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2017
by Bill DuBois

Global capacity managementRecently I was watching a video interview with David Thomas, the Director of Global Capacity Planning for Ford Motor Company. Among other things, he’s been leading the charge at Ford to deliver a global capacity management solution. He describes the process as a jigsaw puzzle. The challenge with getting a global view as he puts it, is if the pieces “don’t fit together, you don’t see the right picture.”

 

Ford’s challenges to global capacity management

In the interview, David describes the challenges facing Ford in fitting the pieces together. One of which is its extensive legacy. Ford has been around for 100 years and the five main regions of the company (North and South America, Asia, Europe and Middle/Eastern Africa) grew up individually. There wasn’t a need to move data and information between the regions because they had different products, teams and organizations.

 

Over the past few decades, the auto industry, like most other industries, experienced unprecedented changes that drove a need to transform capacity management from a regional to a global view. The 2008 downturn hit suppliers extremely hard, putting some out of business. But in 2010, an upturn in demand in emerging regions like Brazil, India and China meant capacity required varied significantly by region. But that demand didn’t match what companies had available in those areas. Thus, a global view of capacity management was required to combat these newly emerged supply chain constraints.

 

The other challenge David highlighted for global capacity managers was the difficulty in collaborating without the regions being connected. Capacity planning sits between demand (including product development), sales and marketing, and supply. For David’s first 10 years, he didn’t have a single phone call with anyone in any other region. Now there’s a constant need to collaborate across regions during the sales and operations planning (S&OP) cycle and on longer-range capacity planning conversations like battery technologies and autonomous vehicles. The supply chain is more interdependent than ever. Components sourced in one region are being consumed by demands in other regions. “Regional issues cause global problems and global solutions have regional implications,” explains David.

 

Misalignments with demand and /or supply are costly. If you’re building products customers don’t want, you have money tied up in inventory and marketing programs, and have to work harder to try to move vehicles. David describes inventory as “… dead money, it’s not making money, it’s costing money.” Supply constraints mean your customers aren’t getting the product they want, when they want it. Minimizing inventory and holding costs and maximizing revenue is a critical competitive differentiator. What’s needed is the most efficient supply chain with the lowest inventory possible so you can move the most product possible.

 

The 5 parts to global capacity planning

It sounds easy, but as David points out, it’s a journey to make it happen. “Connecting data, processes and people is the critical enabler.” Drilling down on the need to connect them there are five puzzle pieces needed to see the complete global capacity picture:

 

  1. System Integration: Data will typically reside in multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and various point solutions. You must be able to seamlessly incorporate all this information as well as close the loop back to the execution systems based on the decisions made during planning cycles.
  2. Data Integrity: By integrating all data onto one platform, people will have confidence in the data integrity of the global capacity management system. There is only one version of the data and all involved will see any updates to that.
  3. Scalability: The scale of the data and computing power required to model a global multi-tier supply chain and explode demand and supply across the integrated supply chain is enormous, but the ability to scale is essential. An approximate model is not enough.
  4. Configurability: No two global manufacturers have the same requirements and processes. The platform must be configurable to support regional and global processes. This includes analytics, planning rules, views and workflow. This configurability will also enable processes to evolve over time without customizations. The platform should also support the creation of extensions to automate, streamline and integrate with existing systems and processes.
  5. Simplicity: Finally, it needs to be relatively easy to deploy and easy to use. You can’t have ERP-type deployment times with only system experts able to turn it on. It must be deployed in months and be utilized by all levels of planning to provide the insights for timely planning and decision support.

Capabilities needed to drive success

With these pieces of the global capacity planning puzzle in place, you’ll still need certain capabilities to drive your way toward success. These include:

 

  • On-demand planning will let you net and explode through multiple tiers of the supply chain in minutes or even seconds, not hours and days.
  • Rapid simulations will allow you to model plan alternatives and “what-if analysis” to understand the impact of proposed changes or unexpected events and capacity disruptions.
  • Alerts that notify you when plans aren’t going as expected. You’ll not only be aware something has changed, but can immediately understand the impact of the change. This ensures the highest priority risks are actioned first.
  • End-to-end supply chain visibility allows all supply chain executives to view current plans, performance to plans, financial implications and take timely action to course correct as required.
  • Seamless collaboration across global and regional planning allows all functions to work together and respond quickly during planning cycles and in course correct mode.

