A Roadmap for Designing an Enterprise that Thrives During Supply Chain Disruptions 

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the final installment of our series on building a supply chain that can thrive, not merely survive, during crises and curve balls. That demonstrates a certain amount of resilience on your part! We know there’s a fierce, never-ending battle for attention out there, so thank you for giving Logility some of yours. 

In the first three posts I covered steps 1 through 9:  

  1. Assessment 
  1. Justification 
  1. Vision 
  1. Explore 
  1. Collaborate 
  1. Elevate 
  1. Business Continuity 
  1. Elevate IBP 
  1. Change Management 

Now let’s examine the final three steps.  
 

  1. Alignment. Alignment has been called a “high degree of difficulty move” under the umbrella of change management. Why? Because this journey will require a new shared vocabulary, updated process definitions, new clarity around roles and ongoing synchronization of metrics and compensation. And you need to be prepared for some to say I didn’t sign up for this.  
     
    An aligned, mature organization encourages team members to think like a CEO every day. Instead of sub-optimizing (AKA optimizing locally), you’ll be expected to evaluate potential actions in light of strategic goals like improved customer service, margin growth and time-to-market. (Independent study opportunity for those interested in avoiding the sub-optimization trap: How is Elon Musk able to launch the Falcon 9 at 20% of the cost of the Space Shuttle?)  
     
  1. Culture. Leadership sets the tone, as always. There are many ways to convey an “embrace change” message. Pick one and stick to it. View disruptions as growth opportunities. Run away from the status quo. Change is a tonic. But understand that if you don’t get alignment right, culture will stagnate or even deteriorate. 
     
  1. Celebrate. If you get the first 11 right, I promise you will have plenty to celebrate. Research shows that advanced use of IBP (see step 6) will put you in the upper echelon of your peers when grouped by key supply chain performance measures. Take the time in small and large groups, inside and outside the company, to reflect on success. This practice is a powerful momentum builder.  

When you’re done, you’ll have more than a Center of Excellence, which implies a preference for or superiority of a single physical location. In contrast, you’ll have created a Nexus of Excellence. A dynamic yet stateless collection of people, process and technology on a global scale.  

Guard against complacency by constantly checking your achievements against this list: 

  • Platform has transformed us from data rich to insight rich. 
  • Teams use guided workflows with contextual drill downs. 
  • Accountability is clear and includes actionable outcomes. 
  • Planning and execution are integrated to the point where they feel like a single function. 
  • The organization is at once empowered and hungry. Achievement has unleashed a sense of how much more can be done. 

That completes our series on the 12 steps necessary for building an agile, resilient enterprise that consistently leverages people, process and technology to translate actionable insights into marketplace success regardless of circumstances.  

Success story

Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics understands profitability and improves margins.

Logility helped Mid-Continent enjoy a quick ROI with improved product and service margins, superior data quality and root cause analysis enabled through comprehensive, intuitive dashboards.

Challenges

Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics designs, manufactures, repairs, overhauls and exchanges aircraft instruments, avionics and advanced power solutions. 

To maintain the high levels of service and quality products Mid-Continent’s customers have come to expect, the company needed access to real-time sales and operational analytics to better understand key drivers of profitability by product, service and customer. 

Better, faster decision-making

Mid-Continent needed to drive decision-making through real-time queries, compelling dashboard visualizations and best-in-class analytics.

Understanding profitability and improving margins

Mid-Continent had plenty of data but not the means to tease out actionable information. Excel pivot tables hid subtleties and insight.

Solutions

From a feature/function perspective, Logility was selected based on ease of use, visual appeal, intuitive design and drag-and-drop dashboard creation. Another important capability was data consolidation from Excel and Mid-Continent’s ERP system. 

The team believed that starting the Logility roll-out with Sales offered the quickest ’wins’ and a good opportunity to build the skills needed for self-sufficiency. After Sales, Inventory and Purchasing were implemented. There are now up to 15 ’power users’ across the company accessing Logility every day.
 

 

Advanced Analytics

Data Management

Inventory Planning and Optimization

Lack of data was never the problem at Mid-Continent; teasing out the underlying meaning of the data and turning it into actionable information was the challenge. Using Excel pivot tables, subtleties were easy to miss. By contrast, while tracking the performance of a sales promotion for a key customer, Logility analytics surfaced a slow-moving product. Within two minutes, sales management understood the root cause and took corrective action, calling the finding “eye-opening”. 

“With Logility, answering questions — and the inevitable follow-up questions — takes just a couple of clicks,” says Lindsay Koster, director of finance. “For example, it’s very easy to change the time horizon on a report. Using pivot tables in Excel usually took us hours.” 

With Logility, Mid-Continent can also view transactions that fail to meet minimum contracted pricing. “Thanks to Logility, our transactions are now analyzed in real time. This helps the company better understand profitability by product, service and customer,” says Steve Macari, Director of Information Technology. 

