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We round out and finish our “5 Top Blog” series for the top blog posts in our 4 main blog categories (Manufacturing, Logistics, Freight, Supply Chain) by page views for blog posts published in 2014 and who have had the most page views in the first half of 2014. We finish the series talking about what completes the circle and involves all the previous categories by covering the 5 top Supply Chain blog posts of 2014.

The Supply Chain is a complex and diverse subject. A supply chain involves and brings together freight, logistics, and of course manufacturing. We have written about such subjects in the supply chain as how to increase lead times, how to get more efficient in your supply chain, and even softer business ideas such as customer service and collaboration. The top supply chain blogs of 2014 are no different.

However, we encourage you not to stop just at these blog posts, but to dig deeper into the other sub-categories we write about, which you can find in the drop down menu to the right, about halfway down.

5 Top Supply Chain Blogs of 2014

Our 5 top supply chain blogs of 2014 involved two main themes: Infographics and 3D Printing. Surely, people love consuming infographics due to the quick read and great information displayed visually. Furthermore, 3D printing has legs into logistics and manufacturing both of which, as stated earlier, are deeply ingrained into the supply chain….so it makes natural sense. The remaining subjects in our top supply chain blogs of the year so far revolve around those ideas we talked about: collaboration and customer service.

Now onto the top supply chain blog posts of the year:

#1: The Impact of 3D Printing in the Supply Chain and Logistics Arenas

As we noted in our top issues in American Manufacturing series, 3D printing is a key trend and applications manufacturers are paying attention to over the next decade. Currently around 28% of the money spent on printing things is for final products, according to Terry Wohlers, who runs a research firm specializing in the field. He predicts that this will rise to just over 50% by 2016 and to more than 80% by 2020.

The process of 3D printing, sometimes called additive manufacturing, is a slow procedure in which a printer reads a digital blueprint and methodically drops building material according to a set of instructions, creating a final product that’s built up tiny layer by tiny layer. The printers are capable of producing extremely detailed and intricate levels of design that can be difficult or impractical to create with other methods.

Read the full blog post here

#2: Supply Chain 2014 Infographic: The State of the Supply Chain

I recently came across an interesting infographic from SAPinsider and insiderPROFILES that showcased a survey around the State of Supply Chain 2014. You can find the infographic at the bottom of this post. The survey, conducted in late 2013, asked supply chain management (SCM) professionals about their priorities for the coming year.

From the findings, it was interesting to see that supply chain 2014 is going to be of greater focus for executives in 2014, with 71% of the respondents agreeing that it would be a higher priority in 2014 than in the recent past. This was supported by the fact that 47% are planning to increase spending on supply chain related IT and 48% saying that they will continue to spend at the current rate.

Read the full blog post and view the infographic here

#3: INFOGRAPHIC: 3D Printing and the Supply Chain to Drastically Alter Manufacturing

Who would have thought that modern manufacturing could be done without a factory? Since the Industrial Revolution, manufacturing has been synonymous with factories, machine tools, production lines and economies of scale. So it is startling to think about manufacturing without tooling, assembly lines or supply chains. However, that is what is emerging as as the future of 3D printing services takes hold.

3D printing is making its mark as it reshapes product development and manufacturing and turns individuals, small businesses and corporate departments into “makers.”  Today you can make parts, appliances and tools in a wide variety of materials right from your home or workplace. Using a computer, simply create, modify or download a digital 3D model of an object. Click “print,” just as you would for a document, and watch your physical 3D object take shape. No longer the stuff of science fiction, 3D printing is a new reality.

Read the full blog post and view the infographic here

#4: Supply Chain Solutions: 5 Ways To Successfully Work with Suppliers

If you run a products-based business, then you likely know how important it is to find the best suppliers, as of course, it is your job to find the best supply chain solutions. And if by chance, you’ve found great suppliers you realize how hard it was to find them.

But when you’re working with partners that supply necessary raw materials and products it’s important to monitor the relationship and ensure that those you rely on heavily are equipped to “deliver the goods.”

Here are five supply chain solutions to keep in mind while working with suppliers.

#5: Customer Service in the Supply Chain Has Changed Drastically and The Candy Dish is Empty

Customer service in the supply chain today has changed from the convenience to the customer in the past, to the profitability and convenience of the selling organization. In the past, customer service was never outsourced to another country for profit. A customer wasn’t treated by a customer service rep they couldn’t understand, or background noise that made it impossible to hear what the agent is saying. You weren’t put on hold almost indefinitely without the rep checking back with you, frustrating the customer. These three (3) things: not understanding the customer service rep, impossible background noise and being put on hold for a long time were “no-no’s” in the past, and unfortunately, is the way of doing business today. These three (3) issues are a violations of good customer service. It is a negative paradigm shift. It doesn’t work for sustainable customer service in the supply chain…or customer retention.

Read the full blog post here

What are your top supply chain blogs to read or that you have read on the Cerasis blog? Let us know in the comments below!

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