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21st Century Supply Chain

1,048 posts
by Melissa Clow

This guest post comes to us from Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting, a boutique recruitment firm specializing in Supply Chain Management.

 

Supply ChainEvery once in a while, we like to take a step back and assess the state of the job market, as well as the state of how people feel about it. It’s clear that the world of work is changing. The workforce is becoming nimbler, and it’s less common than ever for someone to stay at one job, or one company, for your whole career. From multinational consulting companies to us at Argentus, everyone seems to be talking about the rise of the” gig economy” – the contingent workforce that moves from contract to contract, trading long-term job security for higher wages and flexibility.

 

When we write about the benefits of this kind of contingent work in our area of Supply Chain and Procurement, we sometimes get pushback from commenters. They say that contingent work – or “precarious employment” – is taking the place of what used to be permanent, secure jobs, leading to less stable employment and worse career outcomes across the board. We find jobs for quite a few high-skilled workers who actually prefer contingent work, so we know that lots of people find contingent work to be a vital alternative to long-term employment. But we also recently read a really interesting and thought provoking New Yorker piece proposing that increased “job instability” is actually more of a myth than we might realize.

 

Interesting.

 

Titled “The Fallacy of Job Insecurity,” the New Yorker piece explores the issue of job security, and the common fear that careers are less stable than they used to be. Mark Gemein, the piece’s author, points out how everyone – from politicians to media figures – bemoans the loss of long-term jobs with one company. There’s the nostalgia-laden image of a young worker, just out of university (or high school) joining one company, working their way up through the ranks across a 30+ year career, and retiring happy and wealthy, all because of the stability of permanent employment. Gemein then throws cold water on that image, pointing out how it’s always been far from the norm, and how statistics actually show job stability increasing by quite a few measures:

 

  • The typical worker has stayed at the same job six months longer than they did a decade ago.
  • The typical worker has, on average, stayed at the same job for four and a half years, compared to three and a half years in 1983 – a time when, in our imagination, “long-term permanent employment” was the reality.
  • The average length of time spent in a job has gone up significantly for women in particular.

Gemein goes on to make another interesting point, which is that when the economy is strongest, people change jobs more often, not less. To us, this tracks with how the economic recovery of the past several years has gone alongside the continuing rise of contingent workers in Supply Chain and Procurement. Many workers are looking to boost their long-term career prospects by working in a variety of industries and subdisciplines – through contracts – as opposed to long term roles where they stand the risk of ending up stuck in one position and set of responsibilities instead of advancing.

 

As always, we raise these points to start conversations, rather than to attempt to speak for everyone’s experience. We understand that it’s difficult for some people to secure long-term employment, and we understand that not everyone in contingent work wants to be working on contingent. But we hope this post offers some food for thought about “instability” in the job market on a big-picture level.

 

The post Everyone’s Anxious About Increased Job Stability – But is it a Myth? appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/09/everyones-anxious-increased-job-stability-myth/

by Trevor Miles

End-to-end supply chainGlobal supply chains are getting bigger and more complex. As a result, companies are facing added pressure to respond effectively to fluctuating demands and unexpected change. Add in more frequent supply disruptions, managing product life cycles, and increased regulatory controls, and it’s no wonder it’s getting more difficult to protect the bottom line. So how can businesses profitably keep pace with the challenges of today? The answer is increased end-to-end supply chain agility.

 

What is the Sensing + Intelligent + Social Supply Chain?

Reducing lag time in decision making is critical. To achieve success, organizations need to connect data, processes and people across the entire network. Until that happens, demand translation and response will be cumbersome and slow. Competing metrics need to be visible, and actionable insights easily accessible. That is the heart of what a Sensing + Intelligent + Social Supply Chain addresses. Its hallmark characteristics are:

 

  • Sensing—alerting decision makers when an unexpected supply chain event occurs, and identifying impacts on other parts of the network.
  • Intelligence—providing rapid understanding of business issues and consequences, and allowing tradeoff analysis of multiple alternatives by comparing metrics side-by-side.
  • Social—bringing the right people together in a collaborative environment to share assumptions, vote on alternatives, and discuss opportunities.

A Sensing + Intelligent + Social Supply Chain isn’t just about short-term reactions. It’s about overall responsiveness. It means making informed decisions quickly, with corporate objectives, not individual metrics, in mind.

 

While this ability to know sooner and act faster is most apparent in day-to-day operations, it extends across time horizons, geographical locations, and scale. Decision making becomes more agile, leading to a repeatable and stable supply chain. A Sensing + Intelligent + Social Supply Chain absorbs information across functional and organization boundaries, understands the significance of it, and brings the right people together to make decisions.

 

Information from current enterprise systems is rarely complete, and seldom entirely accurate. Insights gleaned from that information is limited by data quality and the imperfections of mathematical models used to draw conclusions. What’s more, companies are dealing with departments that often have conflicting objectives. As a result, efforts to optimize a single operation may lead to functional excellence, but won’t lead to improvements in overall corporate performance.

 

 

 

Key Elements of the Sensing + Intelligent + Social Supply Chain

The key elements of a Sensing + Intelligent + Social Supply Chain are:

 

  1. The ability to absorb more data with less effort.
  2. The ability to automate decision making as appropriate.
  3. The ability to simulate scenarios to identify consequences.

When those three things happen, decisions can be made in support of corporate-wide objectives. Silos will topple, planning cycles will be reduced, and these informed decisions will lead to improved end-to-end supply chain agility.

 

It’s important to note there is still a need for crucial functionality like demand and inventory planning. But there is also a tremendous need for collaboration in order to evaluate tradeoffs while keeping in mind what’s best for the business. This type of analysis cannot be done through automation alone. There are too many subtleties and soft constraints only human judgment can accurately take into account.

 

Taking the first steps toward a Sensing + Intelligent + Social Supply Chain means creating a harmonious data set representing the entire end-to-end supply chain, enabling cross-functional collaborative decision making, and identify and analyzing consequences. All that combined will enable the best possible response to an unexpected supply chain event.

 

So what is the Sensing + Intelligent + Social Supply Chain? It’s the future.

 

 

 

The post The Sensing +Intelligent + Social Supply Chain: End-to-End Supply Chain Agility appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Trevor Miles at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/09/sensing-intelligent-social-supply-chain-end-end-supply-chain-agility/

by Alexa Cheater

Pokemon Go Solving End-to-End Supply Chain ProblemsGetting the Right Product in Front of the Right People

It took an augmented reality video game and a host of made up monsters to seemingly solve one of end-to-end supply chain’s biggest problems–getting the right product in front of the right people. Too bad the tactics Pokémon Go has implemented aren’t easily repeatable by the rest of us mere mortals.

