Posts Tagged ‘RapidResponse’

An Open Confession – Please Don’t Fire Me, I Promise to Learn Laugh Share and Connect on the Supply Chain Expert Community

Published August 14th, 2014 by Bill DuBois 0 Comments

Before I start let me confess something. I am not a social media guy. I only go on Facebook to see my latest invitations to play Candy Crush and I still think a Twitter is 3 hits away from a no-hitter. However the idea of an online community seemed a bit more appealing since it was all about a group of people with a common interest sharing information on that topic. Obviously one community I pay attention to is the Supply Chain Expert community powered by Kinaxis. That leads me to the second part of my confession. I haven’t been on the community for a little while. Recently I was doing a demonstration of the Dashboard capabilities in RapidResponse. One participant asked about authoring Dashboards and I suggested they visit the Supply Chain Expert Community to check out a short video on authoring dashboards. The third part of my confession is that I had not seen the video for myself. I knew it was there but after making the recommendation I thought I should see it firsthand. The final part of my confession is that I had been taking the content of the community for granted.

The first thing I took for granted is that anyone can get to the dozens of training videos, for free, without having to be a Kinaxis customer. The video I suggested on authoring Dashboards was only one of many. If you look at the 6 menu items below, 5 are open to anyone. Only the support is closed to customers because it deals with specific customer data and use cases.

supply chain expert community header

If you look at the Content section you’ll see everything from ways to better utilize RapidRepsonse to information of key Supply Chain topics and strategies. Sorry, it’s lacking a bit on motivational quotes and links to the latest celebrity wardrobe malfunctions. Notice I’m only in as a guest and still have access to everything from blog posts, discussions and videos.

supply chain expert community content

Next you can see who is participating. This group includes RapidResponse users, Kinaxis customers along with Supply Chain Analysts, consultants and many people just looking to learn more about Supply Chain.

Places and the Supply Chain Hub easily take you to some of the most popular and informative places in the community. One of those places is the Just for Laughs section which includes the most popular Supply Chain show in western Ottawa, the Late Late Supply Chain Show. Some people say it was just a way I could  get free Coronas but it was really a group of employees that wanted to shed light on a vital part of any organization and the opportunities available to radically change the way we manage Supply Chains…while drinking beer.

supply chain expert community places

The RapidResponse section is a goldmine of information for all users and anyone interested in getting into the details of the new generation of Supply Chain tools and processes. I still can’t believe this section isn’t locked down to customers but the Kinaxis team feels that more participation will lead to faster breakthroughs and stronger Supply Chains for their customers.

supply chain expert community RapidResponse

There you have it. The truth will set you free, I feel much better after my confession. So go check out the community or drop me a comment to see if I got fired for my lack of social media savvy.

 

Posted in General News, Supply chain collaboration, Supply chain comedy, Supply chain management


Part 2: My thoughts on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning System of Record

Published April 17th, 2014 by Trevor Miles @milesahead 0 Comments

I was recently asked three questions on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning System of Record. As I said last week, I want to share these videos with our readers.

The three questions I was asked were:

  1. What do you think of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for supply chain planning system of record?
  2. In your opinion, how does RapidResponse differentiate itself as a supply chain planning system of record?
  3. From your experience, what is the level of understanding of planning systems of record in the market?

Here’s my response to question #2 (if you haven’t checked out my response to question #1, you may want to view that first).

Hope you enjoy!

In your opinion, how does RapidResponse differentiate itself as a supply chain planning System of Record?


 

You can also check out my responses to question #3 as well:

 
The report positions vendors based on completeness of vision in the supply chain planning system of record market and on their ability to execute to that vision. If you’re interested in reading the full report, the Gartner document is available upon request at http://kinax.is/Gartner.

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


My thoughts on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning System of Record – A video blog

Published April 11th, 2014 by Trevor Miles @milesahead 0 Comments

I was recently asked three questions on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning System of Record. The three questions I was asked were:

  1. What do you think of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning System of Record?
  2. In your opinion, how does RapidResponse differentiate itself as a supply chain planning System of Record?
  3. From your experience, what is the level of understanding of planning systems of record in the market?

