Posts Tagged ‘Customer’

Industrial manufacturing supply chain success story: Satisfying profitability and customer expectations

Published August 16th, 2013 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

Today, we want to feature a couple of case studies from our industrial manufacturing customers. We know that  industrial manufacturing supply chains typically operate relatively low-volume, non-commodity businesses, this doesn’t prevent them from having demanding customers or complex supply chains. Increasing outsourcing…faster order delivery expectations…rising commodity costs: The result is a situation where profitability and customer expectations are often at odds.

To thrive in today’s environment, industrial manufacturers need to shift from a role of controlling all aspects of manufacturing, to one of coordinating activities, with in-depth input and interaction with customers and suppliers.

We want to share how these companies have turned to Kinaxis to help them face these challenges head on and are seeing breakthroughs in operations performance as a result.

Industrial manufacturing customer testimonials

“We have hundreds of users pulling ad hoc reports from RapidResponse every day. I can’t begin to list all the benefits, but they include improved inventory management, supply/demand alignment, better information to buyers, and identified PO split opportunities.” Read more

“For any report that must be written quickly, we use RapidResponse. Report development time in SAP is months versus same day in RapidResponse.” Read more

Check out the case studies of two industrial manufacturing supply chains

enterprise industrial manufacturing supply chain case study

industrial manufacturing supply chain case study

Other industry case studies:

If you would like to check out other case studies similar to this one, visit our TechValidate page and you will find 28 cases studies, which you may browse by industry.

More about our supply chain survey

As you may have read in our first blog of the series, we completed a customer survey project with TechValidate and are very pleased with the over 150 survey responses and the many stories we can share. And so, for our Friday posts, we have been featuring the customer results on how they are using RapidResponse in their supply chain and the benefits they are realizing.

Take a look at past topics we have explored in this series:

If you visit our TechValidate page, feel  free to share any of the content we’ve published to-date, select the share button to distribute through various social media channels.

Happy Friday!

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Posted in Demand management, Response Management, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), Supply chain management


High-tech supply chain success story: Supply chain visibility is at the core

Published August 2nd, 2013 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

Today, we want to feature several case studies from our high-tech customers. We know that high-tech/electronics manufacturers are faced with a need to innovate to satisfy ever changing customer requirements while reducing costs, largely through the outsourcing of manufacturing.  And delivering to customer expectations while coordinating the extended supply chain in an environment of constant change, is challenging.

We want to share how these high-tech/electronics industry have turned to Kinaxis to help them face these challenges head on and are seeing breakthroughs in operations performance as a result.

High-Tech customer testimonials

“With RapidResponse, we have visibility across the supply chain, including across contract manufacturers.” Read more

Finished Goods Inventory was reduced by 20% within 3 months of deploying RapidResponse.” Read more

“RapidResponse provides one integrated plan of record.” Read more

“RapidResponse helps the master scheduler improve scheduling…” Read more

Check out the case studies of two high-tech supply shains 

improving our inventory turns

TriQuint Semiconductor supply chain

If you would like to check out other case studies similar to this one, visit our TechValidate page and you will find 28 cases studies, which you may browse by industry.

More about our supply chain survey

As you may have read in our first blog of the series, we completed a customer survey project with TechValidate and are very pleased with the over 150 survey responses and the many stories we can share. And so, for our Friday posts, we have been featuring the customer results on how they are using RapidResponse in their supply chain and the benefits they are realizing.

Take a look at past topics we have explored in this series:

Voice of the customer part 1: Supply Chain Flexibility

Voice of the customer part 2: Supply Chain Visibility

Voice of the customer part 3: Supply Chain Planning

Voice of the customer part 4: What-if Analysis

Voice of the customer Part 5: Response Management

Voice of the customer part 6: Alternative Technologies

Voice of the customer part 7: Competitive Advantage

Supply chain success story: Pharmaceutical customer significantly improves inventory management

Automotive supply chain success story: customer greatly improves on time delivery performance

If you are eager to check out all the results, simply go to our TechValidate page. If you wish to use or share any of the content we’ve published to-date, click on the asset you wish to use and then select the download button to save. You can also choose the share button to distribute through various social media channels.

Happy Friday!

