Posts categorized as 'Supply chain management'

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


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


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


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


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


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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[Video] Long-term supply chain planning system vision and strategy


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.

It’s no exaggeration to say that supply chain planning is seeing a revolution, says Jack Noppe, chief technology officer at Kinaxis. Now, no function or department has to plan in the dark or without knowledge of how a plan affects others in the supply chain.

Traditional supply chains planned in isolation because plans took place independently within each function. RapidResponse, the planning platform from Kinaxis, enables what the company calls concurrent planning. In other words, all functions plan in concert now. “That allows them to get better outcomes for the business and make decisions faster,” says Noppe.

The software’s single platform enhances end-to end-supply chain management for a number of reasons, not least that data from every source is made available much more quickly than before, Noppe says. “At the end of the day, it comes down to how much information you have when you need to make decisions, and how fast you can understand the impact of decisions.”

Long-Term Product Vision & Strategy


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The importance of customer service for end-to-end supply chains


Customer ServiceSupply chain rigidity could be costing you billions

Getting the right product to the right people at the right time – that’s at the heart of what demand and supply planning is all about. But as anyone who works in supply chain knows, it’s a lot easier said than done. Forecasts are wrong more often than they’re right, and shifting consumer priorities means your supply chain has to be able to react to change and shift directions in seconds.

The success of your business depends on it, because if you can’t adapt and adjust, your customers will find someone who can. Exemplary customer service matters to your bottom line. Whether you work in business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) or any other space, the reality is, we all have customers to serve. Supply chains are built around that fact.

The result of poor customer service

A recent study by NewVoiceMedia shows nearly $62 billion is flowing from companies’ pockets into the hands of their competitors as a direct result of poor customer service. Failing to deliver the right product, failure to meet on-time delivery promises or even just a lack of clear communication are just a few reasons why customers are disappearing. The same research shows almost half of respondents (49%) reported leaving a business due to inadequate customer service, with those aged 25-34 years old 62% more likely to switch to a competitor as a result.

Can your company really afford to lose that many customers?

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The future of the supply chain planning profession

Dr. MadhavDurbha

Supply chain planning systemIt is a great time to be a supply chain planning professional. Advances in processing power, networking, and storage aided by the enduring power of Moore’s law have opened doors for some exciting new developments in supply chain planning. Specifically for planners, the advent of real time planning, ability to process massive amounts of data, and the rise of machine intelligence are all opening up newer challenges and opportunities. Mundane tasks such as gathering data and processing it into information are being automated to a larger extent. The ability to run end to end network-wide scenarios is a reality now.

While this revolution in supply chain planning is in early stages of adoption, it is only a matter of time before these capabilities become mainstream within many organizations. Given that such a future is inevitable, how will this change the supply chain planning profession? Let’s examine the possibilities:

“Stempathy” excellence will be critical for success

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