Posts categorized as 'Miscellanea'

Let’s talk certification, the sequel

JoeCannata
  • by Joe Cannata
  • Published

Kinaxis Certification SequelIt’s always a summer of sequels at the cinema box office. Whether it is your favorite comic book action film from Marvel, a third Star Trek film, finding Dory’s parents, more Conjuring, an alien resurgence or even more of Jason Bourne, there always seems to be another story to tell. Back on January 13th, my Let’s Talk Certification blog detailed the announcement and the launch of the Kinaxis Certification Program, with our two original exams, Certified RapidResponse Author Level 1 and Certified RapidResponse Administrator Level 1. We rolled those out at KinectED, our annual knowledge sharing event for Kinaxis employees and partners. There was a lot of interest, a lot of studying, and a whole lot more of exams being delivered. My version of a sequel is to update our readers on how we have evolved since January.

Certification Sequal 1

Here are some of the candidates taking the exam back in January

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Infographic: Examining the Demographics of the Supply Chain Industry

MelissaClow
  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

Supply-Chain-Demographics-croppedThis guest post comes to us from Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting, a boutique recruitment firm specializing in Supply Chain Management.

Everyone knows the Supply Chain field is changing. Recently, one of the best Supply Chain Publications out of the U.S., Supply Chain 24/7, released a report that examines the demographic trends underlying the industry. The report, titled “A Portrait of the Supply Chain Manager,” used research survey data from Peerless Research Group and APICS to present a picture of the typical individual working in Supply Chain. The survey asked a number of Supply Chain and talent-related questions, such as:

  • What percentage of Supply Chain professionals received a raise last year?
  • What percentage of Supply Chain managers hold a degree?
  • What percentage of companies are willing to pay above-market compensation for the right people?

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Why this is a great time to be a supply chain professional

Dr. MadhavDurbha

Why this is a great time to be a supply chain professional

“Long time bud! Hope all is well” … It was great to hear Tim’s voice after all these years. Tim started his career in supply chain management along with me. After about a decade, he took a different path and branched off from SCM. Thanks to Facebook and Linkedin, we stayed in touch but haven’t talked to each other in a while. But now, out of the blue, he calls me as I was driving home. After exchanging pleasantries, Tim said he is considering pivoting back into supply chain and wanted my opinion on if the timing is right. I told him the timing cannot be any better and gave him my reasons as follows:

1. New supply chain challenges creating new opportunities: Fundamental shifts in technology are remaking supply chains as we know them, bringing together the digital and physical worlds. Here are some examples:

a) 3-D printing is shifting manufacturing to the point of consumption
b) Drone technologies and driverless cars/trucks are expected to revolutionize logistics as we know them. Transportation speeds like never imagined before (think Hyperloop) will be feasible in our lifetime and will shrink lead times significantly
c) Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling proactive asset monitoring and risk mitigation along with precise inventory location tracking
d) Voice and Image recognition, Augmented Reality are reshaping warehouses and Stores as we know them

While this is happening, the business environment is getting more complex and volatile due to rising omnichannel shopping, increasing SKU counts to meet the needs of empowered consumers, dynamic pricing, and personalized promotions, and not to mention geopolitical uncertainties. This is creating an environment wherein the profile of supply chain professionals is rising as boards and CEOs realize that supply chain is a core strategic asset to meet these challenges and supply chain risk management is a must. Chief Supply Chain Officer is now an executive position in more and more organizations.

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Three Years Later Big Brands Recognize Need for Sustainable Supply Chains

AlexaCheater

Supply Chain Sustainability In 2013, global aid organization Oxfam launched the Behind the Brands campaign, aimed at driving awareness about the sustainability practices of some of the world’s largest and most well-known consumer companies. Amplifying the voices of key stakeholders like farmers, consumers, and investors, the campaign called on big brands to take action to improve social and environmental standards in their supply chains.

Three years later and some of these ‘Big 10’ food and beverage companies have made significant progress, as indicated in the changes to Oxfam’s scorecard ranking, but now the push is on to ensure their suppliers actually implement these promises.

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Top 10 Reasons My Dad is Happy I’m in Supply Chain

BillDuBois
  • by Bill DuBois
  • Published

Father's DayWhen I told my dad I was going into supply chain, he grudgingly said, “That’s nice son,” and then whispered into my mom’s ear, “He’s not moving back in with us.” Well I think he finally came around after I moved all my stuff out of the house. Here are the top 10 reasons he was eventually happy I went into supply chain:

10. He doesn’t have to listen to me try to sing my way into the music business.
9. I could never be a doctor, I pass out at the sight of blood.
8. When I said I wanted to get into professional sports he said, “that’s fine son but I don’t think water boys make that much.
7. I wanted to be an inventor, but he didn’t like my solar powered night vision goggles idea.
6. He told me not to quit my day job when I practiced my standup comedy routine on him.