David stresses the value of an integrated global capacity management platform to help you get what every company wants – to get the right product to the right people at the right time, more effectively and efficiently than your competitors. Have a listen to David’s interview here and let us know what you think.

 

For more insights into global capacity management check out this white paper.

 

The post 5 pieces to the global capacity management puzzle appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

 

Originally posted by Bill DuBois at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2017/04/5-pieces-global-capacity-management-puzzle/

by Melissa Clow

This blog is part of a video interview series. Check out the video below as well as links to other supply chain practitioner and Kinaxis executive interviews.

 

Merging two companies is seldom easy, but it’s even more difficult when their supply chains are highly dissimilar, says Jim Calarese, director of supply chain systems at Sanofi Genzyme.

 

The pharmaceutical company is the result of a takeover by Sanofi in 2001. The parent company’s supply chain was “plant-centric,” Calarese says. By contrast, Genzyme’s was completely end-to-end in nature. “Theirs was easier than ours.”

 

No pharmaceutical supply chain is without its challenges. Typically, supply chains are extended, lead times are long and a thicket of government regulations combine to present some steep challenges. Genzyme had diligently worked to have a total view of its supply chain as it developed and marketed drugs for rare diseases, multiple sclerosis, and oncology and immunology markets.

 

Following the acquisition, however, Genzyme had to acclimate to Sanofi’s processes and take on production of some products that originally had been developed by Sanofi. “As we gained more responsibilities, we had to integrate new products into our end-to-end view of things, we had to bring them into our sales and operations process, and to do that we use the RapidResponse tool from Kinaxis,” says Calarese.

 

Getting S&OP right is crucial, since planning in the pharmaceutical world can extend several years out. “It takes a long time to get volumes and capacity up in this business,” he says.

 

Spreadsheets were the go-to data gathering tool before implementation of RapidResponse. Visibility, hardly optimal with Excel, was the first thing gained with Kinaxis. “We started improving our forecast accuracy, which has driven a more stable finished goods plan.” Among other things, increased visibility means Sanofi Genzyme can notify partners if product delays are expected. “We can inform people ahead of time.”

 

The pharmaceutical industry has a justly-deserved reputation for moving slowly. Noting that, Calarese says RapidResponse has been more evolutionary than revolutionary for supply chain planning. “Revolution, to me, is violent and quick. Our industry often is slow to move. Pharmaceuticals take a long time to develop and approve. The process piece has lagged the technology piece of it.”

 

Having said that, Calarese says Sanofi Genzyme has mapped its future several years out. Pilots are in place to enhance attribute planning among other areas. “The future looks bright.”

 

Check out the other video interviews in this series:

 

The post [Video] Sanofi Genzyme trends in pharmaceutical supply chains appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

Powering the future of S&OP - Kinaxis

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2017/04/video-sanofi-genzyme-trends-pharmaceutical-supply-chains/

by Alexa Cheater

Amazon supply chain managementHow to overcome the Amazon effect

When it comes to supply chain excellence, particularly in the retail sector, there is one behemoth dominating the landscape: Amazon. Amazon supply chain management is driving innovation and change at a pace that’s putting the pressure on other businesses to find a way to keep up, or fold.

 

The online retailer’s most recent patent focuses on drone technology, and would involve drones delivering packages with parachutes. It’s just the latest in a string of patents that span the gamut from smart stores to flying warehouses. Amazon is even entering the transportation space, signing agreements with the Air Transport Services Group and the Chinese government to enter into the freight cargo business – effectively cutting out the middleman.

 

It has leased 20 Boeing 767 aircraft to shuttle goods around the US, and helped ship at least 150 cargo containers from China since October 2016. It’s all part of the global expansion of ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’, which provides storage, packing and shipping to small independent merchants selling products on Amazon’s website.

