Packaging Complexity Management Tip 18: Supply Chain design and Hubs

Packaging Complexity Management Tip 18: Supply Chain design and Hubs

Have you optimised your supply chain to provide required levels of variation and customisation?


In coping with complexity, it is necessary to think not just of what must be done and how, but also where.  To minimise obsolescence the goal should be to make products and components market specific as late in the supply chain as possible.

To achieve this, a different approach to the design of the supply chain may be required.

Postponement and late customisation activities are production activities and therefore must be undertaken with appropriate GMP processes and facilities.  You therefore need to ensure that such operations are being undertaken with appropriate levels of control and therefore undertaking such tasks within warehouse operations may not be appropriate.

Conversely, as most markets are supplied from many packaging facilities providing the local market specific requirements from each factory can be an unwelcome complexity burden at each factory.

Ensuring that activities are undertaken at the appropriate points in the supply chain is therefore another key part of managing complexity.  The concept of regional hubs can help provide appropriate solutions, where the hub supplies a group of local markets with market-specific product created from a stock of standard and customised components supplied from the factories.

This is the eighteenth of a series of 20 blogs giving a view of methods to deal with packaging complexity. Please help me improve the thinking by adding your comments and share this with others who may have a view.

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