Posts tagged as 'Supply chain management'

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
  • by Alexa Cheater
  • Published

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
  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

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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Seven Supply Chain Lessons from a Former Walmart CEO

AlexaCheater

Supply Chain Lessons

Inheriting an organization facing one of the toughest retail environments in history, Mike Duke helped Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and biggest private employer, navigate an intense period of economic, social, and technological change while delivering strong financial results. As CEO from 2009 to 2014, he worked to restructure the company and made sure it not only grew, but grew with integrity.

Named one of Forbes top 10 most powerful people in 2013, Duke built his expertise by learning from and interacting with everyone—from world leaders to first time Walmart customers. Coming from a logistics and distribution background, he helped the company enter Africa and grow in China, Latin America, and other markets.

As one of the keynote speakers during Gartner’s Supply Chain Executive Conference, he shared seven important lessons he’s learned over the years. While not directly about supply chain, they can all easily be applied to managing the complexities of this rapidly changing industry.

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Information Overload: Is Too Much Data Crippling Your Supply Chain?

AlexaCheater

Supply Chain - Big DataHow much is too much? That’s the question many supply chain practitioners are asking themselves in this world of big data, where a flood of new information is rapidly becoming readily available. It’s now possible to have more details than ever about your suppliers, customers, and even your own operations.

But there’s this concept of data paralysis—where you have so much data you don’t know what to do with it all—and it could actually be crippling your supply chain. If you don’t have the right tools in place, you could fall victim to this phenomenon.

When trying to determine if you’re suffering from information overload, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Are you focused on quantity or quality?

It’s not about how much data you have, but the quality of that data. Instead of being left with “just a big pile of data” as Richard Cushing puts it in his blog on the Supply Chain Expert Community, make sure what you’re collecting actually adds value and insight into your key business metrics. More data doesn’t automatically mean managing it more effectively. In some case, it can mean the opposite.

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How do you streamline planning for tomorrow’s supply chain?

JohnWesterveld

Planning

What does your planning organization look like? Is it a series of silos? Individual fiefdoms throwing requirements back and forth over the wall? What are they spending their time doing? Are they drudging through the tedious work of placing orders with suppliers? Releasing orders to the factory? How much time are the spending truly adding value to the supply chain and how much time are they spending doing simple, mechanical, yet important activities?

Accenture has just released a white paper titled “Supply chain for a new age” which you can get here. In this paper, the author describes various components of the next generation supply chain and introduces the role of “Network Planners”.

A network planner would have ultimate responsibility for supply chain performance and would oversee all aspects of the supply chain from demand and distribution to detailed component supply for a group of products (a family or region or both).

As you can imagine, traditional supply chain tools and processes would quickly overwhelm any normal human, if they were to try to manage all aspects of the supply chain even for a relatively small set of items. If the network planner is to be realized, as Accenture points out, we need to have a way of automating the basic tasks and allowing the planner to focus on making key decisions and managing the significant exceptions.

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