 

As Jeff McCandless notes on a recent Multichannel Merchant blog, combating the Amazon effect requires technology and collaboration. You need to build a real-time, data-driven, cloud-based automation network to compete. That means fostering supply chain capabilities focused on just such an outcome.

 

Failure to innovate in the retail supply chain arena is already having negative financial repercussions for brick and mortar stores, especially when it comes to apparel. Amazon makes up about 7% of the US apparel market, and according to reports, that figure could increase to 19% by 2020. They’ve been called a competitor in every space.

 

And as other companies invest billions to keep up, the overwhelming majority of them still haven’t figured out how to remain profitable. They’re plagued by high delivery costs, rising return rates and shifting labor requirements, struggling to find the delicate balance between meeting customer demand and protecting margins.

 

This customer-centric drive is streamlining supply execution processes like manufacturing and delivery, but when it comes to supply chain planning, there’s still room to push the limits even further. It’s great to offer same day shipping, but what happens if there’s a catastrophic level disruption at the origin source? Things like natural disasters, unexpected supplier shutdowns or even labor disputes within your own four walls – all can lead to delays and cancelled orders. Your supply chain needs to respond and course correct as fast as possible.

 

You’ll need to revolutionize your supply chain planning, implementing processes like concurrent planning and connecting your data, processes and people. Creating a consolidated view of your entire supply chain will enable you to plan expected performance, monitor progress and respond to disconnects when reality hits. Find a way to know sooner and act faster.

 

Functionality like rapid what-if scenario simulations with versioning, means you’ll be able to get snapshots of the past, present and possible future state of your supply chain. And you’ll definitely need to breakdown silos and promote cross-functional collaboration.

 

Amazon has pushed the retail supply chain to its limit, and it appears the online giant has no plans to stop anytime soon. Those left in its wake have no choice but to embrace change, innovation and find new ways to thrive.

 

Has the Amazon effect infiltrated your industry vertical? Let us know in the comments section.

 

The post Amazon supply chain management pushes retail to the limit appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

Powering the future of S&OP - Kinaxis

 

Originally posted by Alexa Cheater at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2017/04/amazon-supply-chain-management-pushes-retail-limit/

by Alexa Cheater

Amazon supply chain managementHow to overcome the Amazon effect

When it comes to supply chain excellence, particularly in the retail sector, there is one behemoth dominating the landscape. Amazon is driving innovation and change at a pace that’s putting the pressure on other businesses to find a way to keep up, or fold.

 

The online retailer’s most recent patent focuses on drone technology, and would involve drones delivering packages with parachutes. It’s just the latest in a string of patents that span the gamut from smart stores to flying warehouses. Amazon is even entering the transportation space, signing agreements with the Air Transport Services Group and the Chinese government to enter into the freight cargo business – effectively cutting out the middleman.

 

It has leased 20 Boeing 767 aircraft to shuttle goods around the US, and helped ship at least 150 cargo containers from China since October 2016. It’s all part of the global expansion of ‘Fulfillment by Amazon’, which provides storage, packing and shipping to small independent merchants selling products on Amazon’s website.

 

As Jeff McCandless notes on a recent Multichannel Merchant blog, combating the Amazon effect requires technology and collaboration. You need to build a real-time, data-driven, cloud-based automation network to compete. That means fostering supply chain capabilities focused on just such an outcome.

 

Failure to innovate in the retail supply chain arena is already having negative financial repercussions for brick and mortar stores, especially when it comes to apparel. Amazon makes up about 7% of the US apparel market, and according to reports, that figure could increase to 19% by 2020. They’ve been called a competitor in every space.

 

And as other companies invest billions to keep up, the overwhelming majority of them still haven’t figured out how to remain profitable. They’re plagued by high delivery costs, rising return rates and shifting labor requirements, struggling to find the delicate balance between meeting customer demand and protecting margins.

