Posts tagged as 'Supply chain management'

Is S&OP an expensive band aid?

Dr. MadhavDurbha

S&OPI love talking to customers and prospects! Each of these interactions provide me with an opportunity to meet someone new, learn about their business, their challenges, dreams, and aspirations. The topic that often comes up in these conversations is Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP). While S&OP as a discipline has been around for over two decades, it has been generating great interest recently. As much interest as it has generated, based on my conversations, the results from S&OP efforts have been mixed at best. From time to time, I hear comments such as:

  • “My monthly S&OP process takes 6 weeks to execute”
  • “We have this massive excel sheet into which we load all our S&OP data to generate the reports for review. The process to gather the data is time consuming and by the time we present our S&OP to our leadership, the world has moved on and our plans are no longer valid”
  • “We started S&OP as our COO insisted we do it. It is turning out to be a report to him, rather than a tool to run our business”

In fact, this has been such a recurring theme that I decided to share my point of view in this blog. Let me elaborate on what I believe are the reasons behind this disillusionment.

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Ooh, Scary Stuff, Kids. Tales from the Supply Chain Crypt.

TeresaChiykowski

Halloween Supply Chain ManagementWarning: This blog post isn’t for the faint of heart. In fact, I should include a PG-13 rating on it. Just kidding, although, for those involved, the scare factor must’ve been pretty high at times.

Halloween is big business. In fact, National Retail Federation’s annual survey estimates that enthusiastic celebrators will spend an estimated 8.4 billion on Halloween – an all-time high in the survey’s 11-year history. You could say the pressure’s on for retailers to deliver the costumes, treats and decorations demanded by the estimated 171 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities.

But the scary truth is that sometimes retailers can’t deliver. Often, unexpected events such as suppliers failing to deliver, software glitches and even Mother Nature can wreak havoc with even the best supply chains.

On that note, I’d like to share some tales that undoubtedly still “haunt” the parties involved.

The great pumpkin shortage scare

What are Halloween and Thanksgiving without pumpkins?  In October 2015, it was a frightening thought for fans of falls’ favorite flavor. Predictions warned that only those who got to the store weeks before Thanksgiving would find canned pumpkin. A pie-making crisis was inevitable.

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Fishing for Supply Chain: How Red’s Best is Transforming Supply Chain Management

KevinMcGowan

Supply chain managementA recent New York Times article demonstrated that supply chain management innovations can come from some unexpected places. In response to some challenges with provenance on their product, Boston-based seafood distributor Red’s Best created its own software to track where they get their fish, and where it goes once it leaves the warehouse.

This simple idea has transformed fishery end-to-end supply chain management, and other organizations are starting to follow suit. Lovers of fish and other seafood are starting to demand information on what they eat, very similar to other food industries, and that means opportunity is knocking for small fisheries who want to appeal to responsible consumers who are seeking quality product that is caught in a responsible way.

The software developed by Red’s Best removes the need for paperwork. As founder Jared Auerbach says:

“[The fisherman is] putting their catch data directly onto the internet, and our whole staff all over the country can see in real time as fish is being unloaded onto our truck.” This beats the paper-based system, and allows purchasers to track a fish-specific barcode so they know who caught it, where they caught it, and where that fish is going in the supply chain.

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4 Ways Supply Chain Management Has a Higher Purpose

Dr. MadhavDurbha

The Higher Purpose of Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain ManagementMy wife’s phone rang as we were driving home from the restaurant. I turned off the music and the kids had gone quiet as she answered the phone. It was a distraught mother at the other end of the line. She was nervous and was calling about her toddler’s fever that would not go down. My wife talked to her in a calm voice, told her what she needs to do for the night to keep the fever under control, and advised the mother to bring her toddler to the clinic the next morning. With her nervousness abating, the mother profusely thanked her and hung up. As a parent of young children myself, I can very much appreciate the difference a physician, like my wife, makes in the community.

As we reached home, I retired into my study and picked up the Ken Follett thriller where I left off. I was trying to read, but the thought kept running through my head. Yes, both my wife and I are career-minded professionals. We both are in our professions to be successful, make money, and enjoy the pleasures that life has to offer. But is there a higher purpose to what we do?

There certainly is a higher purpose to what my wife is doing. One wellness visit, one infection cured, one disease diagnosed at a time, she is making a difference. The results are very tangible. But what about supply chain management professionals like me? Is there a higher purpose to what we do as executives, consultants, planners, or technology providers? As I pondered upon this topic, the answer turned out to be a resounding yes. Here are few examples of how supply chain management professionals make a difference in the world:

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Poems about Supply Chain Management Software

AlexaCheater

A collection of bad supply chain poems: volume 2

Poems about Supply Chain Management Software After the success of last year’s bad supply chain poems, I’ve decided to resurrect this cringe-worthy tradition in honor of Bad Poetry Day. So sit back, kick your feet up, and prepare to be amazed by the literary talents of the Kinaxis team around today’s supply chain and our supply chain management software.

Dawn of a new supply chain
By Alexa Cheater

Down with Excel,
Let’s turn supply chain planning on its head,
No more hours compiling data in spreadsheets we dread!

It’s time for a new way,
Much better than before,
Where teams work together, instead of in silos or behind closed doors.

The future is now,
And it sure is bright,
Features like adaptive collaboration and concurrent planning mean sleep-filled nights.

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Supply Chain Management Moving Up the Business Ladder

MelissaClow

How to Get Supply Chain Into the Boardroom

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

Supply Chain ManagementOne topic we keep returning to on the Argentus blog is the issue of Supply Chain raising its profile within business. We’ve discussed the emergence of companies hiring Chief Supply Chain Officers, as well as Supply Chain’s ascension into the most high-impact role in business: the CEO function. Suffice it to say that companies around the world – including some of the most relevant and innovative companies – are placing an increased amount of responsibility on the long-undersung function of Supply Chain Management, a function that, until recently, companies saw as a back-office, transactional aspect of business that didn’t have a big role to play in innovation and competitiveness.

No longer. We loved this recent major feature in Supply Chain 24/7 about how far the field has come, as well as how Supply Chain leadership can get more buy-in from executives at their companies.

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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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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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