Posts categorized as 'Supply chain management'

Top 25 Supply Chains Pt. 2: Epiphany About Speed

CJWehlage
  • by CJ Wehlage
  • Published

Amazon utilizes speed to become top supply chainIn part one of this blog series, I noted the changes, or lack thereof, to Gartner’s list of the Top 25 Supply Chains. After realizing little has changed, with the exception of creating a new “Masters” category, which doesn’t really fix anything in the rankings, I had two important thoughts and an epiphany.

Amazon’s #1 Position makes me think of two things:

Where in the world is Google?

Amazon is a software company that built expertise around services and distribution. That distribution model is fantastic for getting fast delivery. In the same light, I would advocate FedEx, UPS and DHL be in at least the Top 50 ranks.

Google is an internet company. Sure, they are known as a search engine, maps, communications, advertising, and services company. However, the key message from Gartner this year was the “digital” aspect of supply chains.

We tend to think of a traditional hardware company adding digital to its product and supply chain. However, let’s take direction from Guy Kawasaki (the Keynote speaker at the conference), and “Jump to the Next Curve”. What about a digital company that adds hardware? Google is adding cars, glasses, mobile, tablets, and even contact lens. And I believe Google should be added to the list.

Put Apple (and P&G) back in the Top 25

This isn’t because I used to work at Apple. I get it. People are tired of seeing Apple there every year. But, the problem isn’t fixed.

As I said in my May 2014 blog, where I predicted Amazon to be #1, Amazon has done everything great, except pull a profit. There’s been a lot spending on assets these past few years at Amazon. And soon that asset spending will be seen in their significant revenue growth. They’ve already finished in the top five, five years in a row, even with 0.0% ROA in 2015! My bet is that Amazon will be #1 for 2016 and 2017 (and then placed in the Masters category). Yet, the problem that left Apple at #1 for seven years, and potentially place Amazon at #1 for three years, will not have been fixed.

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Your opportunity to be a supply chain hero is here!

JenniferBell

A supply chain hero!If your business is currently leveraging SAP APO as part of your enterprise architecture, now is the time to upgrade to Kinaxis RapidResponse. You may be asking why now and how does this make me a supply chain hero?

As you know, SAP has announced their intention to discontinue support for their APO suite. This can be a scary time, especially if you have good adoption of APO within your user community. Why is it so scary for the user community? Because it means change.

But, as a soon to be supply chain hero, you appreciate the changing tides of technology. This potentially scary situation is really an opportunity in disguise. You can be a hero by:

  1. Being a Change Agent: Kinaxis is offering a low risk upgrade program, specifically to Kinaxis qualified SAP APO customers. Kinaxis will work with you to develop an upgrade program that allows you to transition key business processes to RapidResponse without a big bang implementation. This agility gives you the opportunity to test drive an exciting solution without a financial commitment until the value of RapidResponse is proven.
  2. Minimizing Supply Chain Risk: You know that cyber risk leads to business risk. The RapidResponse solution is cloud-based and proven. With customers like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, Kinaxis holds itself to the highest standard of security to support their government contracts. The same model is used for all Kinaxis customers, so you know your data is secure and cyber risk is mitigated.
  3. Setting a Business-Centric Vision: Set your vision and use RapidResponse as part of the strategy to get there. Your supply chain will thank you. Just imagine the following:

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The Supply Chain Dilemma – Do I Make House Repairs or Do I Redesign the Home?

LoriSmith
  • by Lori Smith
  • Published

Home renovations mimic supply chain dilemmaI live in a 40 year old house and in some ways it is certainly showing its age. When there is something that isn’t working, not meeting my needs, or simply has gotten out of date, I find myself asking the question of do I try to fix up what I have or replace it? There is a lot of maintenance needed to keep things running around the house, but for some things there comes a time when you have to ask “how far is this repair/upgrade going to take me?” If I keep investing just to maintain what I have, and at best, see an incremental improvement, when I am ever going to have the resources for re-designing and making real renovations? It is indeed a balancing act… and not at all unlike the decisions being made in managing supply chains.

A theme that resonated for me at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive conference the other week was the notion of “managing” versus “transforming”. There was a panel discussion on the Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO) Imperatives for Executing the Global Supply Chain Strategy where each of the panelists said that among their main priorities was balancing continuous improvement with transformative innovation. You have to do both. And of course technology investment is a key factor, given that most, if not all supply chain innovation will be supported by technology.

This point really hit home during Dwight Klappich and Chad Eschinger’s session where they discussed the results of their Supply Chain Technology User Wants and Needs Study. A key takeaway from the study was that SCM IT investment and supply chain maturity/performance go hand in hand.

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Top 25 Supply Chains Pt. 1: Masters category

CJWehlage
  • by CJ Wehlage
  • Published

Top 25 supply chains all utilize global networksOn May 29, 2014, I posted a blog about the Top 25 Supply Chains predictions for 2015.

