Posts by CJ Wehlage

S&OP in Las Vegas! Let’s Learn, Laugh, and Be Entertained at the S&OP Innovation Summit

CJWehlage

SandOP in Las VegasThis past week was the IE Group’s S&OP Innovation Summit at the beautiful venue of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Kinaxis was well represented, especially with the wonderful keynote speech from Kathleen Geraghty from Celestica. Her keynote hit the main theme of the conference: S&OP Skills. Having attended and presented at many S&OP conferences, I was expecting the standard S&OP challenges of maturity and alignment with cross functional teams. The reason I found this conference surprisingly unique, is the focus on talent and skills.

Celestica’s keynote centered on “Planning with Predictive Power”, which is done as a managed service from Celestica. Having worked many years in the supply chain with the contract manufacturing firms, I find this managed service, sometimes called PaaS (Planning-as-a-Service), extremely intriguing. The contract manufacturer, Celestica, already manages manufacturing and inventory. They are best prepared to do the planning service. Kathleen spoke about managing demand planning and scenario modeling of the Brand’s S&OP process, with the goal of improving forecast accuracy to above 85% and modeling in minutes, not days.

smarter-faster-s-and-op-cycle

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How Supply Chain Best Practice Metrics Can Predict the NFL Super Bowl

CJWehlage

supply chain best practice metrics predictionsFor those that follow the National Football League (NFL), these next few weekends are going to be engaging. We are down to the final four teams: Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and the Green Bay Packers. With full disclosure, I have to say that I do not have a rooting interest. I grew up in Pittsburgh, and it is Steelers all day.

But, that didn’t stop me from wondering who the Super Bowl champion would be. So, I decided to use supply chain best practice metrics to predict the Super Bowl participants, and the ultimate winner.

I remember when my parents questioned my plan to go after a dual degree in college – Industrial Engineering and Statistics. Only four more courses would get me the Statistics degree – that cost a lot of money. And, now, after 25 years, it’s about to pay off!

The winner of Super Bowl XLIX (or 49) will be…

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2015 New Year’s Resolutions for the Supply Chain Industry

CJWehlage

2015 New Years Resolutions for the Supply Chain Industry2015 will be my 25th year in the supply chain industry, mostly as a practitioner. I’ve had the benefit of stepping away from the grind for 2 years, spending time at AMR Research, where I visited with many companies and learned about their supply chain practices. As well, these past 2 years at Kinaxis have brought great insight on the operational challenges of supply chain leaders.

Which brings me to today… I was planning out my 2015 supply chain conference schedule, and noticed the conference themes: Digital, Green, Internet of Things and Social. These are what I call “Cool Theme” topics. But after my 25 industry years, I find that the fundamentals of revenue, profitability and service are the still most important themes. It feels like we’ve drifted away from the fundamental supply chain strategies. So, I decided that 2015 needs to be a re-focus on the hard core fundamentals of supply chain success. And change in the New Year begins with resolutions…

 

My 2015 Resolutions for the Supply Chain Industry

Resolution #1 – Stop using the term VISIBILITY

People say that information is power. I beg to differ. I say, an informed decision is power. The visibility term has been over used. I’ve even heard some say that getting visibility to your supply chain is 80% of the challenge. They must not have run a supply chain. I see many supply chain leaders that have visibility, some in excel and some in automated tools. The ones that don’t have visibility can easily call the supplier and get it. Getting visibility isn’t the challenge. The real 80% challenge is “what are you doing with the visibility?”

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Recap of Ventana Research’s Technology Innovation Awards: Understanding the New Generation of Business Planning

CJWehlage

Ventana-Research-AwardI recently attended the Ventana Research Technology Innovation Awards that were held in October. The the awards distinguish pioneers that have developed clear visionary and transformative technology.

On behalf of Kinaxis, I was proud to accept the Technology Innovation award in the category of Operational Leadership. In our recent news release on the win, Trevor Miles said the following:

“The operational core of a business is its supply chain. With Kinaxis, our customers are achieving true performance breakthroughs by being able to more effectively and efficiently orchestrate efforts across supply chain functions, departments and company lines,” said Trevor Miles, Vice President of Thought Leadership, Kinaxis. “We are very proud to receive the award from Ventana given their acute focus on the business value provided by technology systems. Winning the Operational Leadership award is a respected validation of our product and technology approach.”

Did you miss the summit? Good news… I’d like to share my presentation slides from the panel discussion as well as the link for your complimentary access to Ventana Research’s recorded sessions and presentations.