 

In fact, their tactic isn’t really a tactic at all. It’s more a case of demand far outstripping supply. People are so crazy about catching the variety of Pokémon running amok on their smartphones, they’re actually willing to travel to where the supply is—it doesn’t matter the location, or the time of day, these folks are prepared to do darn near anything to get the inventory they want. Much to the envy of every supply chain manager out there. Who wouldn’t love hordes of consumers coming directly to you?

 

For those that aren’t quite familiar with this new craze sweeping the globe, Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. Making use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices, the game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world.

 

Supply Chains and Pokémon Go Still Need to Deliver Products at the Right Time

This influx of inventory-hungry customers has created an incredible demand, but it’s also brought with it another supply-chain related problem. While the game delivers the right product to the right people, it doesn’t get it to them at the right time. At least, not yet. Plagued with server disruptions, the development team has been struggling to maintain the availability of the game. Players are finding themselves unable to connect when they want to. Although frustrating, it hasn’t put much of a dent in the willingness of these consumers to try again and again to get on to the game servers.

 

Real-World Demand Planning Influenced by Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is now even shaping the real-world demand plans of various businesses across the globe. As mass crowds gather to try and catch ‘em all, it’s actually driving traffic for nearby retailers, and according to Supply Chain @ MIT, may eventually stimulate consumer demand for those stores. Forbes has also pointed out how businesses can benefit from this new craze—by offering discounts and encouraging users to stop by on their quest for that elusive rare Pokémon.

 

The ability to sponsor PokeStops, which are real-world locations where players can fuel up on supplies, is also reportedly in the works, and could have a big impact on supply chains associated with those sponsorships. Just imagine having to deliver thousands more of an expected item because your company wants to lure Pokémon players.

 

No matter if you love it or loath it, Pokémon Go appears to be here to stay—at least until the novelty wears off or the next big craze hits. But if it turns out to enjoy long term success, your S&OP meetings may soon need to start accounting for the Pokémon factor.

 

The post Did Pokémon Go Solve a Historic End-to-End Supply Chain Problem? appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Alexa Cheater at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/09/pokemon-go-solve-historic-end-end-supply-chain-problem/

by Trevor Miles

I was at the North American Supply Chain Executive Summit in Chicago earlier this week. I’m a pretty jaded conference goer, so it is difficult to please me, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the keynotes and sessions I attended. The general theme of the conference was about transformational change. What kept nagging at me though is that the presentations were largely about “righting the ship” rather than “moving from ship to air.” Undoubtedly there were many case studies on companies making huge leaps in performance, and great advice on how to get change. But I couldn’t help think that much of the advice was focused on doing well what we have been doing in supply chain for the past 20-30 years. I’m trying to determine what we will do differently over the next 10-20 years.

 

Peter Gibbons of Mattel said we should gave the great advice to focus on behaviors rather than culture. He said that in all companies there is a lot to be valued in the culture, but, more importantly, trying to change the culture will usually be met with strong resistance. Changing behavior is a lot easier, and if the behavior changes, the culture will change in the manner desired. Another great piece of advice from Peter is to focus on the outcome, the “what”, not on the method, the “how”. Perhaps most importantly though, was Peter’s view that you cannot get transformation without disruption.

 

NASCES 2016: End-to-End Supply Chain Management

 

While there were really good presentations by Daniel Myers of Modelez, Paul Keel of 3M, and Viju Menon of Verizon, and who would have guessed the 3M would be voted by millennials as one of the best places to work? Not me.Engagement Rank

 

Undoubtedly the most inspirational presentation was by Reuben Slone of Walgreens. As Reuben said, he wanted to focus on the head and the heart of supply chain, the science and the art of supply chain. He spent a lot of tie on the slide below, emphasizing that integrated planning is only possible with alignment and collaboration. We call this concurrent planning. His message of message of collaboration was very strong, essentially one of “You don’t understand someone until you walk in their shoes”. It was all about understanding the shadow of your decisions on other parts of the organization, the head. It was also about empathy, the heart.

 

NASCES 2016: End-to-End Supply Chain Management

 

While Reuben’s “head” material was great, I found his “heart” material amazing. Walgreens has had an active program to recruit people with disabilities. Let us just start with language. I did not write “disabled people”. Instead I wrote “people with disabilities”. We are all people first, and then

 

have characteristics. Reuben gave great statistics which I didn’t write down, but something like 10% of the population of the US has a cognitive disability of one form or another, and the unemployment rate is double that of people without disabilities. There are no support programs for them once they reach 18. Rueben said that this is morally wrong, in fact a crime. Not being a US citizen I hesitate to make a judgment in the specific, but I agree with him in general.

 

According to DisabilityCompendium.org

 

In 2014, of the 20,460,136 individuals with disabilities ages 18 to 64 years living in the community, 7,030,317 individuals were employed—34.4 percent. In contrast, of the 175,077,077 individuals without disabilities ages 18 to 64 years living in the community, 131,940,323 individuals were employed—75.4 percent. The percentage of people with disabilities employed was highest in South Dakota (50.1 percent) and lowest in Puerto Rico (22.3 percent).

 

Reuben showed a video during the conference  that highlighted one of their distribution centers in which both workers with disabilities and their parents were interviewed. I looked for the video on YouTube but could not find the one Reuben showed. Instead I found this one: https://youtu.be/CRHnlyJI0dg.  While it’s not the one Reuben showed during the conference, it refers to Walgreens’ program and gives a good sense of  the key message in his presentation: employing people with disabilities makes good sense for the heart and the head. Well, the wallet actually.

 

But still the most insightful presentation to me was given by Matthew Wallace of PVH Group on “Attracting and Developing the Next Generation of Supply Chain Talent”. Matthew decided he knew nothing about this topic so it was best to ask people who did. He went to 3 people in their mid-twenties who work for PVH, which I found interesting. While the content itself was not earth-shattering, what I found interesting was his message about the baby-boomers, and even Gen-X and Gen-Y needing to listening to the millennials rather than telling them how to conform to our ways of working. The most striking point he made was that he is installing a reverse mentoring program in which each of his 14 direct reports will have a mentor who is a millennial by the end of the year.

 

But still I am left with my fundamental question unanswered: How will organizational structures and work practices change with the introduction of new generations and new technologies?

 

One thing I know for certain is that, as Einstein said, doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity. And yet we continue to perpetuate organizational structures and work practices that were established in the Industrial Revolution based upon military concepts of command and control. And then we ask why deploying modern technologies has not brought about the financial and social benefits imagined. It’s because we haven’t adapted our organizational structures and processes.

 

When I need new ideas I turn to TED. The first talk, by Yves Morieux, addresses many of the inefficiencies of existing architectures and the stupidity of addressing modern complexity of business with complicated work practices. His observations can be applied directly to how we go about supply chain planning, and have a direct parallel with the observations of Reuben Slone. I much prefer Yves use of the word “cooperation” rather than “collaboration”. It immediately brings home the need for trade-off across competing metrics and objectives.

