Posts tagged as 'Business process'

Transform your supply chain process – don’t just improve it

JohnWesterveld

transform your supply chain handsawDid you ever hear the joke about the old lumberjack? The old lumberjack came out of the forest and went for supplies. He needed a new saw – his old two-man saw had been sharpened so many times there wasn’t much left. At the store, the salesman showed him the newest tool for cutting trees called a chain saw. The salesman said that he can cut trees 10 times faster than with the two person hand saw. The lumberjack was impressed! He bought one. Several days later he came back and said to the salesman “This saw is no good! No matter how fast I push and pull it doesn’t cut! What’s worse – my partner keeps cutting his hand because there is no handle at the other end.

Okay… admittedly that was a silly joke. But if you consider how many people think about supply chain software it’s like the old lumberjack and the chain saw. The chain saw was a revolutionary tool and if used right, could make a single man more effective than a team of two. Advanced supply chain planning software like RapidResponse can do the same thing for supply chain.

In my role, helping the sales team, I’m often asked to reproduce a report that the prospect currently uses to run the business. I totally understand why this is important – the prospect wants to feel assured that their current business process can be maintained. Creating even the most complex report in RapidResponse is a breeze so it’s not a big deal for us. The prospect gets value because the report that I’ve just built in RapidResponse replaces an Excel report that takes hours every day to update. In RapidResponse, the update is instantaneous and can show changes with every data update and with every change to the scenario.

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Top 10 Reasons Why Santa Has The Best Supply Chain

BillDuBois

Since the Holiday season is upon us, what better way to celebrate than with a top 10 list, which I hope will put everyone in a festive mood!

Here are 10 Reasons Why Santa Has the Best Supply Chain

#1 No ERP system, just a list. Now, he does do some risk assessment… using patented approved simulation. For example, what if Johnny is good this year?

#2 Air freight without the fuel costs. And a big zero on the carbon footprint

#3 No capacity issues, no union, no vacation, no breaks… work is play and play is work for elves.

#4 His forecast is always accurate. Let’s see that forecast!
top 10 reasons why santa has the best supply chain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5 One currency for every country. Milk and cookies.

#6 No customer service issues. If a customer is rude, obnoxious or grumpy they get a rotten egg and a lump of coal and told to stick it where the mistletoe doesn’t grow.

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Your supply chain is costing you money – Reason #10 Failure to adequately train your supply chain planning staff

JohnWesterveld

Supply chain career pathOver the years, working for and with numerous manufacturing companies, I’ve seen many supply chain practices that cost companies money. Over the next several weeks, I’ll outline these issues and discuss some ideas around how to avoid these practices. You can find the previous posts here:

Reason #10: Failure to adequately train your supply chain planning staff

When you think about it, your supply chain planning team is responsible for making decisions that can impact millions of dollars. A bad decision can result in missed orders, significant inventory, or scrapped materials.

Yet, when you look at the background of many supply chain planning workers, you’ll find a huge variation in education and experience. From people with a basic education that worked their way up from the shop floor, to people with engineering degrees that fell into supply chain planning, to business majors who have never been to the factory floor, to recent graduates with a supply chain planning background, but don’t have real-life experience on how manufacturing and supply chains work.

Having worked with a cross section of these people, I’ve seen the very best and the very worst. The very best include people that not only understand supply chain from end-to-end, but can also come up with creative solutions beyond what the typical supply chain education can prepare you for.

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Your supply chain is costing you money – Reason #8: Keeping supply chain information in silos (and preventing your users from making the best decisions)

JohnWesterveld

supply chain information silos

Over the years, working for and with numerous manufacturing companies, I’ve seen many supply chain practices that cost companies money. Over the next several weeks, I’ll outline these issues and discuss some ideas around how to avoid these practices. You can find the previous posts here:

Reason #8 Keeping supply chain information in silos (and preventing your users from making the best decisions)

Don’t ask… you don’t want to know. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that phrase from different people in different contexts. Sometimes it’s true. I probably don’t want to know. Sometimes (like when I hear it from my son) I probably not only want to know, I NEED to know. Not because I want to pry (well… maybe a little) but mostly because I care and if I know I might be able to help.

When companies deploy supply chain solutions, they often make the decision for users… “you don’t want to know”. They do this by preventing them from getting (or making it very difficult to get) any more information than they absolutely need to do their specific job. Sometimes this information limitation actually prevents them from doing their job adequately.

Sometimes this is intentional and necessary;

  • Some companies (especially publicly traded companies) restrict access to revenue / margin information to prevent unauthorized financial data from getting out.
  • Some companies prevent access to data to prevent trade secrets (or in the case of US military manufacturers ITAR regulations prevent foreign nationals from accessing manufacturing data)

Sometimes this is intentional and questionable;

  • One company I’ve talked to told me that they limit information to their planners because they wouldn’t know what to do with it… that it would just confuse them. But in my opinion, there are few things more complex than supply chain management. Planners are smart people and if educated (APICS training should be a prerequisite in my opinion), they likely will have no problem absorbing and using additional information.
  • In other cases, information is limited because of interdepartmental rivalries, for example, “I don’t want demand planning to see my supply planning information. I’ll tell them what they are getting.”This is just plain wrong on multiple levels. If you hear this rational, then I’d look at your management levels and how people are being rewarded. In today’s competitive manufacturing environment, the only metrics that count are how a change impacts the company’s goals. Departmental goals should be secondary.