 

This customer-centric drive is streamlining supply execution processes like manufacturing and delivery, but when it comes to supply chain planning, there’s still room to push the limits even further. It’s great to offer same day shipping, but what happens if there’s a catastrophic level disruption at the origin source? Things like natural disasters, unexpected supplier shutdowns or even labor disputes within your own four walls – all can lead to delays and cancelled orders. Your supply chain needs to respond and course correct as fast as possible.

 

You’ll need to revolutionize your supply chain planning, implementing processes like concurrent planning and connecting your data, processes and people. Creating a consolidated view of your entire supply chain will enable you to plan expected performance, monitor progress and respond to disconnects when reality hits. Find a way to know sooner and act faster.

 

Functionality like rapid what-if scenario simulations with versioning, means you’ll be able to get snapshots of the past, present and possible future state of your supply chain. And you’ll definitely need to breakdown silos and promote cross-functional collaboration.

 

Amazon has pushed the retail supply chain to its limit, and it appears the online giant has no plans to stop anytime soon. Those left in its wake have no choice but to embrace change, innovation and find new ways to thrive.

 

Has the Amazon effect infiltrated your industry vertical? Let us know in the comments section.

 

The post Overcoming the Amazon effect: Pushing retail supply chains to the limit appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

Originally posted by Alexa Cheater at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2017/04/amazon-supply-chain-management-pushes-retail-limit/

by Bill DuBois

Supply chain planning systemsThere have been some pretty significant revolutions throughout history. The French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution and the Chinese cultural revolution – just to name a few.

 

Well, today I’m going to talk about the need for another revolution. A supply chain planning systems revolution. Will it be the stuff that future historians drool over or universities base curriculums on? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m going to discuss it anyway, because for those of us living in a supply chain world, it’s big deal.

 

The world is changing – new technology, globalization, shifting markets, changing demographics, global warming – you get the idea. So while everything’s been changing around us, why hasn’t supply chain planning evolved to any great extent?

 

Times Haven’t Changed

Across the supply chain, functions and processes still operate in silos. Excel spreadsheets remain the number one way companies manage supply chain data (go figure). Current planning systems simply aren’t designed to deliver the speed and agility needed to deal with the complexity and risks associated with today and tomorrow’s supply chain.

 

You Say You Want a Revolution

The time has come to adopt new operating models that make data visible across functional and organizational boundaries. The time has come for a revolution.

 

We need supply chain planning that allows new insights to be formed and acted upon, and puts decision power into the hands (picture a fist raised in revolt) of an organization’s front line. We need a structural change in how supply chain planning is performed.

 

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Yves Morieux in particular, describes the drawbacks of current operating models, which are based on functional expertise with little interface between roles.

 

“The real battle is not competitors. This is rubbish, very abstract. When do we meet competitors to fight them? The real battle is against ourselves, against our bureaucracy, our complicatedness – only you can fight it.

 

Many organizations respond to increasing complexity by creating more overlays, procedures, structures, and scorecards. But these outdated methods lead businesses to spend more time managing work and less time focusing on the important activities that actually add value.”[1]

 

The key point Morieux is making is that we need cooperation across the supply chain network. We need a model that allows data, processes, and people to simultaneously work together to power the entire supply network.

 

Now, no one ever said changing an operation model is a simple exercise, but it’s definitely a necessary step required to revolutionize planning and bring supply chain planning systems into the future.

 

How about you? Are you ready to revolutionize your supply chain planning? Not sure? I invite you to check out our white paper Supply Chain Planning 4.0: Planning Revolutionized to learn more.

 

_______________________________________

 

[1] http://www.bcg.com/expertise/capabilities/smart-simplicity/default.aspx

 

The post It’s time for a revolution of the supply chain kind appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

Powering the future of S&OP - Kinaxis

 

Originally posted by Bill DuBois at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2017/04/its-time-for-a-revolution-of-the-supply-chain-kind/

by Melissa Clow

This blog is part of a video interview series. Check out the video below as well as links to other supply chain practitioner and Kinaxis executive interviews.

