Logility’s Kevin McInturff, executive vice president of R&D, and Mark Balte, senior vice president of product innovation, recently discussed the ever-changing landscape of supply chains. Their conversation revealed such a fascinating and pertinent perspective that we have captured excerpts to share in this post.
Mark: A key theme within the supply chain industry over the last few years has been the need for resiliency. What steps should companies take to turn this vision into a reality?
Kevin: First, companies need to approach supply chain resiliency with a new mindset. Disruptions ‒ large and small ‒ are nothing new. The real problem is how organizations respond to them.
Traditional planning strategies tell us that if disruptions are more frequent, we should simply execute long-held, yet proven, methods more often. The logic behind this thinking may sound solid, but it isn’t. Instead, it leads to what Gartner calls “nervous planning” and what others have referred to as “highly-caffeinated planning.”
The paradigm of a resilient supply chain requires learning that embraces known variability and rejects the premise that we are all at the mercy of uncertainty. Of course, this doesn’t mean that disruptions don’t exist. But now, companies can better prepare themselves with contingencies based on multiple scenarios produced by a digital twin of their supply chain.
Mark: Disruptions are not always negative events. How do some companies turn these challenges into opportunities?
Kevin: You are right. We often forget that disruptions are rarely bad for everyone. For example, Tillamook Creamery has used Logility solutions for years to better respond to inevitable supply chain disruptions ‒ one of which was a soaring sales volume of more than 30% during the COVID-19 pandemic!
During a widespread disruption, like that caused by the pandemic, a digital planning platform becomes incredibly valuable. It allows a company to make faster and more optimal supply chain decisions. It’s all about speed.
The process automation capabilities in the Logility® Digital Supply Chain Platform allow planners to focus on value-adding activities and using fresh data to, for instance, get inventory where it needs to be. Optimizing the finite time a human planner must spend analyzing a situation and taking action makes a positive difference.
Mark: How is your R&D team working toward empowering businesses to build resilient supply chains?
Kevin: One key area of investment is driven by our belief that putting the customer at the center of our journey is essential. Useful systems are the ones that get used the most. We never forget that real humans are accountable for the utility of our solutions. For us, that means eliminating IT headaches with cloud-native, frictionless, and easy-to-upgrade applications.
We’re also focused on making it easy for planners to incorporate new data elements quickly. We want to encourage rapid-fire creativity that is never constrained by our platform. Doing so frees planners to improve, rather than simply automate.
If you had asked someone in the 1800s how to improve transportation, they would have said a faster horse. Nowadays, planning professionals are obsessed with not only faster cars, but also faster processes, optimized resources, and accurate insights. Companies that adopt this philosophy will win the talent war. True talent doesn’t just want to be busy; they want to question everything too.
Mark: What impresses you most about Logility, today and looking to the future?
Kevin: Logility is the perfect blend of foundational strength and desire to innovate. Our product visionaries never lose their footing.
I often find that companies that are overly enamored with their own technology focus their efforts on pursuing the next shiny toy. Unfortunately, more technology for technology’s sake does not always equate to value for the client.
While others give in to the temptation to be led by their technology, we will always allow the voice of the customer to guide us toward solving real supply chain problems. We lead the market in purpose-built and embedded AI-based capabilities that help companies automate planning and accelerate supply chain decision-making.
Logility does ‒ and always will ‒ value innovation. Everyone’s drive and passion are unmatched, powered by an incredible display of expertise in advanced technologies, such as machine learning and deep industry knowledge.
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