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2013

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/supply-chain-alignment-300x180.jpgHave you ever wondered, ‘How do organizations align functions? We have! So, we wanted to share the opportunity to participate in a survey, which is being conducted by Supply Chain Insights LLC examining Supply Chain Alignment.

 

This survey hopes to find out how organizations align functions (sales, marketing, finance, information technology, source, make and deliver) to actualize the supply chain strategy. They are also looking to learn, ‘How well do they work together to drive opportunity?’ and ‘which pieces of the organization are better aligned?’

 

And, if you decide to participate, they keep your answers confidential. But, Supply Chain Insights will give you an hour and share the data freely. Join this study to find the results!

 

Objective:

 

The objective of this survey is to understand how different groups within manufacturing companies view their supply chain agility, team alignment and performance against functional goals.

 

The scope of the survey:

 

  • This survey is targeted at manufacturing companies.
  • Your trust is important to us: all responses will be kept anonymous and only reported in aggregate.
  • If you take the survey, we will share the results with you, helping you to benchmark your company against your peers.
  • Supply Chain Insights is offering all participants a personalized, one-hour phone call to review the results with you.

Interested in participating? Take the survey!

 

Feel free to invite your colleagues to take this study too.

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/03/how-do-organizations-align-functions-a-supply-chain-alignment-questionnaire/

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/automotive-logistics.jpg

 

The 11th annual Automotive Logistics Europe conference was held in in Bonn, Germany last week for two days of intense networking, discussions and learning. The discussions were focused on worldwide automotive trends and challenges and tackling lingering inefficiencies in European supply chains. According to IHS Michael Robinet, though the West European light vehicle production is expected to fall 6% in 2013, the overall outlook for the automotive sector is positive, with single digit growth till 2020.

 

Despite the global economic situation, whether it is a sequester in the US or under-utilized capacity in Europe, the automotive supply chain continues to rapidly evolve driven by fundamental changes in operating models, product platforms, operating models and the supply, production and distribution footprint across the world.

 

One key trend specifically caught my attention.  German premium brands aside, most OEMs are adopting a more regional model of production of vehicles.  OEMs are largely settling to a “global source – regional make – regional sell” operating model.  Michael Robinet of IHS pointed out that a push for more regionally-based vehicle production will likely lead to lower levels of exportation of finished vehicles from one region to another.  However, the consolidation of global vehicle platforms across regions continues to drive an inter-regional flow of parts and components across the globe. In this regard, Helge Wöbke, head of logistics for Europe, Middle East and Africa at TRW Automotive, pointed out that even with a regional operating model, it is not practical for much of the supply base to co-locate across multiple regions. Ford’s Bert Bong, who last year took over as manager of material flow and supply chain management at Ford Europe indicated a significant increase in material and components from Ford’s European operations to other parts of the globe.

 

I believe that this trend requires a fundamental change in supply chain management.  OEMs and suppliers need global visibility in order to align and synchronize multi-tiered supply chains for fast responses to demand and supply changes, and to make intelligent tradeoff decisions based on real insights.  In my opinion, the automotive sector needs significant improvement in some of critical enterprise competencies:

 

  • Improving visibility, alignment and synchronization across functions, and more importantly across the supply chain, and with a focus on customer service.  This is critical given gradual reduction in vehicle inventory in the channel and working capital reduction pressure across all supply chain stakeholders.
  • Supply risk management – where companies need to develop core capabilities to detect supply and capacity problems, assess the impact, come up with business tradeoffs and publish the change.
  • Speed and accuracy of decision making is critical.  In this case, automotive companies need to focus on capacity planning and capacity constraint management disciplines and processes in order to remove unnecessary latency and lack of visibility across the value chain.
  • Collaboration across stakeholders – collaboration is not merely passing data between partners.  It is about context and content specific collaboration to understand who is impacted by a change and mutually resolve it inside and outside the enterprise.
  • Companies need to eliminate information latency between strategic, tactical and execution windows and eliminate the artificial boundaries.  For example, a static monthly S&OP reporting cadence is not sufficient.  Tying it to weekly and daily execution is critical.  A seamless flow through planning timeframes is possible only if companies diligently work towards removing the patchwork of applications and Excel.  S&OP, capacity planning, constraint management and inventory management processes need to be revisited to establish discipline and alignment in decision making required for globally distributed supply chains.