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Live Webcast: Continuous S&OP for Life Sciences – Breaking the Mold

MelissaClow

Live Webcast: Continuous S&OP for Life Sciences - Breaking the Mold

Just a quick post to let you know of our upcoming live webcast, “Continuous S&OP for Life Sciences – Breaking the Mold“, which we will host this Wednesday, November 19th at 11am EST.

Trevor Miles, VP of Thought Leadership, Kinaxis, will present on the following topic.

Webcast Abstract

Trevor MilesBusiness realities have changed so tremendously in the last thirty years that the traditional ‘plan then execute’ S&OP model has become highly ineffective. It is unable to facilitate decision making amid acutely complex supply chain networks, or within the time horizons required. This is particularly true for Life Sciences companies faced with varying regulatory requirements and aging product portfolios.

In response, there is an emerging recognition that operational information must be accessed and evaluated on a continuous basis, whereby decisions that may have once only been considered as part of a scheduled S&OP process can be made as needed throughout the cycle. In this capacity, process execution evolves into operational orchestration.

In this webcast, learn about the unique S&OP challenges for Life Sciences companies, the importance of changing S&OP mindsets, and how to break the S&OP mold from both a process and technology perspective.

Register now!

 

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Recap of Ventana Research’s Technology Innovation Awards: Understanding the New Generation of Business Planning

CJWehlage

Ventana-Research-AwardI recently attended the Ventana Research Technology Innovation Awards that were held in October. The the awards distinguish pioneers that have developed clear visionary and transformative technology.

On behalf of Kinaxis, I was proud to accept the Technology Innovation award in the category of Operational Leadership. In our recent news release on the win, Trevor Miles said the following:

“The operational core of a business is its supply chain. With Kinaxis, our customers are achieving true performance breakthroughs by being able to more effectively and efficiently orchestrate efforts across supply chain functions, departments and company lines,” said Trevor Miles, Vice President of Thought Leadership, Kinaxis. “We are very proud to receive the award from Ventana given their acute focus on the business value provided by technology systems. Winning the Operational Leadership award is a respected validation of our product and technology approach.”

Did you miss the summit? Good news… I’d like to share my presentation slides from the panel discussion as well as the link for your complimentary access to Ventana Research’s recorded sessions and presentations.

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Throw Back Thursday: How Can Companies Respond Rapidly to Demand?

MelissaClow

How Can Companies Respond Rapidly to Demand? Kinexions - Kinaxis & SupplyChainBrain Series

As I’ve mentioned in my last couple of Thursday blogs, we are starting to gear up for this year’s Kinexions (our annual training & user conference). A few weeks ago I began to reminisce about our videos from past conferences and I decided to create a blog series to share. So, on this ‘Throw Back Thursday’, I would like to share this video of Trevor Miles, Vice President of Thought Leadership, speaking about “How Can Companies Respond Rapidly to Demand?”.

In this video, hear Trevor detail industry’s major supply-chain management challenges – in particular, the difficulty of obtaining full visibility of supply and demand, and dealing with the volatility of markets.

Many companies seem wedded to their spreadsheets, even though they’re aware of the format’s shortcomings. Miles says executives have “a very legacy approach” to thinking about business processes. As a result, they’ve created “islands” of automation that do not add up to a coherent, smoothly flowing supply chain.

“People want to get away from that,” he says, “but it’s the manner in which they are trying to enable those different processes that is just lacking.”

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Making Connections at Kinexions – Our customers say it all

TrevorMiles

We had our annual user conference, Kinexions (pronounced ‘connections’ – isn’t English a strange and fabulous language?) in late October with record attendance and great feedback. The theme of the conference was our tag line ‘Know Sooner. Act Faster.’ Indulge me while I parse out our strap line.

Know Sooner – The ability to detect market changes quickly and determine whether the changes represent risk or opportunity, as well as identifying and alerting the people impacted by the risks or opportunities.

Act Faster – The ability to determine the best course of action quickly through scenario analysis within a team of people, across functions and even organizations, in a structured manner.

In other words our strap line is all about reducing decision latency through purposeful collaboration driven by responsibilities.

As usual it was the great customer testimonials that drive home the benefits of this theme through:

  • Rapid time to value in the initial deployment
  • Rapid innovation on the part of Kinaxis
  • Consistent value delivery over time as they expand into new BUs, geographies, and business processes
  • Mature into a Planning Control Tower – End-to-end supply chain planning process enablement

Of course that is easy for me to say, so I want to focus on external validation of these points.

We had Christian Titze attend our conference for the first time from Austria. In a short summary of the conference Christian states that:

Client companies at the conference demonstrated several ways in which they are adapting and improving their supply chains. These included speeding up time to value from deploying new software, and using embedded analytics and master data management (MDM). In doing so they showed how they were redefining their supply chain planning (SCP) application portfolios to support an adaptable and capable planning system of record (SOR).

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