We recently held our user conference, Kinexions, in Scottsdale Arizona. Attendees from around the world gathered to learn, laugh, share and connect. The event was kicked off by an address from Kinaxis CEO, Doug Colbeth. This was followed by an inspiring talk by Sir Ken Robinson discussing finding your passion: how you need to find what you love to do and then you'll never have to work a day in your life. That was followed by several customer presentations describing how they've used RapidResponse to know sooner and act faster. And actually, that was the theme of the show...“Know sooner, act faster”. If you are a Kinaxis customer, you know what this tagline means. For those who aren’t, this is what we are talking about: Know sooner: Imagine that you have a supply chain disruption. Your supplier’s line has gone down and they’ve decommitted the next few weeks of orders while they make repairs and get caught up. Imagine you found this out first thing Monday morning. With your current ERP system, how long would it take you to understand what that delay would do to your production schedule? What customer orders would be impacted? What does this do to your weekly, monthly, quarterly revenue targets? Maybe the supply delay really only impacts safety stock and minimally impacts actual customer orders. Perhaps the supply delay impacts millions of dollars of revenue. Not knowing means either lost time working on minor problems (while more significant issues are ignored) or potentially not working a problem that could impact your company financially. Now, what if you had a system that would notify you when something like a supplier line down occurred. Imagine if you could configure the system to only notify you if this change impacted customer revenue? Further, what if this system could lay out for you what the revenue impact was and the items causing these orders to be late. That is how you know sooner. Act Faster: Now imagine that the line down situation described above actually does drive millions of dollars of lost revenue? What would you need to do to recover? Do you find another supplier? Can you substitute the late component with another equivalent component? Can you offer customers a higher end product in place of the ones that are short? Or is it better to just accept that the late/lost revenue? Each of the possible resolutions have cost, revenue and customer service implications. If you are using a traditional ERP system, you will need to pick one approach and go with it because you cannot effectively simulate different options, and even if you could, with the limited reporting capability inherent in today’s ERP systems, you can’t easily see the impact of those options on revenue, margin and customer service. To act faster, you need to be able to identify those people affected by a change, collaborate with them to simulate the possible resolution options and then compare those resolution options to see the revenue, margin and customer service impact. When plans and events create risk/opportunity for you, the speed at which you bring together the right people to collaborate will make or break your operations performance. It’s not difficult to see that knowing sooner and acting faster is a competitive advantage. Other factors being equal, reacting to changes in your supply chain faster than the competitions means that you will win more business, hold less inventory and earn more profits.