 

Yves Morieux

 

The second is by Ian Goldin. Ian is more of a futurist, though I only have a link from 2009. Ian has written a number of books, his latest being “Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance”.

 

Navigating our global future

 

There is a great podcast on CBC in which Goldin’s co-author Chris Kurtana is interviewed about their views and the future of work. I’m only hoping that I will work long enough to experience this new world.

 

The post NASCES 2016: End-to-End Supply Chain Management Transformations appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Trevor Miles at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/09/nasces-2016-end-end-supply-chain-management-transformations/

by Iman Niroomand

What’s driving your supply chain – immediate consumer demand or future projections? In either case, the goal is likely the same: to provide the best customer experience. A truly customer-oriented supply chain strives to fulfill the customers’ demands on-time. Success is defined by the on-time-delivery to request (OTD-R).i In other words, when the product actually gets to the end consumer.

 

Supply chains are planned based on when a product is produced, delivered to distribution centers and made available at retail stores. The most common strategies for moving from upstream to downstream sites are push and pull strategies, or some mix of both. A pull strategy is when customer demand drives the entire production process. On the other hand, a push strategy is when production is based on long term customer forecasts.ii So which one is better? The answer is, it depends. There are pros and cons to using push vs. pull strategies within your distribution network.

 

Let’s put the concepts of push and pull strategies into a real-world example. Assume you own a restaurant and for simplicity sake, you only serve breakfast. The main processes (Figure 1) to get a customer his or her order would be procurement (buying ingredients), manufacturing (cooking), and delivery (serving the customers).

 

push-and-pull-strategies

 

Let’s say buying the ingredients takes an hour, cooking takes 20 minutes, and delivery takes another five minutes. Using a pull strategy in your supply chain, you wouldn’t start buying the ingredients until a customer had sat down at a table and ordered something. The result would be the customer receiving a fresh, high quality meal, and you carrying minimum inventory and having the flexibility to easily manage your processes. But how many people do you know who are willing to wait nearly an hour and a half just to get their breakfast? That’s how long the entire process would take to go from procurement, to manufacturing, to delivery. Now think about what would happen if 10 customers showed up in intervals of 10 minutes apart and all ordered the same thing. You’d have to repeat the entire process from start to finish 10 times! That doesn’t seem very effective.

 

While there are many advantages to the pull approach – higher service levels, lower carrying costs, decreased inventory levels, and fewer markdowns – there are some serious drawbacks. A pull strategy starts to break down when lead times get longer and demand changes rapidly. It’s also a lot more difficult to take advantage of economies of scale because production and distribution are based on real demand, and therefore only scheduled as needed.iii In our simple example, the time it takes to purchase the ingredients was the same as the number of customers – 10 customers, 10 hours spent buying ingredients.

 

Push strategies on the other hand are driven by projections of customer demand. Using our same breakfast example, you’d prepare everything in advance based on the number of customers you expected to order each item. You’d have ample time to purchase your ingredients (raw materials) and pre-cook the orders. When your customer arrives, it would only take five minutes to serve him or her breakfast. But what if your customer doesn’t show up? What if they want something different than you expected? What if they want to make a change to the item – adding extra cheese or making sure there are no onions? The answer is easy: There would be a lot of waste.

 

In push approaches, there’s a big emphasis on forecast. But a forecast is simply a guess because consumer-buying behaviors are not always predictable. In order for push planning to be successful, the forecast must be accurate. That alone can present a major challenge for today’s companies. Then you have added costs to store all the inventory, and as is the case with our example, the risk of goods expiring or spoiling before they’re sold. While not a problem for every industry, it certainly presents a very real challenge for those working in packaged foods, beverages, and even pharmaceuticals where expiration dates are prevalent. The inventory carrying costs in a push supply chain are typically higher than those using a pull strategy.

 

While our breakfast example certainly highlights the pitfalls associated with using a push or pull supply chain strategy, the reality is, most businesses are using a hybrid approach. They use a push-based system to get the products to regional warehouses or retailers, but from there they have to wait for a customer to “pull” a product. Companies typically stockpile the finished product at its distribution centers to wait for orders that pull them in near customer stores.iv

 

The rule of thumb is to stop pushing beyond the distribution center, but there are still some occasions to break this rule and push parts to retail stores. For example, for products close to their minimum shelf life, the distribution planner could trigger the push and pass them to a location close to the end customer. Or the distribution planner could take advantage of underutilized transportation and push the parts to downstream sites.

 

But to do that successfully and without hours upon hours of manual calculations and analysis, having a supply chain software solution like Kinaxis RapidResponse with the ability to manage distribution requirements planning (DRP) is a necessity. The ideal DRP application would recommend parts to be pushed past the distribution centers based on their expiry, storage utilization and any seasonality factor. When a part is expired within the distribution horizon, it would automatically be flagged by the system as a push candidate. Since storage utilization is another factor for pushing a part, when a part occupies more than a threshold percentage of storage it would also be flagged. And finally, if there is a seasonality impact within the distribution horizon, the part would be considered as a push candidate. Under these circumstances there’s no harm to push the parts to a location closer to end customer, and in fact could result in more positive business outcomes.

 

What other factors might set a part as push candidate? Let us know in the comments!

 

_________________________________

 

i https://community.kinaxis.com/docs/DOC-9931

 

ii http://smallbusiness.chron.com/push-vs-pull-supply-chain-strategy-77452.html

 

iii http://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/inventory-optimization-the-last-frontier/

 

iv http://www.scdigest.com/assets/Experts/Guest_11-03-31-1.php

 

The post Advantages and Pitfalls of Push and Pull Strategies in Distribution Networks appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Iman Niroomand at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/09/advantages-pitfalls-push-pull-strategies-distribution-networks/

by Alexa Cheater

Kinexions ’16 Supply Chain Conference Lineup Hits All the Right Notes

Kinexions Logo KinaxisOur annual supply chain conference, Kinexions, is right around the corner, and we’re thrilled to be bringing our attendees some stellar supply chain content. With more than 30 outstanding sessions, including a variety of amped-up customer presentations from supply chain superstars like Ford, Roland DG, Keysight Technologies, Xilinx and Vizio, there’s something for everyone.

 

This year our breakout sessions will focus on four areas we believe are critical to supply chain planning:

 

Organizing for Success

Take your RapidResponse-enabled supply chain to the next level! Learn about integration options, increasing user adoption, building a Center of Excellence, and how to make the most of some of our hottest new features.

 

Preparing for the Future

Explore how a focus on inventory optimization, concurrent planning, ROI optimization, and organizational change management (to name a few) can help get your supply chain ready for what’s coming next.

 

Achieving Value

If you’d like to hear how other Kinaxis customers are achieving tremendous value from RapidResponse, this track featuring presentations by Xilinx, Plexus, Allegro, Celestica, and Trinity Rail is perfect for you!

 

Functional Business Planning

Go in-depth on important cross-functional supply chain responsibilities, including master scheduling, order fulfillment, distribution requirements planning, and adaptive collaboration (one of RapidResponse’s newest capabilities).

 

Take a look at the complete schedule to see what other rockin’ topics we’ll be exploring. Don’t have your ticket to the hottest supply chain event in town yet? Don’t panic! There’s still time to register and join us at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tenn. on Monday, Oct. 10 through Thursday, Oct. 13.

 

Need a little more convincing? Check out these 5 reasons to attend Kinexions!

 

The post Kinexions Supply Chain Conference Breakout Sessions appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Alexa Cheater at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/09/kinexions-supply-chain-conference-breakout-sessions/

by Dr. Madhav Durbha

Supply chain risks in the spotlight: Effects of Hanjin Shipping filing bankruptcy protection

A few days ago, the world’s seventh largest container shipping company by volume, Hanjin Shipping, filed for bankruptcy protection. A lot of the products being shipped by Hanjin are headed to US and European retailers getting ready for the holiday season (toys, electronics, clothing, furniture, etc). However, many ports are not allowing these ships to dock due to the risk of creditors seizing the ships. Any such event will cause congestion in the ports.

 

According to sources, Stevedores are demanding advance payment in cash. As Hanjin is fighting to prevent seizure by creditors, several ships remain marooned in the sea. A contact of mine with firsthand knowledge of the matter commented that it is a nightmare to claim containers from a bankrupt shipper. In short, it is a mess!

 

Such risks are on the rise. Companies are spending more on outsourced products and services than in the past. There is a constant push to free up working capital by leaning down on the inventories. Lead times are in weeks and months in cases where manufacturing is outsourced to firms on the other side of the earth. Linear supply chains as we know them are turning into supply networks with more players and parties than ever before. To understand the geopolitical risks, all you need to do is to turn on network news. Given all this, one would think that supply chain risk management is more prominent now. However, a 2014 report by University of Tennessee on managing risk in global supply chains points out that 90% of the firms surveyed do not quantify risk when outsourcing production!

 

With manufacturers, distributors, and retailers alike are scrambling to get their inventories off of Hanjin ships; now is as good a time as any to take stock of where your organization stands with regards to supply chain risk management. Here are some key aspects of risk management:

 

  1. Identify: Supply Chain Risk Leadership Council (SCRLC), a consortium of several leading companies put out several best practice recommendations towards managing supply chain risks. One of these recommendations is to create a risk registry wherein you collaborate with your teams on identifying all the risks to your supply chain with emphasis on your supply base. Apply Pareto principles so you can prioritize risks that will be truly disruptive to your supply chain.
  1. Quantify and mitigate: Say, one of your key suppliers is located in an earthquake prone region, what is the probability of the supplier being down due to such an occurrence? How long will you be able to recover your supply through alternate sources or from the impacted supplier? What would be the revenue and cost impact during the recovery time? Assess the probability of each risk occurring and build them into your business justification as you make outsourcing decisions. Of course, this will be no guarantee that you will eliminate risk. However, by having well-documented contingency processes, it will likely help you recover faster than your competition when impacted by a disaster.
  1. Monitor: On a day-to-day basis, there are mini earthquakes and tsunamis happening, perhaps under the radar in your supply chain, in terms of quality issues, missed vendor deliveries, customer order cancellations etc. If not addressed appropriately, the cumulative effect these day-to-day disruptions can match up to the damage by any major disaster. Monitoring such metrics is important and a supply chain control tower can be a key component of that strategy. Technologies that can process real world events and provide visibility to risks in your supply chain can be interesting to look at. With the advent of big data and machine learning, these systems are starting to get smarter in terms of providing better contextual information.
  1. Respond: While risks can be mitigated, they cannot be eliminated. While major disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and such come to mind when we think of supply chain risks, Hanjin’s bankruptcy is a real and tangible example of a risk relating to business partnerships. You will need processes and systems that support speed of response and collaboration to address any number of supply chain disruptions. In case of Hanjin, for example, its customers can benefit by rapidly evaluating the impact of downstream orders and forecasts, and make contingency plans provided they have such capabilities.One common mistake is to think of supply chain risks to be the domain of supply chain execution and event management. However, when supply lead times are long, as you are planning 3 to 4 months out, your Tier 1 and/or Tier 2 suppliers are executing today to support your plans 3 to 4 months out. In the event of Hanjin, the business impact will be felt a couple of months out as the holiday season picks up. Hence it is important to think of supply chain planning and execution in a holistic way with extended supply network visibility.
  1. Learn and improve: In the spirit of continuous improvement, it is important to understand how you and your peers respond to risks and as appropriate, add these learnings to your risk recovery playbooks or contingency processes as mentioned in #2 above. As an example, if your organization is impacted by Hanjin situation, as you put together recovery actions in place, the learning should be captured as part of your playbook.

As disruptive as Hanjin’s bankruptcy could be, organizations that are better prepared to handle such disruptions will come out ahead. Conscious effort into Supply Chain Risk Management is the key for such preparedness!

 

The post Supply chain risks in the spotlight: Effects of Hanjin Shipping filing bankruptcy protection appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

blog-email-supply-chain-collaboration-ebook-kinaxis

 

Originally posted by Dr. Madhav Durbha at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/09/supply-chain-risks-spotlight-effects-hanjin-shipping-filing-bankruptcy-protection/

by Dr. Madhav Durbha

Supply chain risk management in the spotlight

Supply Chain Risk ManagementA few days ago, the world’s seventh largest container shipping company by volume, Hanjin Shipping, filed for bankruptcy protection. A lot of the products being shipped by Hanjin are headed to U.S. and European retailers (toys, electronics, clothing, furniture, etc) getting ready for the holiday season. However, many ports are not allowing these ships to dock due to the risk of creditors seizing the ships, and any such event will cause congestion in the ports.

 

According to sources, Stevedores are demanding advance payment in cash. As Hanjin is fighting to prevent seizure by creditors, several ships remain marooned in the sea. A contact of mine with firsthand knowledge of the matter commented that it is a nightmare to claim containers from a bankrupt shipper. In short, it is a mess!

 

Such risks are on the rise. Companies are spending more on outsourced products and services than in the past. There is a constant push to free up working capital by leaning down on the inventories. Lead times are in weeks and months in cases where manufacturing is outsourced to firms on the other side of the earth. Linear supply chains as we know them are turning into supply networks with more players and parties than ever before. To understand the geopolitical risks, all you need to do is to turn on network news. Given all this, one would think that supply chain risk management is more prominent now. However, a 2014 report by University of Tennessee on managing risk in global supply chains points out that 90% of the firms surveyed do not quantify risk when outsourcing production!

 

With manufacturers, distributors, and retailers alike scrambling to get their inventories off of Hanjin ships, now is as good a time as any to take stock of where your organization stands with regards to supply chain risk management. Here are some key aspects of risk management:

 

  1. Identify: Supply Chain Risk Leadership Council (SCRLC), a consortium of several leading companies put out several best practice recommendations towards managing supply chain risks. One of these recommendations is to create a risk registry wherein you collaborate with your teams to identify all the risks to your supply chain with emphasis on your supply base. Apply Pareto principles so you can prioritize risks that will be truly disruptive to your supply chain.
  1. Quantify and mitigate: Let’s say one of your key suppliers is located in an earthquake prone region. What are the chances of the supplier being down due to such an occurrence? How long will it take for you to recover your supply through alternate sources or from the impacted supplier? What would be the revenue and cost impact during the recovery time? Assess the probability of each risk occurring and build them into your business justification as you make outsourcing decisions. Of course, this will be no guarantee that you will eliminate risk. However, by having well-documented contingency processes, it will likely help you recover faster than your competition when impacted by a disaster.
  1. Monitor: On a day-to-day basis, there are mini earthquakes and tsunamis happening, perhaps under the radar in your supply chain in terms of quality issues, missed vendor deliveries, customer order cancellations, etc. If not addressed appropriately, the cumulative effect of these day-to-day disruptions can match up to the damage by any major disaster. Monitoring such metrics is important, and a supply chain control tower can be a key component of that strategy. Technologies that can process real world events and provide visibility to risks in your supply chain can be interesting to look at. With the advent of big data and machine learning, these systems are starting to get smarter in terms of providing better contextual information.
  1. Respond: While risks can be mitigated, they cannot be eliminated. While major disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis and such come to mind when we think of supply chain risks, Hanjin’s bankruptcy is a real and tangible example of a risk relating to business partnerships. You will need processes and systems that support speed of response and collaboration to address any number of supply chain disruptions. In case of Hanjin, for example, its customers can benefit by rapidly evaluating the impact of downstream orders and forecasts, and make contingency plans, provided they have such capabilities. One common mistake is to think of supply chain risks as the domain of supply chain execution and event management. However, when supply lead times are long, your Tier 1 and/or Tier 2 suppliers are executing today to support your plans 3 to 4 months out. In the event of Hanjin, the business impact will be felt a couple of months out as the holiday season picks up. Hence it is important to think of supply chain planning and execution in a holistic way with extended supply network visibility.
  1. Learn and improve: In the spirit of continuous improvement, it is important to understand how you and your peers respond to risks. Then, as appropriate, add these learnings to your risk recovery playbooks or contingency processes as mentioned in #2 above. As an example, if your organization is impacted by Hanjin situation, as you put together recovery actions in place, the learning should be captured as part of your playbook.

As disruptive as Hanjin’s bankruptcy could be, organizations that are better prepared to handle such disruptions will come out ahead. Conscious effort into supply chain risk management is the key for such preparedness!

 

The post Supply Chain Risk Management in the Spotlight: Lessons from Hanjin Shipping’s bankruptcy appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Dr. Madhav Durbha at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/09/supply-chain-risks-spotlight-effects-hanjin-shipping-filing-bankruptcy-protection/

by Taunya MacDonald

Kinaxis Rolls Out New Learning Program at Kinexions Supply Chain Conference 2016

Kinaxis Knowledge ServicesWell it’s that time of year again, where we at Kinaxis are geared up and excited about planning and preparing for Kinexions. While I get a lot of time with customers throughout the year, I always look forward to Kinexions every year because it’s the most fun. I get to see a lot of new and old friends at the event, where we can catch up, let loose at the events and still learn about our product, RapidResponse.

 

We have been very busy in the knowledge services department over the last year redesigning our entire learning program, and I do truly mean our entire program. If you’ve checked out the knowledge services area of our website, you’ve seen we’ve made significant investment in enhancing and scaling our knowledge services products and programs to bring a completely updated RapidResponse training and certification program.

 

The new redesigned program includes:

 

  • An expanded role-based knowledge portfolio
  • Prescriptive training paths
  • A new, modernized style for courses
  • A brand new robust certification program, and
  • More advanced content than we have ever offered to our customers before.

Here’s 3 changes you can expect to see at Kinexions this year:

 

Enhanced Conference Training Agenda

The Kinaxis Knowledge Services team is cooking up some great contributions for the conference this year. As always, you will be able to register for training, but this year you will get to see what we’ve been up to with all these enhancements! We will be offering two days of pre-conference training with four different tracks each day. We tried to hit all the areas of interest: introductory sessions, authoring, administrator, and business applications. Plus, all the courses are in the new, updated format.

 

New Analytics Course

The course I’m most excited about offering is Understanding Analytics level 1. This course was created based on an internal course we only offered to our consultants and partners. However, due to such high demand, we’re polished up the course and rolling it out to our customers! If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the calculations running in the background or control table settings in RapidResponse, I highly recommend this course. There are some prerequisites for this one as it is a pretty advanced course, so make sure you have taken those courses, or sign-up for them before Kinexions.

 

Certification Testing During the Conference

As I mentioned above, we’ve also introduced a certification program, and for the first time ever, we will be offering on-site certification testing at Kinexions. Testing will be held throughout the conference and at a discounted rate (25% off!). There are two major benefits of this for you:

 

  1. The deeply discounted rate, and
  2. There’s no need to find a testing center to take the exam. For level two exams, you usually have to find a testing center that proctors the exam, but now you can take it right at Kinexions.

This is a great opportunity to show off your skills by becoming RapidResponse Certified.

 

I want to urge you all to take the time to plan which certifications you want to gain and study beforehand, as the exams will really test your knowledge of RapidResponse. We had many seasoned internal employees surprised at the difficulty of the exams so check out our certification page and come prepared!

 

Have I convinced you yet?! I hope to see you all at Kinexions in Nashville this year, as it promises to be a rockin’ good time!

 

The post New Learning Program at Kinexions Supply Chain Conference 2016 appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Taunya MacDonald at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/08/new-learning-program-kinexions-supply-chain-conference-2016/

by Alexa Cheater

It’s Time for the Evolution of Supply Chain: 4 Characteristics to Watch for With Supply Chain 2.0

evolution of supply chainThe right product, at the right place, at the right time. The decades-old challenge of supply chain is now more difficult to solve than ever before. Globalization, market volatility, demanding consumers, vast amounts of data—it’s no wonder past strategies are failing to solve today’s mounting challenges.

 

With complexity growing, an evolution of the supply chain needs to begin now. Not just to solve current problems, but to be better prepared for future ones. But how are companies going to be able to adapt? How are they going to take advantage of existing opportunities to capture market share, increasing brand loyalty and profitability?

