Posts Tagged ‘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

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Posted in Milesahead, Supply chain management

7 Life Sciences Supply Chain Processes That Require an Integrated Approach

Published April 7th, 2014 by Trevor Miles @milesahead 0 Comments

The emerging or intensifying industry dynamics that I discussed in an earlier blog post, along with significant shifts in strategy, are having a direct and material impact on the way Life Sciences supply chains must operate. The compounded effect of a host of complexity drivers is creating the need for supply chain transformation. By satisfying the following seven supply chain processes in an integrated manner, Life Sciences teams will be better equipped for success in today’s new, complex world.

  1. Collaborative launch management – clinical, regulatory and commercial
  2. Jurisdictional control to respect regulatory needs during planning
  3. Consensus demand planning across affiliates and countries
  4. Risk evaluation and recovery to deal with shortages and FDA shutdowns
  5. Shortage analysis and reporting for FDASIA compliance
  6. Supply and capacity planning to balance demand across regions
  7. Expiry management to balance long supply lead times and shifting demand

Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.

Coordinated Launches

The effective launch of a new product is critically important in any industry, but it is of particular importance in the Life Sciences industry given the long time it takes to bring a new drug to market from discovery through clinical trials and commercialization, with regulatory oversight and conformance throughout the process. When the ‘long tail’ trend is coupled with shorter patent protection, the margin and market captured during the early launch period will be crucial to the recovery of the R&D investment, and thus the pressure to streamline and coordinate clinical trials and the regulatory process with the commercial launch has become intense.

Revenue Trends throughout the Product Life Cycle

phamacutical supply chain graph

Jurisdictional Control

In addition, mandates by regulatory bodies require jurisdictional control of demand satisfaction to account for third country sourcing, validation, and shelf life requirements, amongst others. This requires sophisticated attribute based planning to link demand characteristics to supply characteristics while simultaneously analyzing and reducing expiry risk, especially when inventory postponement strategies are used.

Consensus Demand Planning

For tax, legal, and regulatory reasons, many Life Sciences companies establish semi-independent sales affiliates or subsidiaries in some jurisdictions or sell through third parties. Creating a consensus demand plan across all the affiliates and subsidiaries is not a trivial task. Often, each demand region will forecast in different units (doses, standard packs, grams of API, etc.); almost always in different currencies; at a different cadence (quarterly, monthly, weekly); and over different time horizons. However, manufacturing needs to create a single forecast using a consistent unit of measure so that they can net the demand against available supply and determine future manufacturing capacity needs. To make matters worse, the affiliates are often less than fully transparent about their on-hand inventory.

Risk Evaluation and Recovery (including Shortage Analysis and Reporting)

Current technical architectures do not provide the capabilities needed to address new requirements under FDASIA ̶ reporting obligations for drug shortage issues and more active inspection of production facilities for instance. Information flow is typically limited to EDI exchanges with little or no ability to understand, for example, the impact of an API supply de-commit on future treatment —drug or device— availability in a regulatory region. To do this, Life Sciences companies will require much greater visibility and what-if scenario capabilities to both inspect and affect the global supply chain across Third Party Operators and into the supply base.

Tender Analysis and Management

Many manufacturers lack the required process standardization in manufacturing, inventory and expiry management, and other core business disciplines to make the required trade-offs during tender analysis between demand satisfaction, expiry risk, and constrained capacity utilization, ultimately leading to effective supply and capacity planning to balance demand across regions. Collaboration across the players in the supply chain is often insufficient and inefficient to achieve these tradeoffs. Given the harsh penalties imposed for non-conformance, being able to make the trade-offs to maintain profitability span the life cycle of the tender, not simply the tender acquisition phase.

Expiry Management

Streamlining manufacturing and distribution processes in order to satisfy demand while reducing unit cost is therefore becoming increasingly important in order to maintain profitability, reduce inventories and enhancing competitiveness within the industry. This is especially true given the long manufacturing lead times, often as long as 12-18 months in bio-pharmaceuticals, which lead to the need for expiry risk and stop sell analysis capabilities to balance effective demand satisfaction with efficient capacity utilization.

A New Technology Paradigm for a New World

phamacutical supply chain graph #5Legacy demand planning and supply chain planning systems were not designed for today’s complexities, and consequently don’t meet the many challenges that have emerged. As a result, Life Sciences companies are adopting process improvements and new technologies targeted at removing business “silos,” improving collaboration, and increasing productivity.

