Why agility is the new priority for supply chains

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Listen to Lora Cecere's interview with Kinaxis CEO John Sicard in this episode of Supply Chain InsightWhen was the last time you heard ordinary people talk about supply chain? If you’re like most of the world, it was probably this week. Almost overnight, concern about supply chain performance has gone from a niche worry to a global talking point as shortages of groceries, household goods and medical supplies impact our daily lives.

These shifts aren’t just happening in one or two industries. Disruption of the supply chain has become the new norm for businesses around the world. In executive offices and boardrooms, supply chains are now priority number one, and it’s redefined the concept of successful supply chain planning.

“There’s this notion where in the past you could operate with some presumption of certainty,” says Kinaxis CEO John Sicard. Now, even when there isn’t extreme disruption, like a pandemic or a natural disaster, there are everyday interferences: a customer requests a last minute change to an order or a materials provider experiences a shortage. These challenges have ripple effects up and down the supply chain.

But legacy supply chain planning practices aren’t prepared to keep pace. Supply Chain Insights host Lora Cecere compares it to the current pandemic: Cities that can’t test efficiently are underestimating the outbreak in their populations. “I think the same is true in the supply chain. We're depending a lot on batch transactions and data that has latency and history that doesn't reflect the present," Lora says.

For supply chains, the best response is to become more agile. John delves into how companies can benefit from an agile planning approach in a new episode of the Supply Chain Insights podcast with Lora Cecere. Listen to the full 20-minute episode or jump to a few of the highlights below:

Listen to Supply Chain Insights with Lora Cecere
  • How to break down functional silos to eliminate latency of understanding in the current crisis (6:00)
  • Why people matter, even amid the rise of AI/ML (11:13)
  • Why agility should be defined in a matter of minutes, not days (12:04)
  • How Kinaxis is helping customers become more agile with scenario planning (14:33)

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