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2013

“Many business process directors are under pressure to help make the best possible process-related decisions to ensure desirable business outcomes, business differentiation and continuous innovation.”
Sinur J., Schulte R.,

“Use Intelligent Business Operations to Create Business Advantage”
Gartner Research, 20 March 2013

 

Nowhere is this statement more applicable than in the supply chain.

 

While the inventive concept of Intelligent Business Operations (IBO) is gaining traction in multiple functions and process areas, the applicability and potential is particularly high within supply chain management.

 

Intelligent Business Operations Delivers the Benefits Promised by
Supply Chain Event Management

Supply Chain Event Management (SCEM) first emerged as a hot topic in 1999, peaking in interest in 2001, only to fall away into obscurity. It has resurfaced recently, but centers around transportation execution requirements such as track & trace. Several factors played a role in the rapid rise and fall of SCEM as a topic, including the fact that SCEM was part of the .com bubble and that the appreciation of the benefits of sharing information between trading partners was a very new concept. But the major factor in its demise was that it was treated as an add-on to planning systems rather than as an integral part of planning systems. At the time, the generally accepted process coverage of SCEM included measure, monitor, notify, simulate, and control; however, the more difficult parts of simulate and control were never realized because this required them to be integral parts of the planning systems.

 

supply chain planning - intelligent business operations (IBO)As a result, SCEM solutions were little more than alerting mechanisms flooding users’ inboxes with hundreds of messages which were of dubious importance and provided no mechanism for evaluating the resulting impact of the event on the wider supply chain, nor identifying the people that should be notified about such impacts. And, very importantly, there was no way to generate actionable responses to the events. The reemergence of SCEM within the transportation execution space has been as embedded capabilities within transportation management solutions (TMS), and are providing valuable advantages even though the events being tracked are very limited.

 

The benefits to be realized from SCEM concepts have not diminished since their early inception in the late 1990s. In fact, because the early solutions never got past the monitor and notify capabilities and the recent reemergence in TMS is so narrow in focus, the benefits remain largely untapped; one of the most significant ones being improved customer service at lower cost.

 

Even more intriguing though is the emergence at Gartner Research of  Intelligent Business Operations (IBO) which incorporates many of the initial SCEM concepts in the broader context of any process. According to Gartner (Sinur J., Schulte R., “Use Intelligent Business Operations to Create Business Advantage”, Gartner Research, 20 March 2013),

 

IBO is an emerging style of business behavior that leverages analytics embedded in processes to support better decision making and improved knowledge worker collaboration. IBO-based processes are “smart” about the context in which they run, which is influenced by events external to the process.

 

supply chain planning paradigms - gartner supply chain IT glossaryInterestingly, all the fundamental capabilities of measure, monitor, notify, simulate, and control of SCEM have been included in IBO. While not directly transferable, the ideas are largely represented (and have been extended) in recent IBO-related concepts such as

 

  • Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) instead of Measure and Monitor,
  • Complex Event Processing (CEP) instead of Notify, and
  • Business Process Management (BPM) instead of Control.

More important is the application of IBO in the wider contexts of strategic, tactical, and operation planning, not only in execution. In addition, the inclusion in IBO of Constraint Based Optimization (CBO) and Simulation capabilities as core requirements address the initial short comings of SCEM, namely the ability to determine an appropriate response to an event.

 

What is not captured explicitly in the definition of IBO is the need to create the initial plan against which performance will be measured. If the capabilities used to determine an appropriate response to an event are different than those used to generate the initial plan, then it is unlikely that the response will satisfy the business goals of the organization. (Of course in certain circumstances, the business rules used to address an exception are different from those used to plan and manage operations under normal circumstances.)

 

The separation of planning from event management was the key weakness of early SCEM concepts, which was exacerbated by the narrow focus on execution, ignoring the rich opportunities in all levels of planning. We should not repeat the same mistakes.

 

To learn more about this topic, feel free to view the complimentary Gartner Research report featured in the Kinaxis newsletter: How to Use Intelligent Business Operations to Create Business Advantage (Sinur J., Schulte R., Gartner Research, 20 March 2013).  And, be sure to keep an eye out for part 2.

 

Originally posted by Trevor Miles at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/09/extending-supply-chain-planning-paradigms-beyond-advanced-planning-solutions/

Earlier this week we announced that Kinaxis has been named as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People.

 

We’re obviously thrilled to have received this recognition.  While I would argue that all of our Kinaxis employees are young at heart, here are a few highlights of some of the employees who can actually claim their youth as measured by years of age!  These are just a few of our younger staff who have seen career and personal success with Kinaxis.

 

 

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Kinaxis-313305-150x150.jpgRod, 35
Product Marketing Specialist
12+ year Kinaxis veteran (Yep, 12 years of service despite only be 35 years young!)
Former Co-op student

 

Career support:  Tuition support for diploma in Business Information Systems and APICS SCM courses
Kinaxis highlight: Having moved throughout the organization over the years holding several different types of roles, Rod is now a senior member of the team responsible for creating product demos to demonstrate to prospects how RapidResponse can solve their supply chain challenges.
Why has he stayed so long? Loves the product and loves solving customer problems!
Extras: Member of Kinaxis soccer and hockey teams. Go Kodiaxs!

 

 

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/andrei3-150x150.jpgAndrey, 31
Manager, Analytics Development Team
4 year Kinaxis veteran

 

Career support: Training, as well as tuition assistance for Masters in Technology Innovation Management
Kinaxis highlight: Crucial part of Analytics team (Analytics are at the very heart of RapidResponse!)

 

 

 

 

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/SimonHaisz-150x150.jpgSimon, 31
Team Lead, Application Technology
7 year Kinaxis veteran
Former Co-op student

 

Career support:  Training courses
Kinaxis highlight: Likes that Kinaxis is a combination of a large established company and a startup, in that it is a stable company that had been around for many years but still has a dynamic and flexible work environment.
Why has he stayed so long? Interesting work, opportunities for increased responsibility, supportive management and good people overall.
 

 

 

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/JOConner-150x150.jpgJosh, 28
IT Programmer
1 year Kinaxis veteran
Former Co-op student

 

Career support:  ITL training
Kinaxis highlight: Likes the practical experience; sees opportunities to grow within his team and apply what he has learned in school to help Kinaxis’ business.
Extras:  Enjoys the treats and meeting the new hires every Friday! (At Kinaxis, the newest person hired is tasked with going around the office with a bin of sweet or salty treats every Friday– an enjoyable initiation process!)
 

 

 

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/TELFER_MP08419-150x150.jpgNazli, 27 
Product Marketing Specialist
2 year Kinaxis veteran

 

Career support: Tuition assistance for CSCP certification
Kinaxis highlight: As an MBA graduate, Nazli wanted to be closer to the business so she changed from a role in development to a role in product marketing.

 

 

 

 

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Chiedozie-Ojukwu-150x150.jpg

 

Chiedozie, 26
Service Operations Analyst
1+ year Kinaxis veteran
Former co-op student

 

Career support:  ITL training
Kinaxis highlight: Job fits well into his career plans, and he’s gaining valuable experience that will be of benefit along the way.
Extras:  Likes the relaxed working atmosphere.

 

 

 

On this Friday, we would like all give a shout out to all our employees – the young… and not-so-young alike… – for all the important contributions they are making to Kinaxis and to the supply chain software industry as a whole. 

Originally posted by Lori Smith at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/09/young-blood-kinaxis-next-supply-chain-software-leaders/

I’m a ‘numbers guy’ and tend to gloss over ‘fluffy’ things like talent. Of course I understand and endorse the three-legged stool of People-Process-Technology and the need to keep the stool balanced by developing all the legs. Consequently when the panel on talent at the recent Supply Chain Insights Summit was introduced I was only paying partial attention.  My bad. You can watch a full replay using this link.