For a true breakthrough, you need an integrated solution. People must be able to leverage a single system with one set of data, supported by comprehensive analysis and decision-making capabilities, no matter what the process or the problem.

To keep a finger on the pulse of the supply chain, today’s solutions must:

  • Embrace the reality that today’s supply chains are multi-enterprise in nature and, thus, must provide comprehensive visibility into the extended supply chain to regain an understanding of the manufacturing commitments and inventory positions throughout the supply network. Visibility is an essential pre-requisite for effective orchestration of the business.
  • Proactively bring to light major variances to plan, identifying not only specific events, but also identifying and quantifying the consequences to customer service, revenue, margin, and a number of other financial and operations metrics, and thereby flagging those that could do most harm to the business.
  • Arm decision-makers with scenario simulation capabilities for risk trade-off and response, to model and compare situations quickly and appropriately to ensure a profitable response is put into action. And it must facilitate and incorporate human judgment, since many of the decision requirements are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to capture in a mathematical model — the foundation of an optimization system.
  • Foster collaboration for team-based decisions that tap the collective insight of the right people in the organization — those that understand the potential impact of any event and proposed action alternatives.


Posted in Best practices, Demand management, Milesahead, Pharma and life sciences supply chain management, 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:

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

The Gender Divide in Supply Chain – 3 Questions That May Show We Are Looking at the Wrong Issue

Published March 5th, 2014 by Trevor Miles @milesahead 3 Comments

I like to think of myself as a champion for women in all walks of life. And in terms of the supply chain, I believe there are female characteristics that we can and should leverage a lot more, specifically their more collaborative and consensual approach to solving problems. Of course I understand that these are generalizations. Prejudice is devaluing characteristics particular to one group, and assuming that a particular member of a group conforms to the broad generalizations about that group. I hope I do neither.The Gender Divide in Supply Chain

Why do I write about this topic now? Well, it is International Women’s Day for one, but it is also a topic I have written about before when commenting on the HSBC ‘Thank Heaven for Little Girls’ campaign and on a panel about women in supply chain at a John Gattorna conference in Singapore.

Here are some links to other resources for International Women’s Day:

If we understood and valued more the right skills needed in today’s environment, would that naturally translate to more women in the supply chain?

In addition, we sponsored a day during the recent SCM World Live conference devoted to the topic of women in the supply chain. Kevin O’Marah wrote a summary of the day titled ‘Women in supply chain: a bias for action’ in which he comments that his key take-aways from the day were the need for:

  • Quotas
  • Systemic support
  • Structural support
  • Advocacy
  • Fill the front end of the pipeline
  • Look laterally for talentgender divide in supply chain infographic
As you can imagine, this list generated quite a lot of debate, particularly the questions of quotas. Christina De Luca, VP of Procurement and Supply Chain for BP, was very articulate in stating that the quotas of the 1970s, when she started working, were wrong in that all they looked at was filling a certain number of positions with women. In Christina’s view the characteristics that we look for and the criteria we use to select people has to change because these have been skewed towards men. Her view, with which I agree, is that, when compared with the 1970s, or even the 1990s, business is now operating in a much more volatile world. And it’s not going to change. To quote her from the session:

That predictable, stable world which allowed us to make decisions in isolation, hierarchically, is gone.

It requires a way of working, a skill set that is completely different. We need to talk with and collaborate with colleagues and competitors.

I agree whole heartedly. As Kevin Shriver of Land O’Lakes said on a panel, if more than 50% of the population is women and less than 20% of the people in senior supply chain positions are women, then by default we cannot be hiring the most talented people.  This gets us back to the issue of the characteristics that we look for and the criteria we use to select people.

By a show of hands in the room at the SCM World Live event, a very clear majority of the women, which by definition are women who have risen to high positions in a company, had husbands who had stayed at home with the children so that these women could devote the time to climb the corporate ladder.   On a personal note, my wife and I made a more traditional decision, so, given that I am married to a very bright and capable woman, I am more concerned by the reintroduction of women into the workforce after an absence for child rearing, be that 1 year or 18 years. I asked a few women sitting around me about this and they all placed the onus on the women to explain their absence from the work force and articulate the transferable skills gained from their time at home. I disagree. What is required is for HR departments to value the multi-tasking, agenda setting, rapid trade-off analysis, and appeasement skills that are inherent in raising kids and running a household.

