Kinexions ’20 day 1 recap: Supply chain innovation is accelerating

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You’ve heard it a lot. It’s been an unprecedented year in supply chain, but risk and disruption aren’t the only things that have reached new heights. Throughout the first day of Kinexions ’20, we saw proof that exceptional innovation is another trend in supply chain.

Kinaxis CEO John Sicard and EVP of Strategic Innovation Kerry Liu started the day describing how seven years’ worth of updates have happened within just seven months in the retail sector. In our featured sessions, we heard from organizations like Clorox, which continued supply chain transformation while teams worked remotely and virtually. We even shared our own innovations here at Kinaxis, like our new PartnerLink program and the launch of our Command & Control Center application. Across the board, uncertainty has pushed companies to advance their supply chain planning capabilities years into the future.

We’re all startups

Today’s keynote speaker Simon Sinek perfectly captured the thinking that innovative companies are adopting today: “Regardless of how big we are, regardless of how much success we’ve had, regardless of what got us here, what if we were a startup?” Industry leaders are fundamentally shifting the way they operate, adopting a startup mindset, in order to survive the impacts of the pandemic. Reshaping their supply chains is an essential part of that strategy.

When Technicolor embarked on its digital transformation in 2018, it was willing to scrap any system or process that didn’t contribute to modern, connected operations. “There were no sacred cows,” said Francois Allain, Chief Operating Officer, Connected Home. The company decided to break down silos between its supply chain and finance teams by ending planning through Excel files and a single ERP. Now, the company manages risks and opportunities in real-time with RapidResponse® as the backbone of its business management, giving its supply chain the agility to plan for any future.

Disruption has encouraged transformation

Kirk Niehaus, CloroxSome companies fear taking on transformation in the midst of disruption, but that wasn’t the case for speakers at Kinexions ’20. Most shuddered to imagine how their businesses would have been impacted if they hadn’t made changes.

Clorox was in the process of implementing RapidResponse across its business units when COVID-19 outbreaks started. it completed implementation while workers were virtual and remote. “At a glance today, we can see production, we can see sales, we can see all the promotions. And all of that information is entered literally everyday, so it’s real-time and live and accurate,” said Kirk Niehaus, VP Global Planning & Supply Chain Technology. With RapidResponse, general managers can meet at the drop of a hat to respond to disruption, no waiting for monthly meetings or updated data.

“If you’re sitting there as a project team or as a business thinking about making a change or thinking about implementing something but you’re feeling that it’s not the right time to do it, don’t wait,” says David Morrison, Transition Leader, Global Supply Chain at LifeScan. The diagnostic systems manufacturer has implemented new solutions while working virtually and managing dramatic demand shifts. “We strongly believe that with RapidResponse in place we’re ready for the challenges of 2021,” he says.

There’s more innovation to come

Command & Control Center

Kinaxis has also announced that we’ll also be doing more to help you prepare for what's to come. Our new Command & Control Center application, debuting next year, will be the first control tower solution to combine detection with impact assessment, mitigation and communication, so you can proactively monitor and respond to risks. Our enhanced demand management capabilities, like demand sensing with AutoML, will also arrive in 2021.

We forecast more good things to come at Kinexions ’20 tomorrow, so plan to attend! We’ll be joined by supply chain innovators at companies like Bell Helicopters, IBM, Rexall and Merck alongside keynote speakers Dr. Nada Sanders and Dr. Omera Khan. We’ll also continue our Meet the Experts sessions, partner booths and live Q&As, so come ready to engage.

In the meantime, don’t forget that one of the best parts of this year’s Kinexions is that you can catch up on all of this innovation even if you aren’t able to attend live. For the first time ever, we’re providing on-demand recordings immediately after the sessions’ debuts. Missed something while answering urgent emails? Wanted to attend multiple breakouts in the same block? No problem. Revisit any portion of Kinexions day one at your leisure.


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