7 Avoidable Data Errors in Your Supply Chain Data

PalvashahDurrani

Supply Chain DataThe Devil is in the Data Details: Entering a New Global Market

So you’re about to launch into a new global market. It’s thrilling, full of potential, and has its own set of opportunities and challenges. One of these challenges that you might not think of immediately is big data in your supply chain—specifically the quality of your data. What might seem like a minor detail, such as differing measurement systems, can dramatically affect how effectively your supply chain functions and how well products move to market.

Here are 7 data issues you might need to watch out for:

7. Currency

This is probably an obvious one. You’ll need currency conversions at sales points, but you’ll also benefit from accurate currency conversions at your assessment and planning levels. For example, tracking revenue in each location’s currency helps you to assess those values within that market context. Failing to accurately convert costs into the same currency as the price for a product can lead to inaccurate margin calculations and erroneous profit values.

6. Measurement System

This can vary from using the metric system instead of imperial measurements to using the right shipping dimensions. Inconsistent and incorrect dimension data can result in products that don’t fit into shipping containers, that are properly processed at distribution centers, or that fit on store shelves.

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Career advice for supply chain professionals

Dr. MadhavDurbha

Career advice for supply chain professionalsIt is a great time to be a supply chain professional. Emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Cognitive computing, and Augmented Reality are creating new challenges and new opportunities for supply chain management (SCM) professionals. Rise of real time technologies are blurring the lines between planning and execution. Cloud technologies are speeding up the consumption of newer technology innovations being rolled out.

While this technological shift is happening, the complexity of supply chains is growing. The strategic thinking and problem solving skills needed to handle this complexity are facing serious shortage as highlighted by a 2015 Wall Street Journal article. This asymmetry between the demand and supply of SCM talent creates a great opportunity for those who are willing to go the extra mile, making them extremely valuable within their organizations and in the broader market. Given these dynamics, here are few tips for the early to mid-career SCM professionals on taking your career to the next level.

1. Look beyond your current role: There is increasing realization in the industry that one needs to look at the supply chain holistically in an end-to-end manner beyond the traditional functional domains such as demand planning, logistics, procurement planning etc. For example, an upcoming promotion may need to be executed in conjunction with production and replenishment planning or else one might run the risk of stock outs while also incurring the added cost of promotion. Such risks are becoming more front and center for executives as the world around us turns more complex and volatile.

A recent white paper on Supply Chain for new age introduces the notion of a “Network Planner” who would plan across the end-to-end supply network. Such roles will become the norm and will be highly visible within organizations of the future, setting one up for a great career. However, in order to prepare for such roles, you will need to think beyond functional silos and build deep and broad supply chain domain knowledge. But how can one obtain such knowledge? That brings me to my next point.

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What is the Operating Model for S&OP? by Accenture Strategy Guest Blogger

Steven J.Puricelli

Last month, I launched a new blog series on sales and operations planning (S&OP). I outlined a number of important topics I plan to explore this summer. Building upon my post about the ownership of S&OP, it’s time to talk about defining the operating model for S&OP. Executives frequently ask: “How should I structure S&OP and organize it to account for different divisions, brands, or geographies”?

One of the more difficult aspects to get right behind a good S&OP process is the underlying structural design…or what I call the operating model. Most S&OP teams are tasked with managing an extensive and complex web of functional departments, sub-processes, products, customers, brands and geographies. A foundational framework that creates the appropriate intersections and touchpoints is imperative for S&OP to function effectively. When I reflect on leading S&OP processes, two key foundational aspects are always present: 1) a well understood conceptual model and 2) a well-defined structural model. They help define the operating model for S&OP.

Conceptual Model
The purpose of the S&OP process, which I discussed in my second blog, is to enable cross-functional information sharing, trade-off analysis, and decision making for the supply chain and overall business. The S&OP process is a broker of information…or to use one of today’s common supply chain buzzwords, a ‘control tower’. A recent Accenture article describes the importance of eliminating the disconnect between sales and supply chain, which is what a proper S&OP operating model seeks to create. This part of the S&OP operating model is as much a cultural mindset as it is something that gets defined by tangible organization charts or team diagrams. High performing S&OP processes do a tremendous job sharing information efficiently across the organization using a hub and spoke model as shown in the figure below…there’s incredible communication and alignment.

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4 Ways Sonus Improved Demand Planning and Reduced Inventory by 20%

AlexaCheater

Connecting the DataStruggling with the reality of not being able to easily consolidate data, global telecommunications company Sonus Networks was dealing with delays in understanding the impact of changes to its supply chain plans. The result was difficulty in meeting customer demand in a timely and efficient manner. To combat its planning issues, Sonus took four steps to improve demand, reduce inventory, and share information better across the entire network.

