Supply chain agility and flexibility: The story of an IT executive

Dr. MadhavDurbha

Why IT matters to business success and effective supply chain managementThe coffee shop was buzzing.

I was meeting my longtime friend Gagan, and we managed to find a reasonably quiet corner to settle into for what I anticipated to be a long conversation. He and I went to school together and started our supply chain careers at nearly the same time. I joined a supply chain software company while Gagan joined a large global manufacturer and quickly grew through the ranks to be the vice president of supply chain IT in his company.

Throughout our careers, we continued to meet up whenever our travels crossed paths. Gagan is typically an upbeat and optimistic person, but on this day, something was clearly weighing him down. As it turned out, it was about his job, his sense of ownership, digital transformation and his company’s supply chain. Gagan was reporting to the CIO, and the board of directors recently mandated the company embark on a digital transformation journey. As part of the initiative, Gagan’s CEO brought in a new chief digital officer (CDO) as a peer to the CIO. And that’s when Gagan’s troubles started.

Read the full story

It’s not just supply chain planners who benefit from improved S&OP

AlexaCheater

It’s not just supply chain planners who benefit from improved S&OP

It’s the entire company—from planners to executives and everyone in between.

Effective, efficient sales and operations planning (S&OP) means you can respond to changes faster, spot opportunities earlier and better align your organization around a common set of goals.

But the benefits of S&OP extend beyond that—they help to simplify the day-to-day work of nearly everyone in your company. Improving S&OP means breaking down silos, connecting disparate data sources, exploring what-if simulations and developing cross-functional collaboration.

If you’re an executive, that translates into the ability to see a complete picture of the entire supply chain in an instant, with the most up-to-date data and changes reflected. Since you’ll be able to see risk or opportunity earlier, you’ll be able to make smarter business decisions faster, keeping your company on track to competition and financial success.

If you work in finance, improved S&OP means peace of mind that everyone puts what’s best for the business at the heart of every decision they make. Instead of working to individual or functional metrics, the entire organization aligns to key financial goals.

Read the full story

[Webinar] Is your supply chain ready for a digital transformation?

AlexaCheater

It takes more than technology to transform your supply chain.

Digitization is here. And it’s redefining supply chains. Disruptive technologies like advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are converging, bringing together the physical and digital worlds into new digital supply chain networks. These networks are taking supply chains from siloed and sequential to dynamic and interconnected. But true digital transformation isn’t just about the technology in supply chain management.

Deloitte digital transformation - Kinaxis

Join us for our webinar, Is your supply chain ready for a digital transformation?, to learn why true digital transformation requires more than just digitization.

When: Thursday, March 15 | 2 p.m. ET

Register for this webinar to hear industry experts Tim Gaus, Principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Trevor Miles, Vice President of Thought Leadership at Kinaxis, explore:

Read the full story

Vendor-managed inventory and distribution planning in the food and beverage industry – here’s something to chew on

JeswinPhilip

vendor-managed inventoryThe Food Packaging Trends and Advances report from PMMI forecasts that the US Food and Beverage industry will experience a 2.9 % CAGR through 2022. The report also mentions that the global growth rate is almost double that of the US food industry. It’s a prediction that shouldn’t be ignored.

Food for thought: Time for a different kind of supply chain

Continued economic growth, customer preferences (especially those of the millennial generation), the rise of ecommerce and the Amazon channel, increased product choices and newer product categories in the marketplace are all driving the need for efficient and effective supply chain networks to support customer demand.

Among the many supply chain initiatives taking place today, vendor-managed inventory (VMI) has become an increasingly effective process and business model to help organizations share risk and information between vendors and customers — while benefitting from lower stockouts, reduced uncertainty and lower costs.

As with any industry, food and beverage faces its own unique set of supply chain challenges, including:

Read the full story

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.

Read the full story

The future of integrated business planning

AlexaCheater

Prescriptive analytics and artificial intelligence are coming

In my previous blogsIntegrated business planning I talked about integrating finance into supply chain operations, including outlining how integrated business planning (IBP) can help. Now it’s time to look at how IBP can take your supply chain to the next level of performance, and bring finance right alongside with you.

Just as with other areas of supply chain management, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are likely to find roots in IBP, primarily through the introduction of prescriptive analytics. Unlike descriptive analytics, which looks at what happened and why, and predictive analytics, which explores what will happen, prescriptive analytics suggest actions and shows the implication of each potential option. It tells you the best way to get to where you want to be.

Modelling financial and operational business constraints and using prescriptive analytics alongside IBP provides enhanced visibility and the ability to better manage change. The result is a more holistic picture of the organization and faster decision-making by executives. IBP done well provides a periodic rolling forecast, highlights gaps between the budget and operations and helps direct the company to where it wants to be.

Read the full story

Supply chain planning – it’s time to get personal

BillDuBois

When sacrificing family time becomes the norm

Supply Planning Without the Personal Sacrifice Supply planning – to profitably align supply with demand. It sounds like something you could get done during an honest day’s work. As it turns out, it’s not that easy.

When I was planning supply, it wasn’t unusual to have a dinner interrupted, a weekend cut short or a vacation disturbed. That happened to be the norm. It wasn’t a surprise when a supplier shipped late, a machine was suddenly overloaded or a demand planner informed you that you were working off the wrong demand plan. We spent hours, even days sifting through countless spreadsheets and trying to navigate manual processes.

During that time, we also invested in some “just-in-time” techniques we borrowed from the Toyota Production System (TPS). Unfortunately, our planning survival instincts kicked in and our just-in-time processes were supplemented with just-in-case fallbacks. All of a sudden, we had just-in-case inventories,  and an exceptionally high number of expedites which really did nothing more than mask our supply planning deficiencies.

Read the full story

Benefits of integrating finance and supply chain operations

AlexaCheater

Bridging finance and supply chain operations improves efficiency

In my earlier blogFinance & Supply Chain Operations Integration , I examined common obstacles organizations face when bringing together finance and supply chain operations. Now let’s look at the rewards you can reap by actually doing so.

Bringing together finance and supply chain operations can make your company more operationally savvy and improve financial efficiency through:

  • Exposing potential risks and enabling executable and optimized plans
  • Driving sustainable cost reduction and profitable growth through more mature planning models
  • Combining rolling forecasts and S&OP to streamline business processes

Tighter integration can also lessen the pain of the budgeting process since a forward rolling plan means managers will already have consensus approval for some of the next year’s requirements through confirmation of the S&OP process. Without finance’s involvement in S&OP, the budget will start from a common plan based on what has happened in past years, and not one actually associated with what your operations team is forecasting will happen next year.

Read the full story