My answers were recorded and I thought I would share these videos with our readers… here is the first one. Hope you enjoy!

What do you think of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning System of Record?

You can check out my responses to question 2 and 3 as well:

The report positions vendors based on completeness of vision in the supply chain planning system of record market and on their ability to execute to that vision. If you’re interested in reading the full report, the Gartner document is available upon request at http://kinax.is/Gartner.

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Posted in Milesahead, Supply chain management


On the road again! LogiPharma Europe – April 8-9, 2014

Published March 25th, 2014 by Alissa Hurley 0 Comments
_Trevor Miles

Trevor Miles, vice president of thought leadership and industry principle, life sciences

We’re excited to be participating in LogiPharma Europe 2014 in Basel, Switzerland!

This year’s conference is focused on Supply Chain as a Customer Centric Function.

Join us for a roundtable discussion on April 8th on how to leverage the cloud to achieve true innovation in supply chain management. And, on April 9th, Trevor Miles is leading a session entitled Continuous S&OP – Breaking the Mold. In this session, he will discuss how business and technology has changed tremendously in the thirty years since S&OP was first defined, enabling much more proficient and integrated S&OP processes. Trevor will describe how companies are breaking the traditional S&OP mold from both a process and technology perspective.

During the conference follow hashtag #LogiPharma  and stop by the Kinaxis booth #21 to meet with the team and learn more about how Kinaxis has helped life science companies adopt process improvements and technology targeted at removing business “silos,” improving collaboration, and achieving significant operations performance breakthroughs. Find out more about RapidResponse for life sciences at: http://kinax.is/pharm.

More about the conference:
LogiPharma is the ONLY VP-level, end-to-end supply chain event for life science professionals, focusing on strategic and tactical improvements for Europe & the rest of the world. It caters to professionals from across the spectrum of innovative pharma, generics, animal health as well as bio tech companies, tackling the most relevant, pressing challenges and opportunities present in the industry

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Posted in General News, Milesahead, Pharma and life sciences supply chain management, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), Supply chain collaboration, Supply chain management


How do you collaborate? A look at supplier collaboration

Published November 21st, 2013 by Nazli Erdogus 9 Comments

I love to get my hands on new devices and applications that can be used in the workplace. With so much access to technology today that allows workers to be in constant contact with colleagues, you would think that collaboration would be easier than ever. But, recently, I read an article arguing that there is increasing demand for more face-to-face communication in organizations. Of course, face time with colleagues is not always possible for businesses for multiple reasons, including time constraints and the high cost of travel.

According to a survey of over 1,000 U.S. employees, conducted by Kelton Global, people were asked how they prefer to collaborate and surprisingly 72% of respondents answered in person, 23% answered online and 5% answered via phone or video conference. In addition, nearly two in five employed Americans feel there is not enough collaboration in their workplace. There definitely seems to be a gap here. So while reading these articles, I said to myself – wait a minute, I know that we can help facilitate better collaboration in the workplace, as least for supply chain professionals!

This research takes me to our annual user conference, Kinexions, which was held a few weeks ago in Scottsdale, Arizona where our customers, partners and prospects got together to hear about recent developments in RapidResponse and our customers shared their stories of successful RapidResponse deployments. We also had something unique at this conference: we were able to show ‘supplier collaboration’ in RapidResponse. This feature enables an efficient and effective process between buyers and suppliers. Using RapidResponse, enterprises have direct supplier interaction with automated B2B data exchanges for a number of different situations.

At our conference, we were eager to present the power of supplier collaboration by adding another element to it.  We showed an integrated demonstration between RapidResponse and the GT Nexus portal. We received positive interest and valuable feedback from industry analysts, customers and prospects telling us how powerful and intuitive this approach is.

The demonstration pointed out a combined solution using the RapidResponse client and GT Nexus portal where suppliers and buyers sense, evaluate, decide and act upon a supply disruption. This integrated solution displays unique capabilities including multi-enterprise visibility, immediate simulations to enact on changes, and coordinated multi-party responses.

