Posts categorized as 'Miscellanea'

Digital transformation: Advice from the front lines

SarahHarkins

When your supply chain isn’t functioning, the signs are clear: missed opportunities, customer complaints, unexplained errors and overstretched planners. Diagnosis is easy, but change is hard.

We’ve all heard stories about the company that spent thousands of dollars and years of work on transformation only to make negligible gains. These stories have created fear and persuaded many companies to stick with outdated solutions long after they’ve outlived their utility. It’s time for companies to readjust their beliefs and revive transformation’s good name.

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Top 10 signs you’ve been working in supply chain too long

BillDuBois

Top 10 signs you’ve been working in supply chain too long

Boomers, millennial leadership and supply chain management jokes. Is it time for the older generation to move on?

It’s no secret supply chain talent has been top of mind for many executives for some time. Research firm Gartner even has it listed as a hot topic for its Supply Chain Executive Conference in Phoenix, May 14–17.

There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is the aging population. A number of reports from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and Pew Research Center state 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day. It’s easy to speculate there would be some supply chain talent retiring. The question is: How do you replace the knowledge gap created by those retirements?

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A brilliant mind: 5 Stephen Hawking quotes

BillDuBois

A brilliant mind: 5 Stephen Hawking quotesOn March 14, 2018, the world lost an unbelievable talent in Stephen Hawking. Tributes continue to pour in around the globe for a man who gave so much to science, all while fighting motor neuron disease since the age of 21. As astronaut Chris Hadfield commented on Twitter, “Genius is so fine and rare.”

Fortunately, for us, Hawking’s genius will live forever as his words continue to inspire generations. He had many great quotes that motivate anyone regardless of profession. Like many others, I try my best to apply Hawking’s wisdom to my work. If you’re reading this, that work is likely improving supply chain planning and our lives in general. The two often intertwine, which makes the wisdom even more valuable.

With that in mind, I thought I’d pass along some of my favorite Stephen Hawking quotes and tie them to supply chain planning.

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A Supply Chain Software Christmas Story

JonathanMatthews

Supply Chain Software Christmas Story T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a… well, that’s not quite correct.

There was some stirring in the Clause house as Santa slowly shifted positions in his easy chair, looking out the window into the howling snow storm outside. The weather forecast said the storm would be blowing over soon and, and truth be told, it wasn’t that bad of a snowstorm. Certainly not like the famous storm eleven years ago.

But the weather had been poor the past month, and certainly not conducive for the last minute production crunch leading up to Christmas. Mentally preparing himself for the insanity the next 24 hours would bring, Santa mulled over the past year.

He should have been notified about production delays by now, but strangely, nothing had crossed his plate. Not even the unsavory incident he had overheard about in early November, when an elf drank a little too much eggnog and broke machinery, leading to a production delay. Even in the best years there are delays and problems. Right?

“Honey,” Santa Clause said softly, getting Mrs. Clause’s attention from the book she was reading. He noticed that it wasn’t her usual novel type book, but rather looked more like a technical manual. Without his glasses on, Santa didn’t try to strain his eyes to make out the title; he’d ask her later about it.

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The supply chain planning system crystal ball

JohnWesterveld

supply chain planning crystal ballTwenty-five years ago, I bought my first personal computer. One of the first applications I installed was a cookbook — the killer home PC application of the time. The second application was Quicken to manage my finances. Funds were tight then and I really needed to keep tabs on my spending.

Every transaction was meticulously entered, every statement validated against my records. Then I discovered the calendar function. With the calendar, I was able to schedule my known income (paycheck) and my known expenses (car loan, mortgage, utilities, taxes, groceries, etc.) and Quicken would project my bank balance into the future.

For me, this was game changing!

When making discretionary purchases, I could look at my projection to make sure that if I made that purchase, I would have enough money in the bank, not only now, but at the end of the month when my mortgage and car loan came out. It was my crystal ball, and I regularly asked it questions like:

What if I buy that awesome new 27″ Sony Trinitron television this week, could I still make my mortgage payment? What if I save my money this month? Or don’t go out for supper on the weekend? Then could I buy it?

Today’s supply chain professionals need a crystal ball, too. The only difference is that the decisions are much more complex and far reaching than balancing my finances.

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Reflections on Kinexions, through a fresh set of eyes

MikeMcAllister

Kinexions - Kinaxis“Hi, my name is Mike. I’m the new Influencer Relations Manager here at Kinaxis.”

That’s the line I delivered dozens of times over the span of two and a half days to customers, analysts, and co-workers alike at Kinexions ‘17 in Orlando, to which one reply came, “What exactly does an Influencer Manager do?” I was about to find out.

To provide a bit of context, I started at Kinaxis just one week prior to Kinexions. Just. One. Week. Though that may sound somewhat ominous, the expectations on my attendance and participation were reasonable, and quelled any concern over having to understand the industry right out of the gate.

The mandate was simple: to meet as many people as possible, analysts, customers, and co-workers included. And listen. Listen to the language of the industry and absorb as much as I could in a short amount of time.

The opportunity to dive in to all things Kinaxis right out of the gate proved invaluable. I quickly discovered that in many ways supply chain management was something to which I could easily relate. Something that was both immediately accessible yet infinitely complex.

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How supply chain planners should spend their time, with cues from Chris Hadfield

DuncanKlett

Chris Hadfield, KinexionsI was fascinated watching the key note address from Chris Hadfield at the Kinaxis user conference, Kinexions 2017. Canadians and space junkies will know him as the first Canadian to walk in space and as a commander of the International Space Station.

While in space, he also did a live stream playing Space Oddity from the ISS. See his web page, http://chrishadfield.ca/ for more information.

But, it was not all his accomplishments that made everyone else in the room feel inadequate. It was his level of preparation. As Hadfield said, “Astronauts are not adrenalin junkies. Adrenalin is an indication of lack of preparation and can have fatal results.” Rather, astronauts train for what they must do. They train to handle all the things that might go wrong and for making decisions with incomplete information.

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The lighter side of supply chain: 10 more supply chain jokes

BillDuBois

end-to-end supply chain jokes Much has changed in the world of supply chain since we published our last batch of supply chain jokes. Supply chain disruptions continue to be the norm. Cognitive computing, IoT and big data are changing the technology landscape. Shifting demographics and supply chain talent questions leave many of us in the field scratching our heads. However, it’s not all depressing. Advances in end-to-end supply chain solutions and customer success stories show it’s a great time to be in supply chain. There are a number of events to look forward to, including the Gartner Executive Supply Chain Conference in May and the Kinaxis user conference, Kinexions in October, that celebrate our many supply chain achievements. As we get ready to take a deep breath after an exciting start to the year, we thought some cheesy supply chain humor would help us relax as we gear up to take on the rest of 2017.

So here you go, some more supply chains jokes. I apologize beforehand to all supply, demand and capacity planners, sales, engineers and statistical forecasters. We hope you enjoy!

  1. ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I apologize’ mean the same thing. Except at a funeral or an S&OP meeting.

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