By the way, there were many great photos taken at the event and you can check them out on the Automotive Logistics Facebook page.

 

 

 

Originally posted by Aamer Rehman at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/03/5-critical-supply-chain-competency-improvements-needed-in-the-automotive-sector/

In October, SupplyChainBrain attended our annual Kinexions user conference. At our event they completed a number of video interviews with some customers, analysts, and Kinaxis executives. These videos are loaded with great information and we would like to share it with our readers.

 

Each week for the past few weeks, we have been highlighting clips in the series. Next up, Agilent!

 

Agilent’s Vertically Integrated Supply Chain

 

Yoke Sun Lieu, head of supply chain engineering at the Electronics Measurement Business Group of Agilent Technologies, talks about the supply chain challenges of a high-mix. Low-volume business and describes Agilent’s two-level supplier collaboration model.

 

[Run Time (Min.): 5:50]

 

 

 

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/03/supplychainbrain-video-series-part-7-agilents-vertically-integrated-supply-chain/

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/google_reader-300x300.jpgIf you, like me, get your blogs aggregated through Google reader, you were shocked to discover that Google Reader is going away as of July 1st.

 

I had a moment of panic when I contemplated having to actually visit the various web pages for the blogs I read on a regular basis.  However a quick search later (yes, on Google) I discovered Feedly.  I gave Feedly permission to access my Google reader information and in seconds I had it working in the same way Google reader worked for me.  Further, Feedly has some very nice layout options that are actually an improvement on my traditional Google reader experience.

 

For more options, here are some articles talking about Google Reader alternatives:

 

While this is not really supply chain related, we want to make sure that nothing comes between you and the 21st Century Supply Chain!

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/blog-ordercommit-196x300.jpgIt’s just after lunch on a Friday afternoon. The phone rings.  It’s a company you’ve been trying to turn into a customer for years. They have a big order with your competition that they can’t get in on time and have decided to give you a try.

 

The problem is – they need the order in two weeks – less than the lead time for these items and you don’t have enough finished goods inventory to satisfy this order. To make matters worse, they want an answer by close of business or they will look elsewhere.  If you can get these orders on time, you could be able to win significant future business from them.  The stakes are immense.

 

What factors need to be considered when deciding on a course of action?

 

  • What is the impact to revenue?
  • What is the impact to margin?
  • Can I accept this order if I’m willing to make other orders late? If so, what other orders will be put at risk?  What are the customers associated with those orders?
  • What components are blocking this order from being completed on-time?
  • What options do I have for resolving those blocking components?

With traditional ERP systems, responding with confidence is nearly impossible.  Batch based calculations mean that you simply can’t know the impact on the supply chain unless you run the various processes that rebalance the plan. This can take several hours at least – and are typically run at night or over the weekend.  Further, many companies have different versions of ERP in different sites.  Worse, companies may have grown through acquisition resulting in different ERP systems across the various sites.  This means that visibility across the various nodes of the supply chain is limited.  Once the calculations are done, the ability to visualize the impact of the change and the required response is very limited since ERP systems tend to be stuck in the 70’s model of presenting information, part by part, on a single screen. How do companies respond in this environment? Typically, things go one of four ways –

 

1)       They quote a standard lead time and refuse to consider an order inside that lead time because they can’t know whether meeting the customer request date is even possible. Order lost.

 

2)       They promise the order and “hope” they can get the order done on-time. Operations try to scramble to get it done at a significant cost – and often can’t – so then customer satisfaction suffers.

 

3)       They have extensive models built in Excel that “approximate” the supply chain – and promise based on that, which can never provide the full and accurate picture, and so, customer satisfaction suffers.

 

4)       They build up large enough buffers of inventory to ensure they have enough for when unexpected orders come in, which results in poor inventory turns performance, and typically ensures that you have lots of inventory… of exactly the wrong part!

