The Federal Maritime Commission Newsroom


Statement of Commissioner Rebecca Dye on Supply Chain Innovation Teams

July 20, 2016

Supply Chain Innovation Leaders

At the launch of our Supply Chain Innovation Teams initiative on May 3rd here in Washington, D.C., we challenged our teams of representatives from 35 major companies to step out of their "enterprise silos" and focus on the global supply chain from a national systemic perspective.

We assembled three small teams of experienced and successful industry leaders, each representing 9 key supply chain industries.

We challenged our teams to identify and develop "actionable" supply chain process innovations and improvements that would lead to greater national supply chain reliability and effectiveness.

Team Work and Process Innovation 

Our initiative is focused on two concepts: team work and process innovation.

Our three teams have been meeting independently at different locations around the country.

They have agreed to a regular schedule of face-to-face meetings and conference calls.

Our small teams are making steady progress developing the "actionable process innovation" they agreed upon at their May meetings.

Supply Chain Visibility 

At our May Supply Chain Innovation Teams launch, our teams quickly identified supply chain "visibility" as one of the most effective ways to increase supply chain reliability and effectiveness.

Supply chains include the flow of information, as well as cargo, among all supply chain actors.

Most supply chain obstacles are created from poor information transmission, inaccurate information, or information unavailable at the right time.

Information systems provide the supply chain connections that allow essential communication among supply chain actors.

Moreover, Information systems provide supply chain visibility that creates a coordinated, effective supply chain system out of the uncoordinated actions of many supply chain actors.

National Port Information Portal 

To increase supply chain visibility and effectiveness, all three of our Innovation Teams agreed to pursue the development of a national supply chain information portal that could be adapted for use by any port in the country.

The teams agreed to develop the precise information that must be available to each supply chain actor for overall maximum supply chain coordination and efficiency.

Defining Critical Information Key to Success 

Since their first meeting in May, our teams have been discussing and refining their supply chain information needs.

Much of the information needs of supply chain actors comes from sources that are readily available.

In certain cases, particular underlying operational inefficiencies must be resolved before key supply chain actors are able to provide information needed by other actors.

Defining critical information needs of each supply chain actor and ensuring availability of that information is the most critical component of a national port information system.

This is why it is important for us to "get it right."

Thanks to our Supply Chain Leaders 

The contributions of our knowledgeable and dedicated team members are essential to the success of this initiative.

Our teams understand the importance of this initiative to our nation’s future global competitiveness.

We appreciate their continued support of our initiative and their willingness to commit their time and resources to "make it work."

As I have said before, this approach provides no "quick fix" for supply chain challenges, but I am very pleased to inform the Commission that our project is on track and making great progress.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman