Posts by Joe Cannata

Kinaxis Certification Program introduces digital badges

JoeCannata

Kinaxis Certification Program introduces digital badgesWe live in a world where social media presence is on a steep rise, skill validation and verification is reaching new heights, and building your own brand is critical.

To keep pace with the expectations of a credentialed workforce, Kinaxis is pleased to introduce digital badges to our certified base.

Knowledge, skills and abilities are the currency in the modern economy for interactions between organizations and their employees, partners and customers. To augment our existing certification program, Kinaxis will join the many technology giants that already use digital badges as a way of recognizing achievements.

Read the full story

How Kinaxis certification proves its worth

JoeCannata

How Kinaxis certification proves its worthSince the launch of the Kinaxis Certification Program in January 2016, we’ve steadily grown our certified user base. That base includes our technical employees, partners and customers, all of whom have worked to fortify and validate their RapidResponse skills in functionality, authoring and administration.

Why Kinaxis certification?

One question I often hear is, “Why should I get a Kinaxis certification?” It is no secret that having well trained, certified RapidResponse practitioners on staff means you have demonstrated the discipline to learn and master various aspects of RapidResponse, and can employ best practices. For a customer, they are able to derive the maximum value from their investment in a RapidResponse deployment. For employees and partners, it means staying at the top of their area of expertise.

Read the full story

Indiana Jones and the supply chain bullwhip effect

JoeCannata

Indiana Jones and the supply chain bullwhip effectAccording to the European Journal of Operational Research, the term ‘bullwhip effect’ was first coined by Procter & Gamble (P&G) in the 1990s in reference to the order variance amplification phenomenon observed between P&G and its suppliers.”

A small shift in customer demand essentially cracks the whip, and the further a supplier is from the demand, the more significant the impact, which inevitably leads to increasing swings in inventory for suppliers.

This question of demand management led me to wonder if any bullwhip manufacturer or supplier ever ran into a situation that caused them to experience the bullwhip effect in their own supply chains.

How ironic would that be?

Read the full story

The ultimate Kinaxis credential

JoeCannata

Kinaxis CertificationIt all started a little more than two years ago with two supply chain management certification exams — Kinaxis® Certified RapidResponse® Author Level 1 and Kinaxis Certified RapidResponse Administrator Level 1.

Since then, we’ve grown our supply chain management exam portfolio to provide exams for contributors, authors and administrators, while also adding integration- and application-focused exams.

We’ve also added three new credential levels to help partners and employees qualify for integration and solution consultant roles, which go beyond formal written exams to include training in soft skills and practical field experience.

Combined, these exams and achievements create a firm foundation upon which to build toward our ultimate, top-level credential, the Kinaxis Certified RapidResponse Master.

Read the full story

Does your supply chain hear the change coming?

JoeCannata

What rapid adoption of virtual assistants means for CPG supply chains

CPG supply chainI recall watching the original Battlestar Galactica series in the late 1970s, and there was an episode where Commander Adama was dictating his log. Before him was a computer screen recognizing his voice, taking his spoken words and translating them to perfect text for all to see. The capitalization and punctuation were perfect. Who knew back in 1978, when a home computer was slightly more than an expensive toy, and large computers were mainframes that ate punch cards and spewed paper and hole-punched tape, that this stunning scene would be a reality in my lifetime?

Now let’s move on to December of 1983, when a small company owned by Exxon Enterprises, named Verbex, interviewed me for a Systems Analyst position. Verbex had nothing to do with oil. They were one of the early pioneers of voice recognition technology, and produced a device about the size of a small paperback book, that had an active vocabulary from 300 to 10,000 words. It was being used at the time for everything from bridge painting to package sorting. I didn’t get the job, but I was made quite aware that the “future” shown in a 1978 TV show was five years closer to becoming a reality.

