Posts categorized as 'Best practices'

Building the foundation of your digital supply chain

AlexaCheater

Webinar | Building the foundation of your digital supply chainIt’s getting harder and harder to get ahead—and stay ahead—of the constantly shifting realities of today’s interconnected world. Unstable markets, growing customer demands, emerging competition and deep-rooted reliance on outdated, legacy systems are causing chaos and complexity.

Traditional supply chain issues are only getting compounded by all of these new and emerging data sources. Everyone’s turning to digital for the answers. And it’s no wonder when companies with digital supply chains are seeing enterprise-wide results like 25% faster response times, 30% working capital reductions and up to 110% higher operating margins.

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What does GDPR mean for your supply chain?

NazliErdogus

How to Prepare for the EU’s New GDPR Data Protection Rules – KinaxisThe EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the most important change in personal data privacy regulation in 20 years. It’s aimed at tech giants and small and medium enterprises alike.

As we count down the days until the GDPR enters into force on May 25, it’s important to recognize how your supply chain is affected and how it can become GDPR compliant.

What is GDPR and how will it impact my supply chain?

I’d like to take this opportunity to point out a few critical issues that will have a direct impact on your business and supply chain.

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How Uber Parallels the 6 Design Principles of Digital Supply Chain

Dr. MadhavDurbha

Digital supply chainDigital supply chain is the “in” thing! Don’t take my word for it, though. Just google the term. You will come across many articles talking about how supply chains are being remade by industry 4.0, internet of things (IoT), 3D printing, big data analytics, cloud computing and so on. But what most of these articles focus on are the means rather than the ends for the digital supply chain. On a day-to-day basis I speak to a number of supply chain practitioners. Most of them tell me they are at some stage of evolution with their digitization strategy. However, much confusion exists in terms of what constitutes a digital supply chain. So, I decided to write this blog to share my point of view on the topic.

Supply chain digitization is not simply taking existing information and capturing it in a digital format. It is not about automating your existing SCM processes. It is not about layering in Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) as a band aid to connect disjointed processes. It is about having the most current information to run your supply chain effectively, available on demand, so you can service your customers and grow profitably. In other words, think of a Google search for supply chain. You ask questions and you get answers!

Here, I will introduce 6 design principles that make up a digital supply chain. I will lean on the example of Uber, how it digitized the taxi experience, and draw parallels to digital supply chain. Let us take a look at these design principles:

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Are Short-Sighted Goals Holding Your Supply Chain Back?

AlexaCheater

close up of broken glasses and snellen chartSupply chains are growing more complex by the minute. With increased outsourcing, companies’ broad market penetration and expansion, not to mention the overall volume of products, it’s no wonder the difficulty in integrating all those internal and external supply chain nodes has grown exponentially.

Smart companies are turning to improving their supply chain visibility to help combat this connectivity problem, but the truly wise ones realize end-to-end visibility alone won’t yield effective supply chain orchestration. It’s just one step of many on the path to achieving higher levels of maturity.

Gartner’s five-stage demand-driven maturity model for supply chains outlines visibility as a key focus of supply chains in Stage 3 (Integrate), but with two more stages (Collaborate, Orchestrate) on their maturity model, it can’t be the end goal.

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‘Best in Class’ Supply chain from a Road warrior perspective – Part 4

CarolMcIntosh

supply chain technologyInsight #4 – Embracing Supply Chain Technology as a way to change SCM

I have been following the United Nations Climate Change Conference. If you were to ask anyone what he or she thought about climate change, you would probably hear:

  1. Excitement
  2. Skepticism
  3. Concern or Fear

I came to the realization that you would get the same reaction from a supply chain executive when discussing supply chain technology.

When I refer to supply chain technology, I am talking about software to support the fundamental supply chain business processes — Demand, Supply, Inventory Planning, and Sales and Operations Planning.

Excitement

  • We have electric cars, new transportation systems, wind turbines, solar panels. There is much excitement about technology favorably impacting the climate.
  • Like climate change, when you hear about new supply chain and manufacturing technologies, and the advancements being made, you want to be part of the sea change. Advanced analytics, cloud solutions, cross functional collaboration, big data, in-memory computing, 3D printing. These are all advancements in supply chain that are changing the way you do business. You will be more competitive, more profitable with more market share if you embrace these advancements.

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How Prepared Are You Really? Supply Chain Black Swans

AlexaCheater

Supply chain black swanSupply chain risk. It’s a topic that just never seems to go away (nor should it!). Everyone and their uncle has probably read at least one article, blog, research report, etc. on the topic. We’ve covered it here extensively on the 21st Century Supply Chain blog, and Kinaxis has even produced a great infographic about it. There’s no denying it’s a very important subject when it comes to good supply chain management.

Recently however, I’ve been thinking about supply chain risk in a whole other light. Thanks mostly to a fabulous guest post by MIT’s Yossi Sheffi on the Wall Street Journal, which I had the good fortune to stumble across. In it, Sheffi talks about the concept of a ‘black swan’, no not the risk of slightly unstable ballerinas invading your supply chain, but rather a term popularized in 2007 by Nassim Taleb that’s used to describe occurrences that are thought to be impossible.

At first blush, it all sounds a bit familiar. Make sure you prepare for the unexpected. Got it. We’ve long been proponents of making sure your supply chain risk management strategy targets three key areas: anticipated risk, uncontrolled anticipated risk, and unanticipated risk. Surely this concept of a black swan fits squarely into the third category, which is characterized by an event that is entirely out of our control and hard to anticipate and plan for. And it does.

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‘Best in Class’ Supply chain from a Road warrior perspective – Part 2

CarolMcIntosh

In my previous blog I looked at the role company culture plays in being able to develop and maintain a best-in-class supply chain. This blog will explore the role supply chain processes play.

Insight #2 – Your supply chain processes

Do your supply chain processes look like this?

supply chain silos

There is still a mindset that drives a focus on functional excellence, which means processes end up siloed.

Referencing Gartner’s Five-Stage Demand-Driven Maturity Model, this would only place your company at Stage 2. Integrated supply chain decisions place you at Stage 3; integration across the extended supply chain to customers and suppliers places your company at Stage 4. Stage 5 incorporates technology that enables value network creation as well as risk management and scenario analysis for profitable trade-off analysis.

Companies that have reached Stage 5 have reaped the rewards of profitable growth.

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of the Parts

This does not preclude the need for excellence in demand planning, supply planning, inventory planning, and S&OP processes. The distinction is to think of their value holistically. Companies will often conduct technology evaluations on individual processes rather than ensuring that all processes are interconnected through the technology. This requires a strategic vision of the value chain with business and IT.

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‘Best in Class’ Supply chain from a Road warrior perspective – Part 1

CarolMcIntosh

supply chain road warriorFirstly, what is a supply chain road warrior?

A supply chain road warrior works for a company that specializes in supply chain, spends many, many hours on a plane, uses lean principles when going through the security line, gets far too much satisfaction from collecting air miles and hotel points, is constantly wondering why the airlines have such antiquated software, can spot a casual traveler from a mile away, and is fixated on every situation where demand does not equal supply… or vice versa.

The focus of this blog series is to share the insights I have gained during my 15 years as a supply chain road warrior. Having spoken to many companies, peeked inside their organizations, and worked alongside them during countless supply chain initiatives, I’ve built myself a bit of a list of what it means and what it takes to be best-in-class.

Insight #1 – Your company culture

Insight #2 – Your supply chain processes

Insight #3 – Your supply chain measurements

Insight #4 – Your supply chain technology

Does being the best at a specific supply chain function — Demand Planning, Supply Planning, Inventory Planning,

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