Insights from Kinexions Tokyo 2016

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Kinaxis hosted Kinexions Tokyo 2016 customer user conference event at the Canadian embassy in Tokyo. It was a stupendously successful event with many customers, prospects, and partners in attendance. The day kicked off with some very interesting and engaging presentations by Deloitte, Roland DG, Mitsubishi, and a Kinaxis keynote delivered by me. Here are some common themes based on the presentations and the conversations I had with the event attendees:

  • Organizations are looking to digital supply chains as a differentiator. With increased complexity and volatility in global supply chains, the ability to respond quickly to supply chain disruptions is becoming very critical. However, such transformation is not a big bang switch, but is a journey. Both Roland DG and Mitsubishi shared their experiences and their journey towards faster decision-making.
  • Companies are looking to significantly revamp their supply chain planning processes. This is due to increased realization that the current batch oriented planning processes are limiting their ability to run scenarios in real time and collaborate based on them.
  • PSI (Production, Sales, and Inventory) analysis has been the norm in the region for quite some time. Now, companies are looking to go beyond supply-demand balancing to profitable supply-demand balancing. In light of this, Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP) is an area of great interest to the participants. Deloitte’s presentation stressed the need to treat S&OP as not just a technology initiative but to bring in people, metrics, governance, change management and education aspects in to the mix.
  • Knowledge retention and skills shortage are cited as key challenges in my conversations.
  • Local language support, presence, and commitment to grow in the region are cited as critical factors in selecting any supply chain software vendors and services providers they like to work with.
  • There is more openness to consider Software as a Service (SaaS) consumption model for supply chain projects compared to what I had seen before in the region.

The evening included networking with the attendees. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails were served while the attendees mingled, exchanged ideas, and contacts. Amongst customers and partners, there is a fair mix of business and IT community, as well as executives, management, and end users, providing an opportunity to exchange some very diverse perspectives and points of view. The event concluded with Mr.Toshiya Kaneko, head of Kinaxis Japan operations thanking the attendees for their presence and participation. All in all it was a great event!

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