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 | One Comment

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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Three Cool Technologies

By | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Oh my! The blog post, What About Them Apples, raised a lot of heated discussion on LinkedIn. Quite the dust-up. Why? While I am advocating rethinking supply chain planning, for some consultants the only path forward is the adoption of DDRMP. The recommendation is a broad-brush approach. No matter what I write on demand planning, the response is to blindly deploy DDMRP. Note: DDMRP stands for Demand-Driven Material Requirements Planning, which was introduced…

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AGCO: Driving a Digital Manufacturing Transformation

By | Digital Supply Chain | No Comments

Today, I got a quick email from Peggy Gulick. Peggy was a speaker at the Supply Chain Global Summit. She had some exciting news.  AGCO was honored to receive the AME 2017 Excellence Award. Congrats to the Agco team. I loved Peggy’s presentation at the Summit. When her employees kept breaking their tablets on the production floor, Peggy used lean-production thought processes to innovate for new answers. While many employers would…

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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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Reduce Costs: Invest In Talent

By | Supply Chain Leadership, Supply Chain Talent | 2 Comments

In manufacturing-based companies, 70-80% of costs are in the processes of source, make and deliver. Labor is an important input with 50-60% of company employees reporting through supply chain organizations. Is talent a cost or an asset? Most companies say employees are an asset, but treat it as a cost. Today, with companies having a keen-focus on costs, talent development often takes a back seat. In this post I argue…

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Reflections, Thank Yous, and Rethinking the Future

By | Big data supply chains, customer-centric supply chains, Supply Chain Insights, Supply Chain Leadership | No Comments

Last week I spoke at the CLX Logistics Conference in Philadelphia on the future of Supply Chain Management. As I presented on Supply Chain 2030, I shared research on balance sheet performance, and provided insights on why I believe 90% of organizations failed in the delivery of supply chain excellence at the balance sheet level. My speech also focused on how current technologies are rapidly becoming obsolete due to market…

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