Friday, July 10, 2009

Supply Chain News - Cool Tool

In my last blog entry I bemoaned my inability to figure out how to aggregate business news stories that were specific to supply chain issues. As I was comparing results from Bing (Microsoft's new search engine which is much better than I expected), Google , and Yahoo I ran across a news article from I may be one of the last to discover it but the website was able to provide references to a number of articles that were relevant and did not appear in traditional searches.

The site has a number of topics from drop down lists. While I couldn't find supply chain management in the topic areas when I performed an initial search it suggested supply chain, supply chain management, and Supply Chain Logistics Corporation. When I searched on the one of the "keyphrases" I was presented with a pretty decent collection of current and relevant news.

If you are a student, an investor, or a manager this site might be very interesting to explore - I will.

From the site:

Silobreaker is an online search service for news and current events that delivers meaning and relevance beyond traditional search and aggregation engines. Its relational analysis and explanatory graphics provide users with unparalleled contextual insight into the news stories of the day.

More than a news aggregator, Silobreaker provides relevance by looking at the data it finds like a person does. It recognises people, companies, topics, places and keywords; understands how they relate to each other in the news flow, and puts them in context for the user. The graphical search results enables users to quickly and easily understand connections, trends and topics or navigate deeper into the most relevant stories for them. No other news search service provides such an extensive suite of contextual tools in the industry today.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Supply Chain / Value Chain New Sources

Where do you go for supply chain related business news? I am not talking about "news" stories about the technology of supply chain management. I am referring to the business cases and reports that relate to how a company's performance has been effected by supply chain issues. If I want to know how Boeing's 787 Dreamliner supply chain concerns are driving their business forecast or how it may have impacted their purchase of Vought's production capability in North Carolina, I almost have to know about it before I start my research.

Why do I want to be able to search this way? There are two reasons. First, almost ten years ago (2000) Vinod Singhai at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Kevin Hendricks at the University of Western Ontario published findings that a reports of a supply chain malfunction led to the decline of a company's stock by 9-20%. From a purely selfish perspective, this could be an intriguing factor in an investment strategy. Second, reports like Businessweek's Li & Fung: A Factory Sourcer Shines can identify best practices and show how those practices can lead to improved performance. (It may also identify companies, like Liz Claiborne,Toys 'R' Us, and Timberland, that may have significant supply chain risk).

I am certainly not a search expert but sometimes that might be a good thing. In my search for an aggregator of business news that reports supply chain issues I found a beta site for Business Week magazine (I am a subscriber but you don't need to be to access the site) that discusses supply chain topics (not strictly supply chain technology and processes). I also ran across a really intriguing business aggregator called Streetread (but it appears that you can only aggregate news by company - not topic.

So far, my most successful searches have been performed by assembling a search string (business news supply chain) specifying the day and then ignoring any supply chain specific domain. Best sources have been BusinessWeek, Reuters, CNNMoney (Fortune), and IndustryWeek.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Link Correction and Apologies

APQC was kind enough to let me know that my link to their site (favorite websites - not the survey lists) was broken. It has been updated. As a result, I am currently reviewing and updating all of the links and info on the blog. I will also be revisiting the benchmark and survey lists.