Qualcomm: What’s Wrong With Traditional S&OP? – SupplyChainBrain & Kinaxis Video Series

Published February 26th, 2015 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

SupplyChainBrain attended our annual Kinexions user conference, and while there, they completed a number of video interviews with customers, analysts, and Kinaxis executives. And, we’d like to share them!

In this interview, hear Kathyleen Beveridge, director of sales operations with Qualcomm discuss “What’s Wrong With Traditional S&OP?” According to Beveridge, the sales and operations planning (S&OP) process brings great value to an organization, but companies need to take a fresh approach in order to ensure more efficient planning cycles.

Sales and operations planning involves a number of sequential stops. Mistakes anywhere along the way can lead to inefficient planning, says Beveridge. A new approach is needed that allows companies to become more agile in a difficult business climate.

Under the traditional approach to S&OP, it can take upwards of two weeks to compile data. “By the time you get in front of the management team, that data has already changed,” Beveridge says. Qualcomm has adapted S&OP to a weekly cycle, under which it has more frequent discussions with key decision makers. They focus on the state of the company’s supply and demand balance, with an eye toward making “immediate course changes” if necessary. The company also conducts monthly S&OP meetings that focus on longer-range issues.

Watch now: What’s Wrong With Traditional S&OP?

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


The Challenges of Master Scheduling: Hug Your Master Scheduler Part One

Published February 24th, 2015 by John Westerveld 0 Comments

Hug Your Master SchedulerI’ve had the opportunity over the past few weeks to investigate how many companies perform their Master Planning practices, and in the process do a pile of thinking about the Master Scheduling role.

My conclusion is that if your company is running smoothly, you need to stop what you are doing right now and hug your Master Scheduler. If your company isn’t successfully executing your plan, you should look at the tools you’ve given your Master Scheduler because with the traditional tools, asking the Master Scheduler to do an effective job is like asking da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa with a can of spray paint. It isn’t going to be pretty.

If you think about it, the Master Scheduler is the keystone of your business. They have the unenviable job of being the first point of execution in your planning process. The Master Scheduler sets the build schedule for your plant, or perhaps even for your global supply chain. To do this, they need to balance the realities of the supply chain against the randomness of demand (after all, forecasts are…well forecasts. And you know the rule about forecasts – they are always wrong.)

Master Schedulers need to do this while respecting capacity limitations, working the overloads and back-filling the underloads. If that isn’t challenging enough, these constrained resources could be multiple levels away from the point of demand with multiple lead time offsets to consider. Starting to sweat yet? Now think about this; at the same time, the company has firm inventory targets that need to be respected. If your wonderfully leveled master schedule causes you to exceed your inventory targets, it’s back to the drawing board. If you are able to make a schedule that meets all requirements, you no sooner have that schedule ready to go when someone is trying to make it invalid. Scrap, late supplies, demand changes and capacity issues all can force the Master Scheduler to review and possibly adjust their plan.

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Posted in General News, Inventory management, Supply chain management


A perfect supply chain?

Published February 17th, 2015 by Matt Benson 0 Comments

Dabbawala supply chainIf your 3PL supply chain problem was to deliver 400,000 items daily from supplier to customer and your on-time in full metric was a six-sigma target standard of 1 failure per million, how would you do it?

What If I was to also constrain the resources you had at your disposal and said you only had 5000 transportation vehicles and your delivery slot was just 1 hour and that your delivery window was always 12pm until 1pm? What if I was then to say that you had no technology at your disposal to manage it and your only transportation methods were bicycles, trains and feet and you had to do it on a budget of 33 cents per delivery?

Well, that’s what the Dabbawalas in India have been doing in Mumbai for over 100 years – delivering meals direct to workers and school desks from the family home with an OTIF of 99.99 %. They don’t use technology but what they do have is a tried and trusted set of highly efficient robust procedures that govern how they manage their work. It’s a methodology that has been established and passed down from generation to generation and has stood the test of time.

