'Know Sooner, Act Faster': A Supply-Chain Mantra | Kinexions

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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:

  '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.


David Statman
- April 10, 2014 at 1:32pm
"In seeking upstream visibility, many companies don’t look beyond their first-tier suppliers."

You have to look at all your suppliers, big and small, in order to be prepared for what it coming down the pipeline. How do your supplier's supplier's measure up? If your supplier is late on a delivery because their supplier was late it's your end customer that suffers.
Peter- Supply Chain Consultant
- April 17, 2014 at 5:01pm
Nice Mantra. It really sums up the need to use analytics for proper supply chain planning

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