 

So, what alternatives are there?  If you were to develop a supply chain planning tool, what capabilities would you include?  Maybe you would come up with something like the following:

 

  • Supply chain wide visibility – What if you had visibility across the entire supply chain, regardless of the ERP system or version?  What if you could instantly see the impact of a demand change down to the lowest component across multiple sites?
  • What-if simulation – What if you could model your change using the same logic that exists in your ERP system in a sandbox-like environment where nothing is official until you are ready to share it?
  • High-speed analytics – Time is critical. What if you could drop an order in and instantly see 1) when that order would be available 2) what is preventing that order from completing on time and 3) the impact that order drop in has across the entire supply chain?
  • Responsibility based collaboration – No one person can solve all the problems across the supply chain. What if you could do something like drop-in an order and instantly see who in the organization was impacted by that change?  Then, what if you could share the scenario with that team to see if they could come up with alternative ways to resolve the lateness?
  • Scenario comparison – Your team has come up with several alternative approaches to solving the problem.  Some may have an impact on margin and others have an impact on delivery metrics.  Which approach is best?  What if you could evaluate the various resolution approaches in a simple view that compared the various scenarios against a set of weighted metrics and targets?  What if each scenario was scored so that you could immediately see which scenario performs best based on the companies goals and objectives?
  • Alignment – Once you’ve decided on a course of action, what if you could share this information across the entire organization ensuring that everyone knows what is expected? What if you could communicate this information back into the ERP system?

To those who have been fighting in the supply chain trenches for years, this probably sounds too good to be true.  Before you get back to work, check out this case study showing how one company has made significant gains in order promising and clear to build assessments.

 

 

 

Originally posted by John Westerveld at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/03/is-your-order-process-costing-you-customers-and-money/

Here is part two of my seven-part book review series of Lora Cecere’s Bricks Matter. Well, as good as chapter 1 was in laying the groundwork for the rest of the book and a blueprint for supply chains of the future, chapter 2 – Building Value Networks – was a real wake up call in a number of ways.

 

I have been guilty of thinking “value networks” are just the next logical evolution of “supply chains” and I have even likely used the terms interchangeably.  Value networks are bigger than supply chains – they are made up of the many supply chains of the partners in the value network.  Here are some distinctions:

 

  • Supply chains tend to focus on cost; value networks focus on value (at every node).
  • Supply chains are based on inside-out (supply side) thinking; value networks are based on outside-in (demand side) thinking.
  • Supply chains are focused on functional excellence (being the best at plan – source – make – delivery); value networks are focused on maximizing value horizontally across all trading partners, and most importantly, the customer.

There are so many other useful pieces to this chapter – rules of thumb of value networks, the number of supply chains individual companies have (and need), the three types of extended value networks, risk management strategies, shifting to value-based outcomes, and examples and case studies (both good and bad) – that it would take a 3000-word blog to cover them all.  There is one section that I did want to focus on, including bringing in a small, but personal example.

 

The area of focus that was the most interesting to me is “Why Are Value Networks So Hard to Build?”  The idea of an integrated, end-to-end, multi-enterprise network where each node is focused on value is so compelling, then why do so few exist? Here are the challenges Lora points out:

 

  • Frayed Ends
  • Penny-wise and Pound-foolish
  • Clarity of Supply Chain Strategy
  • Focus within the Four Walls
  • Reward Systems
  • Competition

At this point, let me wrap up with a personal story and the one that started me on my journey to a career in enterprise/business-to-business software.  It is a small example of a value network, but it was definitely a value network that was fraught with the challenges, which Lora points out that even very small value chains face.

 

The year was 1993.  I had recently graduated with a degree in Pharmacy (although my heart was always in computer programming) and was working as a dispensing pharmacist in a small community pharmacy which was filling approximately 200 prescriptions a day.  Although I was pretty green and did not have a business background of any kind, the inefficiencies of the dispensary were pretty glaring to me.  Specifically:

 

  • We were shorting 2 people on prescriptions a day (only a 99% successful fill rate)
  • We were carrying $165,000 in inventory (which seemed high)
  • We were ordering from a wholesaler and 12 or so pharma companies directly (many orders to receive and accounts to manage)
  • Only one person could place an order – literally by shaking and looking in every bottle in the dispensary (about 3 hours a day)
  • We were turning inventory approximately 6 times

I though this had to be wrong. So, with the support of the store owner, I worked with our wholesaler to negotiate a deal where they could supply us with all drugs (with a flat 2% markup vs. the regular 14% markup, making the direct drugs more expensive, but wholesale drugs much cheaper), worked with our software vendor to write a program to do automatic ordering and educated our customers that it was in their best interest to call in prescription refills a day ahead of time.  We called this initiative “Preferred Provider (PP)” – not a great name in hindsight, but the results were significant as seen in the table below.

