Tools for Master Scheduling: Hug Your Master Scheduler Part Two

JohnWesterveld

A master scheduler plans out numerous shipping routes on a mapIn part one of this blog we determined that the Master Scheduler has a challenging job with Master Scheduling, but you may be thinking that ERP system you’ve spent millions on buying and implementing must make the Master Scheduler’s job so simple it’s as easy as pushing a button, right?

Well… not so fast. Traditional ERP systems are notoriously difficult to customize. If you want to perform your MPS process the exact way your ERP vendor has designed their ERP module, you might be OK. But if everyone does their process the exact same way, where is your competitive advantage? The reality is that every company has unique requirements and no one implementation can meet those needs without some customization. And ERP customization is expensive. Very expensive.

Typical ERP systems don’t allow you to simply try something out before committing it to production. The ERP idea of simulation is copying the database to another machine and running it there… several hours later you might be able to do some scenarios. Even if you could try something out, you don’t know the impact of what you’ve tried until you’ve explored that change all the way through your supply chain. If the change you are thinking of making will cause an overload on a constraint that is defined on another ERP instance at a different site, you won’t know there is a problem until you start executing. And then it’s too late.

Your ERP system has the capability to do rough cut capacity planning. That should help, right? Well, yes, rough cut capacity planning is better than nothing and it can give you some hints as to where problems might be. It does this by having you create “representative routings” that boil very complex routing and bill of material information into an approximation of key resource and key material needs. You see where this is going, right? You can have a perfectly achievable plan based on rough cut capacity planning and still not have a plan you can actually execute because you don’t have insight into the detailed realities of your supply chain.

Combine all this with the fact that managing any data in an ERP system is a cumbersome, part-by-part process and there is no wonder that many of the Master Schedulers resort to building complex models in Excel to do their jobs. Except… Excel is not the answer either. As has been commented on previously, while Excel can be effective for one-off analysis, Excel is error prone, non-collaborative and no matter how good you are at modelling, you simply cannot represent the true complexity of supply chain in a spreadsheet.

So, what is the answer?

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Control Tower Success: Six Critical Steps to Ensure Your Project Thrives

MelissaClow
  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

control tower diagramOur partner Celestica recently published the following article, ‘Six Steps to Ensure your Control Tower Project is Successful’. The author, Rebecca Schriver, Global Director, Supply Chain Solutions at Celestica, describes the six critical success factors to ensuring control tower projects are delivered on-time with strong end-user support.

Developing a successful control tower to manage your supply chain can be a significant undertaking. But through Celestica’s experiences in leading control tower projects, they’ve learned some valuable, hard-won lessons. If you’re considering a control tower project, we’ve pulled together Rebecca’s six lessons to harness the power of data to make faster, smarter and better decisions about your supply chain.

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Supply Chain Risks: Big or Small, Plan For Them All

MerandaPowers

Supply Chain Risk I suspect that few folks in the supply chain management world would argue with the fact that supply chain management is risky business.

The reality is that risk comes in many forms (including anticipated risk, uncontrollable risk and unanticipated risk). It’s constantly changing. And the amount of risk being faced by supply chain professionals has been on the rise for the past 20 years.

When we talk risk, we’re not just talking about headline-making tsunamis, floods and earthquakes. We’re talking everyday risks as well. (Some might even argue that risk in daily business activities and decision making can be just as, if not more, impactful than exceptional risk events.) Ensuring success in ‘normal’ operating conditions and when faced with catastrophic supply chain disruptions is why developing risk management strategies should be a top priority.

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Teradyne – Managing Demand: How Agility Replaces Predictability – 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!

With consumer markets more volatile and unpredictable than ever before, companies need to make up for a lack of forecast accuracy with supply chains that can rapidly respond to changing demand, says Chris Vosse, business systems analyst with Teradyne.

Demand planners agree: the forecast is always wrong. “We haven’t been able to accurately forecast for a long time,” says Vosse. But rather than try to hone their predictions further, companies should be looking to improve their agility in responding to unexpected shifts in demand.

Vosse speaks of the process of “informed risk decisions.” At Teradyne, many components have a lead time stretching over two quarters, and require 26 weeks to procure. Yet customers expect delivery to occur within eight weeks or less. The solution, according to Vosse: “You need to start acting sooner in order to respond later.”

Watch now: Teradyne – Managing Demand: How Agility Replaces Predictability

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Kinaxis VP Manik Sharma Named a 2015 Provider ‘Pro to Know’

MelissaClow
  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

Manik Sharma named 2015 Provider 'Pro to Know'A huge congratulations goes out to Manik Sharma, our vice president of industry strategy and innovation, for being named a 2015 Provider ‘Pro to Know’ by Supply and Demand Chain Executive magazine.

We couldn’t be prouder to have Sharma join the growing list of Kinaxis executives who have received this coveted award. It comes as no surprise to anyone who knows him that Sharma is being recognized for his dedication to ensuring customer success.

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Qualcomm: What’s Wrong With Traditional S&OP? – 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 this interview, hear Kathyleen Beveridge, director of sales operations with Qualcomm discuss “What’s Wrong With Traditional S&OP?” According to Beveridge, the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process brings great value to an organization, but companies need to take a fresh approach in order to ensure more efficient planning cycles.

Sales and operations planning involves a number of sequential stops. Mistakes anywhere along the way can lead to inefficient planning, says Beveridge. A new approach is needed that allows companies to become more agile in a difficult business climate.

Under the traditional approach to S&OP, it can take upwards of two weeks to compile data. “By the time you get in front of the management team, that data has already changed,” Beveridge says. Qualcomm has adapted S&OP to a weekly cycle, under which it has more frequent discussions with key decision makers. They focus on the state of the company’s supply and demand balance, with an eye toward making “immediate course changes” if necessary. The company also conducts monthly S&OP meetings that focus on longer-range issues.

Watch now: What’s Wrong With Traditional S&OP?

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A perfect supply chain?

MattBenson
  • by Matt Benson
  • Published

Dabbawala supply chainIf your 3PL supply chain problem was to deliver 400,000 items daily from supplier to customer and your on-time in full metric was a six-sigma target standard of 1 failure per million, how would you do it?

What If I was to also constrain the resources you had at your disposal and said you only had 5000 transportation vehicles and your delivery slot was just 1 hour and that your delivery window was always 12pm until 1pm? What if I was then to say that you had no technology at your disposal to manage it and your only transportation methods were bicycles, trains and feet and you had to do it on a budget of 33 cents per delivery?

Well, that’s what the Dabbawalas in India have been doing in Mumbai for over 100 years – delivering meals direct to workers and school desks from the family home with an OTIF of 99.99 %. They don’t use technology but what they do have is a tried and trusted set of highly efficient robust procedures that govern how they manage their work. It’s a methodology that has been established and passed down from generation to generation and has stood the test of time.

So, why don’t organisations with similar problems just invest time in improving their working procedures? Why do we even need technology? Well, the answer in reality is that we really do need both – not all of our problems are only 3PL issues with supply chains having such stable demand signals – same item, same quantity, to the same customer, pretty much every day. Not all of our supply chains have a zero inventory, stable sub-contracted supply – it’s a relatively quick production process to make an Indian meal (2-3 hours), freshly cooked every day often using Tandoor ovens. In addition, the majority of our distribution networks are geographically wider and much more complex.

Away from Mumbai we’re at the PIMS conference this week in London discussing Pharmaceutical supply chain problems with some key players in the market. The common themes we are hearing are:

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