 

It’s no exaggeration to say that supply chain planning is seeing a revolution, says Jack Noppe, chief technology officer at Kinaxis. Now, no function or department has to plan in the dark or without knowledge of how a plan affects others in the supply chain.

 

Traditional supply chains planned in isolation because plans took place independently within each function. RapidResponse, the planning platform from Kinaxis, enables what the company calls concurrent planning. In other words, all functions plan in concert now. “That allows them to get better outcomes for the business and make decisions faster,” says Noppe.

 

The software’s single platform enhances end-to end-supply chain management for a number of reasons, not least that data from every source is made available much more quickly than before, Noppe says. “At the end of the day, it comes down to how much information you have when you need to make decisions, and how fast you can understand the impact of decisions.”

 

The traditional planning model made it difficult to communicate between people managing different functions. “That communication was by phone or email because the systems they used weren’t connected well. But putting everything in a single platform, all the data is connected that drives all of those decisions. But it also drives all of the processes and the relationships.” “The impact of everything that moves through the supply chain is understood better. By having a single-platform supply-chain planning module, customers can understand the impact of decisions, not just from their outcomes but from the outcomes of other functions in their organization as a whole.”

 

That’s key, Noppe says, because the very word “plan” implies an assumption about how the future will behave. “But every day there are unforeseen events that impact the plan. The ability to get lead indicators of events that might impact the plan, and the ability to respond immediately, improves your likelihood to prevent that customer from being disappointed.”

 

“The sooner you can identify that something in the future will deviate from your best plan, the sooner you can respond, take the necessary corrective action and prevent something negative from having a negative consequence.”

 

Check out the other video interviews in this series:

 

The post [Video] Long-term supply chain planning system vision and strategy appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

5 signs your supply chain needs to change

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2017/04/video-long-term-supply-chain-planning-system-vision-strategy/

by Alexa Cheater

Customer ServiceSupply chain rigidity could be costing you billions

Getting the right product to the right people at the right time – that’s at the heart of what demand and supply planning is all about. But as anyone who works in supply chain knows, it’s a lot easier said than done. Forecasts are wrong more often than they’re right, and shifting consumer priorities means your supply chain has to be able to react to change and shift directions in seconds.

 

The success of your business depends on it, because if you can’t adapt and adjust, your customers will find someone who can. Exemplary customer service matters to your bottom line. Whether you work in business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) or any other space, the reality is, we all have customers to serve. Supply chains are built around that fact.

 

The result of poor customer service

A recent study by NewVoiceMedia shows nearly $62 billion is flowing from companies’ pockets into the hands of their competitors as a direct result of poor customer service. Failing to deliver the right product, failure to meet on-time delivery promises or even just a lack of clear communication are just a few reasons why customers are disappearing. The same research shows almost half of respondents (49%) reported leaving a business due to inadequate customer service, with those aged 25-34 years old 62% more likely to switch to a competitor as a result.

 

Can your company really afford to lose that many customers?

 

As Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations, says in a recent Forbes article, “Every statistic and fact out there indicates that service gives any company a competitive advantage, and the lack of it can be the demise of the business.”

 

If you work in a B2C environment, you may be less concerned about losing one or two customers. After all, you likely have thousands of them. But even a single customer can have an impact on your financial results – especially given a growing trend to share dissatisfaction on social media. More than one company has fallen victim to the power of social sharing, and not in a good way. One angry customer now has the ability to reach thousands, or even millions of other people, sharing negative views about your company. It’s the power of word of mouth marketing and it shouldn’t be ignored. NewVoiceMedia’s report shows 42% of dissatisfied customers are now likely to post an online review or complain via social media.

 

For those in B2B, losing one customer could represent a sizable portion of your business. Your pool of prospective customers tends to be more limited, and each sale tends to be higher value. You need to treat each of them like the high value partner they are.

 

Minimize your risk of unhappy customers

So how can you minimize the risk of losing customers? By ensuring you’re doing everything you can to promote a customer-centric end-to-end supply chain process across all nodes. That means breaking down silos and building visibility across the end-to-end value chain so you can respond to your customers’ changing requests faster and more accurately.

