Unified Publishing Process

Sources & Background

Here you will find all the background information we used to define the UPP. Especially on supply chain management (SCM). You can also watch a video with Dr. Norman Firchau, President and CEO at Porsche Consulting, who describes why principles of lean production can be applied to the media and publishing industry.

The roots of Supply Chain Management (SCM) date back at least to the 1980s when an early precursor to SCM concepts called just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing and its cousin, the just-in-sequence (JIS) inventory strategy, emerged. The idea behind JIT was to closely coordinate manufacturers and suppliers’ processes, which required major adjustments to the value chain. Processes had to be linked so suppliers could track the materials consumed by manufacturers. They had to be made more flexible yet also more stable with an eye to improving quality. Shipping processes and cargo carriers had to standardized, for example, with uniform container systems and truck swap bodies. The Japanese concept of Kanban, or the pull principle, was instrumental in making all this work.

The automotive industry and the retail sector, especially, began exploring notions of customer-centric process chains. While retailers came up with the idea of efficient consumer response (ECR), the Toyota production system changed the auto industry. Called the Toyota Way, its core precepts are to eliminate waste throughout the process to achieve Kaizen, Japanese for improvement. This has come to be known as the continuous improvement process, or CIP for short

The following factors drove and shaped the emergence of SCM:

  • A big-picture view of the total cost of ownership, or TCO, which called for greater cost transparency throughout the supply chain.
  • The transaction costs incurred during the transition of material goods, the need to communicate, misunderstandings, communication problems, conflicts between process participants, and so on.
  • The bullwhip effect, which is an overreaction to unexpected demand caused by lack of transparency regarding actual demand, misinformation, frequent changes in inventory levels at various points in the process chain, and the like.
  • The effects of globalization such as procurement on an international scale, cheap and fast transportation and communication, and worldwide competition.
  • More demanding customers who want goods to be available worldwide, regardless of store opening hours, and insist on better quality.

Studies and sources:

“EMC Digital Universe 2014”, figures and analytics by IDC

IDC whitepaper “Data Age 2025”

“How many IoT devices are there in 2021?” (blog post by techjury.net)


CSCMP, Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, www.cscmp.org

My Chain Delivers, October 2009; a study conducted by EBS (European Business School, Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht) Supply Chain Management Institute and McKinsey & Company in cooperation with the German Logistics Association (BVL).

Service level measures the performance of a system. Certain goals are defined and the service level gives the percentage to which they should be achieved. Examples: Percentage of calls answered in a call center, Percentage of customers waiting less than a given fixed time, Percentage of customers that do not experience a stockout (Wikipedia)

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