Author Archives: Gloria Quintanilla
Part I in our series on assessing your network design’s maturity
How does your network design compare to others? We recently created a quiz to help supply chain professionals answer this question. Our goal was to help you identify potential improvement opportunities by answering a few questions and get a temperature check on the current landscape of network design solutions. We had quiz takers from 23 countries and across industries – from chemicals to manufacturing, metals, telecom, cosmetics, consumer goods, transportation and food. It’s great to see the enthusiasm for this interactive tool.
Today’s most profitable companies have built their success on an effective and responsive supply chain network. But maintaining this is easier said than done. Supply chain networks are becoming increasingly complex, serving multiple SKUs in hundreds if not thousands of locations. Building agility and resilience into your network is more important than ever, with trade disputes and natural disasters posing a constant threat. Achieving this can be difficult if your technology is not flexible enough. Too often, firefighting becomes the norm.
We’ve developed a quiz to help supply chain professionals find out how their network design stacks up against others. The quiz is also a handy resource to identify improvement areas. For instance, did you know that while most companies use spreadsheets for network design, close to 90% of all spreadsheets contain errors? It may be time to revisit your tooling. Take the quiz below to find out how you score and how you can improve!
Advanced analytics meets social good: how Angel Flight West optimizes flight routes for families in needPosted on July 10, 2018 by Gloria QuintanillaLeave a reply
There are many great examples where advanced analytics have contributed to social good. North Star Alliance, for instance, uses optimization to find optimal locations for its mobile HIV-AIDS clinics in Africa. The Dutch Delta Program Commissioner used analytics to prevent flooding and was recognized with the 2013 Edelman Award. Most recently, we encountered Angel Flight West, a non-profit organization that is using AIMMS-based optimization to plan flights for families in need.
Angel Flight West (AFW) arranges free, non-emergency air travel for children and adults with serious medical conditions and other compelling needs. The organization’s network of 2,000+ volunteer pilots donate their aircraft, piloting skills, and all flying costs to help families receive vital treatment that might otherwise be inaccessible because of financial, medical, or geographic limitations. In the summer months, they also run around 500 flights to transport children to summer camps like Camp Kindle (a camp for kids affected by HIV/AIDS), Champ Camp (a camp for burn survivors) and The Painted Turtle (a camp for children with serious medical conditions), among others.
We spoke with AFW’s Stephan Fopeano to learn more about their work.
Want to avoid summer stagnation? To help you stay informed during the summer months and close the year with impact, we prepared a list of our most popular content for your reading and viewing pleasure. The list includes trending blog posts, our latest webinar and a brand-new Buyer’s Guide for S&OP. Read on to get all the goodies.
Sales and Operations Planning has become a standard process to improve business performance, collaboration and predictability. In fact, it’s become internalized to a degree that companies often have several (competing) S&OP processes in different geographies & business units. Why is it that despite its popularity, only 42% of companies rate their S&OP process as effective?
The food supply chain is complex and challenging. Changing consumer preferences, rising competition and new technologies are compelling food companies to rethink their approach to supply chain management. AIMMS formed a partnership with CAT Squared and UniSoma to help companies in the food industry tackle these challenges. The first product of this partnership is TacticalOps, a Planning & Optimization solution for Food Manufacturers. I spoke with Luis Pinto, Partner at UniSoma, to understand the need for new planning and optimization solutions in the global food supply chain.
In today’s business environment, you can’t remain competitive without mastering analytics. Still, most companies are “not very far” when it comes to implementing analytics and garnering benefits from data, as a recent survey from CSCMP suggests. In many cases, organizations haven’t succeeded in making the organizational changes required to become data-driven. Not enough managers are fluent in the language of analytics. Leveraging analytics at scale is hard. As the graph below shows, lack of talent, investment in hardware/software and siloed data are among the most common challenges.
Declining letter volumes and parcel competition are serious challenges faced by postal companies. Having a competitive supply chain is key to thrive, and survive, in this environment. How can postal companies make headway? The answer lies on changing culture as much as it does on rethinking technology.
Change should start with culture and organizational alignment
Global e-commerce growth and converging technologies are pushing postal companies to diversify their revenues and increase operational efficiency quickly. To support this change, many postal operators are modernizing their technology stack and relying increasingly on advanced analytics. UPS, for instance, has managed to save up $50 million a year in fuel, vehicle maintenance and time by optimizing vehicle routes with a big data model. The company has also won several awards for providing consumers with more control over deliveries using digital products.
What are companies looking for in supply chain network design technologies? What works well, and what are the challenges? We commissioned Supply Chain Insights to conduct independent research about this topic and discussed the findings in a recent webinar. Today, we’re pleased to share a more extensive report on this topic. The report covers perceptions about supply chain network design (SCND) as a process and outlines the key benefits and barriers experienced by companies when using SCND technology. Let’s take a look at some of the key findings.
Reflections following the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in London
Last month, our team had the pleasure to attend Gartner’s Supply Chain Executive Conference in London, a growing event that we’re always thrilled to participate in. This time, the event hosted 15% more visitors and took place at the Intercontinental O2 hotel. For us, it was a special occasion because we had the opportunity to give the event’s audience a preview of AIMMS SC Navigator – our new analytics solution for supply chain teams. It was also a great venue to re-connect with existing customers and meet Gartner analysts, who gave us valuable feedback on our product. The event’s theme was ACT – Aspire-Challenge-Transform in a disruptive world, a call to action to recognize the impact of disruptions and define a digital supply chain strategy to improve performance. Advanced analytics (machine learning, advanced algorithms, deep learning, neural networks) are at the core of these disruptions and a crucial enabler for digital transformation. Still, companies struggle to adopt advanced analytics for supply chain. Resources and data quality are the most common obstacles.