Editor’s Note: The original version of this article appeared in the eBook, Thinking Differently About Supply Chain Planning: The Case for Concurrency.
Pause for a moment to think about what the world’s supply chains are tasked with on a daily basis and how much they achieve. It’s staggering. Now factor in the platforms, processes, and procedures upon which many of the world’s critical supply chains are built and it quickly becomes clear that the day will come that they can no longer keep up. With political landscapes shifting at the speed of social media, changes to global trade policies introduced on a daily basis, and a general increase in demand from consumers looking to customize and personalize every buying experience, the time has come for the world’s supply chains to evolve.
The unsustainable supply chain
Pair present reality with supply chains that continue to employ legacy processes and siloed technologies and you have a model that, if left unchecked, is unsustainable. And as any planner knows, any delay in their ability to respond to an exception in its company’s supply chain spells certain doom for the company’s ability to meet production and delivery deadlines. The unpredictable intricacies of the modern supply chain demands perpetual, intelligent management. To get there, an entirely new approach to supply chain planning, one that directly addresses the realities of modern business is required. Enter concurrent planning, the unique Kinaxis process of making and managing synchronized plans across multiple time horizons, business processes, and organizational boundaries at the same time.
Planning for the unplannable
While forecasting for specific disruptions is an unattainable objective, concurrent planning helps a supply chain successfully navigate the changing landscape of supply chain planning, essentially helping planners plan for the unplannable. But to do so, innovation was required. At Kinaxis, we found a way – and it started with a new way to store data in RapidResponse. Where previous planning platforms store rows and columns in memory, we devised a way to store records as objects. First, like objects are linked together using in-memory pointers, while versions of every record are created to maintain their source and its connection to its parent. We then embed the algorithms in the database to minimize latency. This results in an entirely new kind of database, one that lends itself exceedingly well to the concept of concurrent planning, yielding the speed necessary to support the simultaneous modeling of multiple scenarios. This approach is so unique we patented it as an This method, delivered to customers in a private, highly secure, single-tenant SOC 2 Type 2 compliant SaaS cloud environment, drives our unique “always-on” planning algorithms, all but eliminating the latency and long runtimes traditionally associated with data analysis.
Constant innovation in support of concurrency
Our technology enables massive scalability, giving it the ability to support millions of SKUs on top of its multi-terabyte data model. But perhaps more importantly, it lays the groundwork for what is to come. By surrounding our planning database with a powerful platform, we enable customers and partners to create custom applications on top of RapidResponse, each of which is unique to a specific need. With new machine learning capabilities designed to further enhance concurrent planning and the Self-Healing Supply Chain always on the cusp of innovation, Kinaxis customers are never far away from the introduction of unique, never before seen insights into their planning data – because legacy supply chain planning technology simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Learn more about what’s possible. Check out our new guide “Thinking Differently About Supply Chain Planning: The Case for Concurrency.”