Your opportunity to be a supply chain hero is here!


A supply chain hero!If your business is currently leveraging SAP APO as part of your enterprise architecture, now is the time to upgrade to Kinaxis RapidResponse. You may be asking why now and how does this make me a supply chain hero?

As you know, SAP has announced their intention to discontinue support for their APO suite. This can be a scary time, especially if you have good adoption of APO within your user community. Why is it so scary for the user community? Because it means change.

But, as a soon to be supply chain hero, you appreciate the changing tides of technology. This potentially scary situation is really an opportunity in disguise. You can be a hero by:

  1. Being a Change Agent: Kinaxis is offering a low risk upgrade program, specifically to Kinaxis qualified SAP APO customers. Kinaxis will work with you to develop an upgrade program that allows you to transition key business processes to RapidResponse without a big bang implementation. This agility gives you the opportunity to test drive an exciting solution without a financial commitment until the value of RapidResponse is proven.
  2. Minimizing Supply Chain Risk: You know that cyber risk leads to business risk. The RapidResponse solution is cloud-based and proven. With customers like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, Kinaxis holds itself to the highest standard of security to support their government contracts. The same model is used for all Kinaxis customers, so you know your data is secure and cyber risk is mitigated.
  3. Setting a Business-Centric Vision: Set your vision and use RapidResponse as part of the strategy to get there. Your supply chain will thank you. Just imagine the following:

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The Supply Chain Dilemma – Do I Make House Repairs or Do I Redesign the Home?

  • by Lori Smith
  • Published

Home renovations mimic supply chain dilemmaI live in a 40 year old house and in some ways it is certainly showing its age. When there is something that isn’t working, not meeting my needs, or simply has gotten out of date, I find myself asking the question of do I try to fix up what I have or replace it? There is a lot of maintenance needed to keep things running around the house, but for some things there comes a time when you have to ask “how far is this repair/upgrade going to take me?” If I keep investing just to maintain what I have, and at best, see an incremental improvement, when I am ever going to have the resources for re-designing and making real renovations? It is indeed a balancing act… and not at all unlike the decisions being made in managing supply chains.

A theme that resonated for me at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive conference the other week was the notion of “managing” versus “transforming”. There was a panel discussion on the Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO) Imperatives for Executing the Global Supply Chain Strategy where each of the panelists said that among their main priorities was balancing continuous improvement with transformative innovation. You have to do both. And of course technology investment is a key factor, given that most, if not all supply chain innovation will be supported by technology.

This point really hit home during Dwight Klappich and Chad Eschinger’s session where they discussed the results of their Supply Chain Technology User Wants and Needs Study. A key takeaway from the study was that SCM IT investment and supply chain maturity/performance go hand in hand.

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Top 25 Supply Chains Pt. 1: Masters category

  • by CJ Wehlage
  • Published

Top 25 supply chains all utilize global networksOn May 29, 2014, I posted a blog about the Top 25 Supply Chains predictions for 2015.

“All that being said, here’s my early 2015 “Not So” Bold Predictions: #5 P&G, #4 Unilever, #3 McDonald’s, #2 Amazon, #1 Apple.”

Almost a year later, that was 100% correct. Ok, here’s my reasoning. The 2015 Top Supply Chains were #1 Amazon, #2 McDonald’s, #3 Unilever. What about my Apple and P&G prediction, you say? They were surprisingly put into a “Masters” category. As it is explained in the Gartner report, a “Master” is a supply chain that “consistently had top five composite scores for at least seven out of the last 10 years”. It’s bizarre to me, since a “hall of fame” category is reserved for someone who has retired. Plus, there was no explanation as to why seven out of the last 10 years was chosen. To me it felt more like a common thread between Apple & P&G was found first, then the Masters category was created.

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Consumers Priorities Driving Major Supply Chain Changes


supply chain customer supply and demand crosswordMost of you have probably heard the old saying ‘the customer is always right.’ In terms of making sure you have a host of happy customers, that’s probably good advice, but how far are you willing to go to keep those satisfaction levels high? Would you offer a discount? Free shipping? A full refund? How about completely changing the way you operate your supply chain? That last one may sound a little drastic, but it’s the reality many major retailers are facing.

The rules around supply chain management are changing, and customers are sitting firmly in the driver’s seat. More and more companies are making big, public announcements on how they’re changing their supply chain practices to better align with what their customers care about.