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/kirk2-300x180.png

 

Even though this was a relatively small value chain, and the results were pretty significant (in a relative sense) for all parties, it did start to come apart in time.  Despite the wholesaler receiving all our business, they started to look for higher margins on drugs only they could supply (penny-wise, pound-foolish), the owner started to buy really expensive drugs direct from manufacturer (penny-wise, pound-foolish), the technician who did the ordering felt minimized in her role (reward systems and four-walls focus), and many other challenges.

 

All this to say that end-to-end value networks have to continue to develop because they just make too much sense. But … the road is not going to be easy.

 

For me at least, the development of this value network resulted in our software supplier hiring me as a product manager.  And the rest, as they say, is history.

 

Originally posted by Kirk Munroe at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/03/bricks-matter-book-review-part-2/

I recently received my personally signed copy of Lora Cecere’s Bricks Matter and it immediately had me thinking that I have always wanted to do a book review.

 

As for reviewing this particular text, I also thought it might be nice to bring a perspective that was not steeped in traditional supply chain knowledge and experience.  Having spent the last 15 years in enterprise software, I am continually struck by how different the value chain of plan-source-make-deliver-return, along with the associated supplier and customer touch points, is with enterprise software.  Thinking about it the other way round, I have no natural biases in reading the book from the perspective of how I think value chains should be structured.

 

So, here goes.  This will be a seven-part series.  One blog per chapter with a final, summary review to wrap up.

 

The first chapter, Why Bricks Matter, starts us off with a great tone and foundation for the rest of the book.  I was expecting the chapter to be a history lesson on the last 30 years of supply chain, which it certainly covers, but it is also a lot more.  The chapter acts as a blueprint for the rest of the book, but more importantly, a blueprint for value chains of the future.

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/kirk2.jpgBefore getting to the history-for-the-purposes-of-future-blueprint section of the chapter, it is important to point out what Lora refers to when she says, “bricks.”  Lora points to three components of building the right BRICKS: (1) Buildings and the Right Use of Assets, (2) Expansion into BRIC countries, and (3) Supply Chain Process Knowledge.  The building blocks lay out the essential components to value chain strategy creation for the short-term and the future.

 

Lora does a brilliant job of telling the history (and of the immediate future stage) of supply chain management by looking at each 10-year stage (generation) of supply chain by the pioneers who defined each generation: What were their backgrounds?  What challenges were they facing?   What was the state of information technology?  This backdrop really helps understand why choices (good and bad) were made in the past and the likely path leaders will need to take to drive value chain excellence in the future.

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/kirk.png

 

Moving on from the pioneers themselves, Lora shifts (literally) to the five shifts in supply chain processes after pointing out why supply chain processes are so important.  In my opinion, these five shifts act as a blueprint for supply chain excellence more than other maturity models that I have seen.  Each model obviously has a place, but Lora’s model is very practical and easy-to-understand, covers all aspects of the value chain, and frankly, points out the stages that supply chain leaders are progressing through today.

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/kirk.jpg

 

Lora wraps up the chapter with a discussion of the supply chain leaders – based on solid evidence.  I will leave the discussion on these leaders for future blogs.

 

To summarize chapter 1, it does a great job giving the history of supply chain management and the beginnings of a blueprint for the future. I am really looking forward to the next 5 chapters.

 

Originally posted by Kirk Munroe at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/03/bricks-matter-book-review-part-1/

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/automotive-logistics.jpgNext week we’ll be heading to Bonn, Germany for the Automotive Logistics Global conference, which will be held March 12–14, 2013.

 

On Wednesday, March 13th at 14:00, Aamer Rehman, vice-president of industry strategy and solutions at Kinaxis, and recent honoree of the 13th annual Supply & Demand Chain Executive “Pros to Know”, as he reveals his vision of “Supply Chain Trends, Challenges and Focus for Automotive.”

