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June 2015

(03) 9421 4611

Welcome to our June newsletter. Below are some recent innovations and trends as well as news from around the globe. We've also highlighted GRA's recent thought leadership content that we hope will inspire you to achieve the most from your supply chain.

Online Shopping

Amazon rolls out free same-day delivery

In another blow to bricks-and-mortar retail stores, last week launching free same-day delivery for Prime members in 14 metropolitan areas in the US, including Los Angeles. Starting last week, shoppers who belong to Amazon's annual Prime membership program and make a purchase of $35 or more by noon will receive their items by 9pm same day, seven days a week. The initial rollout includes more than 1 million items, such as books, cables and chargers, games, cooking tools and electronics. Read more about Amazon's same-day delivery via the LA Times.


Walmart’s Answer to Amazon Prime

Last month Walmart declared it was stepping up its e-commerce capabilities by trailing an unlimited shipping service. Following the announcement there was a embarrassing leak of an internal link on that accidentally unveiled more details regarding the retailer’s forthcoming three-day shipping service called 'ShippingPass'. Read the article about Walmart's E-Commerce expansion via SupplyChain247 plus the recent leak also via SupplyChain247.

Apple Car

Is Apple Creating “The Ultimate Car” Supply Chain?

Speaking at the recent Code Conference, Apple's operations chief Jeff Williams dropped the biggest hint yet that the firm is developing a car stating: "The car is the ultimate mobile device." Writer Bruce Gain has taken his comment a step further and identified five compelling reasons why Apple should build a car supply chain. He argues Apple already has: the money; top-level execs from the auto industry; design genius; a successful history of OEM design experience; and a top notch global supply chain. Read the article via EBN.

food supply chain

Could Bitcoin tech make Supply Chains More Transparent?

The consumption of food and beverage is done with the highest level of trust. Australians trusted their frozen berries weren't contaminated; the English trusted their burgers were made from beef - not horse meat; and tens of thousands of Chinese parents trusted that infant formula would help, not harm their babies. So when this trust is breached consumers demand to know where their products are from and how they are produced and handled. According to Reid Williams, senior designer and engineer at IDEO Future, a Bitcoin technology called Blockchains may assist in helping us know such useful information - not just the food's origins, but that of every ingredient in each product... and that's just the beginning. Read the entire article via Coindesk.


Costly Bet on Big Cargo Ships Comes Up Short

Container shipping is a $6 trillion industry that moves more than 95% of the world’s manufactured goods. It is controlled by just 15 European and Asian operators who are now making an expensive bet by committing billions of dollars in giant vessel orders in an attempt to squeeze out smaller competitors. So far, that bet is a losing one as freight rates hover around record lows and demand for ocean shipping is weak. Read more about these massive cargo ships that can carry nearly 19,000 containers, and that if stood straight up would be taller than any building in Europe - via Wall Street Journal.

supply chain manager

The growing importance of the Supply Chain Manager

The people who manage a company’s supply chain determine what a company is made of—or at least what its stuff is made of. It’s hard to imagine a more important role. And it’s a difficult one: Supply chains are increasingly fragmented and tough to manage, as specialisation and outsourcing have become standard practice. This article explores just how critical the job of the Supply Chain Manager is to ensuring the company's financial and ethical succsess. Read the article via The Atlantic

Supply Chain Survey

Strong supply chain capabilities enable your business to
deliver better financial performance

Whilst that statement makes intuitive sense, how true is it in practice? GRA is conducting a Supply Chain Survey to gather the most up-to-date and relevant information to help answer this question, and in the process, provide meaningful insight to help your business focus on the right supply chain initiatives that drive true financial performance. Contributors to the survey will receive a copy of the report first. The survey is at the following link: GRA's Supply Chain Survey.

Awesome Demand Planner


3 Steps to Becoming an Awesome Demand Planner

The opportunity to become awesome exists within your business; you just need to take the right steps. Discover the three critical (but often difficult) steps required for successful demand planning in this article by GRA Partner Matt Miller. Read the article 3 Steps to Becoming an Awesome Demand Planner

Supply Chain Risk Management


Understanding Risk in Your Supply Chain

Recently published in Global Logistics Media, this article by GRA Partner James Allt-Graham explores the risks today’s supply chains are exposed to, and the steps that should be taken before disruption occurs. Read the article Understanding Risk in Your Supply Chain.

If you are interested in better understanding your organisation's supply chain risk exposure, GRA offer a Supply Chain Risk Review service.


The Key to Unlocking your S&OP Investment

In this article, GRA Director Matt Miller explores why many organisations are not reaping the benefits of their Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) and Integrated Business Planning (IBP) investments. He reveals how to unlock the opportunities that already exist in a business to achieve efficiency and competitive advantage. Read the article The Key to Unlocking your S&OP Investment

Performance Measurement


Your Ultimate Guide to Performance Measurement

Do you wish you could have a clearer vision of your performance measurement objectives and a structured path to achieving them? 

This presentation by GRA reveals in detail the areas of focus that are critical to successful performance measurement. View the Ultimate Guide to Performance Measurement presentation.

Retail Supply Chain


E-Commerce: Transforming Australian Supply Chains

Australian retail supply chains are becoming more and more complex. They must be capable of managing increasing customer expectations, channel diversification and increasingly complex product sourcing strategies. A step-change in supply chain design and capability is required if retailers are to remain competitive. GRA has released a whitepaper explaining why online retailing is so challenging, what we can learn from overseas, and how retailers can be positioned to profit through their online business. Download a copy of the Whitepaper.

Supply Chain Business Institute

Supply Chain Business Institute

Enrolments for the DEMAND & SUPPLY PLANNING EXCELLENCE 2-DAY Sydney course MUST CLOSE 12 June! Please contact Melanie at if you would like to attend this practical short-course on 23-24 June in Sydney. 

The Melbourne course scheduled for 22-23 September is also filling fast, so ensure you book your place soon. Early bird rates still apply.

If you can't attend either course, but would like to receive SCBI updates, please Subscribe here. For further information on our Short Courses or our tailored Corporate training packages, visit



Omni-Channel Fulfilment

Today Australian retail supply chains must be capable of managing increasing customer expectations (lead-times, pricing, options), channel diversification (online, store, multi-channel, omni-channel) as well as increasingly complex product sourcing strategies. GRA recognises that the omni-channel fulfilment is the next stage in supply chain evolution. We work with our clients, looking at their business goals, competitors, and future trends to determine the best omni-channel strategy suited to their business. We provide recommendations on strategy and execution and assist on the journey towards best practice omni-channel fulfilment.

Read more about our Omni-Channel Fulfilment offering.

GAINS Website

GAINS Asia Pacific's new website

GAINS Asia Pacific has revealed the company's new website.The site showcases client case studies from the Asia Pacific as well as across the globe. In partnership with GRA, GAINS has been implemented across the Asia Pacific over the last two decades. The best-of-breed inventory management software is increasingly being used successfully by clients such as Super Cheap Auto, Mitre 10, Honda, Officeworks, Wesfarmers and the Australian Defence Forces.  Visit the new GAINS Asia Pacific website.


Supply Chain Case Study

Supply Chain Review

Our client, an international business with interests in health care, nutrition and high-tech materials, incurred operational issues following a significant change in its sales channel strategy. Whilst the new sales channel was partly successful it also lead to large costs, high inventory levels and a sales team that was underperforming. In order to identify solutions GRA conducted a short, sharp business assessment. Our analysis delivered three key findings around inventory holdings, policy targets, and process and system configurations. We addressed these factors by reconfiguring the system, providing appropriate education & training, and resolving the S&OP process integration issues. These actions delivered significant reduction in inventory and operating costs.

Read the entire Supply Chain Review case study


"GRA has been working with us off and on for over four years. After setting a transformation agenda for our supply chain that encompassed business process, organisational structure, and planning systems, they’ve been there to help us make it a reality whenever we’ve needed them.

GRA are consummate professionals and have been instrumental in delivering real value from our supply chain. They take a partnering approach and have great pride in what they do; I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them." 

Scott Coulter, Chief Operating Officer, Comvita

"We selected GRA because their team was top end of town with a down to earth approach. As supply chain specialists their passion for the subject was evident throughout the engagement. I have and would continue to recommend GRA to companies reviewing either their supply chain strategy or day to day operations." 

Mark Chapman, Supply Chain & IT Director, Pepkor


GRA Offers

Please contact us on (03) 9421 4611 to discuss your Supply Chain challenges and opportunities.

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