Supply chain transformation is no easy feat. You may have heard examples of digital transformations gone wrong because companies wanted to get too much done in too little time. Conversely, you may have heard examples of transformations done right by determining the right pace. Jamieson Wellness (Jamieson) is an example of a company that’s tackling its supply chain transformation at the pace that works best for them.
This was the topic of a recent Big Ideas in Supply Chain podcast conversation between the Jamieson team represented by Andre Teixeira, Vice President of Global Supply Chain, Raymond Khan, Senior Director of Supply Chain Center of Excellence and Network Operations, Steve Mailloux, Director, Supply Chain Planning and Matt Spooner, Industry Thought Leader at Kinaxis. They share more on this podcast, where they talk about their crawl, walk, run approach.
Here are some highlights from the episode:
Start with the basics and have a clear vision
A supply chain transformation is like a mountain to climb, and Jamieson wants to be in shape for that climb. Rather than going all-out, it is critical to start with the basics, and then focus on evolving. First, Jamieson learns the right technique foundations at base camp, and as they improve, Jamieson can build on those experiences in real-time as they ascend toward the summit of supply chain excellence.
Throughout the process, Andre Teixeira stressed the importance of keeping the end goal in mind along with a clear vision of what you want to achieve. “With this vision, we started selecting and understanding what tools could enable us to get there, processes that need to be changed and adapted, and what capabilities we need to bring to the organization in order to achieve this goal,” he says. “That's how we selected Kinaxis to be our partner to support us through this journey.”
Train your team and get constant feedback
Preparing your team for a transformation is a no-brainer, but what gets often overlooked is that not everyone learns the same way. Steve Mailloux advises to get feedback on your training methods from your team constantly, so you can improve the way you train. He says, “For us on the crawl, walk run side of it, being and moving from an old MRP to the best supply planning tool in the world was a big transformation for us. Being able to actually go through the training with the team and getting that feedback was fantastic and was a big part of our success.”
Not only did this approach allow them to adapt their live and offline training to address their team’s feedback, they also found it helped to break up training into smaller groups of people. This allowed Jamieson to evolve and modify what was working and what wasn’t working. Adjusting the training in real-time helped different types of learners absorb critical information according to their learning styles, time constraints and role responsibilities.
The proof is in the pudding
Jamieson has proven that their crawl, walk, run approach works. They didn’t do everything all at once. They started with demand planning and saw benefits right after the implementation. “One month after, we already had forecast accuracy KPIs in place. We started having one single stream of demand and one source of truth for the conversation with sales,” says Andre. “The dialogue with our sales partners started to be much more robust, and we started seeing the forecast accuracy improving gradually month over month.”
From a supply planning perspective, Steve’s team experienced benefits immediately. “As soon as we turned the system on and we went live, we saw benefits right away, specifically on the raw material pegging. That was something that we did not have with our past ERP.” For example, the planning team deals with very complex bills of material. Once the system implementation was underway, they were able to easily peg raw materials to production orders – a capability that went into use right away.
On the journey to running
Jamieson is making progress in their crawl, walk, run approach, but they know there is more work to be done. They are staying focused on their vision and taking the right steps to evolve. As Raymond Khan says, “We've got a good start, but we’ve got room to grow. I think that it's going to be really important for us to evolve and then get ready for the next level of what's called Kinaxis maturity.” This includes expanding their Kinaxis capabilities into more countries, including the United States.
The path to a full digital transformation is steep and rocky for most organizations. However, the crawl, walk, run approach that Jamieson has implemented can serve as a guiding light for any company embarking on its own supply chain transformations.
For the full story of how they did it, watch the entire conversation below:
If you’d like to continue exploring resources for transformation implementation best practices, check out these links: