The International Trade Blog

Dr. Cheryl McCloud

Dr. Cheryl McCloud

Dr. Cheryl McCloud has more than 30 years of experience in global supply chain management and the added distinction of receiving a DBA from Walden University with a specialization in Global Supply Chain Management. As a licensed U.S. Customs Broker and Freight Forwarder, Cheryl owned her international freight forwarding, customs brokerage, distribution, and federal contracting business, providing many services to importers, exporters and the U.S. Federal Government, becoming a 500 Inc. company.

Now, Cheryl is focused on helping small businesses understand the supply chain and regulatory compliance requirements to avoid unwanted risks and financial costs, creating strong profitability. Cheryl has additionally supported the development of new supply chain management programs in local colleges as a professor and currently the Chair of the Education Committee for the International Propeller Club headquarters in the U.S. and has a prodigious interest in the promotion of education, labor growth and opportunities for the maritime business.

Articles Written By Dr. Cheryl McCloud

4 Steps to Identify and Manage Supply Chain Risks

Supply chain management (SCM) continues to evolve and change as the world continues to be impacted by technological advances, crises of many forms, changing partnerships and available assets, all bringing the constant need for risk analysis. The largest supply chain disruptions come in the form of weather, technology and commutation. While companies cannot control disruptions like the weather, with planning and the creation of standards, they can control how they react. Risk management is a growing necessity and if not done well can negatively impact an organization.

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Selecting International Suppliers through E-auctions: Benefits and Drawbacks

Choosing the best suppliers can be a time-consuming process, but companies that excel in this area of supply chain management (SME) can reap savings to their bottom line. The more traditional procurement process typically involves issuing a request for proposal (RFP) or request for quotation (RFQ). If you’re looking to compare several different suppliers, each would need to submit a full proposal, and negotiations could go on for weeks.

On the other hand, an increasing number of importers, exporters and transport companies are using e-auctions to find the most competitive prices for goods and services. E-auctions use internet-based technology to help select suppliers, based on price alone or on other criteria that are important to the buyer (product selection, quality, delivery schedules or volume allocation, for example).

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How Sourcing Impacts the Supply Chain

Sourcing is an upstream part of the supply chain: It’s the process of strategically choosing the right services and goods that a company needs to run their business. Sourcing is also the act of buying goods, including seller selection, contract negotiation and measuring the long-term performance of your suppliers.

Sourcing greatly impacts an organization’s operations, so establishing long-term relationships will help companies gain a competitive advantage. Because after all, suppliers impact a company’s operations on many levels: finances, inventory levels, quality of goods and timely arrival. A stable sourcing process ensures your inventory levels will meet market supply and demand.

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Supply Chain Management vs. Logistics: What’s the Difference?

When you think of supply chain management (SCM), you also likely think of logistics and maybe even use the terms interchangeably. But the truth is, both concepts are different. Supply chain management involves the coordination of an entire network of activities, including: partner management, sourcing, manufacturing, production and assembly, storage, distribution and the final delivery of goods. Logistics supports supply chain management—it pertains to one part of the supply chain, where SCM involves the whole supply chain. Logistics, also known as distribution, involves managing the flow of inventory from supplier to final delivery to the customer. 

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How to Manage Disruptions in the Supply Chain

The word chaos is a metaphor describing how individuals and groups in a system, through lack of knowledge and understanding, make decisions that create chaos. Chaos Theory explains how a change in one variable can affect systems, deliveries, destinations, product structures, origins and packing requirements, resulting in delays, increased costs, loss of goods, loss of customers and loss of quality.

Continuous major market disruptions since 2020 have evolved from linear to complex, and constant change has created chaos in decision making and management strategies. Managers of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are learning to lead in times of unpredictability, macrotrends, chaos, unstable and volatile markets, and destabilization.

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Tips to Build a Reliable Supply Chain and Improve Visibility

Supply chain managers working for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) must take their alignment and collaboration with partners seriously. Technology is going to play a critical role in future logistics, and organizations without visibility (being able to see what is happening at all stages in the supply chain) are not going to be positioned for success.

Visibility in supply chain management is critical because the process is often complex, involving multiple tiers and materials coming from multiple origins. Shipping needs to be tracked to manufacturing sites and then ultimately to the consumer. Visibility also provides insight for many areas of your company: sales, marketing, distribution and contracting. When disruptions occur and quick decisions must be made, knowing what is available and where can seriously impact your bottom line.

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