With manufacturing in the U.S. predicted to grow in 2015, many firms are striving to take their business to the next level through geographic expansion or supply chain improvements. For mid-size manufacturers, growing to the next level without strains on business processes is crucial to their success. To continue to grow and scale their operations successfully, it’s important for mid-size firms to consider how their back office will grow and develop as their business expands. Can your purchasing team manage an expansion into a new market? What about your accounts payable department?

Manufacturers can leverage their supply chain as a strategic advantage, but the reality is that many today still aren’t taking full advantage of technologies that can help increase the value of their supply chain. By applying lean concepts at the supply chain level, manufacturers can become more agile and improve service to their customers while simultaneously lowering costs from production to delivery—and enter the era of the lean supply chain. 

The 12th Annual American Supply Chain and Logistics Summit, produced by WTG Events, will bring together senior executives from across the supply chain and logistics fields to enjoy an unbeatable mix of networking, expert case studies, interactive debates and master classes over three exceptional days. On December 8-10 in Dallas, WTG Events will connect decision-making attendees with thought-leading speakers, senior-level peers and industry-disrupting suppliers to collaborate on the sector’s most pressing issues and challenges.

Westway Group has been in business for more than 60 years, and its dedication to service has allowed it to become a leading provider of bulk liquid storage and related value-added services. In the past couple years, the company has seen significant growth, which is injecting fresh energy into the operation and driving a focus to ever-increasing levels of quality and service. 

“In the market, we’ve really seen a big demand for our services,” explains Gary Lewis, senior vice president and chief commercial officer. “We are well thought of by our customers, resulting in strong repeat and referral business. Additionally, we have new owners who are willing to fund the growth.”

In fact, Westway is responding to the market demands in some major ways. The company has 15 facilities in North America. Its core business, Lewis says, is to develop tank farms and build tanks accommodating everything from food-grade products to specialty chemicals. Westway is dedicated to creating customized solutions for customers, including services such as blending, filtering, steaming and koshering. It also can build tanks to specific sizes and create customized piping. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is building four new ships that are guaranteed to impress by working with new suppliers that provide advanced technology to take passengers to new heights – literally.

The Miami-based company was founded in 1968 and was incorporated in 1985. Royal Caribbean is a global cruise vacation company that owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises, Croisieres de France, and TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture. 

The company has a total of 41 ships, four more are in production and it services 490 destinations across several continents. 

While on board its ships, Royal Caribbean guests are entertained with shows and nightlife, a casino, youth programs, rock climbing and surfing 200 feet above the waves. Shore excursions are also available and each ship offers casual and fine-dining options. 

For organizations looking to enhance supply chain value and better use their enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology, Reveal is the partner of choice. Why? Reveal helps its clients maximize the ROI from their SAP ERP system by educating them on how they can use their existing technology to achieve their business goals. 

Reveal Thought Leader Sean Elliffe explains. “By managing the information, the organization is able to better manage the business,” he says. “The ERP system, as an integrated process environment, makes it possible to manage exceptions rather than everything. This creates the time for management to target further opportunities and continuously realize returns.”

Q Data USA is focused on helping clients to achieve not only their short-term goals, but to ensure that they reach beyond their long-term expectations. A member of The Business Maturity Group (TBMG), Q Data’s expertise is with SAP’s set of new breed modules in the supply chain space. Q Data leverages its Supply Chain Extended Solutions, or ES+, to take clients’ operations to a new level of visibility. 

“We look to provide added value to clients in the supply chain space, and in particular the SAP space,” says Kevin Wilson, Q Data’s ES+ practice lead. “If clients have SAP, we can implement these supply chain extended modules to cover parts of their business that hadn’t been adequately explored before.”

Wilson says his company strives to design valued-added solutions that make significant impacts on clients’ organizations. The extended supply chain solutions work in concert with the clients’ processes to increase agility in the management of their flow of goods and/or services. This additional dexterity helps the client react quickly to dynamic global conditions and make decisions more expeditiously, preparing them to aggressively compete in an ever-changing economic environment.

It’s easy to assume that when a company reduces its size, a reduced supply chain would follow. However, that was not exactly the case for McGraw Hill Financial. Last year, the company sold its education business and underwent a transformation and rebranding campaign. The company’s Senior Director of Global Sourcing Kevin Giblin says the shift has put a greater emphasis on what McGraw Hill Financial does as a services company and how the supply chain aids in this transformation. 

The supply chain’s role at McGraw Hill Financial is a bit unique from the procurement offices you would find at say, an electronics manufacturer that purchases MRO supplies. McGraw Hill Financial certainly has to keep the paper stocked, but because it deals in the exchange of information as the leading provider of credit ratings, benchmarks and analytics in the global capital and commodity markets, the company’s supply chain needs are often intangible. 


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