 

Event Details:
Today’s supply chains are being transformed as the European market http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/3-4-2013-2-42-17-PM.jpg goes through dramatic changes. Plant closures along with falling demand across southern Europe are mixed with firm and even growing production in countries like Germany and the UK. The market is changing with the relative success of different OEMs and of different vehicle types.

 

All this means that engineering the right network – and executing against it – are critical for profitability. Nowhere is there a more significant meeting of the executives who make the network decisions than at the Automotive Logistics Europe conference.

 

If you’re headed to the conference, we invite you to stop by the Kinaxis booth #16.
 

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/03/our-bags-are-packed-and-we-are-headed-to-automotive-logistics-global/

CJ Wehlage recently joined Kinaxis as vice president, high tech solutions. Wehlage joins a senior team of technical and industry experts that are a highly-leveraged resource for the company’s most critical initiatives across the sales, marketing and client services organizations.

 

Wehlage brings over 20 years of industry experience both as a supply chain practitioner and an industry research analyst. We asked CJ how his first month with Kinaxis was going. Here’s what he shared:

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/MP900423069-297x300.jpgLast week I met up with an old friend, a supply chain executive in the Valley and we caught up on the last 20 years. I shared my journey with several large companies: Apple, EMC, Bose, AMR Research, Sony and now Kinaxis. As we were chatting he asked, “what’s been the coolest place to work?”

 

I thought a good bit about it.  Was it the Friday afternoon beer-bashes at Apple? Was it the walks over to Dunkin for coffee with the AMR analysts and talking best-in-class supply chain research?  After some thought, I told him the coolest place was where I learned something every day, where the environment is not only open to learning new concepts, but also executes them. That’s the definition of innovation (…The free products & company logo shirts were pretty cool too…).

 

That’s the reason I joined Kinaxis. The product is innovative, implemented, and delivering on the promised benefits.

 

In these past 30 days, I’ve watched > 20 videos of Kinaxis presentations, met with > 15  clients & analysts, and read > 30 case studies of Kinaxis success stories.  The one theme that resonates is that customers love using Kinaxis.  Why? Best answer I’ve received, “I’ve got a lot to deal with, and not a whole lot of time to solve it”.

 

A lot to deal with = complexity

 

Not a whole lot of time = speed

 

It reaffirms my belief in the equation: complexity is the inverse function of agility (or speed).

 

In my 23 years of supply chain business, a constant has always been “complexity”. I’ve seen, and probably can be blamed, for high tech supply chain outsourcing. China, Mexico, Eastern Europe, 3rd Party providers, Multi-Sourcing Suppliers, you name it, High Tech supply chain footprint is complex.  Removing a SKU off the price book – never saw it in 23 years – product is complex.  My favorite complexity story was at the AMR conference, Cisco’s Angel Mendez presentation:

 

“On its first night of continuous operations in 1973, Federal Express delivered 186 packages to 25 US cities…”

 

Pause… plays some Enya “Orinoco Flow” music.

 

“FedEx delivered 9 million packages to 220 countries …last night.”

 

To put it bluntly, speed cures the ills of complexity. Don’t like your monthly S&OP cadence?  Try doing S&OP weekly, at the SKU level – Samsung does… and their market share results show why.

 

Why is speed so important?  For obvious reasons, speed enables better margins & profits, improves cash flow, lowers COGS, and addresses quality issues faster, better cost-to-serve and a greater shot at improved market share.  Case in point: one very complex situation that most supply chain’s run into is EOQ (End of Quarter) or the fun term: Hockey Stick effect.  Speed can make or break the EOQ profit.  At EMC, we’d get 40% of the quarter’s orders in the last week (or some would say, the last day).  We would need to align various sales geographies, factory & distribution personnel, finance, and supply chain around the single goal of most profitable orders.  The traditional thinking of improving speed of transactions between systems was usurped by improving speed of knowledge between people.  The end benefit was amidst all the EOQ complexity and limited time, everyone was focused on just the most profitable orders.  Inventory movement was optimized, premium freight was minimized, and overall COGS was controlled.  We even got a side benefit where inventory was prepped for the next quarter – and commits (on time delivery) were maintained.