 

You need to banish supply chain rigidity. Eliminate those time-consuming Excel spreadsheets, start working across departments to support company-wide metrics instead of individual ones, and structure your supply chain so you can plan, monitor and respond concurrently.

 

What you don’t need to focus on is trying to build a better forecast. It’s never going to be 100% accurate – not even close. While there is value in improving forecast accuracy, the better option is developing a responsive, collaborative supply chain that lets you know sooner and act faster when problems arise.

 

Hyken notes there are five key things customers look for in their experiences with you:

 

  1. An easy experience
  2. Knowledgeable people
  3. Friendly experience
  4. Speedy service and a quick response
  5. Consistency

Supply chain flexibility lets you manage all of those. End-to-end supply chain visibility lets you provide an easy experience, knowledgeable people and consistency by providing a clear picture and expectations. Your customer support team will be able to let customers know of any potential delays, how long it will take to resolve them and if there are any alternatives. With accurate information at their fingertips, they’re a lot more likely to be more friendly. And trust me, from personal experience on both sides, customers are a lot more willing to forgive if you keep them informed of what’s going on.

 

Speedy service and quick responses are powered by your supply chain’s reactiveness. When change happens – and it will – you need to be able to see it, run multiple what-if scenarios, collaborate with others and put the best solution into action.

 

When it comes to customer satisfaction levels, don’t underestimate the power your supply chain plays in providing a positive outcome.

 

How has your company upped its customer service game? Let us know in the comment area below.

 

The post The importance of customer service for end-to-end supply chains appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

5 signs your supply chain needs to change

 

Originally posted by Alexa Cheater at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2017/04/importance-customer-service-end-end-supply-chains/

by Dr. Madhav Durbha

Supply chain planning systemIt is a great time to be a supply chain planning professional. Advances in processing power, networking, and storage aided by the enduring power of Moore’s law have opened doors for some exciting new developments in supply chain planning. Specifically for planners, the advent of real time planning, ability to process massive amounts of data, and the rise of machine intelligence are all opening up newer challenges and opportunities. Mundane tasks such as gathering data and processing it into information are being automated to a larger extent. The ability to run end to end network-wide scenarios is a reality now.

 

While this revolution in supply chain planning is in early stages of adoption, it is only a matter of time before these capabilities become mainstream within many organizations. Given that such a future is inevitable, how will this change the supply chain planning profession? Let’s examine the possibilities:

 

“Stempathy” excellence will be critical for success

In his newest book, Thank you for being late, Thomas Friedman introduces “stempathy” as a key skill for the 21st century professionals. This essentially is a combination of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills and empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. As supply chains become more complex, planning will no longer be one person’s job confined to their silo. One has to constantly collaborate with others. Such collaboration will involve a great deal of give and take (i.e., seeking help when you need it and returning the favor when others need your help.). As the functional boundaries between demand planning, supply planning, capacity planning, inventory planning, etc. disappear, these roles will give way to end-to-end network planners who need to collaborate with each other on a day-to-day basis. In such an environment, empathy will be an indispensable skill in addition to STEM skills. From the STEM skills perspective, lifelong passion for learning will be rewarded.

 

Embrace the art of supply chain planning

Currently, the approach to supply chain planning in most companies is driven by simplistic approximations of the real world with obsessive focus on precision. That is, one would run deterministic algorithms in a batch mode, await the plan output, review the plan, make manual adjustments, and publish the plan – all while obsessing over precision, while the model itself is a crude approximation to start with. The ability to create and run scenarios is limited to non-existent. However, with the emerging capabilities, planners will be able to create their own private sandboxes of their end to end supply chain, unleash their creativity to ask what-if questions, run scenarios and collaborate with others. Formulating the right questions will be an essential skill for the future of supply chain planning, blending what is currently science with art and bringing in the creative touch of the planners. Machines will handle the science and planners will contribute the art of human judgment, bringing the best of man-machine collaboration.