Mid-Continent employees can now monitor activity and look for trends and exceptions every minute of every day. Performance metrics and “what-if” analysis can answer questions such as, “How are current sales promotions working versus goal?”, “What has shipped / can be shipped today?”, “What’s been invoiced today?”, and “Where will the business end up this month compared to goal? 

Another big win for Mid-Continent has been the improvement in data quality. Logility has helped the company detect holes and mistakes in its master data, most noticeably in pricing. Correcting these errors helped streamline operations and created a positive feedback loop by increasing the trust that employees have in the data. 

 

Results

With Logility, Mid-Continent was able to increase sales margins with a clearer view of pricing strategies, accelerate in-depth root cause analysis and reduce the amount of its slow-moving stock. Data quality improved, and employees came to trust the data they were seeing and using every day. 

With Logility, we’ve been able to identify sources of growth and attack those items and give them the diligence that they need.

Change is the only constant in supply chain and often can cloud our visibility. ChainLink Research examines the need for accepting change and the importance of discovery as two foundations to help supply chain teams move forward and succeed in their use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). As supply chainers we have learned and already codified much about every little grain of data about physical inventory and its dimensions, where it can be stored, and various routes to get it to the customer. However, there is so much more data that must be turned into actionable insights. The goal of the article, AI / Machine Learning for Supply Chain – Into the Future, is to examine what the new machine learning-enabled supply chain team should do to set the stage for now and in the future.

Unexpected events – pandemics, weather conditions, recessions and more – are inevitable. How can you best protect your organization from supply chain disruptions? Advanced Analytics can help you weather the storm by optimizing your supply chain now and in the future.

This on-demand webcast highlights how a supply chain digital twin powered by artificial intelligence (AI) can quickly analyze the impact of potential changes to accelerate the speed and precision required to make informed decisions. The webcast also highlights real-world examples of leading companies that use advanced analytics to turn vast amounts of data into actionable insights to improve service levels, margins and speed to market.

Listen and learn how to use Advanced Analytics to:

  • Create a strong analytics foundation for modeling the unexpected, including using a digital twin to consider the impact of changes on business goals and customer service levels before you act
  • Make the best decisions quickly when the worst-case scenario happens, including quickly anticipates spikes or drops in demand using machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) including robust demand sensing
  • Hear real-world examples of how companies are doing these things now

Logility has been named a Leader by International Data Corporation (IDC) in the recently published IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Supply Chain Demand Planning 2019 Vendor Assessment (doc # US45863417ee, January 2020). This IDC MarketScape is a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the characteristics that explain a vendor’s supply chain planning capabilities and in addition helps assess current and anticipated performance in the marketplace. Within the worldwide market, the IDC MarketScape methodology named Logility a Leader.

Logility has been named a Leader in the recently published IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Supply Chain Demand Planning 2019 Vendor Assessment (doc # US45672017e, December 2019). This IDC MarketScape is a quantitative and qualitative assessment of the characteristics that explain a vendor’s success in the supply chain inventory optimization (IO) space and helps assess current and anticipated performance in the marketplace. Within the worldwide market, the IDC MarketScape methodology named Logility a Leader.

Logility has been named a Leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Supply Chain Sales and Operations Planning 2019 Vendor Assessment (doc # US45598017, November 2019). This IDC MarketScape is an evaluation based on a comprehensive framework and a set of parameters that assesses providers relative to one another and to those factors expected to be most conducive to success in a given market during both the short term and the long term.

Supply chain transformation involves improving an organization’s abilities to make decisions about which products to keep in stock, where to keep them, when to replenish them, how to improve

service levels for customers, how to liquidate excess stock in the most profitable way and how to quickly respond to changes in customer demand. Supply chain planning transformation can enable real-time tracking and analysis of customer and product data, decision-making based on predictive and prescriptive models, and the use of new capabilities enabled by artificial intelligence, machine learning, social media and the Internet of things. It can also automate daily operational decisions to free up talent to work on higher value activities.

Supply chain planning is complex and a transformation initiative requires getting off to a good start with the support of senior management and a business case that outlines the benefits as well as the impact to the organization. This is a multi-dimensional journey that must ask the four following questions:

  1. What new process capabilities do you want your future supply chain planning platform to enable?
  2. What new data sources do you plan to utilize with your future supply chain planning platform?
  3. What new solution capabilities do you want to adopt to enable your transformed planning process?
  4. What new people skills will be needed to analyze data, operate new processes and use new solution capabilities?

Agile, data driven, speedy and highly automated supply chain planning operations are becoming increasingly critical in today’s fast-paced, global business world. This e-book provides practical steps and a best practice roadmap to guide you on your transformative journey.