Category

Demand

E2open Acquires Zyme: A Bridge Too Far?

By | Demand, Downstream data | No Comments

This week, E2open announced a definitive agreement to acquire Zyme. For readers of this blog that do not know Zyme, the company focuses on the management of channel data in the high-tech industry. The company is a CRM solution. The Zyme solution improves revenue management, warranty, and rebate processes. This source of channel data is very industry-specific to the high-tech market (high-tech works through distributors and is more focused on…

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How Can I Drive Lights-Out Planning?

By | Demand, demand driven, digital supply chains | 2 Comments

Inquiry is increasing. Company dissatisfaction with supply chain planning is growing. The goal is to improve insights while decreasing the number of planners. The growing dissatisfaction is on the inadequacies of today’s technologies. Yesterday, I facilitated a group of business leaders attempting to drive innovation in supply chain practices. The last five years were tough for the group. With five serial years of Draconian cost-cutting efforts and downsizing, the team…

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Trust, But Verify

By | Demand, demand driven, Digital Supply Chain, planning benchmarking | No Comments

When I joined the world of software as a business analyst from manufacturing, I was naive. How so? I never fathomed the amount of money that commissioned software sales personnel make selling software. This high level of compensation drives extreme behavior. In the selection of software, where the rubber meets the road, the sale of software often becomes a brutal and competitive battle. With a heightened focus on winning the deal,…

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Probabilistic Forecasting: Right Fit for Your Business?

By | Demand, Global Supply Chains, innovation, Inventory Management | No Comments

In the design of planning systems, it is important to think through the elements. These include data inputs, data model fit, engines, outputs, visualization, ease of use, workflow/what-if analysis, master data, and integration. The least problematic element is integration. However, and ironically, integration fears drove many decisions in the past decade. A Closer Look at Forecasting Traditionally, companies forecast using history (shipments or orders) as inputs and apply linear regression…

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If Only There Were More Choices

By | customer-centric supply chains, Demand, demand driven | No Comments

The supply chain technology market is in transition. Over the last three decades, the market weathered consolidations, mergers and technology shifts. Many of the clients I work with are nervous about SAP APO’s transition and the evolution of SAP’s supply chain planning solutions. They are looking for alternatives. As I work with these teams, one thing is clear. Companies are at very different places, based on the company’s cultural DNA…

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What About Them Apples?

By | Demand | One Comment

Today hurricane Nate’s north winds are pushing against the bayous of Louisiana. In offices across the United States, demand planners are scratching their heads. The impact of multiple hurricanes this season differ by commodity. What are they seeing? Shifting demand and rising prices for cotton and orange juice. Higher spikes for lumber and building supplies. Surprising demand in automotive for car replacement. A shortage of pharmaceuticals in Puerto Rico. One…

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Summoning the Courage to Redefine Forecasting: Upending the Apple Cart

By | Demand, metrics that matter, New technologies | 2 Comments

“We have too many planners. And even if we can afford the costs, we don’t get good answers with our current forecasting processes,” stated the supply chain leader on the phone. “I want to build outside-in processes, but I don’t know what this looks like. Can you tell me what you mean by this statement?” My question to her was “Do you have the courage to upend the apple cart?” The…

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Dissecting the Headwinds and Tailwinds of Digital Transformation

By | Big data supply chains, Demand, digital supply chains | No Comments

Headwinds: A force of resistance Tailwinds: A favorable force blowing in the same direction When I travel from company to company and discuss the future of business processes, the term “digital” is ubiquitous. A digital fever abounds. I liken it to the e-commerce frenzy of 2001 (when an “e” proceeded  every strategy). Fear abounds. Growth is slowing. Amazon is expanding. Unlikely players are driving change. For example, Google and Tesla…

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Mining Supply Chain Data for Insights

By | Big data supply chains, Demand driven, Market-Driven, Supply Chain | No Comments

  Mine sweeping is essential to warfare. Soldiers use special devices to detect underground mines and disarm them, keeping them from exploding before they cause harm. At Supply Chain Insights we have been actively working on our own mine sweeping project. Over the course of the last quarter, with help from Cloudera, we built a data lake with information from 1449 public companies (these are mainly North American-based manufacturers, distributors…

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Lassoing S&OP

By | customer-centric supply chains, Demand, Sales and Operations Planning, Supply Chain Leadership, Supply Chain Talent, Supply Chains to Admire | No Comments

A lasso is what supply chain leaders would like to have. Why? To align S&OP. The processes are out of control. Let me explain. As companies transitioned from regional to multi-national organizations, Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) processes proliferated. Today, the average company has seven S&OP processes, but a global chemical company averages over 30. In contrast, as a regional supply chain leader in the 1990’s, my company had one…

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