 

Stakes will be raised for planners

With the ability to support network planning, stakes will be raised for the planners as they start supporting decisions at a broader and deeper level compared to today. The top and bottom line impact of planners’ decisions will be far more significant. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based solutions will enable self-service to the planners, letting the planning capabilities evolve at the speed of business. In line analytics will enable real time slicing and dicing of supply chain plans, providing unprecedented visibility. These newer solutions will reduce planners’ reliance on IT and place great power in their hands through a high degree of personalization and configurability.

 

With great power comes great responsibility

In the movie Spiderman, Uncle Ben tells Peter Parker, “with great power comes great responsibility”. The aforementioned intelligent SaaS systems will capture a clear audit trail of the planners’ digital footprints as they drive toward decisions. “Glass box” approaches to the underlying algorithms will make the links between actions and results very explicit. Such transparency was never feasible with the traditional, currently prevalent “Black box” optimization solvers. Archived scenarios and assumptions, and on demand retrieval of the same, will usher in unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability. The decision cycles will be much faster and speed will be of essence. As technology to support such speed becomes mainstream, planners play a far more strategic role than ever in managing their supply chains. With real time planning collapsing the hard boundaries between planning and execution, they no longer can absolve themselves of execution failures.

 

Planning will be a great training ground for leadership positions

Tim Cook of Apple and Mary Barra of General Motors are two high profile examples of supply chain executives promoted to lead major corporations. With increased stakes and end to end visibility, planning will prove to be a great training ground for leadership roles within the organization. Due to the increased scope of decisions they support, planners gain more visibility with senior leadership of their organization. Those who prove to be highly successful in their roles and demonstrate their “stempathy” skills will have great opportunities opening up for them. They can emerge as mentors to other planners and eventually move up to tackle larger challenges.

 

All in all, the future holds great promise for planning professionals. Technology is here to aid them on this journey with some exciting developments around machine learning, Internet of Things, and 3D printing on the way. The planning community needs to embrace the realm of possibilities and become the change agents for their organizations.

 

The post The future of the supply chain planning profession appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

5 signs your supply chain needs to change

 

Originally posted by Dr. Madhav Durbha at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2017/04/future-supply-chain-planning-profession/

by Melissa Clow

This blog is part of a video interview series. Check out the video below as well as links to other supply chain practitioner and Kinaxis executive interviews.

 

To successfully work with cross-functional groups around the world, you must be able to share data of every description, says David G. Thomas, director of global capacity planning for Ford Motor Co.

 

In a general sense, customers worldwide want many of the same things in the cars and other vehicles they buy. The differences, however, are great enough that meeting their requirements is a highly complex undertaking, Thomas says. Customer centricity necessitates having factories in every part of the globe and a supply base that caters to individual needs and quantities. The downside is an inaccurate forecast. Getting the demand side wrong drives cost throughout the system.

 

“My role is to help make certain that we have the most efficient supply chain, and the lowest possible inventories to enable us to sell the maximum possible number of units. It’s minimizing holding costs and maximizing revenue. That is becoming more and more critical as a competitive differentiator. It’s simply too expensive to have vehicles sitting in inventories, whether at factories, at dealers, at ports, or anywhere in the supply chain, because that’s dead money. You have to eliminate as much of that as possible,” Thomas says.

 

Every manufacturer in the automotive vertical has some kind of supply chain management software, Thomas says. The question is, what SCM software tool do they have to make that supply chain as accurate and as lean as possible?

 

Recognizing that it needed something to consolidate data about company performance both regionally and globally, Ford initially engineered its own tool. Its objective was to analyze data from all functions from each internal organization. Though it saved Ford quite a bit of money, Thomas says, the company needed something more powerful.

 

“We needed something to better see the problems,” Thomas says. “Regional issues can cause global problems, and global solutions have regional implications. Unless you can see both sides of the business, close to the ground to see what’s happening regionally, yet be able to step back and see the global picture, with global product coming out of global factories with global suppliers, you just can’t manage efficiently.”