  1. Connect the Data

Sonus worked to seamlessly connect data from multiple sources, including traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, existing Excel spreadsheets, and even its customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Prior to this data synchronization, it took days to develop forecasts and involved extensive manual data entry and manipulation. Each quarter more than 1,200 line items had to be updated or added to the existing ERP tool just for locked forecasts alone. This resulted in forecasts that were inflexible. Sonus just wasn’t nimble enough to react quickly to actual demand changes, which were happening on an almost daily basis.

Now forecasting takes just hours. When a change does need to be made, instead of holding another meeting, planners can discuss options on the fly, with the most up-to-date data at their fingertips. Data manipulation is now a simple two-step process. No more wasted time manually entering thousands of line items. Its planners have saved about a day’s worth of data entry and collection per week.

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Let’s talk certification, the sequel

JoeCannata
  • by Joe Cannata
  • Published

Kinaxis Certification SequelIt’s always a summer of sequels at the cinema box office. Whether it is your favorite comic book action film from Marvel, a third Star Trek film, finding Dory’s parents, more Conjuring, an alien resurgence or even more of Jason Bourne, there always seems to be another story to tell. Back on January 13th, my Let’s Talk Certification blog detailed the announcement and the launch of the Kinaxis Certification Program, with our two original exams, Certified RapidResponse Author Level 1 and Certified RapidResponse Administrator Level 1. We rolled those out at KinectED, our annual knowledge sharing event for Kinaxis employees and partners. There was a lot of interest, a lot of studying, and a whole lot more of exams being delivered. My version of a sequel is to update our readers on how we have evolved since January.

Certification Sequal 1

Here are some of the candidates taking the exam back in January

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Seven Supply Chain Lessons from a Former Walmart CEO

AlexaCheater

Supply Chain Lessons

Inheriting an organization facing one of the toughest retail environments in history, Mike Duke helped Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and biggest private employer, navigate an intense period of economic, social, and technological change while delivering strong financial results. As CEO from 2009 to 2014, he worked to restructure the company and made sure it not only grew, but grew with integrity.

Named one of Forbes top 10 most powerful people in 2013, Duke built his expertise by learning from and interacting with everyone—from world leaders to first time Walmart customers. Coming from a logistics and distribution background, he helped the company enter Africa and grow in China, Latin America, and other markets.

As one of the keynote speakers during Gartner’s Supply Chain Executive Conference, he shared seven important lessons he’s learned over the years. While not directly about supply chain, they can all easily be applied to managing the complexities of this rapidly changing industry.

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Infographic: Examining the Demographics of the Supply Chain Industry

MelissaClow
  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

Supply-Chain-Demographics-croppedThis guest post comes to us from Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting, a boutique recruitment firm specializing in Supply Chain Management.

Everyone knows the Supply Chain field is changing. Recently, one of the best Supply Chain Publications out of the U.S., Supply Chain 24/7, released a report that examines the demographic trends underlying the industry. The report, titled “A Portrait of the Supply Chain Manager,” used research survey data from Peerless Research Group and APICS to present a picture of the typical individual working in Supply Chain. The survey asked a number of Supply Chain and talent-related questions, such as:

  • What percentage of Supply Chain professionals received a raise last year?
  • What percentage of Supply Chain managers hold a degree?
  • What percentage of companies are willing to pay above-market compensation for the right people?

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Is your control tower unresponsive?

Dr. MadhavDurbha

Supply Chain Control TowerAs I finished dinner, I was ready for some entertainment. What better entertainment is there than the latest scoop on the US Presidential election! This thing is more exciting than “House of Cards” season 4. Well, I have to say this. That season 4 was flat. Ok… I digress. I switched on the TV in anticipation. “…. when we return from the break” said the cheerful TV anchor. Then started the commercial break.

As I was getting ready to switch channels, this ad started playing. A group of armed masked men storm into a bank. The customers downed to the floor in fear. They look at the man in the uniform and ask him to do something. The man in the uniform nonchalantly reports back saying “I am not a security guard… I am a security ‘monitor’. I only notify people when there is a robbery”. Then he goes on to announce “There is a robbery” as the confused robbers and customers look at each other. Then comes the text “WHY MONITOR A PROBLEM IF YOU CAN’T FIX IT?”

So true! Why monitor when you can’t fix? That made me think of my credit monitoring service. Yes, I do get quite a few alerts. But most of them don’t tell me what to do about them. A bit like some of the supply chain control towers in the market. They alert you about a problem. But they do nothing to fix it… sort of like the “security monitor” in that ad. Yes. “Monitoring” is necessary for a control tower, but not sufficient. A best in-class supply chain control tower enables a “Plan, Monitor, Respond” paradigm. This type of control tower “monitors” the internal and external environment for threats or surprises that could derail the supply chain “plan”. The threat could be a developing weather pattern delaying shipments, a promotion performing exceedingly well resulting in out of stocks, a production line going down, or a potential miss from the budget plan three months out.

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