Let’s Start a Revolution: Kinexions Supply Chain Conference Day 1

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How do you start a supply chain revolution in Nashville? With some toe-tapping music from the Late Late Supply Chain Show band and rockin’ guitar playing from Kinaxis Director of Marketing Content, Bill DuBois, of course! After an electric and entertaining opener, it was time to get down to business. From opening remarks from John Sicard, president and CEO of Kinaxis, to presentations from SCM World, Ford, and Keysight Technologies, the core theme was this revolutionizing of the supply chain where integration of technology and human involvement are paramount. Let’s take a deeper dive into Day 1 of the Kinexions supply chain conference:

Supply Chain Planning Components are Better Together than Apart

 “Humans have to be involved, they have to be empowered.”

In supply chain planning, there are a lot of individual processes – capacity planning, demand planning, inventory management, etc. As Sicard put it, each individual process in supply chain planning is like a link in a chain. Each link serves a purpose and is necessary for making the supply chain function. However, supply chains have focused on these “links” one at a time and in siloes, rather than integrating them. According to Sicard, all parts of the supply chain must be interconnected, with human involvement and empowerment at the forefront. As the supply chain continues to speed up and evolve, anyone should be able to simulate anything they want at any time for faster and more strategic decision making and maintenance of the supply chain.

Digitization: The Roadmap to the Supply Chain Future

“All the stuff we do puts us in a situation where we can live in clean cities next to nice, open green space.”

In his session, Kevin O’Marah, Chief Content Officer at SCM World, showed a slide of what looked like Utopia – a clean, sparkling city surrounded by large green areas. He said supply chains can reach this sentient level, where they sense and react to situations at very granular detail. Running a sustainable supply chain that hits major consumer growth and provides connectivity to everything sounds great, right? But how do we actually get there? It’s all in the digitization and ability to better sense supply and demand:

  • Demand Sense – This is 100% customer centricity and knowing what your customers need at all times. Facebook is a prime example of doing demand sense well, understanding their audience and running ads that hit exactly what their users want.
  • Supply Sense – After knowing your customer inside and out, supply sense is focused on accountability and knowing what’s possible with your supply chain. O’Marah used BMW here, sharing that the auto company’s big data analytics package allows them to identify strikes and capacity issues, sensing the demand before anyone has to tell them.
  • Supply Response – Now that you’ve sensed it and know what’s possible, it’s time for mass customization, where you make what your customers want. Harley Davidson does this well, producing bikes according to the unique specifications of its customers.
  • Demand Response – Coming full circle, demand response is about total customer satisfaction, with Amazon leading as a top example of successful product shipping, the end game of supply chain.

With more sustainable business models and better sensing supply and demand, the future of supply chain can look more like a Utopia, rather than looking like a scene straight out of the Matrix.

Going from 0 to 60 with Globalized Capacity Planning and Production Efficiency

“We all need to believe we can be the best at what we do, so we can be the best at what we do.”

Two customer sessions from Ford and Keysight Technologies focused on how RapidResponse was able to take their businesses to new heights. For Ford Motor Company, RapidResponse made global capacity planning possible. At Ford, global data standards were nonexistent and a major challenge for a global company that was built around the independence of its regional sites. After a “near death experience” with significant market hits and collapse in revenue, David Thomas, Ford’s Director of Global Capacity Planning, said the auto company bounced back and set up globalized capacity planning for the first time ever. Using RapidResponse’s capabilities, Ford was able to increase its global supply chain visibility and efficiency to better manage its $150 billion annual revenue stream. For Keysight Technologies, RapidResponse was the key to better production planning efficiency. Jenny Balderrama, a production planner at a company that brings breakthrough electronic products to market faster and at lower cost, was spending 12-16 hours a week working on the job release process and 8-10 hours a week on internal sales order management. As a result of the RapidResponse workbooks and tools that were implemented, Balderrama and her team were able to drop the job release process to a single hour per week and cut the time it took for sales order management in half. The first day at Kinexions brought with it a lot of great sessions and discussion around what the future and revolution of the supply chain looks like. Stay tuned for coverage of Day 2 from Kinexions 2016!

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