Without sounding trite, 2020 has been a strange year. So having the opportunity to bring together thousands of supply chain and businesses leaders and practitioners from every corner of the world is a welcome opportunity to not only commiserate over the oddities of this year, but also to learn how to manage through them. Kinexions ‘20 proved to be an energizing event for thousands of registrants to gain inspiration from keynotes and fellow practitioners alike.
Industrial manufacturing is a complex industry even in the most stable of times. Throw in some natural disasters, economic and political uncertainty and a once-in-a-century pandemic and things can get convoluted quickly. At Kinexions ‘20, we were proud to have many of our industrial customers share the lessons learned along the way in their respective supply chain digitization journeys.
Overcoming the curveball that is COVID-19
The wild variations of impacts due to COVID-19 were on display at this year’s event. Lippert Components shared that after initial trepidation on the impact of the virus shutdowns, it quickly became evident that RV culture was going to take off in a whole new way across the U.S. and its demand skyrocketed. Its teams had to quickly pivot from expecting major slowdowns — if not shutdowns — to keeping pace with a surge in demand. The agility they netted from their usage of concurrent planning technology allowed them to continue to meet service levels during an unexpected growth period.
It all starts and stops with good data
Master data is the bane of many a supply chain professional’s (or numerous other professions’!) existence. Both Volvo Penta and Guardian Glass spoke to the time they dedicated to ensuring their master data was in tip-top shape before embarking on their new approach to supply chain digitization. It’s a timely process, but an important one. Benchmark and historical data can get you to a point, but to truly concurrently plan, having a clean, up-to-date and complete data picture is the foundation needed for success. When supply chain is data housed in a single data set, industrial leaders like Guardian Glass and Volvo Penta gain visibility throughout the enterprise and are able to leverage scenarios to respond to disruptions with agility.
Phased approach to crawl, walk, run
Another shared theme from our industrial presentations at Kinexions was utilizing a phased approach to supply chain digitization. As Volvo Penta shared, don’t underestimate the need for a strong change management process. Rolling out new technologies and processes can be a big change for an organization, especially if you are replacing legacy systems. Volvo Penta and Guardian Glass both shared that they are fairly early on in their supply chain digitization journey, but thanks to a phased approach to implementation and very user-friendly technology, they have been able to net significant successes that they can not only apply, but improve upon in the next rollout of the solution to new regions, business functions and planners.
If you missed Kinexions '20, fear not! You can still view the great content from the event on-demand. Thanks to all of our wonderful presenters, and hope to see you all – all 3,000+ strong! – at Kinexions '21.