Posts categorized as 'Miscellanea'

Learn from the Supply Chain Masters – Q&A with Ron Stappert

AlexaCheater
  • by Alexa Cheater
  • Published

Ron StappertContinuing with our ‘Learn from the Masters’ series, which features answers to your burning supply chain-related questions from our talented business consultants, we bring you the sarcastic wisdom of Ron Stappert. Ron has been a business consultant with Kinaxis for the past four years, and despite what his answers below may portray, he really does love his job. We promise!

How did you come to find yourself in a supply chain software business consultant role – what was your path to here?
Climbing mountains wasn’t challenging enough, so I picked supply chain management.

What’s the biggest lesson about supply chain management you’ve learned?
If it was easy, anybody could do it.

What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in supply chain?
Your greatest recurring challenge will be overcoming resistance to change.

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Learn from the Supply Chain Masters – Q&A with Dominic Thomas

AlexaCheater

Dominic ThomasMoving along with our ‘Learn from the Masters’ series, which features answers to your burning supply chain-related questions from our talented business consultants, we bring you the newbie – Dominic Thomas. Dominic has only been with Kinaxis a few short months, but he’s no slouch in the supply chain field, with more than 20 years experience!

How did you come to find yourself in a supply chain software business consultant role – what was your path to here?
I applied for a co-op job in university in which the description said “opportunity to travel”. A few years and several software implementations later, I switched over to business consulting and have done this ever since.

What’s the biggest lesson about supply chain management you’ve learned?
After being in this business for 20 years, I know that developing the “perfect” plan is a fruitless exercise. Supply chains are getting more complex, competition is increasing and consumers are becoming more demanding. The only certainties in life are death, taxes and that (supply chain) plans change all the time. Responding to these changes in a timely way is what matters.

What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in supply chain?
It’s a fascinating area to focus on. The supply chain matters! It delivers things that you and your family use every single day. Learning about it and being creative in your approach to problem solving can be very rewarding.

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A Collection of Bad Supply Chain Poems

AlexaCheater
  • by Alexa Cheater
  • Published

supply chain poetry bookYes, you read that title right. In honor of Bad Poetry Day I asked my colleagues to send me their best (and worst!) supply chain-related sonnets, odes, limericks, haikus – well you get the point. It turns out I work with quite a creative crowd.

Now keep in mind this is BAD poetry day. So if you’re looking for Shakespeare quality prose, I suggest you just keep on looking. Without further ado, enjoy these supply chain poems written by Kinaxis staff just for you!

 

An Ode to Supply Chains
By Alexa Cheater

O supply chain, how I do appreciate thee,
always working hard to bring things to me.

From raw goods to finished, and everything in-between,
your complexities are many, especially when you’re lean.

Don’t let anyone dismiss you or belittle your worth,
because without you supply chain, nothing could ever circumvent the Earth!

 

Supply Chain on the Brain
By Lori Smith

I’ve got supply chain on the brain
I’m trying to stay sane
Amid my supply-demand pain
I don’t want to plan in vain
So I need to refrain
From forcing only one lane
Go against the grain
The key is to bend and change
Flexibility without strain
Old supply chain models slained!
My determination will not wane

 

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Learn from the Supply Chain Masters – Q&A with Bill Riordan

AlexaCheater
  • by Alexa Cheater
  • Published

Bill RiordanThe next victim err… I mean willing participant in our ‘Learn from the Masters’ series, which features answers to your burning supply chain-related questions from our talented business consultants, is Bill Riordan. Bill has been with Kinaxis just over a year.

How did you come to find yourself in a supply chain software business consultant role – what was your path to here?
Probably like most of us in the BC role, we didn’t start out looking to become supply chain BCs. In fact, for many of us who’ve been around a while, the term supply chain hadn’t even been coined yet. I started out working with and developing plant floor manufacturing and controls systems, so that was my introduction to a part of the “supply chain”. I really enjoyed both the challenge of understanding and managing the dynamics of a supply chain, as well as the software technologies of the solutions that were being developed to address the challenges of the supply chain. Fast forward through a handful of really interesting technology companies which addressed different parts of the supply chain problem, and here I am.

What’s the biggest lesson about supply chain management you’ve learned?
You’ll never develop the perfect plan. Or, if you do, it’s good for about a second. The best supply chains are those that do a good job of anticipating what’s going to happen while at the same time having the ability to adjust when things (inevitably) change.

What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in supply chain?
Like any career, make sure you like what you do first and foremost. Supply chain isn’t sexy, but it matters and it makes a difference to a company’s performance. And, it offers an array of challenges from technology to organization to pure creative problem solving.

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Learn from the Supply Chain Masters – Q&A with Hans Velthuizen

AlexaCheater

Hans VelthusizenA look at the roster of Kinaxis employees reveals an incredible depth of supply chain talent, knowledge and experience. We thought we’d tap into that wisdom pool by sitting down to gather industry insight from members of an elite group who are entrenched in the pitfalls and successes of supply chain management on a daily basis – our very talented business consultants. For the next few weeks we’ll be featuring answers from these supply chain gurus – some shrewd, some sarcastic and some just off the wall silly!