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The shape of a supply chain distribution network

ImanNiroomand

Today, I’d like to discuss distribution networks shapes. A distribution network is a channel that a company uses to get its products from the manufacturer to the end customer. The shape of this distribution network could vary from a small and simple size network to very complicated networks such as power grid network. The factors that are involved in defining the shape of the distribution network are end customer product demands, product variety, product availability, response time, returnability, and customer experience. Among these factors, response time gets higher weight in establishing the distribution shape.

Response times are the time between when a customer places an order and receives delivery. If customers can tolerate a large response time, fewer locations are required in a distribution channel and the emphasis would be on the larger capacity at each location. However, if customers require short response times then the more locations should be built in the network.

Changing the distribution network is something that a company is often reluctant to do in short range since it has direct impact on supply chain cost elements such as inventories, transportation, facilities and handling. But it is just a matter of time and sooner or later a company needs to reshape its distribution network.

As a rule of thumb we can say, the more facilities in a network, it causes more inventory costs but less shipping costs. In opposite, the less number of facilities would lead to less facility overhead cost but more transportation costs for remote customers. So if we assume the distribution costs are a summation of facility and transportation costs and call it logistic costs, then would these two elements be enough to configure the shape of the distribution network? Where would the response times fit in this equation?

Distribution Network Figure 1

Figure 1

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And I thought last year’s Top 25 Supply Chain was a surprise

CJWehlage
  • by CJ Wehlage
  • Published

On the bus ride back to the McDowell Marriott after the 2016 Gartner Top 25 Supply Chain event, I plugged my ear phones into my cell and listened to some Pearl Jam. Their classic hit, Last Kiss, the song summed up my thoughts about the 2016 rankings. So, the supply chain version of Last Kiss would go something like this…

“Oh where, oh where, can my supply chain be?

The trends took her away from me

She’s gone peripheral, so I’ve got to think Core

So I can get my supply chain back to reality”

The “Green Washing” of the Top 25

If you take out the new CSR ranking from 2016, your Top 25 rankings would be:

Actual 2016 Rank Without CSR Rank Wehlage Bold Predictions
1 Unilever Amazon Amazon
2 McDonald’s McDonald’s Unilever
3 Amazon Unilever Inditex
4 Intel Intel Intel
5 H&M Cisco Samsung
6 Inditex H&M Cisco
7 Cisco Inditex McDonald’s
8 Samsung Nike H&M
9 Coca Cola Starbucks Nike
10 Nestle Colgate Palmolive Starbucks

 

Three pieces of edgy insights from this:

a. My Bold Predictions were not far off. I did call the Nike and Starbucks entry into the Top 10. I am bolder on Samsung, simply because they had the highest 2016 Inventory Turns aside from McDonalds. As well, Samsung was 7th in Peer Voting rank, so the other “185” Peer voters agree with me.

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Design for the Supply Chain Pt 8: Long-Lasting

JonathanLofton

“Oxfords, not Brogues”Design for the Supply Chain is Long Lasting

If you’re into supply chain and liked the movie this quote is from, then we’re on the same street!

Ok, now that we’re straight on ‘classic’ shoes, let’s talk about the next principle in the “10 Principles of Good Design” as applied to supply chain and supply chain management (Design for the Supply Chain).

Principle #7: Good design “Is long-lasting”

“Is long-lasting – It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.” – ‘Dieter Rams: ten principles for good design

I was talking with my wife recently and she mentioned the 80/20 rule (Pareto principle) for some systems engineering project she’s working on. I gave an example from inventory management about ABC classification. This way of classifying inventory to provide guidance on which items to place the highest focus on has been around since the 1950’s.

There are a multitude of approaches or techniques for managing inventory (e.g. just-in-time, kanban, postponement, backordering, consignment/vendor-managed-inventory, etc.). Different techniques are appropriate for different businesses and even different segments of inventory within a business. However, there’s always a need to do some level of classification to determine which technique makes the most sense. I keep debating with myself whether to say some techniques have gone “out of fashion” or we’ve just gotten a lot better at determining which ones to use as we’ve learned to manage extended supply chains.

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