Popular burger chain McDonald’s has committed to ending deforestation throughout its entire supply chain, while fellow restaurants Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera have solidified their commitments to move away from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Even retail giant Walmart is taking steps to change its supply chain practices, focusing more on increasing economic opportunity, strengthening local communities, and overall sustainability. They’ve committed to eliminating 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from their global supply chain by the end of the year.

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On-Demand Webcast – Supply Chain Transformation: Avaya’s Journey


Did you miss our recent live webcast on Avaya’s supply chain transformation? No problem. The complete webcast is now available on-demand.

In this webcast, Bryan Ball, Aberdeen Group, and Benji Green, Avaya, discuss the circumstances and challenges Avaya faced on their four-year journey, the catalysts for transformational change, and the dramatic results they were able to achieve.

For Avaya, the journey began with the realization they were spending too much time on low-value, reactionary activities, like translating and moving data. Their goal was to flip that reality, so more time was spent on high-value, proactive activities that would have a real impact on the business.

With an outlined five-phase approach, Green discusses how Avaya was able to shift focus within the company, combining people, process and technology to achieve far-reaching success. That success included exceeding customer and employee expectations on multiple levels. More specifically, Avaya saw their on-time ship rate jump from 86% to 94%, their past due revenue decrease from $42M to $10M and their employee engagement scores increase by 57%.

Along the way they addressed many common challenges like disparate processes, multiple ERP systems and lack of supply chain visibility. Through the use of technology as an enabler, Avaya was able to transform their supply chain into one centered on continuous improvement and innovation.

View now!

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Kinaxis Introduces SAP APO Customers an Upgrade Path

  • by Doug Colbeth
  • Published

Based on the conversations we’ve had with prospects, analysts and others in the field, we believe that most, if not all, are seeing SAP’s plans to discontinue standard support for their APO suite as the equivalent of an end-of-life plan without a directly replaceable product from SAP. That kind of uncertainty can be unnerving to say the least and only builds on existing frustrations in the market as it relates to supply chain planning solutions. As a result, many are reevaluating their solution strategy. We’ve witnessed that directly on a number of occasions, as enterprises have already replaced APO modules with RapidResponse. Given our success in this regard, we’ve established a formal upgrade program, which not only provides a proven technology alternative, but offers it in a way that allows companies to confirm the value before paying any software subscription fees.

This offer demonstrates our confidence that RapidResponse can provide the technology capabilities, SaaS delivery, and innovation cycles that are consistent with the needs of today’s businesses and that are in question with APO’s unsupported future.

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What Your Mom Can Teach You About Effective Supply Chain


Moms are supply chain super herosHappy Mother’s Day to all those hardworking moms out there! Have you ever marveled at how some women just seem to have it all together? They manage to turn a hectic household into a well-oiled machine, while I can barely manage to keep my household of two up and running! In honor of these Super Moms, I’ve pulled together the top five reasons why you should be asking your mom for more than just relationship advice.

  1. She’s the Best Master Scheduler You’ll Ever See – Between school, hockey practices, dance recitals and her own social life (yes, moms have those too!), she somehow manages to get everyone where they need to be on time and in the most effective way possible. Her schedule is coordinated down to the minute, and she always has contingency plans in case of potential delays, like having to pick up an extra passenger on the carpool run. She also knows where every member of her household is at any given moment. No missing or delayed shipments here!
  2. Her Inventory Management is Second to None – Ever wonder how moms always seems to know what’s in the cupboard when kids ask for snacks? She can rattle off the entire contents of the pantry without missing a beat. That’s because she knows exactly how much inventory she has, how long it’s likely to last, and when the best time is to re-stock. She also has a strong grasp on demand planning, always buying exactly the right amount of what her family’s likely to want in any given time period, balanced with how much storage space she has available for excess inventory. Say goodbye to stock spoilage and shortages!

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Non-Traditional Supply Chain Pt 2: People


People can be considered non-traditional supply chainIn part one of this series I talked about how businesses trading in data as a commodity could be classified as using non-traditional supply chain. It was the most obvious case to prove non-traditional supply chain is actually a valid concept. After giving it some careful consideration, I can come up with an additional area that falls into the non-traditional supply chain category – people.

Take my sister for example. Her job requires her to travel to multiple hospitals in the region to provide a service, and she often has to visit more than one location in a single day. As her employer it would be nice to know exactly where she is, how much she has left to do at each location, and what her ETA is for arriving at the next one. Short of installing a tracking device and camera to monitor her every move (I’m sure she’d love that!), the only option is to put in place a standardized procedure where she checks in with her supervisor at regularly scheduled intervals to give a status update. Great in theory, but full of potential pitfalls in practice.

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