 

What I found was that the panel was rich is diagnosis and short in insights. There was too much description of the problem and not enough of the solution.  The panel did discuss what some firms are doing to recruit, train, and retain talent, but I was looking for that elusive notion of what is talent and how do we nurture it?  I am sure there were many line managers in the audience who would have found the panel very useful, and Lora Cecere of Supply Chain Insights (SCI) has written quite often about the need for T-shaped people, meaning having the ability to see the ‘big’ or end-to-end picture and deep functional capabilities. But I was still struggling with what is talent and what talents are needed in supply chain.  More on this later.

 

The raw numbers are sobering: There are 6 open positions for every recruit and the time it is taking to fill positions is increasing.  What I find interesting in this context is how the empty roles have changed over the past 2 years in which SCI has been conducting a talent survey. While there are nuances, the clear message is that it is middle-management where the biggest gaps lie. The biggest change is in the difficulty of finding people to fill an S&OP manager role. To me this is a clear indication of the increased importance of the end-to-end or horizontal capabilities rather than the deep functional capabilities.  Soft skills too, but also hard skills such as Finance.

 

 Supply Chain Insights Summit: Talent Track

 

 Supply Chain Insights Summit: Talent Track

 

My question to the panel was: “given that none of you have a degree in Supply Chain Management, and neither do most of the audience, what training/education is required to be successful in Supply Chain and what inherent capabilities are required for T-shaped people?” The training/education part was answered very well in that there are any number of universities and colleges that now offer courses in Supply Chain Management. Lora has also addressed this very well in one of her blogs: What do we do now?  The T-shaped part was more intriguing in that the answer, curiously, identified more of a mindset than a capability.  And it set me thinking. Way back in in 2011 Lora wrote a blog “Yes, Abby, there is a Santa Claus” about the different generations of supply chain professionals. It is Lora’s contention that we are in the 3rd generation, whereas Lora and I are clearly in the 2nd generation. But I was also interested in the summarized advice Lora gave Abby in her blog:

 

  • Get good at math
  • It starts with clarity of strategy
  • Take what you have learned in school with a grain of salt
  • Learn to ask the hard questions, but nicely
  • Learn to dance with the world of gray

All sage advice, but not enough for me. I guess what I am really struggling with is an existential moment of my own, rather than having any issue with the content of the panel and the advice given to Abby by Lora nearly 3 years ago. Perhapsthe real issue is that I am struggling with a supply chain mid-life crisis. Lora states that

 

“The second generation of supply chain professional (ages 35-50) is where we are currently seeing the greatest talent issues.  This is the generation that implemented ERP, ecommerce, and Advanced Planning Systems (APS). They were often the boots on the ground for the global supply chain.  Many of them were pioneers:  relocating their families and learning the nuances of global supply chain management the hard way.”

 

Definitely true for me. I was one of those who moved around the world implementing APS.  And I think the core of my existential crisis is that I no longer believe in the over-stated promise of ERP, ecommerce, and APS. At the time the claims did not seem over-stated. We genuinely believed that science and maths could solve the issue, but we forgot the advice above that Lora gave to Abby, principally that we need to “Learn to Dance with the World of Gray”. We were taught in our Engineering and Operations Research classes that you just needed to refine your model or get better data. There was never any suggestion that the approach itself was wrong. No-one taught us that strategic objectives are very mushy and change frequently. Or that customers change their minds constantly and expect to still receive the same customer service at the same price.  Or many other factors that make the supply chain world very gray. It is about nuance and ambiguity, but so many of us still believe it is about certainty and precision, about reducing complexity and not about embracing complexity.  I’m hoping the new generation has a more nuanced view.

 

Speaking of generations, I came across a really interesting blog through one of my ex-i2 buddies, Amit Paranjape. The blog titled “Why Generation-Y Yuppies are unhappy” clearly identifies the core of why the SCI Summit talent panel didn’t address my existential issue:Happiness = Reality - ExpectationsI genuinely bought into the hype and promise of the value companies were going to achieve through the deployment of ERP, ecommerce, and APS solutions. I too was taught that

 

“…there was nothing stopping them from getting to that lush, green lawn of a career, but that they’d need to put in years of hard work to make it happen.