So, why don’t organisations with similar problems just invest time in improving their working procedures? Why do we even need technology? Well, the answer in reality is that we really do need both – not all of our problems are only 3PL issues with supply chains having such stable demand signals – same item, same quantity, to the same customer, pretty much every day. Not all of our supply chains have a zero inventory, stable sub-contracted supply – it’s a relatively quick production process to make an Indian meal (2-3 hours), freshly cooked every day often using Tandoor ovens. In addition, the majority of our distribution networks are geographically wider and much more complex.

Away from Mumbai we’re at the PIMS conference this week in London discussing Pharmaceutical supply chain problems with some key players in the market. The common themes we are hearing are:

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Posted in General News, Pharma and life sciences supply chain management, Supply Chain Events, Supply chain management


A Brief Report on the Pharmaceutical Innovation in Manufacturing Summit

Published February 12th, 2015 by Hans Velthuizen 0 Comments

This week I attended the 5th Annual Pharmaceutical Innovation in Manufacturing Summit near Heathrow. Although the conference was situated in the Edwardian style Radisson hotel neatly decorated with Persian rugs, brass-railed staircases and chandeliers, the location stood in sharp contrast with the innovative character of the Summit.

The objective of the summit was to provide an open forum for highly insightful presentations that span a broad range of topics critical to the biologics field. It was a two-day gathering dedicated to cutting edge technology, innovation and strategy across the entire small molecule & biopharmaceutical manufacturing process.

As good as the sessions were, I always find the networking opportunities the most useful at these kinds of summits. There was plenty of room during dinners and lunch breaks to discuss new ideas with industry peers. Seeing a lot of familiar faces you realize that the pharmaceutical supply chain is a small world.

Distinctive of this summit was the wide variety of topics and themes that passed these two days. Topics that were discussed ranged from strategic supply chain challenges to operational packaging and labeling processes and techniques. While there are undoubtedly some topics relevant for each participant, it seemed very well possible this broad setup of event missed its goal.

Kinaxis was present with a booth and Laura Dionne, Senior Director, Worldwide Operations Planning at TriQuint gave a well-received presentation titled ‘A Healthy Dose of Chips: Supply Chain Lessons for Life Sciences’. In this presentation Laura discussed the similarities between pharmaceutical and Semiconductor supply chains and also the solutions that can be applied for addressing similar challenges.

triquint supply chain journey

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Posted in General News, Pharma and life sciences supply chain management, Supply chain collaboration, Supply Chain Events, Supply chain management


Lean versus EOQ? What’s best for your organization?

Published February 11th, 2015 by Andrew Dunbar 11 Comments

manufacturing lean versus oeqA colleague and I started our morning off with a coffee and a conversation about integrating EOQ (Economic Order Quantity) into MPS (Master Production Scheduling). In no time at all we were debating between lean versus EOQ. While each approach has its merits, the two concepts present some conflicting advice. Here we go again! It doesn’t matter if you’re a technician working on the shop floor or an executive in the board room, if you’re in the business of manufacturing then this is a conversation you’ve had before. Without the right data it’s a debate that’s impossible to win, but I’m convinced that neither solution is perfect in all cases.

EOQ attempts to optimize lot size by balancing manufacturing cost (Fixed + variable costs) with things like inventory holding costs and capacity utilization. Lean relies on minimization of, among other things, lot sizes, inventory and waiting. Traditional ERP systems take fixed (often part specific) inputs for planning parameters and spits out a plan without any thought as to the efficiency (financial/shop capacity, etc.) of that plan. Master schedulers can manipulate the planning parameters to create lean or EOQ optimized schedules, but how do you decide which way is right for your organization?

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Posted in Best practices, General News, Lean manufacturing, Products, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), Supply chain management


A Healthy Dose of Chips: Supply Chain Lessons for Life Sciences at the 2015 Pharmaceutical Innovation in Manufacturing Summit

Published February 9th, 2015 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

A quick post to let our readers know that we’ll be at the 2015 Pharmaceutical Innovation in Manufacturing Summit (PIMS). This year’s event will be held at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, London, February 10-11, 2015.

If you plan to attend the conference, join Laura Dionne, Senior Director, Worldwide Operations Planning, TriQuint as she presents Laura DionneA Healthy Dose of Chips: Supply Chain Lessons for Life Sciences from a High Tech Veteran’ on Tuesday, February 10th at 2:15pm.