 

According to global services firm Accenture, the answer lies in the evolution of supply chain. It lies in Supply Chain 2.0! In the firm’s recent white paper, Supply Chain For a New Age, the authors, Mohammed Hajibashi and Ashoo Bhatti, map out a next generation supply chain blueprint.

 

Getting to the next generation of supply chain capabilities would require breaking down functional silos, redefining priorities, and building synchronized planning and fulfillment capabilities.”

 

They describe the characteristics of Supply Chain 2.0 as:

 

  1. Rapid: Enhanced responsiveness; proactive prevention; last-mile postponement. Examples include demand sensing, automated KPI reporting real-time planning and execution, dynamic inventory replenishment, and a robotic workforce.
  2. Scalable: Maximum efficiency; organizational flexibility; highly-evolved operating models. Examples include reconfigurable supply networks, lightweight SDA, cloud-hosted optimization tools, and a digital products supply model.
  3. Intelligent: Actionable insights; automated execution; enhanced, accelerated innovation. Examples include predictive maintenance, predictive forecasting, integrated optimization, supply and price analytics, “what-if” scenario analysis, and cognitive computing.
  4. Connected: Real-time visibility; seamless integration; personalized experiences. Examples include connected infrastructure, ecosystem collaboration, transportation control tower, social product development, track and trace, and external data exploitation.

These are enabled by six core building blocks:

 

  • Rapid and responsive consumer-driven supply chains
  • An integrated operating model that breaks silos and provides connectivity
  • Performance management that’s aligned across the organization
  • Clear and differentiated supply chain segmentation strategies
  • End-to-end supply chain collaboration within the organization and across external trading and service partners
  • Digital capabilities and a technology platform able to support all of this

The transformation from current supply chain operating models to Supply Chain 2.0 isn’t simple. Supply chain strategies are at a crossroads, and not addressing today’s challenges will be an equation for losing revenue. Businesses need to recognize the urgency in moving forward. Because if they don’t, the pressure to adapt and survive will only continue to grow.

 

The Supply Chain 2.0 framework can help companies profitably meet future demands. For a more detailed explanation of how, check out Accenture’s whitepaper, Supply Chain for a New Age.

 

The post 4 Characteristics of the Evolution of the Supply Chain appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Alexa Cheater at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/08/4-characteristics-evolution-supply-chain/

by Dr. Madhav Durbha

The Higher Purpose of Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain ManagementMy wife’s phone rang as we were driving home from the restaurant. I turned off the music and the kids had gone quiet as she answered the phone. It was a distraught mother at the other end of the line. She was nervous and was calling about her toddler’s fever that would not go down. My wife talked to her in a calm voice, told her what she needs to do for the night to keep the fever under control, and advised the mother to bring her toddler to the clinic the next morning. With her nervousness abating, the mother profusely thanked her and hung up. As a parent of young children myself, I can very much appreciate the difference a physician, like my wife, makes in the community.

 

As we reached home, I retired into my study and picked up the Ken Follett thriller where I left off. I was trying to read, but the thought kept running through my head. Yes, both my wife and I are career-minded professionals. We both are in our professions to be successful, make money, and enjoy the pleasures that life has to offer. But is there a higher purpose to what we do?

 

There certainly is a higher purpose to what my wife is doing. One wellness visit, one infection cured, one disease diagnosed at a time, she is making a difference. The results are very tangible. But what about supply chain management professionals like me? Is there a higher purpose to what we do as executives, consultants, planners, or technology providers? As I pondered upon this topic, the answer turned out to be a resounding yes. Here are few examples of how supply chain management professionals make a difference in the world:

 

  1. We deliver products that save lives: Some of the organizations my company partners with to solve their supply chain problems manufacture lifesaving drugs for rare diseases. The men and women in these organizations make decisions every day to plan, make, and deliver drugs to those in need.

    There are times when they run into challenges such as a bioreactor contamination or a customs clearance hold up. Then they need to respond rapidly and decide how to allocate the short supply of medication to ensure the patient’s needs are met, all in the context of the regulatory environment that life sciences companies operate under. A drug not delivered on time or an order misplaced could be life or death for a patient. Yes, we in supply chain make life saving decisions very frequently. Perhaps, not unlike a physician.
  2. We deliver smiles and surprises: Do you know of a child or a loved one who waits until last minute to ask Santa for her wishes? If you are like most people, the answer in all likelihood is yes. How do you think Santa is able to deliver the goods with just a day or two lead time? The supply chain professionals are the elves behind the scenes ensuring the orders get delivered, one parcel at a time. Think of the order processing, picking, packing, and shipping that is involved behind the scenes while ensuring the orders get to the right place at the right time in the right quantity. Yes, Santa has a big job delivering, but there is a complex machinery called supply chain management that is behind the scenes, delivering surprises and smiles to millions!
  3. We keep the earth clean: By understanding the consumption behaviors and demand signals, we process the right amount of materials and produce the right quantity of the product when needed (Just in Time, anyone?). By doing this, we save energy and water. We lower carbon emissions by helping optimize transportation, one truckload and one route at a time. We minimize wastage by reducing obsolete or unused inventory and maximizing shelf life of the product. This in turn reduces the burden on the world’s landfills. We make the environment more sustainable by conserving the natural resources for many more generations to come.
  4. We are the gears that turn the economic wheel: Supply chain professionals across industries plan and execute to effectively utilize the manufacturing and distribution assets, to efficiently procure by ensuring global visibility of procurement needs, and to maximize productivity of the people involved while minimizing the organizational stress in the face of rising complexity and volatility. These are men and women who turn their company’s supply chains into the efficient operations that contribute to the broader economic activity and wealth creation.

I was jolted out of my thoughts as my eight-year-old walked into my study. “Dad…. You need to help me with this homework assignment”, he said as he placed a sheet titled “Jobs we do” in front of me. The instructions said to complete the questionnaire with a parent’s help.

 

He read the first question: “What is your profession?” I said, “Supply chain management”, and he noted my answer on his paper. Then came the next question: “Explain what people do in your profession”. I took a pause and answered, with a twinkle in my eye and pride in my voice, “We make the world a better place one production order, one shipment, and one delivery at a time!”

 

The post 4 Ways Supply Chain Management Has a Higher Purpose appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Dr. Madhav Durbha at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/08/4-ways-supply-chain-management-higher-purpose/

by Teresa Chiykowski

Yeehaw! Top 5 Reasons to Attend Kinexions ‘16

You’ve got this piece of wood and some wires, pickups and some strings. How somebody uses that
configuration to make something memorable.

Don Felder, Lead Guitarist, The Eagles

 

don-felderWhy am I quoting Don Felder of the iconic band The Eagles? Good question.