 

is the grass greener?

 

Of course I am referring is this context to the lush green lawn of productivity improvement brought about by years of hard work to deploy ERP, ecommerce, and APS solutions. In other words I am suffering from an expectations gap of over promising and under delivering. Supply chain insights expectations, frustrations disappointment, reality

 

If I got a do-over I would focus much more on helping people understand the limitation of what they can achieve through maths and much more on the value of compromise, consensus, and collaboration. Of course I still advocate having hard facts to back up a decision, I take these as a given, but I would focus more on the trade-offs across competing objectives and across functional silos.In other words I am not suggesting that we all rip out the APS solutions that we have deployed over the past 20-odd years and do everything with an abacus or Excel. What I am suggesting is additive. It is about the social side of making decisions as well as the skills to make decisions under uncertainty.

 

In summary, I agree that we need T-shaped people, as long as this means that they understand that there is no one answer. That there is no right answer, and definitely not an optimal answer that gets spat out by a computer with little or no human judgment involved.  There is a better answer, which is achieved through compromise, consensus, and collaboration, backed by hard facts which no-one can dispute.  I guess this means that I agree with the advice Lora gave to Abby. But if I had to rank the advice Lora gave to Abby I woulduse the following order:

 

  1. It starts with clarity of strategy
  2. Learn to dance with the world of gray
  3. Get good at math
  4. Take what you have learned in school with a grain of salt
  5. Learn to ask the hard questions, but nicely

What is not included in Lora’s list but came out in the panel is “be curious”. Stated differently, learning is a continuous journey, and SCM is still evolving.

 

Originally posted by Trevor Miles at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/09/supply-chain-insights-summit-talent-track/

I’m a ‘numbers guy’ and tend to gloss over ‘fluffy’ things like talent. Of course I understand and endorse the three-legged stool of People-Process-Technology and the need to keep the stool balanced by developing all the legs. Consequently when the panel on talent was introduced I was only paying partial attention.  My bad. You can watch a full replay using this link.

 

What I found was that the panel was rich is diagnosis and short in insights. There was too much description of the problem and not enough of the solution.  The panel did discuss what some firms are doing to recruit, train, and retain talent, but I was looking for that elusive notion of what is talent and how do we nurture it?  I am sure there were many line managers in the audience who would have found the panel very useful, and Lora Cecere of Supply Chain Insights (SCI) has written quite often about the need for T-shaped people, meaning having the ability to see the ‘big’ or end-to-end picture and deep functional capabilities. But I was still struggling with what is talent and what talents are needed in supply chain.  More on this later.

 

The raw numbers are sobering: There are 6 open positions for every recruit and the time it is taking to fill positions is increasing.  What I find interesting in this context is how the empty roles have changed over the past 2 years in which SCI has been conducting a talent survey. While there are nuances, the clear message is that it is middle-management where the biggest gaps lie. The biggest change is in the difficulty of finding people to fill an S&OP manager role. To me this is a clear indication of the increased importance of the end-to-end or horizontal capabilities rather than the deep functional capabilities.  Soft skills too, but also hard skills such as Finance.

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2013-09-11.png

 

 http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2013-09-2.png

 

My question to the panel was: “given that none of them have a degree in Supply Chain Management, and neither did most of the audience, what training/education is required to be successful in Supply Chain and what inherent capabilities are required for T-shaped people?”  The training/education part was answered very well in that there are any number of universities and colleges that now offer courses in Supply Chain Management. Lora has also addressed this very well in one of her blogs: What do we do now?  The T-shaped part was more intriguing in that the answer, curiously, identified more of a mindset than a capability.  And it set me thinking. Way back in in 2011 Lora wrote a blog “Yes, Abby, there is a Santa Claus” about the different generations of supply chain professionals. It is Lora’s contention that we are in the 3rd generation, whereas Lora and I are clearly in the 2nd generation. But I was also interested in the summarized advice Lora gave Abby in her blog:

 

  • Get good at math
  • It starts with clarity of strategy
  • Take what you have learned in school with a grain of salt
  • Learn to ask the hard questions, but nicely
  • Learn to dance with the world of gray

All sage advice, but not enough for me. I guess what I am really struggling with is an existential moment of my own, rather than having any issue with the content of the panel and the advice given to Abby by Lora nearly 3 years ago. Perhapsthe real issue is that I am struggling with a supply chain mid-life crisis. Lora states that

 

“The second generation of supply chain professional (ages 35-50) is where we are currently seeing the greatest talent issues.  This is the generation that implemented ERP, ecommerce, and Advanced Planning Systems (APS). They were often the boots on the ground for the global supply chain.  Many of them were pioneers:  relocating their families and learning the nuances of global supply chain management the hard way.”

 

Definitely true for me. I was one of those who moved around the world implementing APS.  And I think the core of my existential crisis is that I no longer believe in the over-stated promise of ERP, ecommerce, and APS. At the time the claims did not seem over-stated. We genuinely believed that science and maths could solve the issue, but we forgot the advice above that Lora gave to Abby, principally that we need to “Learn to Dance with the World of Gray”. We were taught in our Engineering and Operations Research classes that you just needed to refine your model or get better data. There was never any suggestion that the approach itself was wrong. No-one taught us that strategic objectives are very mushy and change frequently. Or that customers change their minds constantly and expect to still receive the same customer service at the same price.  Or many other factors that make the supply chain world very gray. It is about nuance and ambiguity, but so many of us still believe it is about certainty and precision, about reducing complexity and not about embracing complexity.  I’m hoping the new generation has a more nuanced view.

 

Speaking of generations, I came across a really interesting blog through one of my ex-i2 buddies, Amit Paranjape. The blog titled “Why Generation-Y Yuppies are unhappy” clearly identifies the core of why the SCI Summit talent panel didn’t address my existential issue:http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2013-09-3.pngI genuinely bought into the hype and promise of the value companies were going to achieve through the deployment of ERP, ecommerce, and APS solutions. I too was taught that

 

“…there was nothing stopping them from getting to that lush, green lawn of a career, but that they’d need to put in years of hard work to make it happen.

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/tm-2013-09-3.jpg

 

Of course I am referring is this context to the lush green lawn of productivity improvement brought about by years of hard work to deploy ERP, ecommerce, and APS solutions. In other words I am suffering from an expectations gap of over promising and under delivering. http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/2013-09-6.pngIf I got a do-over I would focus much more on helping people understand the limitation of what they can achieve through maths and much more on the value of compromise, consensus, and collaboration. Of course I still advocate having hard facts to back up a decision, I take these as a given, but I would focus more on the trade-offs across competing objectives and across functional silos.In other words I am not suggesting that we all rip out the APS solutions that we have deployed over the past 20-odd years and do everything with an abacus or Excel. What I am suggesting is additive. It is about the social side of making decisions as well as the skills to make decisions under uncertainty.

 

In summary, I agree that we need T-shaped people, as long as this means that they understand that there is no one answer. That there is no right answer, and definitely not an optimal answer that gets spat out by a computer with little or no human judgment involved.  There is a better answer, which is achieved through compromise, consensus, and collaboration, backed by hard facts which no-one can dispute.  I guess this means that I agree with the advice Lora gave to Abby. But if I had to rank the advice Lora gave to Abby I woulduse the following order:

 

  1. It starts with clarity of strategy
  2. Learn to dance with the world of gray
  3. Get good at math
  4. Take what you have learned in school with a grain of salt
  5. Learn to ask the hard questions, but nicely

What is not included in Lora’s list but came out in the panel is “be curious”. Stated differently, learning is a continuous journey, and SCM is still evolving.

