SupplyChainBrain attended our annual Kinexions user conference, and while there, they completed a number of video interviews with customers, analysts, and Kinaxis executives. And, we’d like to share them!
We know that companies are desperate for new talent to help them achieve supply-chain excellence, as they grapple with ever-larger volumes of data and increasing unpredictability in consumer markets. Companies have been investing in supply-chain technology for 20 years or more – yet many are still far from the goal of creating global, demand-driven networks. “Getting there takes more than a great tool,” says Green. Check out this recorded roundtable discussion with Benji Green, director of global supply chain operations with Avaya; Trevor Miles, executive vice president of thought leadership with Kinaxis, and Roddy Martin, managing director of Accenture Supply Chain Strategies.
Miles says a dearth of talent is frustrating efforts to achieve supply-chain “nirvana.” “We’ve got cars that can drive at incredible speeds, but not everybody can drive them,” he says. Fresh talent needs to be focused on collaboration and an understanding of end-to-end processes. According to Martin, it’s important to understand the context in which people are using technology. “You can spend all this money on technology, yet still be battling with basic visibility. We have more data than ever before, yet we can’t see the inventory.” Demand is more volatile than ever, Green notes. The growing level of unpredictability in global supply chains calls for greater human interaction, not just the installation of cutting-edge applications. Managing data should be everyone’s responsibility, says Martin, not just that of discrete departments within the organization. Another problem is the fact that so much data is transactional in nature. With the coming of big data and new analytics applications, that data can become “directional,” serving as the basis for better decisions. Right now, however, “I don’t think businesses know where to put those data scientists,” Martin says. That wealth of new data contains much uncertainty, says Miles. Those who use social networks are still a relatively small percentage of the population, even if the data they generate is directionally correct. Green says it’s vital that companies utilize the information to create “meaningful insight.”
Check out the other videos in this supply chain interview series: