Our own Trevor Miles, VP of Product Innovation and Thought Leadership, had the chance to sit down with Bob Ferrari of Supply Chain Matters to talk about multi-industry supply chain challenges. Their in-depth interview touched on the challenge multi-industry sales and operations planning (S&OP) teams have when it comes to various cross-functional information and decision-making silos.
Trevor relayed how he often sees businesses looking to gain “a more detailed understanding of the various tradeoffs of decision-making, especially related to various competing metrics.” Adding that for many the most significant technology focused supply chain challenge often relates to data – making sense of it and providing proper context. RapidResponse is aimed at harmonizing those needs, providing a single data model for planning and decision- making.
Kinaxis blogger Andrew Dunbar, also recently published an article on defining supply chain challenges. He notes there are widely differing opinions on what the biggest supply chain challenge facing the industry is, and that each business needs to evaluate its own situation and determine their own challenges before developing a plan to deal with them.
He recommends an approach by Peter Bolstorff, a Supply Chain Council Executive Director with APICS. The idea is a fundamentals-first approach to strategic planning when defining those challenges. Andrew’s blog also highlights a common mistake business make when developing a supply chain strategy, which is to select key initiatives or technology platforms and a list of best practices, and work backwards to highlight the problems solved. The same issues, although arguably on a more complex scale, face multi-industry supply chains.
During the course of their interview, Trevor and Bob also spoke about the notion of supply chain control tower capabilities, and where this type of capability stands today. Trevor mentioned two distinct approaches – a logistics execution approach and an operations and planning resource approach. While he sees a role and value for both capabilities, he does lean toward the operations and planning resource approach due to the ability to bring together planning and execution in a near real-time perspective.