Posts categorized as 'Miscellanea'

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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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.

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2018: The Winter Olympics, a royal wedding, space exploration and, of course, big supply chain planning events

TeresaChiykowski

2018 eventsAs we bid farewell to 2017 and usher in a new year, what can we expect to see in 2018?

As per usual, folks will flock to the gym in record numbers to burn off those extra holiday pounds and then, all too soon, workouts will become a distant memory (These are “January people” according to an article in the Huffington Post).  I know this to be fact because I am a January people.

This year will also see athletes from around the globe gather in Pyeongchang, South Korea to go for gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics. “Royals” fans will be glued to their TVs and personal devices to watch Prince Harry wed actress Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel in England. In November, space travel enthusiasts will follow the launch of NASA’s InSight as it embarks on a journey to the “Red Planet” – Mars.

But wait, there’s more.

When it comes to big events in 2018, let’s not forget about the world of supply chain planning. There are some cool events in 2018 you might want to check out. Here are just a few at a glance.

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8 steps for a successful business case for your supply chain investments

Dr. MadhavDurbha

business case for your supply chain investmentsOver the years I’ve had the opportunity to engage in or witness the process organizations go through to prepare business cases in support of supply chain investments, from the successfully crafted and executed, to those that fail to gain traction.

Based on that experience, I wanted to share my eight most important pieces of advice for those being asked to prepare a business case for their supply chain investments.

  1. Ensure clarity on the strategic objectives of your organization.
    Any sizeable supply chain investment draws the attention of the senior leadership. Rightfully, your leadership will look to understand how the initiative supports the overall strategic objectives of the business. Being well versed with these objectives and able to demonstrate how the proposed initiative will support them is paramount to getting buy-in from your executives.
  2. Show how the initiative supports strategic objectives.
    Are your executives measured on servicing strategic customers better than your competition and reducing regulatory risks? If so, your business case will need to show how you can align with these objectives. For example, understanding your customers’ buying behaviors and segmenting and serving them based on these behaviors will help differentiate strategic customers. By enabling end-to-end visibility across your entire network, you can put a flashlight on looming regulatory risks. Make strong links between the strategic objectives and the enablers as directly and explicitly as possible.

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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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Forecasting and demand management for new events using machine-learning algorithm

ImanNiroomand

Football - demand planning and forecastingWhat does a machine-learning (ML) algorithm have to do with the Super Bowl?

When it comes to forecasting and demand management, a lot.

Consider this: According to the National Retail Federation, approximately 189 million people watched Super Bowl LI, and viewers spent an average of $82.19 on electronics, apparel and food specifically for the game, up from $77.88 compared to the previous year.

For events like the Super Bowl, retail demand planners create forecasts using data from a variety of sources to adjust product demand profiles in anticipation of which product, or group of products might be in demand the most.

This is a daunting task when one considers the variety of products available to football fans – from cheeseheads to cheezies and everything in between. In the past, only about one brand in 50 was able to precisely adjust their football-frenzy driven supply chain to meet demand during the short two-week window between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl.

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An optimist’s view of Blockchain in supply chain: Learnings from Bitcoin

Dr. MadhavDurbha

BitcoinThese days, not a single supply chain conference I attend goes by without someone mentioning Blockchain. Given the growing chatter, I wanted to share my views on the topic. In fact, my interest in Blockchain further increased as I started dabbling in Bitcoin, an application of the Blockchain technology.

As per Wikipedia, a Blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Bitcoin is a form of decentralized digital cryptocurrency, not controlled by any nation or issuing bank.

Launched in 2009, Bitcoin was initially written off as a scam or fad. However, to the surprise of naysayers, Bitcoin did survive and is thriving, building quite a following. Here are some factors that are making Bitcoin a very attractive proposition, which are a direct result of the underlying Blockchain technology:

  1. Secure encrypted transactions ensuring privacy of the involved parties: Through a combination of public and private key encryptions facilitated by Blockchain, Bitcoin provides a virtually hacker-proof way of making and receiving payments. This is quite fascinating considering the code behind Bitcoin itself is open source. In a Blockchain, each transaction is recorded to a “block” across a large number of distributed systems. This transaction is then authenticated by each node in the network and is facilitated by individuals like you and me, who are referred to as “miners” in the Bitcoin world. Once recorded, the transaction cannot be altered, and it forever resides in a public distributed ledger that’s shared between the network nodes. The identity of the sender and receiver are protected through the encryption mechanisms. Not surprisingly, some of the early adopters of Bitcoin were those dealing in illegal goods and drugs through the now defunct Silkroad, online marketplace being the most prominent. While any technology can be put to both good and bad use, supply chains require a high degree of privacy and security to ensure validity of transactions for perfectly legitimate reasons – which Blockchain can enable.

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