 

Originally posted by Trevor Miles at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/09/supply-chain-insights-summit-talent-track/

sales and operations (S&OP) effective and relevantI saw an interesting article from Dave Jordan at the Supply Chain Blog. In it, Dave points out that many companies will be quick to say that they have a sales and operations process (S&OP), however if you look a bit deeper, you find that they are really just going through the motions. The company that Dave looked at had the following issues;

  • The marketing plan had a 1 month horizon – nowhere near enough visibility
  • The demand planning group was not engaged so the supply planner had to make their best guess as to what the forecast would be
  • As a result, procurement planning was a guess at best
  • There was no flexibility in financial targets so no alternate scenarios considered
  • KPIs were not used to drive improvement
  • No agendas, no minutes, no executive commitment

So, how do you ensure that you don’t slide down into this trap? How do you ensure that your sales and operations process (S&OP) continues to add value – more importantly how do you ensure that your S&OP process adds MORE value over time?

 

  • Executive Commitment and involvement – An effective sales and operations process (S&OP) sets forward a plan, and then ensures that plan gets executed. If the people attending the S&OP meeting don’t have the authority to make a decision and see that it gets implemented, the likelihood that the plan get executed has now reduced significantly
  • S&OP is used to run the business – In a previous life, I was responsible for preparing our divisional S&OP plans. S&OP was done in Excel, the rest of the company planning happened in the ERP system. It was always a battle to make sure that the S&OP Plan was reflected in the ERP system. At the time, there weren’t any alternatives. Today, you have decision support and planning tools that allow you to do your day-to-day planning and S&OP in the same system. In this way, daily decisions are taken in the context of the S&OP plan.
  • Accurate S&OP data – The decisions you make is only as good as the information you have. If the data is weeks old, inaccurate or has calculation errors. You will make bad decisions. As in the last point, if the data used to drive S&OP is the same data that you use to make your day-to-day decisions, you know it’s going to be current (it’s live data after all) and you know if there were accuracy issues they would show up in your daily activities.
  • Solutions – not just problems. An effective S&OP meeting is not a whining or blaming session. Effective S&OP is all about creating a plan. If there is an issue, make sure you bring forward AT LEAST one solution to the problem.
  • Scenario driven – There is rarely ever a single solution to a problem. Yet how many times have we sat in S&OP meetings where an issue was raised and only one solution was presented? Traditional S&OP tools didn’t allow us to consider multiple solutions, however with today’s scenario based tools and fully integrated data, several possible scenarios can be considered and compared.
  • Run effective meetings and keep meticulous minutes – We’ve all been in the meetings from hell. No agenda, hashing the same issues out without finding consensus and then finally after wasting several hours we go away…only to come to the next meeting to discover that no-one captured the decisions. Effective meetings have;
  • An Agenda – with realistic time guidelines. Remember that effective S&OP meetings need to include the executive team. Make sure that their time is well spent.
  • Defined roles; someone tasked to chair the meeting, someone tasked to keep minutes, and sometimes a timekeeper to make sure the agenda is met. If you are really struggling with effective meetings you can engage a facilitator for a while who will help guide the meeting process.
  • An action log that is followed up each meeting until the action is complete.

How do you ensure that your S&OP process maintains its effectiveness and relevance? Comment back and let us know!

 

Originally posted by John Westerveld at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/09/sales-and-operations-process-effective-relevant/

Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference

 

We are proud to sponsor next week’s Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference, September 23 – 24, 2013 at the Lancaster London, in London, UK.

Event Details
Lancaster London, Hyde Park in London, UK

 

Join us September 23 – 24, 2013 for the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference. This conference will focus on how supply networks have reached a critical inflection point that, while unnerving, provides an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the very way supply chains work. The Gartner Supply Chain Executive conference will help you reimagine the supply chain and drive your enterprise to new levels of competitive advantage.

 

Find out more about the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference and this year’s theme of: Re-Imagine Supply Chain: Fast, Forward, Focus.  And, if you’re headed to the conference, we invite you to stop by the Kinaxis booth #S19.

 

Not attending? Follow the Supply Chain Conference on Twitter at: #GartnerSCC or @Kinaxis to get real-time updates from the event. For more Kinaxis news, follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook.

