Supply Chain Complexity and the Need for Disruptive Technology

Posted by Jeff Bodenstab on Sep 28, 2016 6:00:00 PM


The keynote address at the always enlightening Supply Chain Insights Global Summit was given by Lora Cecere, and she used it to focus on the problem of growing supply chain planning complexity and how to fix it.

“The processes we have designed over the last three decades do not allow us to embrace complexity,” said Cecere. “They do not allow us to really drive global interactions to the degree we need for localized assortment. They don’t allow us to really get the data.”

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Topics: Supply Chain Planning

The Self-Correcting Supply Chain

Posted by Jeff Bodenstab on Sep 20, 2016 4:01:00 PM


Compared to conventional mathematical models (left), self-correcting models (right)
are logical, so they can be created, edited, and understood by domain experts

One of the reoccurring themes at the IMAGINE Supply Chain Global Summit, hosted by Supply Chain Insights Founder and CEO Lora Cecere, was the concept of “self-guided” or autonomous applications. The concept came up in several times, including something called the “self-correcting supply chain”, which is about self-correcting data in the supply chain.

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Topics: Supply Chain Planning, Machine Learning

The Amazon Revolution, Part II: Tuning Your Multichannel Supply Chain to Compete

Posted by Joe Shamir on Sep 13, 2016 5:25:00 PM

An Amazon recruiting poster

In the retail revolution, Wal-Mart first brought low-cost goods to the shelf. Amazon then brought low-cost goods—and the shelf—to the consumer's home, via low-cost fast service times.

In our last blog, we discussed how Amazon’s low-cost service times, and the pressure that places on supply chains. Today’s blog analyzes how to compete in this multichannel environment that requires serving the customer in ways that remove the barriers that make consumers think twice about making the purchase. Supply chains inventory pools must be positioned to fulfill a wide item assortment that is customer behavior agnostic, accommodating both e-commerce or brick-and-mortar purchases.

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Topics: Supply Chain Planning, Multichannel

The Amazon Supply Chain Revolution, Part I

Posted by Joe Shamir on Sep 6, 2016 11:30:00 PM


You can tell it’s a revolution when heads roll, and “heads” (brick-and-mortar stores) are rolling in retail. Macy’s is closing 100 more retail stores across the United States. Pacific Sunwear and Aeropostale filed for Chapter 11 protection. Sports Authority is going out of business.                 

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Topics: Supply Chain Planning, Multichannel

New Gartner Report Identifies Biggest Supply Chain Obstacles

Posted by Jeff Bodenstab on Aug 30, 2016 4:30:00 PM


Demand variability is a problem even with fast moving items (shown on left),
but especially with slow moving items (shown on right) and promoted goods.

According to the new 2016 Gartner-SC Digest Supply Chain survey, forecast accuracy and demand variability are the top barriers preventing their companies from reaching their supply chain goals, according to the highest percentage of respondents.

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Topics: Forecasting Demand and Analytics, Supply Chain Planning

The Seven Key Capabilities of Demand Sensing

Posted by Manoranjith Pathekkara on Aug 23, 2016 2:30:00 PM


Editors Note: A few weeks ago, we published a blog describing why most CPG companies have hit a demand forecasting ceiling. This week Manoranjith Pathekkara, managing director of ToolsGroup's partner in India LogicaMatrix, digs into an area where many companies are breaking through that ceiling.

Many consumer product companies are showing keen interest in Demand Sensing and it is much talked about today. So let’s take a closer look at what Demand Sensing is and what it can do for your supply chain.

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Topics: Forecasting Demand and Analytics

Why Forecast Accuracy Alone Can’t Solve Service Level Problems

Posted by Ricard Pascual on Aug 2, 2016 1:30:00 PM

Editor's Note: We hope you are enjoying your summer.We will be off the next two weeks, so the next blog post will be on August 23rd.

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Topics: Forecasting Demand and Analytics, Long Tail Demand

Why CPG Demand Forecasting Has Hit a Ceiling

Posted by Jeff Bodenstab on Jul 26, 2016 2:30:00 PM

Most CPG companies have hit a demand forecasting ceiling. The good ones are breaking through.

Consumer package goods (CPG) companies are looking for growth and scouring markets for opportunity. Their product portfolios grow with new product introductions, fresh takes on existing merchandise, and multiplying sales channels. Boston Consulting Group talks about how the “endless aisles” of the internet and omni-channel sales increase product assortment. Trade promotion spending aimed at pumping up sales continues at a dizzying pace.

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Topics: Forecasting Demand and Analytics

Why Individual Retail Stores Shouldn’t Order Their Own Inventory

Posted by Jeff Bodenstab on Jul 19, 2016 2:30:00 PM

In the old days, each store knew best what inventory it needed to keep shelves stocked and customers satisfied. But with today’s product proliferation and demand complexity—including now often the need to operate as a satellite fulfillment center for orders rung up online—it’s more difficult for individual retail sites to create accurate forecasts and optimize their inventory and replenishment process.

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Topics: Supply Chain Planning, Multichannel

A Different Solution to the Supply Chain Talent Shortage

Posted by Jeff Bodenstab on Jul 12, 2016 4:30:00 PM


“78% of respondents to Gartner’s most recent Chief Supply Chain Officer Survey
identify talent as the No. 1 long-term supply chain risk”

There is a lot of documented evidence of a shortage in supply chain talent. Why is it happening? Planning is becoming increasingly complex; not only due to the increasing demand and supply chain complexity, but also due to the wide range of new data sources such as channel data, retail data and even web data - nearly all of which wasn’t available years ago. John Kern, senior vice president of supply chain operations at Cisco Systems says that as companies look for the skills to build complex global supply chains, the industry “is undergoing one of the most massive talent shifts we have ever seen,” .

So with a shortage of people able to process this deluge of new data, here is what we may be doing wrong. Instead of thinking about how to find and train people to fit an increasingly complex and multifaceted job, maybe we need to consider how supply chain jobs and roles might be reconfigured to fit this new reality.

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Topics: Supply Chain Planning

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