 

The other reason, one which is not so obvious, is that speed enables innovation.  I love asking supply chain executives how they innovate their supply chain. Here’s how the conversation typically plays out:

 

Q. “How do you innovate your supply chain?”

 

A. “We simulate new strategies and supply chain models, and test them against business outcomes”

 

Q. “When and how often does your team do this?”

 

A. “Well, after we complete the plan, share it with Sales & Marketing, align it with Finance, finalize it with our suppliers, communicate it out to our customers, expedite critical orders, resolve inventory stock outs, adjust the BOM’s impacted by ECO’s, and true up the NPI/E&O plans, we then have the time to focus on innovation.”

 

I’ve seen so many supply chains get caught in the cycle of managing the day to day complexity.  Speed, applied the right way, doesn’t get rid of complexity. Rather, it allows your organization to rise above complexity, and have the time to ask what if questions, and execute what if scenarios.  When you get to this stage, your supply chain will be “not only learning new concepts, but also executing them”.

 

And, that will be a cool place to work…

 

 

 

Originally posted by CJ Wehlage at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/03/whats-the-coolest-place-to-work/

In October, SupplyChainBrain attended our annual Kinexions user conference. At our event they completed a number of video interviews with some customers, analysts, and Kinaxis executives. These videos are loaded with great information and we would like to share it with our readers.

 

Each week for the coming weeks, we will be highlighting a clip. Next up, a discussion with Procter & Gamble (now retired), Supply Chain Insights; NCR Corp. and Kinaxis.

 

Power of One: Collaborative Planning and Execution across the End-to-End Supply Chain

 

Breaking down functional silos to create transparent and responsive end-to-end supply chains has long been an intractable problem, but many companies are finding success using a Control Tower concept that gets everyone working off the same plan and focused on the same outcome. Discussing this approach, and the Kinaxis solutions that pioneered it, are: Paul Bittinger, former supply chain transformation manager, Procter & Gamble (now retired); Lora Cecere, founder and CEO, Supply Chain Insights; Don Gaspari, director, global materials and inventory, NCR Corp.; and Kirk Munroe, vice president of marketing, Kinaxis.
[Run Time (Min.): 18:21]

 

 

 

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/03/supplychainbrain-video-series-part-6-power-of-one-collaborative-planning-and-execution-across-the-end-to-end-supply-chain/

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/IBF.pngI’ve been in Phoenix the last few days attending the IBF Supply Chain Forecasting and Planning conference.  The uncharacteristically cool weather in Phoenix didn’t slow down the pace at the conference as people gathered to discuss everything from S&OP to supply and demand planning.

 

I attended one of the sessions where someone asked whether with new S&OP software speeding up the S&OP process, does it still make sense to do monthly S&OP planning or do we do it more frequently because we can. With the right S&OP software, companies have the ability to streamline the S&OP planning cycle reducing it from weeks to days.

 

What is needed to enable this kind of performance? A single system that:

 

  • provides global visibility
  • brings together high level demand planning and detailed supply planning
  • enables collaboration across all stakeholders
  • provides the ability to propose and evaluate multiple possible scenarios

Assuming that you have such a system, what would this mean for the frequency of S&OP cycles?  Just because you can do S&OP on a weekly basis, does this mean you should?  The answer is that…it depends (of course).  Most companies run their S&OP process on a monthly basis.  For most companies this makes the most sense.  If you attempt to implement more frequent cycles, you are at risk of losing the engagement of the key executive stakeholders.  It is easier to carve an hour a month out of an executive’s schedule than an hour a week.  If your business is volatile enough, then it may make sense to move to weekly S&OP to ensure that the company is tracking in the right direction.

 

Some companies have taken the next step of the S&OP evolution. They have their monthly S&OP meeting but they will have adhoc S&OP cycles to respond to significant events that have rendered the assumptions behind the current plan irrelevant; significant supply disruptions, large demand changes, cost/price changes etc.  With traditional S&OP systems, responding to events like these would require weeks of effort  to pull together the needed information, put forward a proposal or two and gather consensus.  With modern tools, those that encompass the capability I’ve outlined above, the same response can be done in hours. The S&OP team can come together, approve the plan and the company carries on.