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Posted in Demand management, Inventory management, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), Supply chain collaboration, Supply chain management


Supply chain success story: Pharmaceutical customer significantly improves inventory management

Published July 19th, 2013 by Melissa Clow 2 Comments

Today, we want to feature a case study of one of our pharmaceutical customer’s supply chain. We know Life Science companies are faced with fragmented demand chains with varying regulatory requirements as well as an aging product portfolio …leading to reduced margins.  Increasingly, these bio-tech/pharmaceutical companies are turning to third party operators at all levels of the supply chain to reduce costs, satisfy local demand, and enhance capacity flexibility. Because of this, Life Sciences companies are adopting process improvements and new technologies targeted at removing business “silos,” improving collaboration, and increasing productivity.

We want to share the success of one global pharmaceutical customer and how they are facing these challenges head on and seeing breakthroughs in operations performance.

Testimonials

“RapidResponse improved our event management for supply without conformance. It improved adherence to inventory targets above 95%, and consistently managed abnormal scrap 20% below budget.”

Check out the case study of a global pharmaceutical company’s supply chain

Pharmaceutical customer significantly improves inventory management

If you would like to check out other pharmaceutical case studies similar to this one, visit our TechValidate page and you will find them in the pharmaceutical case study section. In addition, you may want to check out Trevor Miles’ brand new whitepaper: “Diagnosing the Impact of Life Sciences Industry Trends on the Supply Chain: Understanding the 7 Factors for Treatment“.

More about our supply chain survey

As you may have read in our first blog of the series, we recently completed a customer survey project with TechValidate and are very pleased with the over 150 survey responses and the many stories we can share. And so, for our Friday posts, we have been featuring the customer results on how they are using RapidResponse in their supply chain and the benefits they are realizing.

Take a look at past topics we have explored in this series:

Voice of the customer part 1: Supply Chain Flexibility

Voice of the customer part 2: Supply Chain Visibility

Voice of the customer part 3: Supply Chain Planning

Voice of the customer part 4: What-if Analysis

Voice of the customer Part 5: Response Management

Voice of the customer part 6: Alternative Technologies

Voice of the customer part 7: Competitive Advantage

If you are eager to check out all the results, simply go to our TechValidate page. If you wish to use or share any of the content we’ve published to-date, click on the asset you wish to use and then select the download button to save. You can also choose the share button to distribute through various social media channels.

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Posted in Pharma and life sciences supply chain management, Response Management, Supply chain management


96% use RapidResponse to help improve inventory management in their supply chain

Published July 12th, 2013 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

As we described in our first blog of the series, we recently completed a customer survey project with TechValidate and are very pleased with the over 150 survey responses and the many stories we can share. And so, for our Friday posts, we have been featuring the different customer results on how they are using RapidResponse in their supply chain and the benefits they are realizing.

In this series, we will explore the following topics:

Voice of the customer part 1: Supply Chain Flexibility

Voice of the customer part 2: Supply Chain Visibility

Voice of the customer part 3: Supply Chain Planning

Voice of the customer part 4: What-if Analysis

Voice of the customer Part 5: Response Management

Voice of the customer part 6: Alternative Technologies

Voice of the customer part 7: Competitive Advantage

If you are eager to check out all the results, simply go to our TechValidate page. If you wish to use or share any of the content we’ve published to-date, click on the asset you wish to use and then select the download button to save. You can also choose the share button to distribute through various social media channels.

We asked our customers, what operational benefits they were now seeing in their supply chain operation?

Decision latency is a key measure of both supply chain process efficiency and effectiveness. Every minute you can give back to the physical supply chain adds exponentially to its agility, so making good decisions quickly is of tremendous value. Check out a few examples of how RapidResponse is enabling our customers to make better, faster decisions, thereby increasing financial and process efficiencies across the enterprise to gain a competitive advantage.

Inventory Management and the Supply Chain

inventory management supply chain

inventory management supply chain

Operational Benefits

inventory management supply chaininventory management supply chainiinventory management supply chain

RapidResponse Ensures Processes Deliver Results

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Posted in Miscellanea


More than half surveyed chose RapidResponse over SAP and custom solutions

Published July 5th, 2013 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

As we described in our first blog of the series, we recently completed a customer survey project with TechValidate and are very pleased with the over 150 survey responses and the many stories we can share. And so, for our Friday posts, we have been featuring the different customer results on how they are using RapidResponse in their supply chain and the benefits they are realizing.

