Posts Tagged ‘Manufacturing’

Revolutionize Your Supply Chain for $2.99

Published February 4th, 2014 by Bill DuBois 0 Comments

I’m fortunate to work with a group whose primarily objective is to learn about your business, in particular about your supply chain. As a group we’ve conducted discovery sessions for literally hundreds of companies. In many cases the discovery sessions ultimately lead to supply chain improvements that resulted in millions of dollars’ worth of value, new business, excited customers, reduced costs and even promotions among the supply chain group.

These discovery sessions can be challenging. Many times it feels like a war as there are barrages of questions launched at the participants. Much like a doctor you have to ensure you’re asking the right questions and hope your audience can articulate their complex problems in a manner that you can digest them. It may or may not include all stakeholders. Multiple sessions sometimes have to happen to ensure all inputs are gathered. The struggle then becomes making sense of the pages of notes and then confirming that you’ve got it right. Often when confirming you’re findings you’ve missed something in the translation so getting it right can often take some time. Recently a colleague of mine, Carol, took a different approach to discovery. Let’s call it the “Post-It Note Revolution”. Calling it “Value Stream Mapping” was already taken.

Before I continue, many Lean-Six Sigma practitioners will say this is nothing new and I’ll be the first to agree. The Lean folks have been doing this for years. Unfortunately, at least in Supply Chain, what we’ve observed in the hundreds of discovery sessions we’ve conducted is that lean tools for process improvement aren’t as widely used as one would hope or expect. So for approximately $2.99, the price of a package of post it notes, Carol lead a collaborative session involving all stakeholders where they were able to easily map out the current state of key supply chain processes. A highlight was the visual of the finished “post-it note” process which leant itself to consensus on the current state. Process owners used the post-it notes to document each step along with identifying obvious opportunities for improvement. Every single person in the room had their say and an opportunity to provide input. Carol used some specific “lean brainstorming” techniques to ensure that happened. The visual representation made it easier for the owners to map the processes and much easier for Carol to learn about their business and understand where to take them in the next steps of improving their supply chain.

Identifying the problem in a clear, concise method is half the battle. For $2.99 this company is on its way to making a substantial difference in their supply chain. I’m sure the Lean folks reading this are rolling their eyes at us in Supply Chain but better late than never. There are tons of great Lean improvement tools to identifying and reducing waste, typically associated with manufacturing but other groups including Supply Chain should not forget about them. Just imagine adding millions of dollars’ worth of value to your Supply Chain for only $2.99.

Do you have any improvements you’ve made in your Supply Chain using Lean tools and methods? Would you like to experience the “Post-It Note Revolution”? Let us know.

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Posted in Miscellanea


Jake Barr: The evolution of CPG companies and their supply chains

Published August 23rd, 2013 by Melissa Clow 1 Comment

Recently, we had the privilege of recording three interviews with Jake Barr. In our first video, The evolution of CPG companies and their supply chains, Jake discusses industry dynamics and how supply chains (and the respective technologies to support the supply chain) have changed over the past 10 years. He describes it as “the perfect storm”.  As a result, the need for speed and depth of decision making has dramatically increased.  There has been a drastic time compression in having to react to the marketplace, and that requires a different technology architecture.

In Part 1: An executive’s perspective: The evolution of CPG companies and their supply chains, Jake Barr explores the following questions:

  • How have consumer packaged goods companies changed in the last ten years?
  • How has supply chain management changed for consumer packaged goods companies?
  • How has supply chain management technology changed for consumer packaged goods companies?

Jake, a 32-year employee of the Procter & Gamble Company, directed the Global Supply Network Design efforts for the Company, in addition to being the discipline Director for Supply Network Operations. So, as a former practitioner, he has a lot of insight to share.

… please check it out!

 

Notable quotes:

“The speed of which they need to make business decisions today versus ten years ago is dramatically different. It can be measured in a clock speed of minutes and hours versus days and weeks. You no longer have the luxury of buffering with cash and people. Extra people to make decisions or to catch up for mistakes that you make. So the thing that has dramatically changed is in that time compression of the need to react to what’s going on in the marketplace. So if you are not able to make those business decisions faster, you literally become a victim of a circumstance.”

“Today the ability to lay over decision-making processes that aren’t infrastructure based, that can bring pieces of operational data about your current performance, right now, just in time and make it visible in a very tangible and simple way for executives to make not only decisions about today but pre-emptive decisions about where they want to the operation to run tomorrow and the week after that. That would not have been possible ten years. It is radically possible today.”

 

Happy Friday 21st Century Supply Chain readers!

