There were so many great insights this year from Kinexions, Kinaxis’ annual training and user conference. The learning about supply chain that happened CANNOT stay in Vegas! Some of the themes from this year’s conference were innovation, collaboration, agility and concurrent planning.
- Jeff DeGraff gave a memorable speech on innovation. To quote Jeff, "Innovation is the result of constructive conflict. Innovation requires accelerating the failure rate; not avoiding it." Many of us in supply chain are baby boomers, caught up in processes, standards and procedures. We like everything to be under control. There is a talent shortage in supply chain. If we are going to attract millennials to join supply chain we need to be willing to change our perspective. We need data scientists and supply chain professionals that embrace creativity, collaboration and innovation.
- Accenture pronounced the death of the linear supply chain. Decisions are made collaboratively across global networks. Decisions are made in hours to days versus days to weeks. Supply chains require visibility, real-time analytics, predictive analytics and execution. Predictive analytics allow companies to quickly assess the past, present and future. The execution of decisions requires collaboration and human judgment.
- Trinity Rail spoke about the complexity of their business and the success of their Kinaxis implementation. They incorporated an agile approach to their traditional waterfall implementation. This allowed them to successfully implement an end-to-end supply chain solution supporting production planning, supply chain, customer service and finance. As a result, they have significantly reduced decision cycle times and they are not only making faster decisions, but more accurate ones.
- Merck talked about eliminating the silos in their company, largely due to competing key performance indicators and priorities. What they really needed was transparency, eliminating the bullwhip effect. They were quick to recognize and start benefiting from an important attribute that makes Kinaxis unique – ‘concurrent planning’. They also adopted the Agile methodology to their implementation. The speaker’s recommendation was to ‘Keep it simple’ and build trust in the organization.
All in all, great conversations with speakers, customers and prospective customers.