Faster cadence of the entire enterprise will lead to improved supply chain responsiveness

Written by: Dr John Gattorna, Global Supply Chain ‘thought leader’ and Author, 2017

This increasing incidence of volatility in many global, regional and local markets requires companies to accelerate the ‘clock-speed’ of the entire enterprise to the point where it is in synch with the new market conditions. But what does this mean, and where do you focus? This blog discusses the shift towards a high-speed sub culture, and the levers available to change the culture.

© October 2017, Gattorna Alignment

Blockchain - The basis of a new paradigm for the supply chain

Written by: Deborah Ellis, Partner Gattorna Alignment

You’ve probably heard of Blockchain. If not, I can assure you that this will be the first of many articles that will come your way in the next year!  Blockchain is a disruptive technology that has enormous potential to impact banking, law, governments and especially global supply chains. While the momentum initially came from these other applications, it is quickly becoming clear that some of the biggest opportunities lie in the many intractable problems at the heart of global supply chains.

What is blockchain?

© August 2017, Gattorna Alignment

Challenges of global fast fashion supply chains (Part 4 of 4)

Written by Dr. John Gattorna (UTS University of Technology, Sydney) & Xavier Farrés (Miebach Consulting)

Talent development : In this series on global fashion retail we have discussed about network design and inventory location in Chapter 1, stores replenishment in Chapter 2 and sourcing and manufacturing lead times in Chapter 3. In this final chapter of the series, we want to discuss about talent management, as it is a major current concern for global supply chains. The growth in emerging markets has created a higher demand for managers, and the fierce talent wars amongst companies to hire the best staff makes the situation even more complicated. Additionally, as global supply chains keep developing at a rapid pace, supply chain management has become a much deeper and broader discipline.

Article published © April 2014, Supply Chain Movement

Challenges of global fast fashion supply chains (Part 3 of 4)

Written by Dr. John Gattorna (UTS University of Technology, Sydney) & Xavier Farrés (Miebach Consulting)

Sourcing and manufacturing lead times: We have already discussed in this global fashion retail series about network design and inventory location in Chapter 1 and stores replenishment in Chapter 2. In this chapter we want to take a more upstream view to discuss about sourcing and manufacturing lead times. In this particular area, there are two key aspects being debated within the industry. The first is the question of sourcing location.

Article published © February 2014, Supply Chain Movement

Challenges of global fast fashion supply chains (Part 2 of 4)

Written by Dr. John Gattorna (UTS University of Technology, Sydney) & Xavier Farrés (Miebach Consulting)

Sourcing and manufacturing lead times within the fashion industry can usually be anything from one to three months. As a consequence, optimizing the process of store replenishment requires accurate forecasts.There are a number of proven factors at different stages of the forecasting process which help improve accuracy. These include, the reaction of potential customers to new collections, specific events held to discuss and determine forecasts, and analysis of first orders from those specific channels which are first in the order decision cycle, for example, wholesale.

Article published © March 2014, Supply Chain Movement

Challenges of global fast fashion supply chains (Part 1 of 4)

Written by Dr. John Gattorna (UTS University of Technology, Sydney) & Xavier Farrés (Miebach Consulting)

There is no doubt that the fast-changing and glamorous image the fashion industry projects to consumers and the rest of society is very appealing. Nonetheless, it is this very aspect of its nature which poses significant challenges for supply chain professionals. One such challenge is the marking-down of slow-moving items at the end of the season, an example which highlights the rationale behind a number of important decisions made by companies in relation to network design and inventory location.

Article published © February 2014, Supply Chain Movement

Key Logistics Trends in Life Sciences 2020+

A DHL perspective on how to prepare for future growth

Our aim is to extract the key trends for ‘2020 and beyond’ that are relevant to you — logistics decision-makers with pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers — and thus provide suggestions for your focus, consideration and action.

© June 2013, DHL

Dealing with Demand Volatility

By Xavier Farrés, an International Supply Chain Consultant and Associate at Gattorna Alignment, a Sydney-based global supply chain ‘thought leadership’ firm led by Dr John Gattorna.

This paper has been produced to shed light on how supply chains throughout the consumer industry struggle to adopt a holistic approach to tackle the issue of demand volatility. Using the latest literature from industry experts and in depth interviews with 14 key executives from leading companies such as Wal-Mart, Unilever, and Carrefour , we will highlight some key areas that when implemented support a best in class supply chain that drives lasting business value.

Article published © June 2013, Supply Chain Europe

From ‘one-size-fits-all’ to Dynamic supply chains

By Dr John Gattorna, Global Supply Chain ‘thought leader’ and Author, 2013

Given the onset of increasingly volatile operating environments, the once valid approach of designing static (set-and-forget) configurations, has by necessity been replaced by the requirement for dynamic designs that can cope with such volatility. Correspondingly, the emphasis has changed from looking from ‘inside-out’, to an external ‘outside-in’ perspective.

At the same time, as complexity has increased at an exponential rate, the idea of designing a ‘one-size-fits-all’ supply chain configuration inside the enterprise has been overtaken by the necessity to hardwire the business with several supply chain configurations, each with different operating capabilities. By addressing this issue we were able to see a way to eliminate the over- and under-servicing that had hitherto characterized practically every business on the planet!

We feel honoured to have an article from John Gattorna, a truly global thought leader in the supply chain arena and reference author” by Xavier Farrés, FELOG, Spain

Customer segmentation based on buying and returning behaviour

By K Hjort, Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås; Bjo¨rn Lantz and Dag Ericsson, School of Engineering, University of Borås Sweden and John Gattorna, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Sydney, Australia and S P Jain School of Global Management, Singapore

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to empirically test whether a “one size fits all” strategy fits the fashion e-commerce business and second, to evaluate whether consumer returns are a central aspect of the creation of profitability and, if so, to discuss the role of returns management (RM) in the supply chain strategy.

Article published © March 2013,

Dr John Gattorna

“The influence of customer buying behaviour on product flow patterns between trading countries, and the implications for regulatory policy”, A White Paper prepared for the World Trade Organization, Fung Global Institute, and Temasek Foundation, to be published in June 2013.


Dr John Gattorna

“Port of Salalah: at the cross-roads of East-West shipping lanes”, ( working title) , a White Paper being prepared for the Salalah Port Services Co., to be published in June 2013.

The Expert View (on Collaboration) – an Interview with Dr John Gattorna

Based on the cultural value of trust – an idea treasured above all others – collaboration in the supply chain means partners share information freely, seek long-term stability in the relationship and painstakingly forge ahead on strategic matters.

  • Read interview (8.4MB)pps.70-73 of INSIGHT ON, a DHL Thought Leadership publication, Bonn, November 2012

Realigning Service Operations Strategy DHL Express

By Tim Coltman, University of Wollongong; Professor John Gattorna, Macquarie University and Stuart Whiting, DHL Express.

This paper describes the approach that DHL used to respond to aggressive revenue and profit targets set by its Asia-Pacific regional management board. DHL’s reaction to these targets was to redefine its strategic service vision by systematically aligning its internal support functions with distinct buyer behavior structures. Specifically, we developed a model based on the tangible and intangible factors that directly influence a customer’s choice of a third-party logistics provider.

Read full paper

Supply Chain Management and Logistics in a Volatile Global Environment,

John has written a paper that has been included in Chapter 4 of Edward Sweeney’s latest book: Supply Chain Management and Logistics in a Volatile Global Environment, Sweeney, Edward (ed)., Blackhall Publishing, Dublin, 2009.

Chapter 4, Dr John Gattorna: “Overcoming the flaws in current organisation designs for Enterprise Supply Chains".

Published © 2009 

Designing 3PL Services

Valuable insights from customers

By Anderson, Coltman, Devinney, Gattorna & Keating,

As markets become more global and competition continues to intensify, firms are beginning to realize that competition is not exclusively a firm versus firm domain but a “supply chain against supply chain” phenomenon.

Article published © November 2007, University of Wollongong

Realities of Supply Chain Collaboration

By R.P. Kampstra, J. Ashayeri, J.L. Gattorna, (2006)

Article published in International Journal of Logistics Management, The, Vol. 17 Iss: 3, pp.312 – 330.

Supply chain management (SCM) evolved from a traditional focus on purchasing and logistics practiced between the mid-1960s and mid-1990s, to a broader, more integrated emphasis on value creation in the new millennium. Leading companies increasingly view supply chain excellence as more than just a source of cost reduction – rather, they see it as a source of competitive advantage, with the potential to drive performance improvement in customer service, profit generation, asset utilization, and cost reduction. Effective collaboration within each entity (cross-functional) and between chain entities (cross-enterprise) is essential to achieve these goals, individually and collectively.

Article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.’

Characteristics, Strategies and Trends for 3PL/4PL in Australia

John’s work as Co-Director, Centre for Supply Chain Research, University of Wollongong, led to the publication on 30 March, 2004 of research undertaken for the Logistics Association of Australia(LAA) into the “Characteristics, Strategies and Trends for 3PL/4PL in Australia”. This ground-breaking 6-month research project was undertaken by a consortium formed and led jointly by John Gattorna (SBS) and Willem Selen (Macquarie Graduate School of Management). The ‘Alpha’ Research Consortium as it was known, also included Cranfield School of Management as an academic partner, and was funded by industry partners Bluescope Steel; Linfox; DHL; and Manugistics. The intention is to extend this research into China in 2005, and subsequently link up with similar work being undertaken in Europe and the US.

The research report dated 30 March, 2004 can be found on the Logistics Association of Australia (LAA) website.

An empirical investigation of 3rd and 4th party logistics provider practices in Australia

Paper presented at the ANZAM 2004 Operations Management Symposium, University of Melbourne, 17-18 June, 2004.

Authors: Professor John Gattorna, formerly Co-Director, University of Wollongong (UoW); Professor Willem Selen, Professor of Operations Management, Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM); and Robert Ogulin, Doctoral candidate, MGSM.

This research reports on Australian industry characteristics and trends of logistics activities performed through outsourced partners, based on survey research of Australian Shippers and Logistics Service Providers (LSPs). This paper reports on the main findings in terms of customer satisfaction with, and future scope and use of, logistics services provided.

Both shippers and logistics service providers were subsequently compared in their views along dimensions of strategic alliances, partnerships and collaboration; cross-company integration and collaboration; customer alignment; geography and physical infrastructure; and recruiting, developing and retaining people. Important areas of alignment and mis-alignment are identified.

Supply Chain Cost Management and Value-based Pricing

By Professor Martin Christopher, Cranfield School of Management; and John Gattorna, visiting Professor, Cranfield School of Management.

Article published in Journal of Industrial Marketing Management, 34 (2005) pp. 115-121.

Continued deflationary trends in many markets around the world are creating greater pressure for cost reduction in order that margins can be maintained. Customers and consumers are increasingly value driven and consequently less brand or supplier loyal. In this challenging world, there is a growing recognition that creative pricing strategies combined with effective supply chain management provide opportunities for significant cost reduction and increased profits.

This paper presents evidence to support this viewpoint and suggests an approach to supply chain alignment that can enable cost reduction opportunities to be identified and higher profits to be achieved through collaborative strategies.

Customer account profitability The next problem for physical distribution management?

Written by: Dr John Gattorna & Dr. David Walters Retailing Development Centre, Cranfield School of Management

Article published © 1977, International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management