problems will persist.

So, stop thinking of work and finish that pie! Look for our next post or visit California Manufacturing Technology Consulting® (CMTC) to read subsequent posts from Terry.

Terry is a Senior Consultant with Terry has over 20 years experience in process improvements, quality management implementation and supply chain optimization.

Photo courtesy of

Meet the Author

Terry Weiner

Terry Weiner, a Senior Consultant with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), specializes in crafting business solutions featuring lean enterprise, quality systems, and supply chain optimization. He brings a broad industry background to his position. Terry utilized this expertise to help develop the risk aspect of the MEP SCO program, and is particularly interested in the data side of the equation. He assists companies in translating advanced manufacturing theory into strategic and practical applications. Terry can be reached at His full bio may be viewed here.

One response to “Thankful for Effective Supply Chains”

  1. […] (Missed Link 1? Read it here.) […]

Leave a Reply

  • twitter
  • linkedin
  • youtube
  • rss
What are your Supply Chain Weaknesses?
Supply Chain Vitality Quiz
Supply Chain Optimization in the field

"MEP has put together an intelligent program that was well thought out and challenging for supply chain management team. They challenged our supply chain approach and current paradigm – forcing us to take a fresh look at what we do and how we do it. We are using the supply chain strategy tools that they provided as “take-aways” to change how we do things."


-Bruce Broxterman, President, Richards Industries

Would you like to receive MEP Supply Chain Updates?
Sign up for our E-Newsletter
Supply Chain Optimization Case Study
Syn Strand Supply Chain Case Study Download Case Study