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Optimization Intelligence for Supply Chain
Logistics and Planning Professionals

Author Archives: Marcel Mourits

About Marcel Mourits

VP Supply Chain Strategy at AIMMS, the optimization technology used to improve the performance of supply chains and other corporate systems.

5 Dysfunctions of Typical S&OP Systems and How to Overcome Them

Posted on December 01, 2016 by Leave a reply

Sales & Operations planning has been around for 30 years. It was created initially by Oliver Wight and has become the standard procedure to improve business performance and predictability. Throughout the years, we’ve witnessed waves of interest in S&OP and its evolution IBP, which incorporates financial planning. In the past 2 years, we’ve seen the appeal of S&OP increase a lot more. But companies tend to struggle when it comes to finding the right technology to enable the process. In this blog post, I will delve into 5 issues companies typically experience with their S&OP software.

The whole purpose of S&OP is to discuss important questions today to prevent them from causing urgent issues 12 months from now. The business impact of this is profound. As Lora Cecere (Supply Chain Insights) explains, an effective S&OP process can result in a more controlled, aligned, agile, proactive and strategic supply chain. But to implement it effectively, companies first need to understand why S&OP is important for their business. Every company has different business drivers and different requirements. This makes S&OP implementation a difficult process, especially when it comes to finding the right tools.

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This entry was posted in AIMMS, analytics, Optimization, Sales and Operations Planning on by .

Brexit: 5 Things Supply Chain Leaders Should Consider to Prepare for its Impact

Posted on July 20, 2016 by Leave a reply

eu-1473958_1280The Brexit is a reality and with it, companies in Europe are facing even more uncertainty than before. There is serious concern that the UK’s decision to leave the EU will bring further destabilization and economic risks. How will it impact your supply chain and your bottom line? This article discusses 5 key things supply chain leaders should consider post-Brexit. It also explains how analytics can help you determine the best way forward. Specifically, I will explore how Prescriptive Analytics can help you improve decision-making and make data actionable in an increasingly volatile economic landscape, instead of only providing insight into your data’s behavior.

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This entry was posted in analytics, Brexit, Prescriptive Analytics, Scenario building, Supply chain optimization on by .

What Your Company Needs to Succeed in Today’s Retail Landscape

Posted on March 08, 2016 by Leave a reply

pabloIt’s no mystery that some of the world’s largest retail chains are struggling to survive. Walmart is closing a record number of stores (269) in the U.S. and abroad this year. Trusted names like Sears, J.C. Penney, and Gap have also lost their momentum. In Europe, V&D, a major Dutch department store, and Brantano, a large footwear retailer operating in the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK, have officially declared bankruptcy. Demand is sluggish and many have failed to adapt and streamline shopping experiences for today’s connected consumer. Still, even in the midst of this turmoil, retailers like Kroger and Zalando are thriving. What are these companies doing differently and what trends should retailers look out for? Let’s take a closer look.

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This entry was posted in analytics, Supply chain optimization on by .

Through the Hype Cycle: Exploring the Many Applications of AIMMS Technology in Supply Chain Planning

Posted on February 18, 2016 by Leave a reply

As you may have heard, AIMMS was recently featured in Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Supply Chain Planning (SCP). The Hype Cycle is a great resource for Supply Chain and IT leaders. It offers an overview of the enormous breadth of solutions for Supply Chain planning, giving you insight into the many fields where you can leverage technology to boost your company’s performance. It also helps you understand which technologies and applications have gone through their teething cycle, which ones are already mature, and ultimately, which one would be right for you. In the document, Gartner positions AIMMS as a key vendor in Prescriptive Analytics – a form of Advanced Analytics that can improve decision making in several areas of the supply chain, including logistics, planning, and manufacturing. But you can apply AIMMS to many other areas as well. I will explore some of those areas in this post.

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This entry was posted in AIMMS, AIMMS PRO, analytics, Gartner Hype Cycle, Supply chain optimization on by .

