Too Much Information? Not a Problem for Dow AgroSciences – SupplyChainBrain & Kinaxis Video Series

MelissaClow
  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

SupplyChainBrain attended our annual Kinexions user conference, and while there, they completed a number of customer video interviews.

In this interview, hear how fundamental shifts in supply chain management have significantly altered the planning paradigm. JP Swanson, global supply chain analyst with Dow AgroSciences, talks about how his company has adapted to the change, and improved planning across multiple levels of its supply network.

The need for agility was the driving force behind a change in the supply chain planning paradigm at Dow AgroSciences. “It’s a big challenge being able to react,” says Swanson, “having enough inventory close to the customer and getting it to him within 48 hours.”

One of the company’s major concerns is dealing with the silos of information that exist within its complex supply chain. Dow AgroSciences has transitioned from multiple instances of an SAP enterprise resource planning system to an integrated application and one dataset.

In implementing the RapidResponse application from Kinaxis, Dow AgroSciences sought to get all of its data into one place. As a result, it’s able to identify capacity gaps over the next five years. “It gave us time to react – to weigh cost against potential lost revenue,” Swanson says.

Watch now: Too Much Information? Not a Problem for Dow AgroSciences

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Help a Supply Chain Newbie Out

AlexaCheater

Caution Supply Chain NewbieQuick, tell me everything you know about supply chain! Okay, maybe not everything you know. I’m pretty sure that would take years with the experience some of you have. Maybe more like the CliffsNotes version. Why? Well, I’m new to the supply chain industry and need to get up to speed in a hurry. I’ve just joined the Kinaxis team as the social media and public relations manager, filling in for the next 14 months, and while I’ve got a great handle on the functions of my role, doing it in the supply chain context is something entirely new for me.

I have to admit that up until recently (pretty much the day before my first interview) I hadn’t really given much thought to supply chains. Sure, I had a basic idea of what they were. Oxford Dictionaries defines a supply chain as “the sequence of processes involved in the production and distribution of a commodity,” but as I’ve quickly come to realize, that short little sentence doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the vast and oftentimes perplexing concepts that encompass supply chain management.

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Is Poor Inventory Performance Holding You Back?

AlexaCheater

A man reviewing inventory performance on a computerOur partner Celestica recently published the following article, ‘Is your company being held hostage by poor inventory performance?’ The authors, Anandhi Narayanan, Senior Manager, Advanced Customer Solutions, Charles Thomas, Director, IT Customer Solutions, Stacey Greene, Director of Inventory Optimization and Robert Rejano, Processes and Applications Advisor, all with Celestica, describe the critical steps needed to drive inventory performance improvements.

Poor inventory performance can create a significant obstacle to growth and profitability. But adopting a strategic methodology designed specifically for inventory transformation can help eliminate the obstacles caused by poor supply chain visibility and open up new opportunities. If you’re looking to increase your inventory performance, we’ve outlined Celestica’s key suggestions and how they helped one company see substantial results.

Establish an executive focus and a transformation team to support it

Like any ‘transformational’ initiative, the process of improving inventory performance begins with understanding the compelling reasons for change. Once urgency is established, building the guiding team, establishing a vision and outlining goals are critical to winning over key stakeholders.

Make it Visible – You can’t improve it if you can’t measure it

Successfully increasing your inventory performance requires integration of data from all sources that make up your supply chain network. It’s critical to create a framework for the data that translates it into one clear body of information. Once this happens, data can then be analyzed in detail. To move from ‘basic analytics’, which gives insight into how the supply chain has operated in the past and what is required for the present and future, to ‘advanced analytics’, requires data to be contextualized in a way that makes it useful at the time when operators need to make a decision.

Flexible data models and methods to extract and load data are essential. The key to achieving meaningful results is a centralized data hub where normalization, standardization and storing of data can be performed. This allows the team to quickly develop and modify data models, without relying on multiple outside parties.

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Cognizant – Mining Critical Data in the Era of the Internet of Things – SupplyChainBrain & Kinaxis Video Series

MelissaClow
  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

SupplyChainBrain attended our annual Kinexions user conference, and while there, they completed a number of video interviews with customers, analysts, and Kinaxis executives. And, we’d like to share them!

In the age of the Internet of Things, how can companies extract meaningful insights from the mass of data that is available to them today? We get answers from Yogesh Amraotkar of the Innovation and Solutions Group of Cognizant.

Watch now: Mining Critical Data in the Era of the Internet of Things

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Forecast Accuracy: Keep Your Demand Management Process Honest

AlexaCheater

forecast accuracy represented by a dart boardOur partner Celestica recently published the following article,Are you keeping your demand management process honest? The author, Eric C. Lange, Director of Demand Planning and S&OP Services at Celestica, examines forecast accuracy and the main components of a demand management measurement tool and process. We’ve outlined his recommendations below so you can help improve your forecast accuracy, leading to improved business operations and ultimately greater success.

Reporting Forecast Accuracy

Even with an established Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) process, if you’re neglecting forecast accuracy measurement and reporting you’re missing a critical piece of the puzzle for demand management success. Yes, it’s often a difficult, time-consuming and complex endeavor, but not doing it limits the prospects for success for the entire process.

While calculating forecast accuracy is important, it’s not enough. You also need measurement and accuracy reports to determine the effectiveness of the entire demand management process.

There are three main components of a demand management measurement tool and process:

  • Decide the method to calculate forecast accuracy
  • Determine how to calculate and eliminate any forecast bias in the process
  • Manage all necessary data to evaluate the effectiveness of the demand management process

Once these components are in place, it’s time to move on to determining added value in the forecast.

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Accenture – 10 Years After: How Close Are We to True Demand-Driven Supply Chains? SupplyChainBrain & Kinaxis Video Series

MelissaClow
  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

SupplyChainBrain attended our annual Kinexions user conference, and while there, they completed a number of video interviews with customers, analysts, and Kinaxis executives. And, we’d like to share them!

It’s been about a decade since companies began talking about the dream of a truly “demand-driven” supply chain. How far have we come? It’s been 10 years since companies began striving to create “demand-driven” supply chains. Today, companies are “realizing that perhaps it’s not quite as short a journey as we thought it would be,” says Roddy Martin, managing director of Accenture Supply Chain Strategies.

Progress has been made, however, especially among consumer-driven retailers and even some large industrial manufacturers. “We’re way down the road,” says Martin, whose comments came at the annual Kinaxis user conference.

Why has the journey been so difficult? One reason lies in companies’ heavy investment in traditional enterprise resource planning and demand-planning infrastructure, says Martin. That has led to an “inside-out” focus with businesses. But the volatility of demand, coupled with growing risk in global supply chains, has shown that this approach won’t give companies the agility they’re seeking. What they need to be pursuing is the ability to conduct demand sensing and shaping within their supply chains, made possible by complete visibility of inventory at all points.

Watch now: 10 Years After: How Close Are We to True Demand-Driven Supply Chains?

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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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Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) – How to Stay the Course

JohnWesterveld

Two men discuss S&OPI came across this blog on sales and operations planning (S&OP) from the Institute of Business Forecasting and Planning (IBF) the other day. The article, S&OP and Culture Change: How to Stay the Course, written by Kathleen Winter, describes how corporate culture can derail an otherwise successful S&OP implementation.

Interestingly, it also describes the warning signs to look for if your S&OP process has fallen off the tracks. I suggest reviewing the blog to get a more detailed explanation of the warning signs, and what you can do to counter each, but I’ll summarize things here.

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