The ability to connect with the GT Nexus portal enables the supplier to sense the real-time data across a multi-enterprise level, feed this update to RapidResponse, and let RapidResponse do its magic in re-planning and scenario analysis. The scenario comparison uses a number of business metrics and enables the decision maker to analyze the comparison on financial impacts. Then, it’s time for GT Nexus to be fed back with the analyzed data for action.

This initiative serves a broad interaction between suppliers, buyers and even a possible additional tier of suppliers involved in the supply chain. We know that  letting a supplier have access to RapidResponse to commit to requested dates and quantities is beneficial to improve the flexibility of your supply chain and the profitability of your enterprise. We’re now adding some cream on top of it.

So, what’s next? The big thing is that we are not only collaborating with the supplier, but also letting suppliers to sense changes and the opportunity to make respective changes. With this in mind, we can also say what’s next could be preventing disruptions in your supply chain before they happen. Imagine a world where you can sense the disruption coming by identifying limits through your confidence intervals, looking at important metrics that perform a negative trend, and be able to respond to that as a preventive action. That definitely sounds like the next chapter.

It seems safe to say this integration would definitely bring more than enough collaboration in supply chain platforms to answer the need for more collaboration across different teams, thus enabling companies to do a better job of providing applications that encourage collaboration.

Collaboration is important and we definitely take it seriously.

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


It’s OK To Be Wrong (In A Simulation)

Published October 15th, 2013 by Bill DuBois 1 Comment

“If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” – Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson is a world leading speaker on the topics of developing creativity, innovation and human resources in both education and business. His talks at the prestigious TED Conference have been viewed more than 25 million times all over the world. I was watching some of Sir Ken’s videos in preparation for his talk at my company’s upcoming Kinexions conference, and his take on creativity and finding your passion was truly inspiring.

Robinson likes to examine the inner workings of creative thinking. He compares mathematicians’ approach to solving problems in formulas to the way musicians hear a symphony when they see notes on a page. Scientists and chemists make many mistakes in their creative process before they find a solution or cure. In these situations, being wrong doesn’t mean failure, it means understanding what doesn’t work. Of course my thoughts then turned to the supply chain. We’re certainly a different group, facing unique challenges. There is no room for error; we’re either right or wrong, and there is no time to “try things” in the middle of executing on your plans to get your products to your customers.

Traditionally, supply chain has been reactive in nature. You plan, execute, and when something changes, you react to course correct as best you can. That doesn’t mean supply chain practitioners haven’t thought about being proactive. Lean experts are certainly the role models for creativity when it comes to eliminating waste and driving value to the customer.. It’s just that in general, we don’t have the time or the tools that allow for split second decision support when disruptions hit us. Unlike scientists in a lab who have time to experiment, buyers, planners, and operations must do what they think is best in a time of crisis. If you need an answer now but the tools you use for analysis and comparison of possible resolutions takes hours, days or in some cases weeks, then you find yourself waiting for the wrong answer and doing what feels right.

In thinking about the role of creativity in the supply chain and responding to change, you could say we’re more like the doctor operating on a patient in critical condition that has to respond to a surprise on the operating table. They need to respond in a way that’s timely and still leaves the patient with an opportunity to heal 100%. With today’s technologies, doctors have all the tools they need to respond like scopes, x-rays, and hi-tech testing and diagnostic equipment. Similarly, supply chain professionals must respond in time to make a difference, efficiently and profitably. There are dozens of situations that would benefit from some creative thought: How do you best allocate limited supply? What customers do you satisfy first? What demands would drive the most revenue for the quarter? Is it better to expedite, use a substitute or transfer inventory? What’s the impact of altering an engineering change on excess and shortages?

We may be creative supply chain professionals, but like doctors, we could benefit from some updated tools that enable creativity and better decision making. In supply chain environments, a simulation tool that allows you to test and experiment within seconds can be an invaluable addition to the toolbox. When responding in your execution or ERP system, you usually get one chance. If you’re wrong, that failure takes on the form of expedites, shortages, excess, or missed goals on revenue, margin, inventory and delivery targets. If you’re wrong in your simulation tool, this means you know what doesn’t work. Simulation equals knowledge. Simulation also gives you the opportunity to get creative with your problem solving efforts. Perhaps testing a solution that may not be obvious but drives the most profitable response can be validated through simulating and comparing it to the alternatives.

