Posts categorized as 'Supply chain management'

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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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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[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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5 pieces to the global capacity management puzzle

BillDuBois

Global capacity managementRecently I was watching a video interview with David Thomas, the Director of Global Capacity Planning for Ford Motor Company. Among other things, he’s been leading the charge at Ford to deliver a global capacity management solution. He describes the process as a jigsaw puzzle. The challenge with getting a global view as he puts it, is if the pieces “don’t fit together, you don’t see the right picture.”

Ford’s challenges to global capacity management

In the interview, David describes the challenges facing Ford in fitting the pieces together. One of which is its extensive legacy. Ford has been around for 100 years and the five main regions of the company (North and South America, Asia, Europe and Middle/Eastern Africa) grew up individually. There wasn’t a need to move data and information between the regions because they had different products, teams and organizations.

Over the past few decades, the auto industry, like most other industries, experienced unprecedented changes that drove a need to transform capacity management from a regional to a global view. The 2008 downturn hit suppliers extremely hard, putting some out of business. But in 2010, an upturn in demand in emerging regions like Brazil, India and China meant capacity required varied significantly by region. But that demand didn’t match what companies had available in those areas. Thus, a global view of capacity management was required to combat these newly emerged supply chain constraints.

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Overcoming the Amazon effect: Pushing retail supply chains to the limit

AlexaCheater

Amazon supply chain managementHow to overcome the Amazon effect

When it comes to supply chain excellence, particularly in the retail sector, there is one behemoth dominating the landscape. Amazon is driving innovation and change at a pace that’s putting the pressure on other businesses to find a way to keep up, or fold.

The online retailer’s most recent patent focuses on drone technology, and would involve drones delivering packages with parachutes. It’s just the latest in a string of patents that span the gamut from smart stores to flying warehouses. Amazon is even entering the transportation space, signing agreements with the Air Transport Services Group and the Chinese government to enter into the freight cargo business – effectively cutting out the middleman.

It has leased 20 Boeing 767 aircraft to shuttle goods around the US, and helped ship at least 150 cargo containers from China since October 2016. It’s all part of the global expansion of ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’, which provides storage, packing and shipping to small independent merchants selling products on Amazon’s website.

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It’s time for a revolution of the supply chain kind

BillDuBois

Supply chain planning systemsThere have been some pretty significant revolutions throughout history. The French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Chinese cultural revolution – just to name a few.

Well, today I’m going to talk about the need for another revolution. A supply chain planning systems revolution. Will it be the stuff that future historians drool over or universities base curriculums on? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m going to discuss it anyway, because for those of us living in a supply chain world, it’s big deal.

The world is changing – new technology, globalization, shifting markets, changing demographics, global warming – you get the idea. So while everything’s been changing around us, why hasn’t supply chain planning evolved to any great extent?

Times Haven’t Changed

Across the supply chain, functions and processes still operate in silos. Excel spreadsheets remain the number one way companies manage supply chain data (go figure). Current planning systems simply aren’t designed to deliver the speed and agility needed to deal with the complexity and risks associated with today and tomorrow’s supply chain.

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