Are we labeling by gender when we should be defining by characteristics?

The question is if there is genuinely a difference between men and women. I think it is best to use an approach that focuses on the characteristics desired rather than to label these characteristics particular to women or men. Having said that, I have always been fascinated by the work of Geert Hofstede on ‘cultural dimensions’ dating from the 1970s, but continue even today. His work has its own detractors and adherents, but what I find interesting is his comparison of different ‘cultural dimensions’ across countries, the dimensions being:

Power distance index (PDI): “Power distance is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.” Cultures that endorse low power distance expect and accept power relations that are more consultative or democratic.

Individualism (IDV): “The degree to which individuals are integrated into groups”. In individualistic societies, the stress is put on personal achievements and individual rights. People are expected to stand up for themselves and their immediate family, and to choose their own affiliations. In contrast, in collectivist societies, individuals act predominantly as members of a lifelong and cohesive group or organization (note: “The word collectivism in this sense has no political meaning: it refers to the group, not to the state”). People have large extended families, which are used as a protection in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.

Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI): “a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity”. It reflects the extent to which members of a society attempt to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty. People in cultures with high uncertainty avoidance tend to be more emotional. They try to minimize the occurrence of unknown and unusual circumstances and to proceed with careful changes step by step planning and by implementing rules, laws and regulations. In contrast, low uncertainty avoidance cultures accept and feel comfortable in unstructured situations or changeable environments and try to have as few rules as possible. People in these cultures tend to be more pragmatic, they are more tolerant of change.

Masculinity (MAS): “The distribution of emotional roles between the genders”. Masculine cultures’ values are competitiveness, assertiveness, materialism, ambition and power, whereas feminine cultures place more value on relationships and quality of life. In masculine cultures, the differences between gender roles are more dramatic and less fluid than in feminine cultures where men and women have the same values emphasizing modesty and caring. As a result of the taboo on sexuality in many cultures, particularly masculine ones, and because of the obvious gender generalizations implied by Hofstede’s terminology, this dimension is often renamed by users of Hofstede’s work, e.g. to Quantity of Life vs. Quality of Life.

Long-term orientation (LTO): First called “Confucian dynamism”, it describes societies’ time horizon. Long term oriented societies attach more importance to the future. They foster pragmatic values oriented towards rewards, including persistence, saving and capacity for adaptation. In short term oriented societies, values promoted are related to the past and the present, including steadiness, respect for tradition, preservation of one’s face, reciprocation and fulfilling social obligations.

Indulgence versus restraint (IVR): The extent to which member in society try to control their desires and impulses. Whereas indulgent societies have a tendency to allow relatively free gratification of basic and natural human desires related to enjoying life and having fun, restrained societies have a conviction that such gratification needs to be curbed and regulated by strict norms.

The Gender Divide in Supply Chain graph1In reality, many of these dimensions are interlinked and, for example, in many cases cultures with a high Masculinity index also have a high Power Distance Index. But the actual values are of little value if not compared to other countries/cultures.

Of course, the most obvious connection to the topic of women in supply chain is the Masculinity dimension, and, by inference, the degree of ‘femininity’ in the culture. As defined by Hofstede, Masculinity is characterized by competitiveness, assertiveness, materialism, ambition and power, which, in my opinion, is at the heart of dysfunction in the supply chain, and precisely not the characteristics described by Christina De Luca as necessary for the modern supply chain.

The Gender Divide in Supply Chain graph2 It bothers me though that Hofstede uses the term Masculine to describe only one dimension.  For example, I would rate Sweden more ‘female’ because by comparison it rates low on Power Distance and Masculinity and high on Pragmatism and Indulgence. Canada is more confusing because it rates high on Individualism, low on Pragmatism, and high on Indulgence.

Eva Wimmers, CPO of Deutsche Telekom, one of the keynote speakers at the SCM World conference used the following diagram to differentiate between female and male leaders. I like the fact that she used quotes around the terms to indicate that these are not gender stereotypes, but rather characteristics of different personality types.

supply chain trevor miles gender blog


As you can see, there is a strong similarity between the characteristics Eva Wimmers uses and those promoted by Hofstede, but Eva is closer to my way of thinking that it is the sum of the characteristics that determines the type.

So are quotas the right approach to redress the imbalance of women in the supply chain?

I agree with Christina Da Luca that the approach to quotas needs to be different. On the other hand, there needs to be a goal, an objective against which we can measure success. Whether we call these goals quotas is a matter of semantics.