Session Details

What can a lifelong Semiconductor Supply Chain expert have to say about Pharmaceuticals? A surprising amount it seems! In this presentation we will explore the similarities between these supply chains and also the solutions that can be applied for addressing these challenges.

Laura Dionne, a 33 year Semiconductor Veteran and supply chain change agent will discuss the commonalities including the challenge of planning a wealth of products that can be manufactured from a singular base material, how quality creates an underlying tension that drives customer fulfillment and margins, and also how inventory strategy can make the difference between profit and loss. Cross over of experts between industries is not anything new to the supply chain, but few would recognize what can be learned about the two industries that have shaped the global supply chain… Pharmaceuticals and Semiconductors.

We’ll be posting Laura’s presentation deck along with a recap of the conference, so stay tuned!

Happy Monday all!

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Posted in General News, Pharma and life sciences supply chain management, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), Supply Chain Events


What If You Could Take The Guesswork Out Of Forecast Planning? Guest Post from Osgood Vogler

Published February 5th, 2015 by Melissa Clow 5 Comments

Osgood Vogler Celestica Supply Chain Managed ServicesOur partner Celestica recently published the following article, ‘What If You Could Take The Guesswork Out Of Forecast Planning?’. The author, Osgood Vogler, Director, Analytics, Celestica Supply Chain Managed Services, describes an insight-based demand management process:

So, how do you take the guesswork out of forecast planning? Let’s find out.

Demand planning has a big impact on business performance. Planning error can put revenue at risk by driving component shortages. Persistent planning biases can tie up cash by driving excess inventory. Furthermore, the act of planning and dealing with planning error is time consuming and drives costly overhead. In fact, it is common for supply chain management executives to cite “planning errors” as the greatest obstacle they face to achieving their goals and objectives.

The factors which impact demand management and forecasting are nearly endless. Uncertainty in end markets, shifts in the competitive landscape, constant time-to-market pressure, economic volatility, geopolitical and environmental issues all play a role in component shortages, excess stock and lost revenue. Given this volatility, it is not surprising that organizations are struggling to make effective demand predictions.

To avoid the financial risks associated with planning errors, supply chain leaders and manufacturers should consider building an “insight-based” demand planning process, which brings together analytical tools and data with key human inputs across various functions. This “next generation” demand management approach will allow supply chain operations to evolve and scale with the ever growing volatility and uncertainty of today’s markets.

The insight-based demand management process contains several key principles.

One size does not fit all
One solution is never going to address every challenge an SCM executive will face, so it is important to determine the best approach for your supply chain through segmentation.

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Posted in Demand management, General News, Products, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), Supply chain collaboration, Supply chain management


Avaya’s Four-Year Journey to a Best-in-Class Supply Chain – SupplyChainBrain & Kinaxis Video Series

Published February 4th, 2015 by Melissa Clow 0 Comments

SupplyChainBrain attended our annual Kinexions user conference, and while there, they completed a number of video interviews with our customers. And, we’d like to share them!

In this interview, hear Benji Green, director of global sales operations, outline the successes that the company has achieved – and the direction it intends to take next.

Green has seen some fundamental shifts in the supply-chain planning paradigm. One involves a continuing trend toward specialization: companies focusing their efforts on research and development, while outsourcing manufacturing. Another relates to a faster product-refresh rate, especially in high-tech. “It becomes harder to predict because your lifecycle’s so short,” he says. A third trend is globalization, with an exponential increase in the number of people involved in the supply chain, and a consequent extension of order lead times. In response, companies are looking to replace their vertically structured supply chains with close partnerships.

Planners face the challenge of dealing both with unexpected short-term changes in demand and the need to create longer planning horizons. As lead times become stretched, it becomes more important to have in place detailed contingency plans in the event that things go wrong. Companies need to acknowledge that the forecast will never be 100-percent accurate, and plan accordingly.

Check out: Avaya’s Four-Year Journey to a Best-in-Class Supply Chain

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Posted in General News, Sales and operations planning (S&OP), Supply chain management