 

Sometimes, however, there isn’t a single large event.  Sometimes there are numerous small changes that occur over time and render the assumptions driving S&OP invalid; incorrect forecasts, a series of smaller supply disruptions, quality issues.  Issues like these tend to build up until there is enough variation in what was planned versus what is actually happening that the S&OP plan needs to be revisited.  At this point you again could bring together the S&OP team to decide a path forward.  There is an alternative however.  What if the people managing the day by day planning had access to the same metrics that the executive team had?  Further, what if these people could evaluate their actions against these metrics?  If these teams can make small adjustments for each of these changes, and those adjustments are in line with the goals set out by the S&OP plan, then the plan takes care of itself.

 

So imagine that you had this capability.  That the decisions made by those doing the day to day work aligned with corporate goals and kept the S&OP plan on track…is there still a need for monthly S&OP?  Yes!  The S&OP meeting is still a critical process that brings  the key departments together and aligns the company. By meeting on a monthly basis, reviewing key corporate metrics and addressing those areas where the plan has faltered.  This process adds significant value even if there is are no serious issues to address.

 

Where do you think S&OP will evolve to?  Comment back and keep the discussion going!

 

 

 

Originally posted by John Westerveld at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/03/thoughts-from-ibf-supply-chain-forecasting-planning-conference/

In October, SupplyChainBrain attended our annual Kinexions user conference. At our event they completed a number of video interviews with some customers, analysts, and Kinaxis executives. These videos are loaded with great information and we would like to share it with our readers.

 

Each week for the coming weeks, we will be highlighting a clip. Next up, First Solar

 

How An Integrated Supply Chain Enables First Solar’s Business Goals

 

When integrating its two major business units, First Solar partnered with Kinaxis to provide supply and demand planning capabilities, says Shellie Molina, vice president-global supply chain at First Solar. She explains how the Kinaxis RapidResponse solution enabled First Solar to set common goals and objectives around planning, operational excellence and global expansion.

 

[Run Time (Min.): 10:43]

 

 

 

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/02/supplychainbrain-video-series-part-5-how-an-integrated-supply-chain-enables-first-solars-business-goals/

On Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 1:30PM EST – 2:45PM EST, we will be hosting a webcast with Lora Cecere, Founder, Supply Chain Insights, entitled, “Why Bricks Matter – The Race for Supply Chain 2020″.

 

Event Details:
Currently, companies are facing a supply chain plateau. Growth has slowed, inventories are rising, and operating margins are degrading. How do companies reverse these trends? They need to move from inside-out to outside-in and work horizontally across functions. The focus needs to be on the creation of value networks.

 

Join us to hear Lora Cecere and Kirk Munroe, VP Marketing, Kinaxis, discuss the principles of being market-driven and how it will differentiate companies in the race for Supply Chain 2020. Where she will address the following topics:

 

  • What is a market-driven value network and why does it matter?
  • How do we redefine supply chain excellence to move forward and make progress on this supply chain plateau?
  • How can technology help?

If you’re interested in listening in, register here. We hope to see you on the webcast!

 

 

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/02/upcoming-sop-webcast-series-why-bricks-matter-the-race-for-supply-chain-2020/

The Kinaxis bags are packed and we’re ready for a full conference schedule in the coming months.
Our next event is the IBF Supply Chain Forecasting & Planning Conference, which will be held February 24th – 26th, 2013 at the Hilton Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.

 

Be sure to stop by the Kinaxis booth and say, “Hi!”

 

Event Details:
IBF Supply Chain & Forecasting Planning Conference will provide expert instruction on the Fundamentals of Demand Planning & Forecasting, based on IBF’s body of knowledge used by thousands of global companies. The hands-on interactive nature of the program will foster discussion and idea sharing with participants on topics such as:

 

  • How to measure forecasting performance, a key to continuous improvement
  • How to analyze and treat data before using your ERP System
  • How to prepare baseline forecasts using Time Series methods

To learn more about the IBF Supply Chain & Forecasting Planning Conference,
visit: www.ibf.org.

 

 

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/02/our-bags-are-packed-for-the-upcoming-ibf-supply-chain-forecasting-planning-conference/

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