Supply chain pain points: Life sciences

AlexaCheater

8 life sciences-specific challenges and how to overcome them

Life sciences supply chain

As I mentioned in the first blog of this supply chain pain points series, working in supply chain is tough business. Every company’s supply chain is unique, with its own set of challenges and solutions. But when it comes to life sciences supply chains, things just seem to be a whole lot more complicated.

Regulations, expirations and generic and brand name labels add a certain complexity to the mix not always seen in other industries. Branded pharmaceuticals tend to be high margin products, while generics are lower margin with a large volume of new product introductions (NPIs). With an extremely competitive landscape, mergers and acquisitions are common, leading to a multitude of disparate enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, wreaking havoc on end-to-end supply chain visibility. Here are a few more obstacles those of you working supply chain in life sciences have to contend with.

Lack of robust sales and operations planning (S&OP) tools

Traditional S&OP tools don’t always account for the specific needs of the life sciences supply chain. S&OP in this space requires volume level planning at multiple hierarchies and provide mix level detail including material and capacity constraints at the site and SKU level.

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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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Kinaxis Positioned in the Leaders Quadrant of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Sales and Operations Planning System of Differentiation

MelissaClow

Gartner S&OP SOD Magic QuadrantIt is with great pride that we announce Kinaxis® has been placed in the Leaders quadrant of the recently published Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales and Operations Planning Systems of Differentiation.

Gartner defines a sales and operations planning (S&OP) System of Differentiation (SOD) as a software solution that supports a Stage 4 or higher maturity S&OP process. According to the report, “Leaders have a strong vision for their S&OP SOD capabilities. They recognize the role they will need to play in enabling the move toward multienterprise horizontal planning allied with vertical integration that links strategy to operations and execution. They are looking at developing analytics to support probability-focused end-to-end predictive and prescriptive analytics to support profitability trade-offs and supply chain design and configuration capability.”1

Because of our unique ability to provide concurrent planning, Kinaxis RapidResponse® is an ideal solution to take companies through the various stages of S&OP maturity. We believe the next revolution in supply chain performance can only be achieved by realizing the speed of cross-functional decision making. As today’s press release indicated, our goal is to advance our customers’ S&OP processes from early stages through to Stage 4, and beyond, over time by taking advantage of all full capabilities in our single product.

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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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[Video] Sanofi Genzyme trends in pharmaceutical supply chains

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.

Merging two companies is seldom easy, but it’s even more difficult when their supply chains are highly dissimilar, says Jim Calarese, director of supply chain systems at Sanofi Genzyme.

The pharmaceutical company is the result of a takeover by Sanofi in 2001. The parent company’s supply chain was “plant-centric,” Calarese says. By contrast, Genzyme’s was completely end-to-end in nature. “Theirs was easier than ours.”

No pharmaceutical supply chain is without its challenges. Typically, supply chains are extended, lead times are long and a thicket of government regulations combine to present some steep challenges. Genzyme had diligently worked to have a total view of its supply chain as it developed and marketed drugs for rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, and oncology and immunology markets.

Sanofi Genzyme: Trends in Pharmaceutical Supply Chains

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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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