But quotas without a change in approach is unlikely to yield substantial and sustained improvements. And it is incumbent on us men to be active in this change of approach.  This was a key point Kevin emphasized on a number of occasions during the conference.


Posted in Miscellanea Got a Face-lift: Introducing Our Newly Re-launched Website

Published February 19th, 2014 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

We are excited to announce our newly redesigned website!

While the need for a new website and the benefits of re-launching are too many to name, here are the top 3 things that we think will make the difference:

  1. Most importantly – It’s very different!
    We are a different company with a unique approach to solving supply chain problems with a unique product. We need a website that demonstrates that differentiation.
  2. A more modern look
    With our new site we aim to offer a better experience, especially on mobile devices.
  3. Better page design and layout
    You will notice that information is more easily consumed and digested and supporting content (images, videos, customer stats, case studies etc..) is more plentiful and better presented/promoted.

We encourage you to spend a moment visiting the new site to check out our new look and learn more about the solutions we offer for your S&OP and SCP processes.

Please feel free to send us comments or feedback you may have.

- The Marketing team

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Posted in Miscellanea

Biomanufacturing closely tied with supply chain

Published February 10th, 2014 by Nazli Erdogus 2 Comments

With regards to the continuous efforts in pharmaceutical industry, we certainly see a great improvement in the US, California and how much the 632% increase in employment between years 2006 – 2011 has brought substantial growth to the sector.

Some of the main reasons of this improvement between R&D to prescription phases are due to the investments for enhanced technologies used in R&D, effective manufacturing techniques, and certainly the efforts towards a more efficient supply chain management. The latter one, supply chain management actually goes hand in hand with manufacturing, even though we don`t get to hear a lot about its importance.

I greatly enjoy following new trends and hearing about recent developments in industries. I was in San Diego at the Biomanufacturing Summit last week and had great conversations with people from different pharmaceutical companies, had the opportunity to view the industry trends, hear about some pain points, and even discovered beer making process as part of a facility tour (you wonder how this is related to pharmaceuticals? Well, after all, beer manufacturing is just another type of fermentation!).

It`s always amazing to see how manufacturing follows a common path among different industries. At the conference, I kept seeing in the workshops the terms lean, agile, kaizen, 6S, Toyota Production System. As much as these terms can be more applicable towards a manufacturing environment, I really liked to see that the pharmaceutical companies are trying to apply the best practices both from each other and from different environments. This can be limited to the manufacturing technologies today, but will certainly extend to other areas like supply chain. Having said that, referring to my previous statement about manufacturing being hand in hand with supply chain, some of the information – mostly where pain points are today – I captured from the conference below proves how valid this is:

  • Cost and speed are still today`s challenge.
  • Speed generally becomes an issue from development to the marketing of the product.
  • Cost opportunity is very much volume driven, which is derived from an accurate estimate of demand forecast.
  • Forecast is never right so capacity never remains accurate.
  • Long lead times to build the product have a big impact on cost, so always need better CMOs.
  • New CMOs are in general willing to make investments to improve in order to secure market place but not the old ones.
  • Cost, scheduling, quality are three elements of the triangle leading to challenges.
  • Tradeoff between cost and quality is not a good mindset – today`s cost saving solution may become tomorrow`s compliance problem.
  • Commercial and technical life cycle management for pharmaceuticals is resource intensive to fix problems as you face them.
  • Continuous improvement is critical, cannot only rely on periodic improvements such as 6S/lean project based approaches.

So just from there we see that applying lean in manufacturing is not sufficient on its own. Some keynote speakers mentioned productivity measures varying according to the product. As an example, there is an increased yield on the drug substance side whereas on the drug side it`s much smaller. However, you can think about how you can match the type of cost where you need to deploy a lower cost of production (i.e. through selecting local vendors). Also, in terms of capacity problems, there was a really good example when I got to chat with a master planner. She talked about having two reactors with x and 2x capacity in their facility defined as constraints – you can imagine how big of an issue this can be if not communicated and/or planned properly at a supply planning phase of your S&OP cycle. Let us look at it at a more detailed level, you`ll likely need to change equipment as you are switching to a different reactor too. As much as it sounds simple, it`s a basic problem that many industries are facing today. That is exactly where a well maintained supply chain management comes into play, also creating room to reduce costs.