First up, Hans Velthuizen. Hans has been a business consultant with Kinaxis for more than three years, and is based out of the Netherlands. Yes, he does like tulips!

How did you come to find yourself in a supply chain software business consultant role – what was your path to here?
I wanted to become a lorry driver, moving goods from A to B, but it took me too long to get a drivers’ license.

Okay, so actually I studied Distribution Management and always wanted to travel. I became a business consultant immediately after my studies. I never found the urge to change my role since I think I have one of the best jobs ever. There’s never a dull moment.

What’s the biggest lesson about supply chain management you’ve learned?
It’s all about teamwork, but only one out of five project members is a team player.

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Do your supply chain challenges have you feeling a little snowed under?

AndrewDunbar

A snowed in car represents challenges weather can create for supply chainsThe first day of spring is less than a week away but the Canadian winter is still wreaking havoc on local supply chains.

A friend of mine wrote off his beloved Mazda 3 last month after being rear-ended on a snowy country road outside of Ottawa. This unfortunate event kick-started an urgent need for a replacement vehicle that would fit his growing family and replace the car he’d loved for longer than he’d even known his three children. His wife, demonstrating both her love and a generous dose of pity for her grief-stricken husband, agreed to let him upgrade to a brand new Audi Q3. “Don’t worry my friend, the car of your dreams will be here soon. It’s already on a ship to Halifax!” assured the sales rep.

Now five weeks late, my friend’s wife is still driving him to work and her pity has all but evaporated. What went wrong you ask? It’s hard to believe, but the ‘car of his dreams’ is currently frozen to the ground at CN Rail’s Eastern Passage Autoport.

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How to Turn Your Supply Chain into an Innovation Engine | Guest Post from Erwin Hermans

MelissaClow
  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

erwin hermans celestica  Is There a Third Option for Supply Chain Management Executives Looking to Revamp their SCM Operations? Our partner Celestica recently published the following article, ‘How to Turn Your Supply Chain into an Innovation Engine’. The author, Erwin Hermans, vice president of supply chain services, describes the areas to consider when turning your supply chain into an innovation engine:

  • An Enabler for New Business Models
  • Finding the Real Cost of the Supply Chain and Optimizing
  • Tune the Supply Chain to the Demand
  • Analytics is the Answer
  • How to Take an Idea into Practice

So, how do you turn your supply chain into an innovation engine? Let’s find out.

Highest quality. Lowest cost. On-time delivery. That’s how companies typically view an effective supply chain.

But what if that thinking was replaced with a new vision of supply chain? What if business leaders start to view it as an engine for growth and innovation, a differentiator, and an enabler of product realization and marketing strategies?

Today’s modern supply chains are more than just a back-end conduit to deliver products on time. An organization’s supply chain can deliver value that goes well beyond cost, quality and efficiency.

Let’s look at how the old way of thinking can change.

An Enabler for New Business Models

To look at how the supply chain can be an enabler, business leaders need to shift away from looking at it as a back-end operations function and instead, as a front-end enabler.

Companies like Apple and Amazon have built their businesses by thinking differently. Apple has cornered the market in its supply chain to gain an edge in volume and scale, while Amazon has made supply chain its core business. Apple leverages its scale to lock up supply of key components, thereby shutting out its competitors and shaping demand by constraining supply.

Let’s look at another example, one from the painting industry, where constraints in the supply chain forced different thinking.

In the past, stores had to supply a wide variety of paint colors and finishes based on consumer demand estimates, building inventory and tying up working capital. Today, stores are able to mix and create paint colors on the spot, allowing them to easily respond to changing consumer demands.

The innovation which allows this instant paint mixing to occur is enabled by a supply chain working together with the product management and marketing teams toward a unified goal, reducing the theoretical lead time of paint from weeks to minutes.

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Will that be automatic or semi-automatic to manage your supply chain?

ChristopherHatcher

semi automatic software blog chris hatcherYears ago when I was in the army, one of the most memorable days of my mostly forgettable BASIC training experience was flipping the switch to automatic. Yes, we’re talking about the M16 rifle standard issue weapon for soldiers. We were trained on this weapon out at the firing range where we learned to hold the weapon steady, breath calmly, and ignore the clamor of dozens of shots ringing out through the earplugs nestled in our ears.

It was cold out in Missouri in the middle of winter, but it was a bit of a thrill to do what I’d done as a kid with toy guns. This was the real thing. Well, sort of the real thing in the sense that the weapon and bullets were real, everyone was dressed in camouflage fatigues with serious looks on their faces, but the targets that popped up anywhere from 50 to 300 meters away were just some special fabric that fell over if a bullet whistled through it.

What we learned was that the cowboys shooting from their hips and hitting their targets was a fantasy of Hollywood. Hitting the targets required patience, focus, and a bit of luck. Like most training in the Army, the thought was that if you do it long enough it would become ingrained in your psyche and muscle response. As it turned out, after months of training out at the firing range I qualified as a Marksman, but that was not the big thrill. The big day was actually at night when we were allowed for the first time in months to flip the little switch on the M16 to automatic. Up until that night, each shot was aimed, the trigger squeezed and the result was immediately apparent.

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