 

After 18 months of vetting a number of software vendors, Ford partnered with Kinaxis, and is implementing RapidResponse to enable and enhance its comprehensive supply chain processes.
Building its own system taught Ford executives what they needed to do, but Thomas says it was never intended to be a long-term solution. “We’ve kind of plateaued the capability of that tool. We needed to go to the next step.”

 

Vehicle manufacturers like Ford look out 18 to 24 months, and plans take time to work through. At the moment, SUVs and trucks are “king” in the U.S. market, but Ford has to keep its eye on such game-changing trends as autonomous vehicles. RapidResponse will enable Ford’s sales and operations planning in that effort, Thomas says.

 

“S&OP is the beating heart of a company,” he says. “Unless you get the S&OP right, the longer term is always in question. You can have a view of the longer term, but you still have to get there.”

 

Check out the other video interviews in this series:

 

The post [Video] Ford Motor Company: Creating global data standards with SCM software appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

5 signs your supply chain needs to change

 

Originally posted by Melissa Clow at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2017/04/video-ford-motor-company-creating-global-data-standards-scm-software/

by Bill DuBois

end-to-end supply chain jokes Much has changed in the world of supply chain since we published our last batch of supply chain jokes. Supply chain disruptions continue to be the norm. Cognitive computing, IoT and big data are changing the technology landscape. Shifting demographics and supply chain talent questions leave many of us in the field scratching our heads. However, it’s not all depressing. Advances in end-to-end supply chain solutions and customer success stories show it’s a great time to be in supply chain. There are a number of events to look forward to, including the Gartner Executive Supply Chain Conference in May and the Kinaxis user conference, Kinexions in October, that celebrate our many supply chain achievements. As we get ready to take a deep breath after an exciting start to the year, we thought some cheesy supply chain humor would help us relax as we gear up to take on the rest of 2017.

 

So here you go, some more supply chains jokes. I apologize beforehand to all supply, demand and capacity planners, sales, engineers and statistical forecasters. We hope you enjoy!

 

  1. ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I apologize’ mean the same thing. Except at a funeral or an S&OP meeting.
  2. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow that electricians can be delighted, cowboys deranged, drycleaners depressed and supply chain managers fulfilled?
  3. Why is it that if someone tells you that there are 1 billion stars in the universe you’ll believe them, but if you tell an inventory manager there’s 20 widgets in stock they have to count them?
  4. What do you call a capacity planner who’s had too much to drink? They’re overloaded.
  5. How do you get a demand planner to say the F word? Get a supply planner to yell the S word (Shortage!)
  6. An economic order quantity (EOQ) is something you don’t need at a price you can’t resist.
  7. Here’s one for supply chain planners that have had to collaborate with engineers on a new product introduction:

    A priest, a politician and an engineer were scheduled to be executed during the French Revolution. The priest is brought up to the guillotine and lays down on the table. The executioner pulls the cord and the heavy steel blade descends… then shudders to a stop in the middle of the track. The executioner proclaims, “This is a sign from God, that the life of this priest should be spared!” The priest is set free to the delight of the cheering crowd.

     

    Next, the politician is brought up and laid on the table. The cord is pulled, and the blade again shudders to a halt in the same place. The executioner proclaims “The grace of God is extended even to this politician!” and the crowd goes wild with joy!

     

    The engineer steps up last and says, “You know, if you tighten that bolt, this thing will work.”

  8. Q: When does a person decide to become a statistical forecaster?
    A:When they realize they don’t have the charisma to succeed as an undertaker.
  9. All operation managers are bilingual. They speak English and profanity.
  10. Drama: a word supply planners use to describe sales.

Do you have any great supply chain jokes? We’d love to hear them – so share in the comments area below!

 

The post The lighter side of supply chain: 10 more supply chain jokes appeared first on The 21st Century Supply Chain.

 

5 signs your supply chain needs to change

 

Originally posted by Bill DuBois at http://blog.kinaxis.com/2017/04/lighter-side-supply-chain-10-supply-chain-jokes/

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