In this series, we will explore the following topics:

Voice of the customer part 1: Supply Chain Flexibility

Voice of the customer part 2: Supply Chain Visibility

Voice of the customer part 3: Supply Chain Planning

Voice of the customer part 4: What-if Analysis

Voice of the customer Part 5: Response Management

Voice of the customer part 6: Alternative Technologies

Voice of the customer part 7: Competitive Advantage

If you are eager to check out all the results, simply go to our TechValidate page. If you wish to use or share any of the content we’ve published to-date, click on the asset you wish to use and then select the download button to save. You can also choose the share button to distribute through various social media channels.

We asked our customers, what alternative technology did you use or evaluate when your were looking for a supply chain management solution? And, how does it compare to competitive solutions? From our results, it is clear that investing in a patchwork approach for integrated demand and supply chain management is a gamble, at best, and the industry as a whole is questioning the merit of ERP supply chain suites. With a growing focus on sales and operations planning (S&OP) as a means to ensuring agility, alignment and adaptability, the limitations of ERP systems and their associated modules are becoming very apparent.

more than half of survey organizations chose rapidresponse over sap and customer solutions

better planning capabilities

quick supply chain visibility

displaced SAP APO

better response times

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Posted in Control tower, Demand management, Inventory management, Response Management, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), Supply chain collaboration, Supply chain management


Is Your Order Process Costing You Customers and Money?

Published March 14th, 2013 by John Westerveld 2 Comments

OrderIt’s just after lunch on a Friday afternoon. The phone rings.  It’s a company you’ve been trying to turn into a customer for years. They have a big order with your competition that they can’t get in on time and have decided to give you a try.

The problem is – they need the order in two weeks – less than the lead time for these items and you don’t have enough finished goods inventory to satisfy this order. To make matters worse, they want an answer by close of business or they will look elsewhere.  If you can get these orders on time, you could be able to win significant future business from them.  The stakes are immense.

What factors need to be considered when deciding on a course of action?

  • What is the impact to revenue?
  • What is the impact to margin?
  • Can I accept this order if I’m willing to make other orders late? If so, what other orders will be put at risk?  What are the customers associated with those orders?
  • What components are blocking this order from being completed on-time?
  • What options do I have for resolving those blocking components?

With traditional ERP systems, responding with confidence is nearly impossible.  Batch based calculations mean that you simply can’t know the impact on the supply chain unless you run the various processes that rebalance the plan. This can take several hours at least – and are typically run at night or over the weekend.  Further, many companies have different versions of ERP in different sites.  Worse, companies may have grown through acquisition resulting in different ERP systems across the various sites.  This means that visibility across the various nodes of the supply chain is limited.  Once the calculations are done, the ability to visualize the impact of the change and the required response is very limited since ERP systems tend to be stuck in the 70’s model of presenting information, part by part, on a single screen. How do companies respond in this environment? Typically, things go one of four ways –

1)       They quote a standard lead time and refuse to consider an order inside that lead time because they can’t know whether meeting the customer request date is even possible. Order lost.

2)       They promise the order and “hope” they can get the order done on-time. Operations try to scramble to get it done at a significant cost – and often can’t – so then customer satisfaction suffers.

3)       They have extensive models built in Excel that “approximate” the supply chain – and promise based on that, which can never provide the full and accurate picture, and so, customer satisfaction suffers.

4)       They build up large enough buffers of inventory to ensure they have enough for when unexpected orders come in, which results in poor inventory turns performance, and typically ensures that you have lots of inventory… of exactly the wrong part!

So, what alternatives are there?  If you were to develop a supply chain planning tool, what capabilities would you include?  Maybe you would come up with something like the following:

  • Supply chain wide visibility – What if you had visibility across the entire supply chain, regardless of the ERP system or version?  What if you could instantly see the impact of a demand change down to the lowest component across multiple sites?
  • What-if simulation – What if you could model your change using the same logic that exists in your ERP system in a sandbox-like environment where nothing is official until you are ready to share it?
  • High-speed analytics – Time is critical. What if you could drop an order in and instantly see 1) when that order would be available 2) what is preventing that order from completing on time and 3) the impact that order drop in has across the entire supply chain?
  • Responsibility based collaboration – No one person can solve all the problems across the supply chain. What if you could do something like drop-in an order and instantly see who in the organization was impacted by that change?  Then, what if you could share the scenario with that team to see if they could come up with alternative ways to resolve the lateness?
  • Scenario comparison – Your team has come up with several alternative approaches to solving the problem.  Some may have an impact on margin and others have an impact on delivery metrics.  Which approach is best?  What if you could evaluate the various resolution approaches in a simple view that compared the various scenarios against a set of weighted metrics and targets?  What if each scenario was scored so that you could immediately see which scenario performs best based on the companies goals and objectives?
  • Alignment – Once you’ve decided on a course of action, what if you could share this information across the entire organization ensuring that everyone knows what is expected? What if you could communicate this information back into the ERP system?

