Algorithms impact our daily lives from the ads we see online to the price and availability of goods we want at the store. As supply chain professionals, algorithms are transforming the way we do business, the way we optimize our supply chains. David Willis, chief of research at Gartner, kicked off this week’s 2016 Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference with a focus on how algorithms impact how the world works and how we must balance agility and stability to take advantage of the new opportunities and stay ahead of the competition.
ChainLink Research founder Ann Grackin takes a look at the needs of an agile retailer and the benefits of linking two traditionally disparate diciplines--allocation and transportation--together. If inventory is constantly in motion, then shouldn’t the transportation strategy be linked to your more dynamic allocation strategy? Agile retailers are beginning to think about their business in a highly integrated fashion, understanding the implications from a sales and cost perspective and how all the parts fit together.
For many, automating the forecasting process is the first step to improve service levels and profitability. Recently I had the pleasure to sit down with Chris Reed, director of inventory and data management for wholesale distributor Ferguson Enterprises on how they are building an agile supply chain.
We are wrapping up a survey to help answer the question, “how many SKUs should a planner plan?” Take just a few minutes today and we will post the results here on our blog in the coming weeks.
With the 2015 Holiday Season in our rear-view mirror, you’ve probably asked yourself: How did our current processes hold up? Could there have been improvements? What about the systems we have in place?
A question I often hear from supply chain practitioners engaged in running and improving their company’s sales and operations planning process is, “When should we implement a system dedicated to facilitating our S&OP process?”. As with many complex supply chain processes the answer is not black and white and depends on a number of factors.
I became very familiar with risk management early in my professional career. I was working as a flight test engineer on experimental military aircraft, a world where the boundary between safety and expanding capabilities was often crossed. The aerospace industry was an early adopter of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) which, as the name implies, involves reviewing as many components, assemblies, and subsystems as possible to identify failure modes and their causes and effects. FMEA provided visibility into the most likely modes of failure and their level of criticality. Part of the process was to develop contingency plans, and I can tell you from personal experience that the FMEA contingency plans I helped develop saved lives on at least one occasion when the envelope was pushed just a bit too far on an experimental aircraft. That aircraft entered a deep stall at 30,000 feet and recovered at 1,500 feet above ground. During that harrowing episode the flight test team relied on training and contingency plans to help save the lives of the flight crew.
Continue Reading: Supply Chain Risk Management and Rocket Science
As a classical and jazz musician I understand the need for both structured and artistic abilities when performing. In its basic form music is a mathematical language. What sets a professional musician apart from an amateur often is the ability to express oneself artistically through the instrument and make that special connection with an audience.
To be fair, it’s nearly impossible to predict what will turn out to be the biggest challenges supply chain leaders will encounter in the year ahead. Millions of supply chains face unique challenges that vary across industries, geographies and business strategies. A host of unpredictable factors will certainly arise, such as geopolitical conflict, social and economic upheaval, natural disasters, and more. But despite the difficulty factor, let’s gaze into a crystal ball and make a few predictions about the challenges supply chain leaders should be preparing to face in 2016.
I grew up in a time before people knew much about being eco-friendly, being Green, so the concept of sustainability isn’t usually at the top of my mind.