When we think of continuous improvement, a basic approach to it is simply comparing your plans from different times/people/departments without having to manually connect them to one another, always looking to find a better solution and do it in the fast pace as your business requires. This is where RapidResponse acts as the crème de la crème, creating the end to end visibility, the ability to compare multiple plans created in your single instance, and the speed to your entire supply chain like no other software can.

Simply mentioning the capabilities of RapidResponse that can make their lives easier and also create a cost effective management sounded ground breaking for most pharmaceutical companies, especially after talking about how our other pharmaceutical customers made a great use of it improving their supply chain practices. We are talking about over 15-20 manufacturing sites and around 500 different suppliers for some pharmaceutical companies; in such an environment it`s simply not sustainable to do any plan manually, no matter how lean you are. For some companies the challenge starts from the raw material, where there is poor procurement/warehouse management in place leading to a ripple effect that gets carried all the way to the distributor.

Key takeaways:

Biotechnology is booming despite a challenging economic environment and a lot of companies have been heavily investing through M&As and/or new product developments. Once the FDA approvals are there, those products will be on the market needing to be effectively and efficiently manufactured and distributed. Also some other important points to keep in mind:

  • Innovation, reach, and manufacturing technology are the three dimensions of this industry.
  • Iterations of improvement (continuous improvement) give a better result moving forward.
  • There is an increasing need for:
  • New capabilities in the industry to lower costs, and increase flexibility and speed
  • Adjusting production based on demand which comes with accurate forecast and respond to demand changes quickly
  • Faster capacity increase and being able to use same facility for multiple materials

So we see it`s an absolute must to be able to maneuver your actions in such a rapidly evolving environment, learn from previous and apply fixes to following plans. How?

Even though for most pharmaceutical companies the order of priority is compliance, supply and profit plan, they are recognizing that all these three can actually be improved through a better supply chain. There isn`t much room to play with R&D costs and your manufacturing is as lean as possible. What else can you do? You need a better managed supply chain. For pharmaceutical companies, high risk and high profit margin is associated with their business so they can make big investments, whereas for CMOs there is lower margin thus leaving them with not so much room for investment. However, the pharmaceutical companies do want the CMOs to make investments to improve the lead times. Maybe it`s time for more CMOs to make good use of a supply chain management software and create grounds to efficiently collaborate with their customer, the pharmaceutical companies, for a better performance of supplier consistency and reliability.

As a conclusion, external and internal factors are driving changes in biomanufacturing environments which demand new operational capabilities. Cost, speed and flexibility are the key differentiators in operations. In order to operate economically and compete globally, pharmaceutical companies are looking at possible ways using the right technology and assets for a proper segmentation and appropriate deployment meaning considerations of localizing, minimizing, and making variability friendly investments.

You can also check out the blog my colleague Trevor Miles wrote, “Chinese Hamster Ovaries, Medicines, Manufacturing, and Supply Chain”.

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Posted in Pharma and life sciences supply chain management

Speed as the true Innovation in Supply Chain

Published December 10th, 2013 by CJ Wehlage 2 Comments

Wow, I am recalling a great three days in Dallas, Texas this past week at the WTG Supply Chain and Logistics North American conference.  I went for a run in sunny 75 degree weather!

Now, I’m back in San Diego and just finished reading a post from a friend who is an American Airline attendant. She came to Dallas the day after I flew out, to do Airbus training.  Her blog described how she was stuck at the airport due to hundreds of canceled flights – freezing weather that went down to 20 degrees!

It looks like I left just at the right time. As the saying goes, “timing is everything…”.  This saying is much like my presentation at the conference: the topic of speed as the true innovation in supply chain. Not just speed to be fast, but velocity, which is speed moving in a specific direction.

That’s what I believe is the next innovation in supply chain. I grabbed some of my old AMR Research Top 25 data, and looked at the results of supply chain processes and tools.  It seemed like in a recession, supply chains focused on reducing costs. Lean was the top challenge.  In recovery periods, supply chains focused on improving efficiencies. Demand forecast accuracy was the top challenge. Supply chains responded in kind with functional lean efforts or functional demand forecasting projects. I love Lora Cecere’s (Supply Chain Insights) chart on “Progress in Inventory Turns and Operating Margin (2000-2012)”.  One of the best pieces of research data I’ve seen in a long while.