To those who have been fighting in the supply chain trenches for years, this probably sounds too good to be true.  Before you get back to work, check out this case study showing how one company has made significant gains in order promising and clear to build assessments.

 

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Posted in Demand management, Inventory management, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), Supply chain collaboration, Supply chain management, Supply chain risk management


CPG companies recognize limitations of planning optimization

Published August 25th, 2011 by Lori Smith 0 Comments

Forgive the self-promotion but we are so proud to have formally announced the RapidResponse deployment at Unicharm today.

Unicharm is the largest manufacturer and distributor of diapers and other consumer sanitary products in Asia. They implemented RapidResponse (replacing existing supply chain planning solutions) so they could move away from the limitations of statistical-based planning systems. With RapidResponse, Unicharm can complete planning calculations in five minutes—a process that previously took 12 hours.

In a news release distributed today, Unicharm said:

“We chose RapidResponse for its unparalleled ability to allow us to effectively manage our supply chain in today’s environment given the urgent and explicit need for supply chain visibility, simulation, and collaboration capabilities.”

It’s so humbling hearing it directly from the customer! Check out what other customers are saying about us in the Executive Perspectives section on Kinaxis TV.

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Posted in General News, Supply chain management


Software vendor/customer relationship: Partnership or not?

Published April 5th, 2011 by Monique Rupert 2 Comments

Many times when software companies are selling to new prospects they speak of forming a partnership between the two companies. But what does that really mean? I had the opportunity to meet with some customers recently and was able to discuss with them what they looked for in a successful software vendor relationship.

Develop mutual trust

The first thing customers want is a good personal relationship and a feeling of mutual trust. I find that the best way to start a successful relationship is to have a face to face meeting at the beginning of working together to define that relationship.  This includes defining a communication plan, who to communicate to, and when. Defining what kind of information will be shared amongst the two parties. But most importantly, develop a personal rapport with the customer.

Listen

Listening is critical. Customers want to work with people who will listen to them.  Listen to them about their business, where it is headed, and how it impacts the use of software. Many times this means that the customer will request enhancements to the software. Most software companies have mechanisms to allow customers to request product enhancements. However, a customer not only wants the ability to request a product enhancement, but also work with the software company on defining use cases to ensure the requirements are met. Most importantly, the software company must provide status of product enhancement requests.  Nothing frustrates a customer more than spending the time to request enhancements but never to hear anything back.  In a true partnership there will be regular communication between the software company and the customer to understand and communicate on product roadmap, customer business needs and how the two can work together to accomplish goals.

Both companies must also listen to each other when they need help. Customers need to feel that if they ask for help that someone will listen. I don’t think they expect they will necessarily get everything they want, but they expect a partner will make every best effort to help them to the best of their ability. If a customer feels like their vendor never responds to any requests for help they will likely look to replace that vendor with one who will help them when required. Conversely, when the software vendor needs help with references or case studies or something to that affect, they should be able to ask their customers for help.

Be flexible

Customers also expect their software vendors to be flexible.  If the relationship isn’t working, be flexible to change the terms. This could be developing relationships with new people at the customer or vendor. It could also mean changing the commercial terms, but really what it means is that customers want the vendor to listen to their problems and adjust the terms to help them. Customers also need to be flexible with the vendor. Occasionally the vendor may need to ask favors of the customer. Customers are much more willing to help the vendor if there is mutual trust and if the vendor has listened and helped the customer in the past.

I do believe software vendors and customers can form true partnerships based on trust and mutual listening. The key is for both parties to work on the relationship and be there for each other when required. What has been your relationship with your software vendors?  What can they do better to help you?  I am always looking for ways to improve relationships and would love to hear your suggestions.

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Posted in Best practices