ACT now to take your supply chain into the future

AlexaCheater

One message came through loud and clear during Gartner’s recent Supply Chain Executive Conference; you must ACT (aspire, challenge, transform) now if you want to have any hope in taking your supply chain profitably into the future. The conference’s theme of Aspire, Challenge and Transform in a Disruptive World featured prominently in the opening keynote address by two of the research firm’s VPs, Debra Hofman and Michael Burkett, who urged attendees to re-imagine their roles and ask how they will meet the future.

The pair talked about how disruption is the new norm. I would argue it always has been, but agree the explosion of interconnectivity and digital disruptors is causing an immediate impact on supply chain—even if the supporting technology behind it has individually been around for years. I’d also agree that to be successful it’s time to re-define the very notion of supply chain.

Providing an experience, not just a product

With more than $16 trillion exports moving between countries annually, the new reality isn’t just focused on getting the right product to the right people at the right time. As Hofman and Burkett put it, it’s about creating an experience-focused supply chain, which will force you as supply chain managers and leaders to gain a better understanding of your customers than ever before.

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[Video] Supply chain centers of excellence and customer success

MelissaClow

This blog is part of a video interview series. Check out the video below as well as links to other supply chain practitioner and Kinaxis executive interviews.

The ideal center of excellence not only supports internal teams at a company but advocates for customers, says Leah McGuire, director of the Kinaxis Center of Excellence.

The Kinaxis COE supports project teams, consultants deploying the company’s RapidResponse tool in the field, and pre-sales teams that use demos, says McGuire. Additionally, the center is responsible for developing best practices within the tool. All of which means that center employees have to have strong technical backgrounds as well as complete familiarity with RapidResponse.

Supply Chain Centers of Excellence & Customer Success

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Goodbye scheduled decision-making, hello concurrent planning

AlexaCheater

Sales and operations planningThe face of sales and operations planning (S&OP) is changing. Gone are the days when sequential, isolated planning and monthly meetings based on out-of-date data are sufficient to drive stability and success.

End-to-end initiatives now span beyond the confines of a single company’s supply chain, encompassing extended supplier and customer value networks, as well. Digitization, sparked by the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), the expanding number of connected devices and big data, is driving a shift in consumerism. Your company needs to keep pace, or risk falling behind forever.

The reality is, supply and demand waits for no one — not even your executive team.

Running a profitable global business requires speed and agility in both strategic and
tactical planning. But transitioning to a new way of looking at S&OP means saying goodbye to scheduled decision-making, a frightening thought for many. It may seem like an impossible step. How can you let go of the security of regular meetings planned weeks in advance? Or the safety of knowing those big decisions only come around once a month?

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[Video] TE Connectivity – A continuous sales and operations planning process

MelissaClow

This blog is part of a video interview series. Check out the video below as well as links to other supply chain practitioner and Kinaxis executive interviews.

The task of linking sales and operations planning systems of any company with truly global reach is difficult enough to begin with, says Lindsey Kathmann, supply chain analyst at TE Connectivity. But complexity is heightened when the enterprise is structured into separate business units, some with their own spinoffs.

That’s the situation faced by TE Connectivity, which specializes in designing sensors for several industries. It’s divided into Transportation Solutions, which focuses on cars, planes and trains; Aerospace, Defense & Marine; and Industrial, which specializes in consumer products, such as cell phones.

TE Connectivity: Continuous sales and operations planning process

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Supply chain pain points: Semiconductors

AlexaCheater

5 hurdles the semiconductor industry needs to jump over to find success

Semiconductor supply chainBuilding your business on someone else’s supply chain blueprint may not be the best way to find success. What works for one company may not work for another – especially if they’re in varying industries, geographies or are different sized enterprises. As I noted in my earlier blogs in this series on consumer electronics and life sciences, each industry has unique supply chain pain points that need to be overcome to improve efficiency and profitability.

When it comes to the semiconductor industry, one of their biggest supply chain hurdles is that the speed of new technology introduction is 2-3X faster than the research and development (R&D) timeline. It’s a highly capitalized industry thanks to the high cost of fabrication centers (Fabs). It’s transforming from design and manufacturing companies into design and product companies. These new fab-less companies are working with foundries to manufacture wafers, instead of fabrication centers.

The cyclical nature of the semiconductor space requires impact mitigation through product expansion (portfolio diversification) and rapidly scaling capacities. The result is an increase in mergers and acquisitions (M&As) to stay competitive, leading to disparate processes, systems and tools.

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Supply chain pain points: Life sciences

AlexaCheater

8 life sciences-specific challenges and how to overcome them

Life sciences supply chain

As I mentioned in the first blog of this supply chain pain points series, working in supply chain is tough business. Every company’s supply chain is unique, with its own set of challenges and solutions. But when it comes to life sciences supply chains, things just seem to be a whole lot more complicated.

Regulations, expirations and generic and brand name labels add a certain complexity to the mix not always seen in other industries. Branded pharmaceuticals tend to be high margin products, while generics are lower margin with a large volume of new product introductions (NPIs). With an extremely competitive landscape, mergers and acquisitions are common, leading to a multitude of disparate enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, wreaking havoc on end-to-end supply chain visibility. Here are a few more obstacles those of you working supply chain in life sciences have to contend with.

Lack of robust sales and operations planning (S&OP) tools

Traditional S&OP tools don’t always account for the specific needs of the life sciences supply chain. S&OP in this space requires volume level planning at multiple hierarchies and provide mix level detail including material and capacity constraints at the site and SKU level.

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[Video] Adapting supply chains to the digital phase of business

MelissaClow

This blog is part of a video interview series. Check out the video below as well as links to other supply chain practitioner and Kinaxis executive interviews.

There’s no doubt that the digital supply chain is of great benefit to a company, but we need to look at the world of social media to learn how to maximize use of digitalization, says Trevor Miles, vice president of thought leadership at Kinaxis.

Many companies today need to lift a lot of data from multiple data systems if they are to create visibility across their entire supply chain. But the way they go about it is less than optimal, says Miles. “It’s my firm belief that we are only going to make maximum use of digitalization if we start differently.

We need to look at the younger people and understand how they use digital media in their everyday lives. We need to learn from them as a way of working, rather than imposing on them things that we’ve been doing for the last 30 years.”

Adapting Supply Chains to the Digital Phase of Business

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Supply chain pain points: Consumer electronics

AlexaCheater

Consumer Electronic4 problems facing consumer electronics and what to do about them

Let’s face it. Working in supply chain is no walk in the park. Unless of course you’re walking barefoot and the ground is covered in razor-sharp pebbles that randomly change location. Then maybe it’d be comparable.

The fact is, while supply chain is big business for most companies, it also comes with a whole new set of challenges unique to its many processes, data requirements and functions. But depending on which industry you work in, your specific set of supply chain pain points could vary greatly. This blog series takes an in-depth look at some of the specific supply chain obstacles certain industries face, and how to potentially overcome them.

First up is consumer electronics.

Relatively short product lifecycles (typically 6-9 months) with multiple feature changes throughout

This creates an atmosphere full of risk. With so many changes happening over the course of the lifecycle, you’re likely carrying extra inventory to make sure you have enough stock on hand to cover any part substitutions or adjustments. That means higher carrying costs and a greater risk to your bottom line if the product ends up as slow moving, excess or obsolete inventory.

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