It’s time for a revolution of the supply chain kind


Supply chain planning systemsThere have been some pretty significant revolutions throughout history. The French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Chinese cultural revolution – just to name a few.

Well, today I’m going to talk about the need for another revolution. A supply chain planning systems revolution. Will it be the stuff that future historians drool over or universities base curriculums on? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m going to discuss it anyway, because for those of us living in a supply chain world, it’s big deal.

The world is changing – new technology, globalization, shifting markets, changing demographics, global warming – you get the idea. So while everything’s been changing around us, why hasn’t supply chain planning evolved to any great extent?

Times Haven’t Changed

Across the supply chain, functions and processes still operate in silos. Excel spreadsheets remain the number one way companies manage supply chain data (go figure). Current planning systems simply aren’t designed to deliver the speed and agility needed to deal with the complexity and risks associated with today and tomorrow’s supply chain.

You Say You Want a Revolution

The time has come to adopt new operating models that make data visible across functional and organizational boundaries. The time has come for a revolution.

We need supply chain planning that allows new insights to be formed and acted upon, and puts decision power into the hands (picture a fist raised in revolt) of an organization’s front line. We need a structural change in how supply chain planning is performed.

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Yves Morieux in particular, describes the drawbacks of current operating models, which are based on functional expertise with little interface between roles.

“The real battle is not competitors. This is rubbish, very abstract. When do we meet competitors to fight them? The real battle is against ourselves, against our bureaucracy, our complicatedness – only you can fight it.

Many organizations respond to increasing complexity by creating more overlays, procedures, structures, and scorecards. But these outdated methods lead businesses to spend more time managing work and less time focusing on the important activities that actually add value.”[1]

The key point Morieux is making is that we need cooperation across the supply chain network. We need a model that allows data, processes, and people to simultaneously work together to power the entire supply network.

Now, no one ever said changing an operation model is a simple exercise, but it’s definitely a necessary step required to revolutionize planning and bring supply chain planning systems into the future.

How about you? Are you ready to revolutionize your supply chain planning? Not sure? I invite you to check out our white paper Supply Chain Planning 4.0: Planning Revolutionized to learn more.




Bill DuBois has enjoyed over 20 years with Kinaxis in a number of roles including his current position as Director of Product and Marketing Content. Prior to his move to Marketing, Bill was a Senior Business Consultant providing pre-sales support to the Kinaxis Sales Team. This included developing and delivering “stand-out” product demonstrations, delivering ROI analysis and conducting pilot projects for prospective customers. Prior to joining Kinaxis, Bill gained 12 years of manufacturing, supply chain and lean experience while with Boeing of Canada. Bill is APICS CPIM certified. And as a qualified APICS instructor, Bill has developed and delivered APICS courses in material planning, master scheduling, capacity management and just-in-time. Bill has also developed and delivered Lean education and training packages for all levels of personnel. Bill studied Electronics Technology at Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Bill is also the host of our home-grown Stevie Award Winning Late Late Supply Chain Show. The Late Late Supply Chain Show videos can be found on the Just for Laughs section of the Supply Chain Expert Community. With top-ten list in hand, Bill keys up his late show antics appealing to a broad base of supply chain professionals — those who can laugh at the chaos of their daily lives. Bill has won the plaudits of critics — all one of them – and has proven himself in the ratings — first in Late Late Supply Chain shows! And Bill won’t stop until “this order has been filled.” Check him out for yourself!

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