 

Happy Friday!

 

 

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/09/crossing-pond-attend-gartner-supply-chain-executive-conference/

Executive Supply Chain Conference I chose this picture because I was lucky enough to attend the first Supply Chain Insights (SCI) Summit held this past week in Phoenix, which was an eye-opener and inspiring, but also just a little scary. It was a little scary because it shows how much more we all could be doing to improve the effectiveness of supply chain management as a practice.

 

Lora Cecere, who founded SCI after spending some years at AMR Research, is recreating the executive focused supply chain conferences hosted by AMR Research in the 1990s. From what I saw in this first conference, she will succeed in attracting senior supply chain executives by making the conferences both practical and business focused. The case studies presented were excellent and, as a planning wonk, I liked that many of the presentations extended beyond planning to design (both product and supply chain), sourcing, manufacturing excellence, and talent.

 

The core message of the conference is that the productivity improvements we saw in the 1990s, through the adoption of supply chain as a practice and the deployment of the first generation of advanced planning solutions, have stalled. Lora challenged the audience to think differently about supply chain in order to overcome what she calls the effective frontier, principally by changing from an inside-out approach to an outside-in approach.  The presentation by Kimberly-Clark was the one that spoke to me the most in the sense that it captured not only the end point, the destination, but also the journey they took to becoming demand-driven.  This is not an easy journey and must start with a vision and a passion, because it is a long journey.  Many supply chain taboos and concepts of best practice have to be challenged in order to start and sustain the journey.

 

As a very frequent conference attendee and speaker, what I found different was most of the speakers were talking about doing different things, not doing the same thing differently. All too often at conferences we hear about incremental change, about small improvements in a functional silo.  It is very seldom that we hear about change at a large scale addressing the core issues in supply chain, the barriers to breaking through the effective frontier.

 

executive supply chain conference In that light, I do want to focus on one barrier identified by Lora in which I have a slightly different perspective. In discussing the extensive use of consultants to advise on process change, Lora used this brilliant slide. I agree with the core sentiment captured by the slide. Where I have a different take is that if you are going to do something different, something that very few other companies are doing, then by definition it must be “emerging”.  If it isn’t “emerging” then, at best, it must be “standard” practice, in which case it isn’t “best” practice.

 

Of course I am referring here to differentiating practices that give competitive advantage. There is not advantage to be gained in adopting merging practices for commodity processes. And why would you want to commoditize a differentiating practice by adopting standard practices masquerading as best practice?  All of the companies that presented had adopted new approaches to issue that many companies faced, whether this was Procter & Gamble’s adoption of analytics, Dell’s innovative use of organic materials for packaging, or Kimberly-Clark’s demand-driven journey. If they had adopted “best practice” approaches promoted by the management consultants they would not have achieved the results that they did. At the time the photograph was taken, most doctors did smoke and few were aware of the long term health effects. Warning against the health consequences of smoking was an “emerging” practice discounted by the majority of doctors.

 

But this is a small quibble. Lora set out to challenge us to re-think supply chain excellence. She succeeded with me. More importantly, from comments over lunch, she succeeded with the practitioners.
I can honestly say that I learned a lot at the SCI Summit. First of all I must thank the SCI people for putting on the great conference and commend all the speakers for their great contributions. I will be writing separate blogs about some of the sessions.

 

I truly look forward to the next SCI Summit. Given the current state of many supply chain conferences, it can’t come soon enough.

 

Originally posted by Trevor Miles at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/09/back-future-executive-supply-chain-conference-reborn/

LogiPharma Kinaxis to sponsor present cloud based supply chain solutionWe’re ready for a full conference schedule this fall. And, tomorrow we are headed to Princeton, New Jersey for LogiPharma – held at the Westin Princeton, September 17 – 19, 2013.

On Tuesday morning, the day is started off with an executive panel discussion with our very own Trevor Miles, vice president of thought leadership. This hour long session entitled, “Time to Get off Excel and into the Cloud for Supply Network Planning” starts at 9:00am.