 

p.s. stay tuned for more in this series…

Part 2: Supply chain transformations: Going after game changing change

Part 3: Insights for today’s business leaders

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


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


Five Supply Chain Definitions Every Industry Professional Should Know (Part 1)

Published August 6th, 2013 by Lori Smith 1 Comment

Here at Kinaxis we love our lists … Top 10 this, Top 5 that… so when Lora agreed to do a Q&A post with us, it was natural for it to take the form of a list.  Since starting Supply Chain Insights Lora has educated and promoted with great heart and vigor some key concepts that will bring supply chain practices (and corporate practices in general) forward.  Here are 5 distinguishing themes we’ve asked her to define.  (It’s no easy task to distill these sophisticated concepts down to a few lines. Thankfully, Lora was up for the challenge!)

1. The Supply Chain Effective Frontier – I have to admit, I keep hearing the Star Trek intro every time I come across this term ;)   I see this as the overall basis of Supply Chain Insights’ work, born out of your book, Bricks Matter.  Much of what you talk about is inherent to the goal of conquering the supply chain effective frontier.  Is that accurate?  Ultimately, what is that frontier?

Thanks Lori. I appreciate the opportunity to share with Kinaxis readers. 

The concept of the Supply Chain Effective Frontier is based on two years of research. It is founded in three belief statements:

  1. Each Supply Chain has a Different Potential. I feel that it is the role of the supply chain leader to help the organization maximize its potential. The supply chain is a complex system and these changes require careful design and system thinking. 
  2. Supply Chain Leaders need to help Organizations make the Right Trade-offs against the Business Strategy.  This requires balance between growth, profitability, cycles (cash-to-cash and inventory) and complexity. The trade-offs need to be conscious against the business strategy. Over the last decade, supply chains have increased in complexity without increasing the potential of the supply chain to absorb this complexity to drive balance in the other metrics.  As a result, I believe that most organizations are unconsciously operating on the Effective Frontier of supply chain performance.
  3. Supply Chain is not a Function. It is an End-to-End Process. Leadership is Needed to Drive Improvements. I define supply chain excellence as making year-over-year performance against business goals from the customer’s customer to the supplier’s supplier. Over the last year, at Supply Chain Insights, we have been mapping company performance and capabilities to make these trade-offs. What I find is that only 1-3% of companies have made consistent year-over-year improvements in both operating margin and inventory cycles. I also see ‘wild swings’ in the performance and backward movement in more companies than I ever expected. I feel that many companies have not held themselves accountable to balance sheet performance. Instead, they have viewed company performance or improvements on projects.

2. Outside-in Supply Chain Processes – To steal a line you’ve used, you have to “blow up” current supply chain architectures in order to establish new practices in support of the effective frontier.  Much of that lies in orienting organizations with an outside-in mentality.  What exactly does that mean?

Today’s software systems are designed inside out. The center of the supply chain is stronger than the ends. The traditional applications of CRM and SRM are inadequate. The systems need to be redesigned to enable the building of the end-to-end supply chain.

The traditional technologies catch orders and shipments and then translate the demand to the functions. There are three fallacies in this design.

  1. Order Latency: Orders carry latency of weeks and months. The longer the tail of the product portfolio or the more complex the channel, the greater the latency with the order and the more issues companies will have with meeting customer service requirements. The goal is to turn the supply chain outside in to respond to channel demand or usage with minimal latency.
  2. No Place for New Data Types. Demand and supply sensing that enables a better response is very dependent on unstructured data, maps and sensor data. There is no place to put this data in traditional architectures.
  3. Business Models. The original architectures were designed to predict what companies should make, not what they will sell.  As a result, the architectures are very “push-based” with no place for unique solutions like yours to fit into the architectures. You have been fighting these issues for the ten years that I have been covering your applications.

3. Supply Chain Trade-Offs - So the effective frontier is about making the right trade-offs for the end to end network – ultimately, it’s about being able to make profitable decisions for the enterprise.  Can you define for us further the concept of trade-offs: the elements, considerations and capabilities?

The trade-offs are costs, growth, cycles (inventory and cash-to-cash) and complexity. The concept is that each supply chain has a unique potential. And that the goal is manage the supply chain as a complex system to improve the company’s ability to improve the response.

(Conversation continued tomorrow)

Global Supply Chain Insights Summit

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


New Supply Chain Insights Report: Three Techniques to Improve Organization Alignment

Published July 30th, 2013 by Lori Smith 1 Comment

lora cecere's supply chain insights organizational alignmentWe wanted to share a recent report by Supply Chain Insights LLC entitled, “Three Techniques to Improve Organization Alignment“. This complimentary paper explores how supply chain practices can improve organizational alignment and corporate performance courtesy of Lora Cecere of Supply Chain Insights LLC.

