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!
In this interview, hear C.J. Wehlage, vice president of high-tech solutions with Kinaxis, detail industry's major supply-chain management challenges in particular, the difficulty of obtaining full visibility of supply and demand, and dealing with the volatility of markets. Know sooner, act faster is the mantra offered by Wehlage as a key strategy for dealing with growing market volatility. I run into supply chain practitioners who don't know as much as they think they do, he says. It's about responsiveness, and how much you know about your supply chain. Previously, we featured interviews with:
- Sue Montgomery, senior business analyst with March Networks, ''March Networks: The World of High-Tech Security"
- Jennifer Bell, systems analyst with First Solar, "How First Solar Keeps Pace With Demand"
- Amanpreet Singh, senior director of strategy and operations, Motorola Mobility: "Relieving the Pain Points of Supply Chain Management"
- Jake Barr, chief executive officer of Blue World Supply Chain Consulting; Jim White, vice president of central operations with Applied Materials and CJ Wehlage, vice president of high tech solutions: "Is the forecast really dead?"
- Jim White, Vice President Central Operations at Applied Materials: "Applied Materials: Invisible, But Everywhere – Kinaxis & SupplyChainBrain Interview Series"
- Ethan Hunt, supply chain consultant at Agilent: "How Agilent Technologies Measures Up: Gaining full visibility of supply and demand"
- Mark Zeni, director of fulfillment at First Solar: "Balancing Cost and Customer Service"
- Arpad Hevizi, vice president of supply chain solutions with Celestica: "How Contract Manufacturers Are Expanding Their Service"
- Trevor Miles, vice president of thought leadership, Kinaxis: "How Can Companies Respond Rapidly to Demand?"
'Know Sooner, Act Faster': A Supply-Chain Mantra – Interview summary In seeking upstream visibility, many companies don't look beyond their first-tier suppliers. As a result, crises often devolve into firefighting, rather than being averted through proper oversight of all suppliers, third-party logistics providers and even the retail store. It's tough to put a value on the prevention of a crisis that never happens. Still, says Wehlage, that necessary level of responsiveness is the core of supply chain. It's the key to how managers can influence the reporting structure within their organizations. Being able to make informed decisions, and acting on them, provides executives with a level of power that isn't reachable through traditional methods. Responsiveness isn't just a tool for managing supply-chain execution; it also bears a strategic element. Decisions can be driven at the C-level, rather than occurring exclusively in the trenches. A key competency that many companies are missing today is leadership. There has to be somebody asking the end-to-end questions, says Wehlage. What's my profitability across this? Yet another key element of modern-day supply-chain management is obtaining the right talent. It used to be sufficient for employees to possess functional expertise. Now, end-to-end skills are critical.