 

Felder’s description of a guitar isn’t unlike what we do at our supply chain conference, Kinexions every year. We pull together some essential components to make something memorable for customers and employees. It’s what keeps folks coming back year after year.

 

Kinexions ‘16 promises to be no exception.

 

Offering a star-studded lineup of speakers, customer presentations, breakout sessions, training and foot stompin’ good fun, Kinexions ’16 is sure to be a number one hit again. If you’ve never attended Kinexions, and wondering why you should, here are the top five reasons to join us in Music City U.S.A. for the hit supply chain conference of 2016

 

  1. Real life supply chain success stories
    Captivating customer sessions will give you ample opportunity to hear how market-leading companies are achieving unprecedented business results through the power of RapidResponse. For example, on the main stage catch presentations from Ford, Roland and Xilinx.
  2. World-class keynote speakers
    Be inspired, motivated and entertained with our keynote presentations:Future of Supply Chain: Be Prepared to Work Hard to Rock On! (Kevin O’Marah, Chief Content Officer, SCM World). supply chain professionals to have a whole new set of capabilities for deeper demand and supply sensing as well as radical new ways to respond with agile operations.Kevin will explore the capabilities supply chain professionals will need to respond to the challenges of the supply chain future.

     

    • Future of Supply Chain: Be Prepared to Work Hard to Rock On! (Kevin O’Marah, Chief Content Officer, SCM World). supply chain professionals to have a whole new set of capabilities for deeper demand and supply sensing as well as radical new ways to respond with agile operations.Kevin will explore the capabilities supply chain professionals will need to respond to the challenges of the supply chain future.
    • People, Process and Technology – A Musical Perspective (Don Felder, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Member, Former Lead Guitarist for The Eagles). Don will take attendees on the ultimate journey from heaven to hell and share what it takes to collaborate your way to success.
  3. More opportunities for RapidResponse learning
    Take advantage of two full days of RapidResponse pre-conference training and onsite Kinaxis Certification being offered at 25% off the regular list price. Choose from 11 product-specific courses across five different tracks.
  4. Conference tracks to meet your needs
    Join our presenters as they focus critical supply chain topics, including organizing for success, preparing for the future, achieving volume, functional business planning.
  5. A focus on fun
    Kinexions ’16 isn’t just the ideal opportunity to learn, share and connect. It also offers up a healthy helping of fun and activities, including a 5K fun run, early morning yoga, welcome reception, and our Customer Appreciation Night at the world-famous Wildhorse Saloon

Now for a trivia question… What Nashville resort and convention center contains nine acres of indoor gardens complete with 44-foot cascading waterfall?

 

Answer: The Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center – host venue to Kinexions ’16. We hope to see you there.

 

Register for Kinexions ’16 today!

 

The post 5 Reasons to Attend Kinexions Supply Chain Conference appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Teresa Chiykowski at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/08/5-reasons-attend-kinexions-supply-chain-conference/

by Jonathan Lofton

Design for the Supply Chain Pt. 10: Environmentally Friendly

It’s been a long time; I shouldn’t have left you, without a new blog to read through!

 

Now reread that with the rhythm and voice of “I Know You Got Soul” by Eric B. & Rakim. I was waylaid, but let’s get right into the next principle in the “10 Principles of Good Design” as applied to green supply chain and green supply chain management (Design for the Supply Chain).green supply chain

 

Principle #9: Good design “Is environmentally friendly”

 

“Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.” – ‘Dieter Rams: ten principles for good design’

 

I was talking with my good friend and colleague Dan Fischer about the blog series and mentioned this principle. He told me about cases he had seen with some clever work on re-usable packaging, where the supplier’s packaging can be taken into its customers’ facilities and is either used to move the resulting product through the process and on to its next destination, or the empty containers go back to the supplier for use in a future delivery.

 

This really requires end-to-end thinking about the supply chain and close collaboration between the partners in that chain. He also pointed me to How Novelis is Lightening Ford’s Load on the New F-150 Pickup, an interesting article that talks about…

 

“Novelis, the world’s largest aluminum recycler, showed Ford how it could afford the switch to higher-priced aluminum (adding about $750 per truck) by using recycled scrap instead of buying virgin aluminum mined from bauxite.

 

Together they created an innovative supply chain that allows Ford to recover a big chunk of its aluminum costs by selling the scrap back to its suppliers and reusing it. This is done by capturing the approximately 40% scrap metal from the vehicle body panel stamping process, separating the aluminum alloy scraps and sending them back to Novelis, which reprocesses the aluminum and ships giant coils of aluminum back to Ford’s stamping plants where the vehicle body panel stamping process begins again.”

 

These are great examples of ‘preservation of the environment’ and ‘conserving resources’ throughout the lifecycle of the supply chain. Given the focus in recent years on ‘green’ supply chains there are hundreds of other examples, including ‘minimizing physical pollution’ (see the Green Supply Chain – A Supply Chain Digest site). But what about ‘minimizing visual pollution’?

 

Wikipedia says, “Visual pollution is an aesthetic issue and refers to the impacts of pollution that impair one’s ability to enjoy a vista or view.”  This is generally talked about in terms of obstructing the natural environment and I know we can all give natural environment examples (railroad tracks, exhaust from manufacturing facilities, chemical runoff, etc.) so there’s no need to cover that ground.

 

In terms of management of the supply chain, we talked previously about the supply chain design being unobtrusive, aesthetic, and useful, which included the psychological and aesthetic appeal factor that makes it fun and interesting both for the owner and the consumer of the supply chain.

 

So I’m going to postulate that visual pollution can be thought of as any ‘irregular formation’ that obstructs or distracts us from being able to focus on (and enjoy) management of the supply chain. For me, this would include poorly designed scorecards / dashboards / reports, cumbersome collaboration tools, lack of data integration, restrictive systems (e.g. not allowing me to do real-time what-if analysis), etc.

 

As we enter the age of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) we need to keep all these design principles in mind to create solutions that don’t obstruct or distract us but actually enhance the psychological and aesthetic factors of supply chain management.

 

My parting question this time is, “What do you consider visual pollution in the supply chain?”

 

Want to learn more about Design for the Supply Chain? Check out the rest of the series:

 

The post Design for a Green Supply Chain appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Jonathan Lofton at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/08/design-green-supply-chain/

by Alexa Cheater

A collection of bad supply chain poems: volume 2

Poems about Supply Chain Management Software After the success of last year’s bad supply chain poems, I’ve decided to resurrect this cringe-worthy tradition in honor of Bad Poetry Day. So sit back, kick your feet up, and prepare to be amazed by the literary talents of the Kinaxis team around today’s supply chain and our supply chain management software.

 

Dawn of a new supply chain
By Alexa Cheater

 

Down with Excel,
Let’s turn supply chain planning on its head,
No more hours compiling data in spreadsheets we dread!