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Top 15 Supply Chains to Admire from the Supply Chain Insights Conference

CJWehlage

CJ supply chain insights conferenceThe Supply Chain Insights annual conference was held on September 10-11, 2014 at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona. As an ex-AMR Research analyst, this was my favorite venue. Great memories here, as so much has changed in the supply chain research world these past 5+ years. Reliving the old days was made even more rich, as there was a panel session at the conference with Lora Cecere, Roddy Martin, Mickey North-Rizza and myself. All ex-AMR analysts on the stage, talking about the ‘Top 15 Supply Chains we Admire’.

CJ supply chain insights boardThere has been so much discussion on the “top” supply chain lists. When we did the Top 25 list at AMR, we mixed a bit of science, art and influence. While there was always passionate discussions on companies and metrics, the end goal was to raise awareness of supply chain as a practice. I know the Sales and Marketing folks have lots of elaborate events to celebrate their achievements, and we in supply chain needed to pause from our 17 hour flights to far off places to negotiate a 2% reduction in cost, and celebrate our industry.

The panel discussed the Top 15 Supply Chains we Admire, as built off the Supply Chain Index. While other “lists” use ROA, Inventory Turns and Revenue Growth, I find Lora’s science very objective. She is analyzing growth, inventory turns, operating margin, and return on invested capital, performance and improvement over time.

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Elephant in the Room: Thoughts on Metrics That Matter in Semiconductor and Hard Disk Drives

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Metrics That Matter in Semiconductor and Hard Disk Drives

Supply Chain Insights recently published a Metrics That Matter report covering both the Semiconductor and Hard Disk Drive (HDD) industries. Despite being hit hard by the recent recession, overall the research shows that these two industries have fared well over the last decade and are positioned to continue that success.

Success, provided they monitor the 7 “elephants” in the room.

Consolidation

Notice in the Supply Chain Insights report, there are only two HDD companies. That industry has already gone through consolidations. Semiconductor is poised to consolidate, which will have huge impact on the metrics. It’s already happening with Avago/LSI, RF Micro/TriQuint, Micron/Elpida, MediaTek/MStar and Fujitsu/Panasonic. Speed to integrate the planning functions during an acquisition is critical.

Profitability

With the OEM’s driving down the price, the semiconductor/HDD companies will have to follow (or innovate new products). Lower price means lower profitability. This will begin to impact the semi/HDD ability to raise capital and innovate/expand. Cost pressures and faster time to market in the planning processes will be required.

Global pressure

Consider that the Chinese and India governments are investing in the semiconductor industry. With China already a source for semiconductor raw materials and the China/India end consumer market growing, there will be pressure to supply chips and hard drives to local China/India OEM’s first. This could create a shortage in the US/Europe OEM chain. Understanding inventory planning will take on a new dynamic.

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3 Lessons from Gold and Silver Pawn: This… is Supply Chain, This… is Pawn Stars

CJWehlage

3 Lessons from Gold and Silver Pawn This is Supply Chain. This is Pawn StarsIf you read my prior blog, “Storage Wars rescues supply chain ignominy”, you would have seen my garage after I moved from Boston to San Diego. Every box we collected for 16 years, stuffed in the Boston attic. And now, in San Diego, the only place to put it was the garage. Well, here’s the updated picture of my garage. I used the supply chain ERP “shedding” theory to innovate and clear out my garage.

Just like shedding ERP when building a planning system of record, when I shed my garage, I was able to find cool side benefits. I found an “item” dating back to 1910, Carnegie, Pennsylvania. My grandfather passed it down to my uncle, who passed it down to me. It’s a piece of baseball history from the Pittsburgh area. I’ll tell you in a minute why I cannot say what the item is.

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The Next Great Disruption Coming to Supply Chains

CJWehlage

Next great disruption coming to supply chainsWhat would you say is the next great disruption coming to our supply chain world?

I’ve heard some common themes, such as weather, political changes, even war. Those are potential, and somewhat out of our control. However, there’s one great disruption already occurring, which has yet to truly “touch” supply chain. It’s the consumer. And, WOW! how they ever already impacted retail and brand marketing.

I watched a TED Talk video by Philip Evans, from Boston Consulting Group and shuddered to think that all our traditional fulfillment and inventory models can be drastically transformed by the “consumer”.

Philip Evans shares how today’s consumer is sharing a colossal amount of data to come to a buying decision. Some people call this “Big Data”. Others consider how this “data” is used, and use the term “Omni-Channel” or “Internet of Things”. Google wrote a great book, ZMOT, or Zero Moment of Truth.

ZMOT the next great disruption coming to supply chainsThis is the point where a consumer looks across all the channels in the market, using multiple devices to search reviews, ratings, styles and prices. That’s before the P&G First and Second Moments of Truth. They trust other online reviews over the brand. This is how they’ve drawn the ZMOT challenge.

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