Posts categorized as 'Supply chain collaboration'

Are you sure you’re making the best supply chain decisions?

AlexaCheater

Successfully managing your supply chain means making decisions. A lot of them.

But the reality for many is that the tradeoffs and choices they’re making are based on outdated or inaccurate data.

How can you be sure you have the information and insight you need to make the best supply chain decisions possible for your business? Today’s planning reality leaves too much room for uncertainty. Siloed and sequential data and processes don’t deliver the visibility you need.

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Collaboration in supply chain management is key

JohnWesterveld

Collaboration in supply chain managementWhen scrolling through my news feed Friday, I found this article from SCN: Collaboration Key in Creating Competitive Advantages Through Supply Chains“.

The article describes research recently published by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Global Supply Chain Institute. You can download the report here. There were some interesting ideas that came out of this study, like how collaboration in supply chain management is key to success. While some may be obvious to you, others you may find insightful.

“As complexity and consumer and shareholder expectations increase, CEOs and supply chain professionals must retrain their focus on contributing to strategic initiatives instead of solely on fulfilling demand as cheaply as possible.”

I love this concept. So many times we’ve seen what were once excellent companies that focused on customer satisfaction and quality goods, fall prey to the siren call of “cut costs at the expense of all else”. The problem with this approach is that if cost cutting is the only metric, you soon start making decisions that impact the quality of your product and the reliability of your supply chain. For example, choosing the lowest cost supplier over one that provides better quality and delivery guarantees.

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Improving Supply Chain Collaboration: Connecting People

TeresaChiykowski

This is the final blog post in our three-part series discussing ways to improve supply chain collaboration.

Supply chain collaborationIf you’ve read the first blog posts in this series, you should have a pretty good idea of two main reasons why supply chain collaboration is failing – fundamental . You should also have a better understanding how to fix what’s “broke” when it comes to data and processes.

Today, I’m going to tackle a third fundamental reason collaboration is failing: the disconnect between the people overseeing the supply chain.

The challenge: Disconnected people

Supply chains don’t run themselves – not yet anyway.

From demand and supply planners, to inventory managers and capacity planners, humans play a pivotal role in keeping the supply chain moving and customers happy and loyal.

But there’s a problem. Not everyone in the supply chain talks to each other.

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Improving Supply Chain Collaboration: Connecting Processes

TeresaChiykowski

This is the second blog post in our three-part series discussing ways to improve supply chain collaboration.

S&OP processIn my first blog post in this series, I touched upon one of the biggest challenges companies operating global supply chains face today. I’m talking about the disconnect between the data, processes and people in the supply chain and how it inhibits collaboration and the ability to make the best decisions quickly.

My last post focused on connecting data. So today, I’m going to do a deeper dive into connecting S&OP processes.

The challenge: Disconnected sales and operations planning processes

Today’s supply chain processes and functions operate in silos.

What I mean by “silos” is that, across organizations, managers are responsible for one specific department, each with different priorities, responsibilities and objectives. As a result, managers aren’t aware of what other departments are doing in terms of their goals and priorities.

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3 Challenges to Supply Chain Collaboration

BillDuBois

Supply Chain CollaborationToday’s supply chains are more complex than ever before. Businesses are facing greater volatility, more uncertainty and unprecedented and unexpected risks. The time it takes to make critical decisions is lengthening, dramatically cutting into companies’ bottom lines. Why? In large part due to the negative impacts of poor collaboration.

So what’s causing this lack of communication across companies? The answer is threefold.

  1. Data extraction and analysis is happening in siloes. Each department is taking a vertical approach to reporting, where the focus is on individual functional metrics, instead of the health of the entirety of the supply chain network.
  2. Processes and functions have conflicting goals. Managers across the organization are responsible for one specific department, one set of priorities. Oftentimes they’re unaware of what other departments are doing. There’s an absence of communication between departments and business units.
  3. Globally distributed teams. There’s nothing wrong with having teams spread out over vast geographies, but there needs to be effective and continual communication. Without it, decisions are made with little understanding of cross-functional impact, causing minor speed bumps to become road closures.

Essentially, there’s a fundamental disconnect between the data, the processes and the people overseeing the supply chain, which is impacting the ability to collaborate. It’s time to break down these communication siloes and work together harmoniously.

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Improving Supply Chain Collaboration: Connecting Data

TeresaChiykowski

Supply chain collaborationWelcome to the first blog post in our three-part series discussing three ways to improve supply chain collaboration.

Maybe I’m stating the obvious but… a lot has changed in the world of manufacturing since Keith Oliver of Booz, Allen and Hamilton Inc. coined the term “supply chain management” in early 1982.

Move over, 1982, it’s 2016.

It’s no surprise that today’s supply chains are more complex than those of three decades ago. They face ever-growing volatility, uncertainty and risk. Lack of visibility and collaboration in supply chain management is dramatically impacting the time it takes to make critical decisions. And, in the end, sometimes those decisions end up being wrong ones.

Making informed decisions fast comes down to collaboration – how effectively the data, processes and people who oversee the supply chain can connect, communicate and interact with one another. But, for many organizations, there’s a distinct disconnect between data, processes and people that is preventing collaboration.

What’s inhibiting collaboration and, more importantly, what can be done to fix what ails? You’ll find the answers in the new eBook, 3 Ways to Improve Supply Chain Collaboration. The book looks at how companies can foster ongoing supply chain collaboration by eliminating the disconnects between data, processes and people.

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Tapping the Power of Many – The Application of Social Enabled Supply Chain Processes

BobFerrari

hand touching touch pad, social media conceptThe following guest blog commentary is contributed by Bob Ferrari, Founder and Executive Editor of the Supply Chain Matters blog and Managing Director of the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group LLC.

In March of 2011, I had the opportunity to join fellow supply chain management bloggers Trevor Miles and Lora Cecere in a Kinaxis sponsored thought-leadership webcast focusing on the potential of the social supply chain. The concept of the social supply chain was relatively new, not well understood, and lacking many specific examples to cite. The closest context was one articulated by noted IT author Geoffrey Moore, who labeled the term “systems of engagement”. Back then, supply chain organizations were becoming aware of Facebook and Twitter, but not in the context of business. Many businesses were banning the use of social media on work premises.

Yet, we all believed that the potential leveraging of social media tools in demand, supply and risk management elements of supply chain business processes had enormous potential. I noted in a Supply Chain Expert Community posting at the time that: “social concepts do not equate to endless 120 character streams of unrelated or broadcasted information, but rather a context to a business process need.”

Indeed, four years later, after much market education and early adopter successes, leveraging social supply chain applications to enhance business processes has far more meaning and applied uses. The notion of social tools as mechanisms for matching people possessing respective skills, expertise, and knowledge with specific internal or external process and decision-making needs has more meaning and application. That is especially pertinent to today’s reality of increasingly complex and fast moving globally based supply chain networks.

It is about tapping the expertise and power of the extended supply chain network.

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