Now if we fast-forward to present day, we have the likes of Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Bixby, all on personal devices. I have spoken into my phone to Google to get directions on numerous occasions. People dictate text messages. And now, using technologies like Amazon Echo, people can order whatever they want, any time, from any place. This fundamental shift in the shopping paradigm is posing unique challenges for supply chains. Already, supply chains have had to adapt to online shopping, and crazy fulfillment demands. After reading a recent article in SCM World by Kevin O’Marah, I learned that CPG companies have felt extreme upstream pressure, as he puts it.

Read the full story

Supply Chain Risk Management: Could You Face a Category 4 Supply Chain Disaster?

JoeCannata

Supply chain risk managementWith Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful storm to threaten the Atlantic Coast in over 10 years that has already brought severe damage to Haiti, the Bahamas and several Southeastern U.S. states, obvious disruptions to supply chains and supply chain risk management were a given. Many of the states affected contained key ports and supply destinations, as well as transportation and logistics hubs. These ports accounted for 18.3% of U.S. container import shipments and 49.8% of east coast and Gulf of Mexico imports in September, according to an article from the Business Information Industry Association.

  • Starting with Miami, this port primarily handles containerized cargo with small amounts of breakbulk, vehicles and industrial equipment. It is the largest container port in the state of Florida and ninth in the United States.
  • Going up the coast in Jacksonville, FL, there is a huge port that receives the second-most automobiles in the US along with all types of cargo.
  • Heading further north along the coast is Savannah, GA, home to the largest single container terminal in the United States. In 2015, the Port of Savannah moved 8.2% of total U.S. containerized loaded cargo volume and more than 18% of the East Coast container trade.
  • A little more northward up the coast is the port of Charleston, SC. In 2016, this port handled 1.1 million containers, moved 1.2 million tons of non-containerized cargo and had the most productive crane moves in the U.S.

Read the full story

Let’s talk certification, the sequel

JoeCannata

Kinaxis Certification SequelIt’s always a summer of sequels at the cinema box office. Whether it is your favorite comic book action film from Marvel, a third Star Trek film, finding Dory’s parents, more Conjuring, an alien resurgence or even more of Jason Bourne, there always seems to be another story to tell. Back on January 13th, my Let’s Talk Certification blog detailed the announcement and the launch of the Kinaxis Certification Program, with our two original exams, Certified RapidResponse Author Level 1 and Certified RapidResponse Administrator Level 1. We rolled those out at KinectED, our annual knowledge sharing event for Kinaxis employees and partners. There was a lot of interest, a lot of studying, and a whole lot more of exams being delivered. My version of a sequel is to update our readers on how we have evolved since January.

Certification Sequal 1

Here are some of the candidates taking the exam back in January

Read the full story

The Supply Chain of Pollen

JoeCannata

Though it may sound like an odd subject, nature and manufacturing do work together in some sort of hybrid supply chain. What got me thinking about this, was when I returned home to Atlanta from a recent trip. Upon arrival at my car in the airport parking garage, I encountered this sight:

Pollen on Car

My car looked as if someone had emptied a few containers of yellow-green baby powder all over it. Ah yes, a fact of living in the U.S. Southeast, pollen season. Our pollen counts typically hit the thousands in the spring. Mind you, a count of 120 or higher is where people start to feel irritation. This is the price we pay for all of the gorgeous flowering trees and plants that bring a huge burst of color each spring, and then on through the growing season.

These tiny grains that look like alien life forms, can range from .006 mm to .090 mm and find a way to invade every possible space inside and out. They are a necessary part of the circle of life for the plant world. Some plants self-pollinate, others require external stimuli to reproduce. There is also cross-pollination, where the mixing of plant genetic material produces some sort of hybrid.

So what does all of this have to do with supply chain? The plant reproductive process is really a self-contained supply chain of its own, but that is not the larger story. 20% of plant pollination is abiotic, meaning some external event like wind or water causes pollen to reach its target. The other 80% is biotic, where an external organism needs to be involved in the transfer of pollen to its intended target. Most of these pollinators are insects, but there are also some species involved like birds, bats, squirrels, rodents and even some monkeys. Surprisingly, there is a supply chain when it comes to pollen and the process of pollination.

Read the full story