 

Trevor Miles speaking at LogiPharma about cloud supply chain solution

Session Details

 

The panel brings together supply chain executives to discuss how Life Science companies are adopting pr

 

ocess improvements and new technologies targeted at removing business “silos,” improving collaboration, and achieving significant operations performance breakthroughs. The following topics will be covered during this session:

 

  • FDASIA compliance for drug shortage analysis and reporting
  • Effect of orphan diseases on portfolios
  • Innovation versus discovery cost
  • Trends in outsourcing
  • Emerging business needs in pharmaceutical manufacturing

If you’re headed to the LogiPharma conference we invite you to visit us at Booth #6.

 

Unable to attend? Follow the hash tag #LogiPharma or @Kinaxis on Twitter to get real-time updates from the event and stay tuned for our event re-cap blog.

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/09/way-logipharma-princeton-nj/

Our Bags Are Packed! Upcoming events for KinaxisNext week we’ll be heading to Detroit rock city for the Automotive Logistics Global conference – held September 24 – 26, 2013 at the MGM Grand.

And on Wednesday, September 25th at 11:00a.m., 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”, will be presenting “Managing a Connected Supply Chain – Key Imperatives & Considerations” during a panel discussion.

 

Session Details:

 

http://blog.kinaxis.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/3-4-2013-2-42-17-PM.jpg

 

Supply chains continue to become more complex, globally distributed and volatile.  Whether it is demand variability, fulfillment risks, natural calamities or commodities shortages, traditional and siloed supply chain approaches are inadequate for managing the supply chain network end to end.  The speaker will examine some of the key imperatives for end to end visibility, alignment and synchronization and discuss practical considerations as automotive companies launch their supply chain transformation initiatives.

 

If you’re headed to the conference, we invite you to stop by the Kinaxis booth #13.

 

Unable to attend? Follow @Kinaxis on Twitter to get real-time updates from the event and stay tuned for our event re-cap blog.

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/09/bags-packed-headed-automotive-logistics-global/

As mentioned in last Friday’s post, we had the privilege of recording three interviews with Jake Barr. In this video, Insights for today’s business leaders, a variety of themes are discussed in the context of what should be the priorities for today’s supply chain leaders, including: having an end to end supply chain design, addressing the process gaps, having an outside-in supply chain strategy, knowing the right way to monitor and manage supply chain metrics, and having a way to understand the near-real time operations performance of the business.

 

In Part 3: Insights for today’s business leaders, Jake Barr explores the following questions:

 

  • What aspects of supply chain do companies struggle with the most when transforming their supply chain?
  • What is a successful strategy for business leaders?
  • When moving to end-to-end enablement and alignment, what are the implications on supply chain metrics?
  • What are three priorities for a company looking to evolve their supply chain processes?

Jake, a 32-year employee of the Procter & Gamble Company, directed the Global Supply Network Design efforts for the Company, in addition to being the discipline Director for Supply Network Operations. So, as a former practitioner, he has a lot of insight to share.

 

… please check it out!

 

 

 

 

Notable passage:

 

“So the best strategies are those that are actually multi-tiered in nature that actually have a minimum of a five to ten year horizon where you can actually answer the questions “What will trigger that next stage of change and when we need to push the button?”

 

“So again, organization design, focus and clarity on the process execution, you’ve got be relevant and good at what you’re doing on those processes. They’ve got to be tightly integrated. You can’t be running one thing on a weekly cycle and one thing on a monthly cycle. …you’ve got to look and make sure I’ve got the information that helps me to expose problems and, importantly, opportunities because in today’s stagnant growth world, you’ve got to be able to pre-emptively strike before your competition can.”

 

 

 

Happy Friday 21st Century Supply Chain readers!

 

 

 

p.s. feel free to check out past clips…

 

Part 1: An executive’s perspective: The evolution of CPG companies and their supply chains

Part 2: Supply chain transformations: Going after game changing change

 

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2013/09/nsights-for-todays-business-leaders/

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