Most people don’t often think of creativity when talking supply chain. Still, we are continually thinking about how to best manage change. Any situation that requires problem solving will only benefit from people who have the freedom to ask questions and understand what answers are the best for their company. A number of analysts agree that simulation, scenario management and consequence evaluation, and alerting will take supply chain processes to the next level of breakthrough performance.

What do you think? We would look forward to hearing any of your creative solutions to traditional Supply Chain challenges. And if you’re looking for inspiration, check out some of Sir Ken Robinson’s talks.

 

Posted in Supply chain management


An S&OP Barrier: Understanding material needs/availability across projects

Published August 19th, 2013 by Dan Nowicki 0 Comments

An S&OP Barrier: Understanding material needs/availability across projects

I recently read the blog ‘Have you crossed a silo lately’ revealing how organizational silos continue to hinder implementing S&OP.  Eliminating roadblocks isn’t easy and is multifaceted.  Once some of the tough questions suggested in the article are asked and answered, barriers can be eliminated one by one.

One such silo that hinders an S&OP implementation may be found in project centric environments where two conditions exist (Aerospace is one such environment these conditions can be found).

  1. Multiple projects require common material/sub-assemblies from the same facility(ies).
  2. Shared common materials and assemblies are expensive and/or have long lead times.

Such an environment can lead to unhealthy competition between project managers for materials/sub-assemblies needed to support their projects.  To mitigate this, material/sub-assemblies that typically meet requirements to be configured as “Common” stock are often configured as “Project” stock instead.  This simplifies financial reporting within projects and enables material planning within project silos.  Unfortunately, it also reduces the motivation to communicate across project lines and can lead to unnecessary project material surpluses and delays since ERP engines commonly don’t look for materials across project boundaries.

How does one eliminate this S&OP roadblock?

The key is to automate evaluation of material availability across projects for material not configured as ‘Common’ stock.  This evaluation must become part of standard daily practice and occur as spot checks within the formal S&OP process as a final check.  In most systems, such evaluation can be performed but it’s often a time consuming manual process.  To evaluate cross-project supply and demand you need the equivalent of a mini MRP check for components that would otherwise be silo planned within their ‘Project’ (within their ‘Pool’ in RapidResponse terms).  This cross-project material availability evaluation should be an automated daily task (requiring no planning analyst labor).  The output could be a warning if opportunities to improve project schedules or reduce/eliminate surplus material exist by re-assigning inventory/Orders/WIP to another project.  In RapidResponse, this would be facilitated through the use of a daily alert based on a special cross-project evaluation resource built to meet the customer needs.

With such a strategy, the key question arises, “How automated (if at all automated) should the decision to act on such an alert be?”  At one end of the spectrum is a primarily manual process.  An alert that project A needs material from project B to meet schedule is generated.  The analyst would then review the situation (through the use of a simulation scenario in RapidResponse) identifying positive/negative impact on both projects and request sign off on desired manual transfers of inventory/Orders/WIP across project groups.  In an automated solution, specific conditions could be defined where Inventory/Orders/WIP would automatically be re-assigned from one project to another to minimize analyst evaluation time.  Requirements for auto-transfer of inventory/WIP/Orders across projects could be set up with a wide variety of conditions to meet customer needs.  Examples could include allowing automatic transfers only if……

  1. The surplus material in project A to be auto-moved to project B is less than x dollars. Or
  2. Project A inventory/WIP/Orders re-assigned to meet project B needs can be replaced within existing system lead times +20% to meet the next scheduled project A demand for the part.

There are a whole  host of possibilities/conditions that can be identified and built.

As further food for thought, one could go one step further in the S&OP process evolution and directly link Project Management activities with the supply chain to see the immediate impact of proposed re-assignment of inventory/WIP/Orders project task schedules further down the project chain.

For more information on RapidResponse Integrated Project Management, check out this blog by Andrew Bell entitled: First Solar Shines the Light on Integrated Project Management

…or a few of my past posts:
Another Link In The Chain: Using Project Management to Drive the Supply Chain
Another Link In The Chain: Connecting Project Management to the Supply Chain

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Posted in Response Management, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), 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