When was the last time you made changes to your supply chain? I’m not referring to order changes, SKU changes or capacity changes, but rather, the processes and functionality that drive your day-to-day decision making. If it’s been too long to remember, you’re likely lagging behind when it comes to supply chain innovation. That isn’t good news when it comes to keeping up with the competition.
Innovation is happening all around us, and at a pace so fast, it may make your head spin. But the reality of doing business in a globally competitive environment is that you have to stay ahead of – or at least be part of – the pack if you want to succeed. For supply chains, the added complexity all this change is bringing about can be daunting. It’s becoming harder and harder to keep inventory costs low while still meeting customer demands for customization, same day shipping and easy returns.
Waiting for big, bulky annual releases to your supply chain management software doesn’t really seem to fit with the fast-paced world we live in. Why then is that still the norm for most companies? Wouldn’t you rather get immediate access to the latest supply chain innovations as soon as they become available? That’s the idea behind continuous delivery, and it’s far from new. App developers have been using it for years to provide regular feature updates to your smartphones. So have consumer software companies – just look at Adobe’s Creative Cloud or Microsoft’s Office 365. Yet enterprise software companies still seem to be lagging behind.
I am reading this absolutely fascinating book “Deep Thinking: Where machine intelligence ends and human creativity begins” by Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion. As the title suggests, in this book Kasparov shares a highly provocative point of view on artificial intelligence and its implications for the human race, with the backdrop of his 1997 loss in a highly publicized chess match up against IBM’s chess computer Deep Blue. The book did make me reflect on my own experiences and views on the division of labor between the machines and human supply chain planners.
Much has been written and said about how machine intelligence is impacting supply chain planning in the form of automating a human planner’s function, with implications on the future of the profession itself. I would be remiss in stating that automation will have no impact on planning profession. Yes! The focus on automation in planning is increasing and will continue to increase. However, this has to take place in the context of empowering planners and significantly augmenting their productivity to handle activities with larger scope and with higher levels of cognition that can drive strategic value for business. When done in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, automation initiatives can significantly benefit planners who are willing to adapt and change, and organizations as a whole.
From catching up with the very first Kinaxis customer to exploring the future of supply chain, day one of Kinexions, our annual user and training supply chain conference, proved to be an out-of-this-world learning experience, aptly set to a soundtrack of songs by ‘80s rock group Journey.
And what a journey day one at Kinexions has been. Here are just a few of the great insights coming from the conference:
“Artificial intelligence and machine learning aren’t magical pixie dust.” John Sicard, CEO, Kinaxis
As Kinaxis CEO John Sicard put it, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) aren’t magic, but they can help you create a little in your supply chain. Sicard talked about the notion of a self healing supply chain, one based on machine learning algorithms, which can help you:
Analyze and make intelligent predictions on what your values should be
Heal itself automatically
Monitor performance improvement and value over time
Next week, people will gather together in Orlando for Kinexions ’17 for the premier annual event for our RapidResponse® user community. I’m no prognosticator, but what I can say is Kinexions promises to be a great time for learning, networking and seeing what’s next for RapidResponse.
Henry Ford once said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” It’s a good quote (most of Henry’s are) in that it describes the RapidResponse journey. Together, our Kinaxis team, partners and customers are succeeding in revolutionizing supply chain planning. And one of the best ways to see it in action is at Kinexions ’17.
This year, customers are coming out in record numbers to present their RapidResponse success stories on the mainstage, in breakout sessions and as members on a panel. I’ve already given you a sneak peek into some of the inspiring stories our customers will share, including Merck, DJO and AMD. We’re also pleased to welcome Jabil, Palo Alto Networks, Qualcomm, Micron and Ford.
Recently, I was asked to write an email with a FOMO theme. Admittedly I had no clue what this meant (maybe it’s an age thing?). Then my mind wandered to the gutter because it starts with the letter “F.” Then I asked Mr. Google who never lets me down – and he didn’t.
FOMO is short form for “Fear of missing out.” It’s really the fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great. Well, speaking of events and something great, that’s exactly what Kinexions ’17 promises to be. Hey, on that note, check out this little snippet!
If you read my last blog post, you know that Kinexions is the premier supply chain conference event for our RapidResponse® user community. It’s two jam-packed days of networking, inspiring keynotes, informative general sessions and a variety of breakouts delivered by customers, product experts and partners. This year, Kinexions takes place Oct. 10 and 11 in Orlando, Fla. And, thankfully, it’s all systems go – despite Irma’s recent visit.
It’s hard to believe that Kinexions ‘17 is only a few weeks away. Time flies – just like astronaut Chris Hadfield, who will be joining us as our keynote speaker on the Kinexions mainstage in Orlando this year.
For those of you who missed my last blog post, Kinexions is the premier annual event for our RapidResponse® user community, including customers and prospects. The supply chain conference offers two full days of networking, inspiring keynotes, informative general sessions and a variety of breakouts delivered by customers, product experts and partners.
Last post, I touched on the top five reasons to attend the conference:
Supply chain stories that inspire
Out-of-this-world keynote speakers
Fun, exercise and a touch of Supertramp
More opportunities for RapidResponse learning
Today, I’d like to dig a little deeper into reason #1: supply chain stories that inspire.
When it comes to cyber safety, your supply chain could be your biggest weakness. Approximately 80% of data breaches originate from within the supply chain, and the financial impact of a breach could do more than destroy your bottom line. It could ruin your credibility with your customers.
In 2013, Target, one of the largest retailers in the US, fell victim to a massive data breach when a cyber intruder stole credit and debit card information on more than 40 million customers and personal details like addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of 70 million customers. It cost Target more than $88 million in damages. Attacks like these have become the number one threat to many organizations and their associated supply chains, but protecting yourself isn’t enough.
Target’s breach was traced back to malware installed on its point-of-sale system. The attack came through one of its vendors, making it even more important that you have end-to-end visibility through all tiers of your suppliers – not just the top few.
While cyberattacks aimed at stealing data remain the most visible risk, attacks designed to deny or disrupt service are also gaining in popularity. These types of cyberattacks jeopardize production and delivery schedules, causing delays and negatively affecting customers. Nodes along the entire supply chain can feel the impacts.
Kinexions ’17, our annual user and training conference, is right around the corner and we’re ready to blast off. Taking place October 9-13 in beautiful Orlando, it’s more than just an opportunity to have a little fun in the sun. It’s a way to get inspired by some of the latest and greatest supply chain innovations around.
From customers sharing their own supply chain innovation journeys to our expert staff guiding you through a look at what’s to come, Kinexions is THE place to discover where you are on your own supply chain journey, and what it’s going to take to propel your company into the stars. It’s all systems go as we explore what’s new in industry trends, and with our cloud-based supply chain management software, RapidResponse®.