How Do You Define Your Supply Chain Challenges?

AndrewDunbar

A common supply chain challenge is resource planningGoogle “Top 10 supply chain challenges” and you’ll find 44 million different opinions on the biggest issues our industry faces today. Many are filled with our favourite industry buzzwords: Visibility, Risk Management, Cost Pressure, The Internet of Things, Security Threats… and the list goes on. These are all interesting and catchy concepts but they don’t necessarily address the fundamental challenges faced by your supply chain organization. A common mistake when developing a supply chain strategy is to select some key initiatives or technology platforms and a list of best practices, and work backwards to highlight the business problems you’ll solve with your plan. If this is your approach then the Boston Bruins aren’t the only one’s putting the cart before the horse (Go Sens!).

I like the approach recommended by Peter Bolstorff, a Supply Chain Council Executive Director with APICS. He recommends a fundamentals-first approach to strategic planning and suggests focusing on three basic challenges:

  1. Rate of supply chain planning
  2. Resource management in a global organization
  3. Real time transformation of data into competitive insight.

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Why Having a Green Supply Chain Has Become a Necessity

AlexaCheater

A green supply chainIn honor of Earth Day I thought I’d take the opportunity to outline in my humble opinion why having a green supply chain is no longer a nice-to-have – it’s a necessity. Gone are the days when consumers would look the other way while companies rode roughshod over the environment in pursuit of a more profitable supply chain. Nowadays even governments (the good ones at least), are actively involved in making sure Mother Nature is protected, at least to some extent. Are you doing your part?

There is a growing need for sustainability integration into supply chain management and if you haven’t already started down the path to greener pastures you’re falling dangerously behind the trend, and it could be costing you more than you know.

According to a recent World Economic Forum report written in collaboration with Accenture, companies like UPS, SABMiller, DHL, Unilever and Nestle are among 25 multinational companies that have increased their revenue by up to 20% while cutting supply chain costs as much as 16% thanks to a focus on sustainability. Beyond Supply Chains: Empowering Value Chains outlines 31 best practices for businesses to follow in order to see similar results, in what they’ve termed “the triple supply chai

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Supply Chain Transformation — The Important Element of Information Strategy

BobFerrari
  • by Bob Ferrari
  • Published

supply chain transformation involves people, process, technology and informationThe following guest blog commentary is contributed by Bob Ferrari, Founder and Executive Editor of the Supply Chain Matters blog and Managing Director of the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group LLC.

We often context and plan supply chain transformation initiatives under the three-pronged perspectives of People, Process and Technology enablers. I would urge transformation teams to seriously consider a fourth component, that being Information, including the velocity, context and clarity of information. While some may be of the mistaken belief that the element of Information is solely the perspective of IT, it is rather a jointly-owned, cross-functional element of transformation.

Across various industry supply chains, a lot of executive level visionary thought and leadership energy is becoming focused on supply chain transformation efforts, namely moving the needle towards more agile or resilient supply chain response capabilities. The reasons are many and varied. Today’s clock speed of rapid and continuous business change requires that industry supply chains be more agile and able to anticipate changes in customer, product, or fulfillment segment needs, quicker than competitors. The complexity and sheer speed of events occurring across the global supply chain implies an exceptions-based focus, allowing advanced technology to monitor and oversee day-to-day customer focused fulfillment. Having a bold vision to the end-state capabilities required across the value-chain is essential. With the increasing demands of online and omni-channel customer fulfillment, the end-state is often defined as the supply chain being more predictive and exceptions-driven in terms of response.

Many of today’s industry supply chain and sales and operations planning (S&OP) teams however, find themselves drowning in too much data while lacking in important insights. Hence transformation efforts can start on the wrong footing.

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Avaya & Accenture – Supply Chains of the Future: Where Will We Get the Talent? SupplyChainBrain & Kinaxis Video Series

MelissaClow
  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

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!

We know that companies are desperate for new talent to help them achieve supply-chain excellence, as they grapple with ever-larger volumes of data and increasing unpredictability in consumer markets. Companies have been investing in supply-chain technology for 20 years or more – yet many are still far from the goal of creating global, demand-driven networks. “Getting there takes more than a great tool,” says Green.

Check out this recorded roundtable discussion with Benji Green, director of global supply chain operations with Avaya; Trevor Miles, executive vice president of thought leadership with Kinaxis, and Roddy Martin, managing director of Accenture Supply Chain Strategies.

Watch now: Supply Chains of the Future: Where Will We Get the Talent?

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Kinexions: What happens in Vegas…

AgnesRubaj
  • by Agnes Rubaj
  • Published

It’s that time of year when planning for Kinexions, our yearly user conference, kicks off in full swing. Locations are scoped out, agendas are developed, speakers are secured, and graphic designers are slaving away crafting captivating themes and logos.

This year, for the first time ever, we are bringing Kinexions to Las Vegas. There is a lot of excitement about the location and, unsurprisingly, it made for some fun logo designs. The Kinaxis marketing team recently met to review all the proposed logos and taglines. We had quite a few laughs and wanted to share all the fun ideas. Check out the following logos and transcripts of our reactions, take a stab at guessing the winner, and post your guess in the comments. We will be unveiling the final logo and additional conference details shortly, so stay tuned.

Let’s get started!

Kinexions Logo
Kinexions Logo
Kinexions Logo

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Live Webcast – Supply Chain Transformation: Avaya’s Journey

AlexaCheater

We’re delighted to be bringing you a great live discussion on successful supply chain transformation based on Avaya’s first-hand experience. Join us on Thursday, April 30 at 1pm EST (5pm UTC) for “Supply Chain Transformation: Avaya’s Journey.”

In this live webcast, Bryan Ball, Aberdeen Group and Benji Green, Avaya, will discuss the challenges that were impeding Avaya’s ability to achieve a best-in-class supply change and their key drivers for change. Learn about the five-phase approach Avaya used to shift focus from low-value, reactionary data management tasks to high-value, proactive activities, and how the combination of people, process and technology led to achieving far-reaching success.

Register now!

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Know sooner, act faster and accelerate your supply chain performance!

JohnWesterveld

A globe with highlighted routes representing supply chain performanceWhen things happen in supply chain, knowing sooner and acting faster can mean the difference between a major catastrophe and a minor hiccup in your supply chain performance. It can mean the difference between late orders and angry customers and the ability to win additional market share. It can mean the difference between getting fired and getting a promotion.

Imagine this scenario; you are a supply chain executive for a major U.S.-based electronics manufacturer. It’s a Sunday morning in May 2008. You’ve woken up and are reading the Sunday news. Suddenly you read something that makes you spill your coffee. There has been a major earthquake in Chengdu, China… where several of your key items are manufactured. This is bad…. very bad, but you know you have the tools to respond. By end of day Monday, you have identified the key items that are manufactured in that region, identified the customers and revenue impacted by the loss of those items, identified alternative sources, and were able to shift to new suppliers and reschedule orders. All with minimal impact to your customers.

Is this kind of performance too good to believe? Can you imagine your supply chain planning team being able to pull this off? Supply chain performance like this is not out of your grasp. It takes two things:

  1. Knowing sooner
  2. Acting Faster

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Is the “shared economy” changing logistics?

AlvaroFernandez

A mailbox full of mailDid you know it costs approximately $100 to send an envelope from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to Caracas, Venezuela? That’s for three to five day service! New York to London? That will cost you $50 to $100, but it’ll get there overnight. Of course, we’re not only paying to get that envelope from point A to point B, but for a certain level of service as well. What if you don’t require the highest level of service, but still want to avoid the nightmares of dealing with national snail mail companies? (To be fair, Canada has had its share of mail nightmares in the past).

A popular subject in several expat Facebook groups is checking to see who’s planning on flying back to their origin country, and whether those individuals would mind taking along a little extra cargo. I’ve been part of a few of these groups. It usually starts with someone asking for it as a favor, but some, particularly if it’s something bigger than an envelope, offer to pitch in a few bucks to help cover the checked baggage fees. In a way, travelers are informally monetizing what we might call their unused capacity. Upon arrival, they’re usually met by the intended recipient at the airport, or occasionally will agree to meet at more central location, or even relay the package to a local courier to complete the shipment.

So, when I read about Roadie, a startup whose business model is about providing a platform to enable people to monetize their otherwise wasted capacity in the trunk of their cars, I had one of those “about time!” moments. Granted, it’s not the budget-friendly cross-border air shipping service I dream about for my occasional need to send documents overseas, but I hope it might pave the way for it.

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