Paper Highlights

When teams are aligned, insight to action is quicker, and greater results ensue. However, organizational alignment is easier said than done. Functions have matured in silos.

The goal of this report is to help companies change and improve alignment to build end-to-end value chains. This study found that when companies do three things, and focus on doing them well, they can substantially improve organizational alignment. Find out what those three things are…

DOWNLOAD NOW

If you like the work that Supply Chain Insights does, make sure to check out their upcoming Global Summit — a  focused event with deep content and extensive networking— taking place in September at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ. As one of the conference sponsors, we hope to see you there!

And feel free to check out other third-party research reports offered in the Kinaxis resource center.

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


Visibility, Agility, and Alignment – 3 capabilities powering the modern supply chain

Published April 3rd, 2013 by Trevor Miles @milesahead 0 Comments

Over the last 20 years there has been a huge shift in Operations toward outsourcing, lead primarily by High-Tech/Electronics. This, coupled with rapid globalization not only into emerging markets, but into other developed economies too, has led to very extended and dispersed supply chains, often with competing objectives and region-specific product portfolios. While this is a well discussed topic, the diagrams below bring home the extent of the outsourcing and globalization through foreign direct investment. In 2009, the amount of foreign direct investment exceeded the inward investment by $1.2T, which is the equivalent of 7.5 Apples, 26 Ciscos, or 68 Bristol-Myers Squibbs. In other words there was a huge amount of globalization taking place worldwide. The extent of the outsourcing can be seen in the Developing Economies’ values, where the net inward investment was $2.2T in 2009 alone.

Alignment

US Federal Reserve, Offshoring Bias in U.S. Manufacturing: Implications for Productivity and Value Added, Susan N. Houseman, Christopher J. Kurz, Paul Lengermann, Benjamin R. Mandel, Sept 2012 (page 71)

 

US Congress, “Outsourcing and Insourcing Jobs in the US Economy: Evidence Based upon Foreign Investment Data”, May 10, 2012 (page 9)

One of the major consequences of both outsourcing/off-shoring and globalization is a loss of visibility to global operations, and therefore a loss of control and confidence. Many companies are desperate to regain control through visibility and alignment across functions and across trading partners. While getting back to the level of control companies had over vertically integrated companies operating locally is never going to return, at least with visibility, agility, and alignment, companies can know sooner about potential risks and opportunities, and act faster to reduce the risk or capture as much of the opportunity as possible.

Alignment is key to achieving this level of operational maturity. So I am happy that Supply Chain Insights LLC is conducting a survey on Supply Chain Alignment. This survey hopes to find out how organizations align functions (sales, marketing, finance, information technology, source, make and deliver) to realize their supply chain strategy. They are also looking to learn, ‘How well do they work together to drive opportunity?’ and ‘which pieces of the organization are better aligned?’ Of course this applies equally to vertically integrated or highly outsourced supply chains.  The issue remains the same: How to best coordinate demand satisfaction in a profitable manner across the globe.

The objective of this survey is to understand how different groups within manufacturing companies view their supply chain agility, team alignment and performance against functional goals. The bonus is that if you participate, Supply Chain Insights will give you an hour and share the results freely, while of course keeping you data confidential.

You can participate in this study by clicking on this link.

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


How Do Organizations Align Functions? A Supply Chain Alignment Questionnaire

Published March 27th, 2013 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

FunctionsHave you ever wondered, ‘How do organizations align functions? We have! So, we wanted to share the opportunity to participate in a survey, which is being conducted by Supply Chain Insights LLC examining Supply Chain Alignment.

This survey hopes to find out how organizations align functions (sales, marketing, finance, information technology, source, make and deliver) to actualize the supply chain strategy. They are also looking to learn, ‘How well do they work together to drive opportunity?’ and ‘which pieces of the organization are better aligned?’

And, if you decide to participate, they keep your answers confidential. But, Supply Chain Insights will give you an hour and share the data freely. Join this study to find the results!

Objective:

The objective of this survey is to understand how different groups within manufacturing companies view their supply chain agility, team alignment and performance against functional goals.

The scope of the survey:

  • This survey is targeted at manufacturing companies.
  • Your trust is important to us: all responses will be kept anonymous and only reported in aggregate.
  • If you take the survey, we will share the results with you, helping you to benchmark your company against your peers.
  • Supply Chain Insights is offering all participants a personalized, one-hour phone call to review the results with you.

Interested in participating? Take the survey!

Feel free to invite your colleagues to take this study too.

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