Let’s talk certification, the sequel

JoeCannata
  • by Joe Cannata
  • Published

Kinaxis Certification SequelIt’s always a summer of sequels at the cinema box office. Whether it is your favorite comic book action film from Marvel, a third Star Trek film, finding Dory’s parents, more Conjuring, an alien resurgence or even more of Jason Bourne, there always seems to be another story to tell. Back on January 13th, my Let’s Talk Certification blog detailed the announcement and the launch of the Kinaxis Certification Program, with our two original exams, Certified RapidResponse Author Level 1 and Certified RapidResponse Administrator Level 1. We rolled those out at KinectED, our annual knowledge sharing event for Kinaxis employees and partners. There was a lot of interest, a lot of studying, and a whole lot more of exams being delivered. My version of a sequel is to update our readers on how we have evolved since January.

Certification Sequal 1

Here are some of the candidates taking the exam back in January

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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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Who owns S&OP? By Accenture Strategy Guest Blogger

Steven J.Puricelli

Last month, I launched a new blog series on sales and operations planning (S&OP). In that introductory post, I outlined a number of important topics that I plan to explore throughout the summer. Building upon the last post about foundational elements behind S&OP, I want to consider a question I get all the time from executives: “who really owns, or should own S&OP”? More broadly speaking, it is important to share some leading practices on the organizational aspects of S&OP that includes three components: 1) proper composition of the team, 2) ownership and who leads the team, and 3) how the team performs effectively.

Team Composition

S&OP is a team sport – period. S&OP is arguably one of the most cross-functional processes in an organization and requires input from sales, marketing, finance, supply chain, manufacturing and so on. Some of the best S&OP processes include great cross-functional participation and engagement (the latter being much more critical) from across the organization. When it comes to S&OP, the composition of the team I typically see, in some shape or form, at leading organizations is as follows:

SOP Team Composition

In concept, this team diagram should make sense and be logical to most people, but in practice, oftentimes a number of these functions are either under-represented or missing entirely. Getting the right engagement from the organization requires a few things. First, leadership from the top-down communicating about the importance of S&OP to the business and its priority to the executive team is critical. Second, when I said S&OP is a team sport, I didn’t mean a spectator sport. A well performing S&OP process requires active involvement and contribution to the team, which means engaging in the process and performing the necessary activities and inputs. Finally, in exchange for the inputs and active participation in the process, it’s only fair to return the favor and provide valuable outputs to the team members. After all, most of the team members in the diagram above have day jobs to worry about, so to encourage sales or marketing professionals to engage and provide inputs into the process, make sure some of the outputs create value for them. Keep in mind the WIFMs (what’s in it for me) for the team, it will help with the engagement.

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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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It’s Time for Supply Chain 2.0! 4 Characteristics to Watch For

MerandaPowers

Accenture paper: Supply Chain for a New AgeThe right product, in the right place, at the right time. This age-old challenge of supply chain is now more difficult to address than ever before. Globalization, market volatility, demanding consumers, vast amounts of data—it’s no wonder past strategies are failing to solve today’s realities.

With complexity growing exponentially, supply chains and their associated capabilities need to start evolving now. Not just to solve current problems, but to be better prepared for future ones. But how are companies going to be able to adapt and take advantage of tremendous opportunities to capture market share as well as increase their brand loyalty and overall profitability?

According to Accenture, the answer lies in supply chain evolution. It’s Supply Chain 2.0! In the firm’s recent white paper, Supply Chain For a New Age, the authors, Mohammed Hajibashi and Ashoo Bhatti, map out a next generation supply chain blueprint. As they explain, “getting to the next generation of supply chain capabilities would require breaking down functional silos, redefining priorities, and building synchronized planning and fulfillment capabilities.”

So what is Supply Chain 2.0? Hajibashi and Bhatti describe the characteristics of Supply Chain 2.0 as…

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