Keeping it Simple

The recently concluded SCOPE West conference in Las Vegas yielded some remarkable information, and delivered on its promise of fresh insight.

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The recently concluded SCOPE West conference in Las Vegas yielded some remarkable information, and delivered on its promise of fresh insight.

The consensus among most presenters was that supply chain leaders were “attacking complexity,” while embracing a new level of “simplicity.”

SCOPE (Supply Chain Operations Private Expositions) organizers said this year’s event would provide us with strategic presentations and panels from industry thought leaders and “real world” customer led case studies. Indeed it did.

Mark Vollrath, worldwide director of Colgate-Palmolive, noted, for example, that his company does 80 percent of its business overseas…contrary to popular perception. That means that new procurement and manufacturing practices have to be leveraged if the company wishes to continue to cut supply chain costs as it expands into new markets.

‘How do we do this?” he asks. “By employing segmented collaboration within our human resources. If we have a logistics specialist in India that can lend his expertise in China, we send him there.”
And while that may sound “simple,” how many other multinationals are pursuing this course?

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at

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