This shows pure “functional” focus from every industry.  Very limited “end-to-end” focus.  Consumer electronics shows a good 18% for consecutive improvement in turns and operating margin for two years.  But, for 3 consecutive years… 0%! For four consecutive years…another 0% !   Supply chains have been focusing on a few nodes of the network, and placing functional processes & tools in place to address the challenge.   If you ask a functional question to a bunch of functional systems, you will always get a functional result.   And functional results will never bring consecutive, sustaining improvements.

At Kinaxis, we have the motto: Know Sooner, Act Faster.  That’s the innovation.  Speed with direction.  Stop asking functional questions and ask end-to-end questions.  And that requires significantly faster analytics across the functional nodes.   Better said, significant velocity.  Yes, it does mean pure speed when a supply chain acts.  But, it also means speed in the right direction.  And speed comes from planning ahead, through simulating scenarios in advance of the challenge.  In fact, after reading the past seven years of Top 25 Supply Chain research, the one thing the best on this list do is: What-If planning. It is not a PhD in the corner working for days,but a core facet of their Planning.

I challenged the attendees on “Know Sooner, Act Faster”.  What do you truly “know” about your supply network.  One of the best ways to answer that question is “how much fire fighting do you do ?”.   If you are fire fighting, you are losing.  You haven’t planned ahead.  You are losing profit & margin to accomplish what an effective simulation could have prepared you for.   Tough words, sure, but great supply chain leadership should reward knowing sooner more, fire fighting less.

Then, we talked about “Acting Faster”.   I asked the audience what the first 10 minutes of every CPFR meeting was.  Answer =  Comparing Data!   That’s the best way to determine if you can act fast.  If you are checking which set of numbers each node is using, you will lose speed.  Every node has to be working off the same version of the plan.

The next great innovation in supply chain is Speed.  And, for the best supply chains, it’s quickly becoming table stakes to have your suppliers, distributors, shippers, etc, on the same plan, acting within minutes of a change, and simulating scenarios for end-to-end network turns and operating margin.  Why?  I say because the consumer is using technology to speed up their decision and purchase.  Every industry has seen their consumer build leverage, and demanding personalized attention.  Supply chain networks need to address this attention by knowing a lot sooner and acting a lot faster.

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

On the road! Upcoming events for Kinaxis

Published November 26th, 2013 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

It’s a busy time of year for us at Kinaxis – as I am sure many of our readers can identify with. Many folks here are flying the skies to attend various conferences and wrapping up end of year projects. Here’s where we are at in the coming weeks.

Kinexions Tokyo 2013
November 28, 2013
Canadian Embassy
Tokyo 107-8503, Japan

The presentations at the conference will include case studies from major domestic manufacturers and speak to the RapidResponse technology capabilities for knowing sooner and acting faster, which include multi-tier supply chain visibility, what-if analysis and collaboration. The agenda includes the following presentations:

  • Konica Minolta’s initiative for next generation SCM: Shifting from demand and supply chain management (SCM) to business alignment, Noboru Ohta, group leader, SCM planning group, Konica Minolta, Inc.
  • Supply chain resilience – Enabling supply chain management to be adaptive and resilient to market change, Toru Kanazawa, operation officer, Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting Co.
  • RapidResponse Roadmap: Trailblazing! Andrew Bell, product manager, Kinaxis
  • Continuous S&OP, Trevor Miles, vice president, thought leadership, Kinaxis

Learn more about Kinexions Tokyo.


Supply Chain and Logistics Summit North America
December 2 – 4, 2013
Hyatt Regency in Dallas, Texas

At the conference, join C.J. Wehlage, vice-president, high tech solutions at Kinaxis as he presents “Speed as the Innovator in the Supply Chain” on Tuesday December 3, 2013 from 4:20p.m. – 4:55p.m.  During the presentation, C.J.  will discuss the following themes:

  • Understanding how the new dynamic of direct customer communication with suppliers is changing the time frames for business processes
  • Transforming metrics gathered in real-time into informed decision-making at the right time
  • Empowering supply chain executives to drive positive outcomes through improved visibility and communication
  • Offering examples from the practitioner’s perspective of accelerating delivery on the fundamentals


Is Technology as a Priority Means for Achieving Supply Chain Performance Getting Short Changed?

Friday, December 6, 2013
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST

This free session based on recent Supply Chain Insights Research that discusses the increasingly acute issue of establishing consensus and unity between Supply Chain and IT priorities.

Reserve your spot for this complimentary webcast.


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Posted in Miscellanea