Posts tagged as 'Supply chain'

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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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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Infographic: Examining the Demographics of the Supply Chain Industry

MelissaClow
  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

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

Everyone knows the Supply Chain field is changing. Recently, one of the best Supply Chain Publications out of the U.S., Supply Chain 24/7, released a report that examines the demographic trends underlying the industry. The report, titled “A Portrait of the Supply Chain Manager,” used research survey data from Peerless Research Group and APICS to present a picture of the typical individual working in Supply Chain. The survey asked a number of Supply Chain and talent-related questions, such as:

  • What percentage of Supply Chain professionals received a raise last year?
  • What percentage of Supply Chain managers hold a degree?
  • What percentage of companies are willing to pay above-market compensation for the right people?

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Is your control tower unresponsive?

Dr. MadhavDurbha

Supply Chain Control TowerAs I finished dinner, I was ready for some entertainment. What better entertainment is there than the latest scoop on the US Presidential election! This thing is more exciting than “House of Cards” season 4. Well, I have to say this. That season 4 was flat. Ok… I digress. I switched on the TV in anticipation. “…. when we return from the break” said the cheerful TV anchor. Then started the commercial break.

As I was getting ready to switch channels, this ad started playing. A group of armed masked men storm into a bank. The customers downed to the floor in fear. They look at the man in the uniform and ask him to do something. The man in the uniform nonchalantly reports back saying “I am not a security guard… I am a security ‘monitor’. I only notify people when there is a robbery”. Then he goes on to announce “There is a robbery” as the confused robbers and customers look at each other. Then comes the text “WHY MONITOR A PROBLEM IF YOU CAN’T FIX IT?”

So true! Why monitor when you can’t fix? That made me think of my credit monitoring service. Yes, I do get quite a few alerts. But most of them don’t tell me what to do about them. A bit like some of the supply chain control towers in the market. They alert you about a problem. But they do nothing to fix it… sort of like the “security monitor” in that ad. Yes. “Monitoring” is necessary for a control tower, but not sufficient. A best in-class supply chain control tower enables a “Plan, Monitor, Respond” paradigm. This type of control tower “monitors” the internal and external environment for threats or surprises that could derail the supply chain “plan”. The threat could be a developing weather pattern delaying shipments, a promotion performing exceedingly well resulting in out of stocks, a production line going down, or a potential miss from the budget plan three months out.

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Supply Chain at the Speed of Google

AlexaCheater

Supply Chain SpeedIt’s an old approach seeing a revival in the new digital age—putting the customers’ needs first. All across business, no matter the industry, size, or geographic location, the push is on to return to a more customer-centric business model. Thanks, in part, to the rise of the Internet of Things, customers are more informed than ever before, and they expect to be able to retrieve details about a person, business, or product in seconds. And that need for speed extends beyond just gathering facts on the information highway. They expect to be able to make purchases and receive service in that same lightening quick timeframe.

Companies like Walmart, Nestle, and Carhartt are strengthening their roots in that regard, building on their founding principles of trust, exemplary service, and working hard every day to satisfy the needs of their customers. Customers that are part of their heritage, part of their story, and have been woven into the very fabric of their brands. They understand the need to deliver a complete customer experience, not just a product, and they recognize doing so is more critical to their success than ever before.

All three presented great keynotes at this year’s Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference, and all three said the same thing. Your supply chain has to be focused on the end customer, and that means developing a comprehensive end-to-end strategy with complete visibility. But the drive to put the customer first isn’t just limited to those who sell directly to the final consumer. Organizations who work in a more business-to-business environment have also recognized the need to listen to their customers and deliver what they want, when and where the want it, and how they want it.

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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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