Control tower form vs function… or form AND function

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My wife and I constantly debate form versus functionality in our home. We were looking at redesigning our living room. We have cabinets beside our TV housing all the electronics, like our cable box and gaming console (and a ton of DVDs for some reason), with doors to hide the (in her words) ‘unsightly mess’ for when we have people over. She suggested that we put chairs in front of the cabinet doors to provide us with more seating when entertaining and to make the living room aesthetically appealing. My argument was that the chairs would constantly be moved out of the way so that we could access the electronics.

Why am I telling you about my living room? Because this is a constant struggle about usability verses functionality and it is something that everyone, and every company, struggles with. The concepts go hand in hand for most cases… there is no point in having the most usable thing in the world if it doesn’t do what you need, while having the most functional thing ever that can’t be used is going to lead to stress and headaches.

Nucleus Research recently put out their 2022 Control Tower Value Matrix, which rated Kinaxis in the Leaders’ quadrant (for the sixth consecutive time). Furthermore, Kinaxis was identified highest in the industry along the ‘greater usability’ axis and extremely favorably along the ‘better functionality’ axis. What does that mean?

It means that we have chairs on wheels so that they can be easily moved from in front of the cabinets with all the electronics when we have friends over. So, in the Kinaxis world it means that we have found a way to offer both the industry’s most usable, while still being extremely functional, control tower.

The Leaders’ quadrant applies to vendors, like Kinaxis, who deliver advanced functionality without sacrificing ease-of-use. Control towers have become an increasingly important aspect of supply chain planning. At their core, a control tower provides end-to-end visibility by bringing data, process and people together from all over the supply chain so that you know what is going on in the network.

But to be effective it needs to be much more than just a gathering. The data must be the single source of truth, which means accurate and up-to-date, ideally in real-time. It also must be understandable without requiring a PhD in data science. Furthermore, it must be both adjustable to test different scenarios based on the information acquired, and actionable so that decisions can be made. And part of that actionability is being able to collaborate and share with all involved stakeholders in the company.

Kinaxis extends the control tower available in RapidResponse with Command & Control Center. Where standard control towers stop is gathering the data, which is where Command & Control Center begins. This allows you to spot potential disruptions with real-time risk-based alerts to get notified when something differs from the expected plan. You can extend the scope by seamlessly incorporating digital inputs from sources outside your organization, such as weather or logistics visibility, to get a holistic view of what is impacting the plan. And augment at-a-glance visibility of the health of your business in relation to defined key performance metrics, like revenue and margin, guarantees easy understanding of the most important aspects that you are reporting on.

Of course, I may be a bit biased when it comes to talking about how amazing Kinaxis control tower and more advanced Command & Control Center capabilities are. But you don’t have to take my word for it! As part of the Nucleus analysis, they interviewed some Kinaxis customers to validate their ranking of Kinaxis in the Leaders’ quadrant. Some fabulous results were stated, including:

  • A global manufacturing service provider cut their inventory cycle by 25%, unlocking $70M in free cash flow
  • A global pharmaceutical manufacturer cut packaging costs by 65% and saved 40 planers 8,000 hours per year of work
  • A global telecommunications provider reduced excess and obsolete inventory levels by 30%

These are some pretty impressive, and unbiased, statistics to back up my opinion on Kinaxis’ capabilities. To read the full Nucleus Research 2022 Control Tower Value Matrix, click here. And to learn more about how companies leverage RapidResponse to achieve this level of benefit, reach out to our friendly sales team at info@kinaxis.com.

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