Here at Kinaxis, we are starting to gear up for this year’s Kinexions (our annual training & user conference). A few weeks ago I began to reminisce about our fun customer videos from past conferences and I decided to create a series of blog posts to share. So, on this ‘Throw Back Thursday’, I would like to share this video of Ethan Hunt, “Gaining full visibility of supply and demand: How Agilent Technologies Measures Up”.
Ethan Hunt, supply chain consultant with Agilent Technologies, talks about the challenges his company faces in gaining full visibility of supply and demand, and in dealing with increasing supply-chain volatility.
Agilent is a leading test and measurement equipment company for high-tech, life sciences and chemical analysis. On the supply-chain side, the company’s primary goals are on-time customer delivery and product quality, the latter of which is “a huge differentiator for us,” says Hunt. “Inside our supply chain, we’re looking for efficiency [and] continual improvement.”
Agilent runs an unconstrained supply plan, meaning that customers can unexpectedly order product at just about any time. “It’s a challenge that we’re willing to take in,” says Hunt. Bills of material can be complex, based on a configure-to-order process. Validating them requires something more sophisticated than traditional spreadsheets. In addition, the company needs to be able to forecast demand for parts well into the future — in some cases as long as 10 years.
Formerly a part of Hewlett-Packard Co., the now-independent Agilent has had to cope with a number of homegrown legacy systems. Over the last five years, it has refined the IT infrastructure to streamline the movement of key data from contract manufacturers to other parts of the supply chain. It is working with Kinaxis and can now run simulations before choosing the optimal scenario for satisfying demand.
The company’s biggest challenge lies in the handling of new-product introductions. “We are having to bring our products to market faster than ever before,” says Hunt.
If you don’t see the video below, view it here.