“All that being said, here’s my early 2015 “Not So” Bold Predictions: #5 P&G, #4 Unilever, #3 McDonald’s, #2 Amazon, #1 Apple.”

Almost a year later, that was 100% correct. Ok, here’s my reasoning. The 2015 Top Supply Chains were #1 Amazon, #2 McDonald’s, #3 Unilever. What about my Apple and P&G prediction, you say? They were surprisingly put into a “Masters” category. As it is explained in the Gartner report, a “Master” is a supply chain that “consistently had top five composite scores for at least seven out of the last 10 years”. It’s bizarre to me, since a “hall of fame” category is reserved for someone who has retired. Plus, there was no explanation as to why seven out of the last 10 years was chosen. To me it felt more like a common thread between Apple & P&G was found first, then the Masters category was created.

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Consumers Priorities Driving Major Supply Chain Changes

AlexaCheater

supply chain customer supply and demand crosswordMost of you have probably heard the old saying ‘the customer is always right.’ In terms of making sure you have a host of happy customers, that’s probably good advice, but how far are you willing to go to keep those satisfaction levels high? Would you offer a discount? Free shipping? A full refund? How about completely changing the way you operate your supply chain? That last one may sound a little drastic, but it’s the reality many major retailers are facing.

The rules around supply chain management are changing, and customers are sitting firmly in the driver’s seat. More and more companies are making big, public announcements on how they’re changing their supply chain practices to better align with what their customers care about.

Popular burger chain McDonald’s has committed to ending deforestation throughout its entire supply chain, while fellow restaurants Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera have solidified their commitments to move away from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Even retail giant Walmart is taking steps to change its supply chain practices, focusing more on increasing economic opportunity, strengthening local communities, and overall sustainability. They’ve committed to eliminating 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from their global supply chain by the end of the year.

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On-Demand Webcast – Supply Chain Transformation: Avaya’s Journey

AlexaCheater

Did you miss our recent live webcast on Avaya’s supply chain transformation? No problem. The complete webcast is now available on-demand.

In this webcast, Bryan Ball, Aberdeen Group, and Benji Green, Avaya, discuss the circumstances and challenges Avaya faced on their four-year journey, the catalysts for transformational change, and the dramatic results they were able to achieve.

For Avaya, the journey began with the realization they were spending too much time on low-value, reactionary activities, like translating and moving data. Their goal was to flip that reality, so more time was spent on high-value, proactive activities that would have a real impact on the business.

With an outlined five-phase approach, Green discusses how Avaya was able to shift focus within the company, combining people, process and technology to achieve far-reaching success. That success included exceeding customer and employee expectations on multiple levels. More specifically, Avaya saw their on-time ship rate jump from 86% to 94%, their past due revenue decrease from $42M to $10M and their employee engagement scores increase by 57%.

Along the way they addressed many common challenges like disparate processes, multiple ERP systems and lack of supply chain visibility. Through the use of technology as an enabler, Avaya was able to transform their supply chain into one centered on continuous improvement and innovation.

View now!

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Non-Traditional Supply Chain Pt 2: People

AlexaCheater

People can be considered non-traditional supply chainIn part one of this series I talked about how businesses trading in data as a commodity could be classified as using non-traditional supply chain. It was the most obvious case to prove non-traditional supply chain is actually a valid concept. After giving it some careful consideration, I can come up with an additional area that falls into the non-traditional supply chain category – people.

Take my sister for example. Her job requires her to travel to multiple hospitals in the region to provide a service, and she often has to visit more than one location in a single day. As her employer it would be nice to know exactly where she is, how much she has left to do at each location, and what her ETA is for arriving at the next one. Short of installing a tracking device and camera to monitor her every move (I’m sure she’d love that!), the only option is to put in place a standardized procedure where she checks in with her supervisor at regularly scheduled intervals to give a status update. Great in theory, but full of potential pitfalls in practice.

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Non-Traditional Supply Chain Pt 1: Data as a Commodity

AlexaCheater

Data represents a non-traditional supply chainAn interesting topic came up the other day at the office, the idea of non-traditional supply chain. Not non-traditional in the sense of a company that thinks and acts a little outside of what’s considered to be ‘normal’ supply chain operating processes. Rather, supply chains that don’t deal with material goods at all. Perhaps it’s because I’m a Millennial, part of Generation Y, and came of age at the same time the internet did, but my very first thought was of course there’s such a thing as non-traditional supply chain – just look at the data!

Anyone who works in traditional supply chain knows data is king. It plays an integral role in managing not only your sales and operations planning (S&OP), but rules the roost so to speak when it comes to making sure your supply chain is operating effectively. Without accurate and timely data, that’s also easily visible, you’re likely not making the best decisions for your business.

But what I’m talking about isn’t using data to enhance your supply chain. I’m talking about data as a commodity – and it’s a booming business right now.

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