 

It’s time for a new way,
Much better than before,
Where teams work together, instead of in silos or behind closed doors.

 

The future is now,
And it sure is bright,
Features like adaptive collaboration and concurrent planning mean sleep-filled nights.

 

The speed and flexibility,
Oh what a treat,
A truly responsive supply chain just cannot be beat.

 

But how can this be,
The naysayers all ask,
‘Isn’t achieving this some kind of gargantuan task?’

 

Believe in the change,
And you’ll soon see,
Delivering this revolution is part of the Kinaxis story.

 

We’re here to help,
To show you the way,
Your victories are ours at the end of the day.

 

So take that first step,
Be brave and be bold,
Together we’ll create a supply chain to behold.

 

Transformation
By Helen Malacrida

 

There once was a sad executive
And a very overworked customer service representative
They called up Kinaxis
RapidResponse turned their world on its axis
Now periods with great KPIs are consecutive

 

Bad Warehouse
By Alvaro Fernandez
A complete disorder
Really fit for a hoarder,
A floor full of pallets
Sorted out with no talents,
Such a great giant challenge,
For a brave valiant planner!

 

Sooner knowing. Faster acting!
By Andrew Dunbar

 

Demand has shifted,
Your priorities are skewed.
What can help you respond?
Your scorecard, when viewed!

 

Looking for problems
Early on in the day.
What needs your attention?
Your dashboard will say!

 

Addressing an issue,
Your inventory is messed!
Wondering what to do next?
Your task flow knows best!

 

Concerned by a trend,
Supply plan needs some checks.
You need to see details?
Your workbook is next!

 

When something goes wrong
With your inventory flow,
How goes your plan?
Alerts help you know!

 

Need help from a colleague
To make your plan gel,
Who should you ask?
Responsibilities can tell!

 

When grouping your products,
Customers, and sites,
How do you keep sorted?
Hierarchies shed light.

 

Data bucket
By Joe Cannata

 

There once was a man from Nantucket
Who put a value in a date bucket
His head was so strained
He never got trained
So he decided to just say ______________

 

Power of Kinaxis
By John Westerveld

 

There once was a planner from Texas
Who’s supply chain software was feckless
He cursed and he swore
But not any more
Because now he uses Kinaxis.

 

Ode to SCM
By Amy Eyman-LeBlanc

 

I make stuff.
I sell stuff.
I send stuff.
If only….
I had a tool to figure out all the stuff in-between.

 

InvenStory
By Steve McStracivk

 

There once was an Inventory Manager with much excess,
Knew this wouldn’t help her company’s success.
She tried many a scenario,
Collaborating she found she could transfer to Ontario,
Wonder’s what mess they’d be in without Kinaxis!

 

Life is good
By Helen Malacrida

 

Missing KPIs
If you have RapidResponse
It never happens

 

Still haven’t had your fill of supply chain poetry, be sure to check out last year’s gems if you’re in need of a good laugh or share your own supply chain poetry in the comments below!

 

The post Poems about Supply Chain Management Software appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Alexa Cheater at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/08/poems-supply-chain-management-software/

by Melissa Clow

How to Get Supply Chain Into the Boardroom

This guest post comes to us from Argentus Supply Chain Recruiting, a boutique recruitment firm specializing in Supply Chain Management.

 

Supply Chain ManagementOne topic we keep returning to on the Argentus blog is the issue of Supply Chain raising its profile within business. We’ve discussed the emergence of companies hiring Chief Supply Chain Officers, as well as Supply Chain’s ascension into the most high-impact role in business: the CEO function. Suffice it to say that companies around the world – including some of the most relevant and innovative companies – are placing an increased amount of responsibility on the long-undersung function of Supply Chain Management, a function that, until recently, companies saw as a back-office, transactional aspect of business that didn’t have a big role to play in innovation and competitiveness.

 

No longer. We loved this recent major feature in Supply Chain 24/7 about how far the field has come, as well as how Supply Chain leadership can get more buy-in from executives at their companies.

 

It’s a meaty feature with a lot to dig into, but we wanted to highlight a few points and mention our own take.

 

There’s a common refrain among Supply Chain – and Procurement – Professionals that the board “doesn’t understand” the value that they bring to the table. This feature does a good job of describing how it’s the Supply Chain function’s job to make corporate leadership understand their value, and it also offers some great approaches for doing so:

 

Supply Chain leaders need to establish their reputations as trusted business partners. Crucially, they need to establish ways that Supply Chain is a driver of innovation and revenue growth rather than cost-cutting. One interesting take is that companies actually tend to take Supply Chain’s cost-cutting for granted.

 

They need to provide quantified metrics that board members can understand. Fill rate and asset utilization, for example, don’t mean much to board members, so Supply Chain professionals need to work to translate Supply Chain success into financial metrics that are understandable to the wider business community.

 

They need to identify Supply Chain ambassadors to help interface the function with the rest of the company. They need to be able to speak simply about Supply Chain issues, without resorting to jargon. From our perspective, time and again this “translation” is the critical and most difficult part of becoming a Supply Chain leader – but companies reward people who are able to do this handily.

 

One of the greatest points that the article makes is that part of the reason Supply Chain doesn’t get its fair shake in boardrooms is because it tends to play more of a supporting than starring role. But more than ever, that supporting role is incredibly crucial to support almost every one of the more “flashy” activities a company does a company does, from launching new products to expanding into new countries. In the authors’ words: “providing truly distinctive customer service or expanding into new markets is unthinkable without a world-class Supply Chain to support the chosen strategies.”

 

The article identifies how miscommunication, more than anything, contributes to misconceptions that companies have about Supply Chain. For example, many people still think Supply Chain is a fancy term for Logistics, rather than a broader practice that provides companies with an overall understanding of their resources up and down the value chain. As a result, some companies have rebranded their Logistics function as “Supply Chain” without broadening the function’s responsibility. Another major misperception is the (outdated) idea that Supply Chain is only about cost cutting and the timeliness of deliveries, when in fact it’s now a driver of revenue growth. The Supply Chain 24 / 7 feature identifies tons of revenue opportunities that Supply Chain supports, for example enabling product customization, reducing lead time, entering new channels (e.g. online), and accelerating product launches. When board members understand these opportunities, Supply Chain will have a seat at the table – and it’s up to all of us in the field to communicate its value and make that a reality.

 

We certainly encourage everyone to check out the feature. There are too many great insights about the Supply Chain field in it to draw attention to in one blog post. But we’re glad to see so many practical tips from a publication that recognizes Supply Chain is about to have its day in the sun.

 

We think it’s about time as well.

 

 

 

The post Supply Chain Management Moving Up the Business Ladder appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

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Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2016/08/supply-chain-management-moving-business-ladder/

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