How to support your S&OP and IBP Process with Modeling and Optimization

Posted on November 12, 2015 by Leave a reply
OW-IBP-picture-1024x600

Source: Oliver Wight

Optimization is a form of advanced analytics that helps you solve complex decision problems, enabling you to make the best use of your business’ limited resources.* When applied to S&OP and IBP, modeling and optimization enable you to balance out scenarios and perform what-if analyses so you can analyze how these different scenarios will affect your inventory and/or cost. You can gradually enrich your planning process with financial figures, add basic analytics to it, and build your organization with scenario optimization embedded in the core business planning process.

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This entry was posted in Uncategorized on by .

Finally – A breakthrough alternative to spreadsheets for managing your Supply Chain

Posted on July 27, 2015 by Leave a reply

For most enterprise companies, ERP has become a foundational infrastructure technology and a cost of doing business. However, many are finding that it is not the optimal technology for Supply Chain Planning and Optimization. This has led to usage of spreadsheets to help fill in the gaps. But spreadsheets come with new challenges. Leading companies are overcoming these obstacles and finding success with an alternative that is quickly gaining adoption.

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This entry was posted in Innovation, Supply chain optimization on by .

Essential moves to shift from firefighting to optimizing short-term planning

Posted on November 07, 2014 by Leave a reply

Picture this: you are in charge of demand planning at a firm supplying essential base material to various markets, involving OEMs and CP companies. Your challenge is to balance the carefully established forecast with client demand. Since clients usually don’t adhere to the forecast, your task is to address the gap that emerges between your plan and actual demand, and assign the ‘pain’ to either sales or supply. Armed with ‘rules of thumb’ (product demand with high margin prevails over lower margin) and ‘guidelines’ (segment A clients have priority) you pass your judgment. Day after day, you experience that reality requires many more trade-offs than your guidelines allow for. How often are your verdicts met with approval?

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This entry was posted in demand planning, fulfillment, Scenario building, Supply chain optimization on by .

4 ways optimization can be leveraged to improve your supply chain

Posted on October 20, 2014 by Leave a reply

Recently, we covered four great examples of how organizations are using optimization technology to address social problems in innovative ways. In a similar way, this post highlights four ways optimization can be leveraged to add value to your company’s supply chain.

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This entry was posted in Optimization, Supply chain optimization on by .

The One Key Learning from the Gartner SC Executive Conference 2014

Posted on September 19, 2014 by Leave a reply

“Innovation differs from invention in that innovation refers to the use of a novel idea or method, whereas invention refers more directly to the creation of the idea or method itself. Innovation differs from improvement in that innovation refers to the notion of doing something different rather than doing the same thing better.” – Wikipedia on “Innovation”

This year’s Gartner summit gravitated strongly towards innovation. In terms of their DDVN (Demand Driven Value Network) maturity model, they focused on the deployment of relatively new ideas or methods on Stage 4. In their language, the focus was on progressing from an ‘Integrated’ supply chain to a ‘Collaborative’ supply chain. Steps in the process fall into two categories: those that work on enabling collaboration, and those that seek to get value out of collaboration.

Interesting as they are, the finding that intrigued me the most at the conference was the struggle to find the right supportive technology. With each conversation we had, be it with companies or analysts, the point was being made that progress had been delayed by the struggle to find the right technology.

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This entry was posted in Conferences, Supply chain optimization on by .

Key trends in SC continued, as seen at the 2014 European Supply Chain & Logistics Summit in Barcelona

Posted on June 26, 2014 by Leave a reply

Image Vandaag 12_21_21It was great to visit the European Supply Chain and Logistics Summit again this year. On the whole, supply chain leaders seem to be recovering from the blow of the economic downturn, and are looking ahead to seize opportunities. This contrasted with last year’s SC&L Summit, which was all about declining demand in the face of global economic change. The prospects then seemed daunting. But there were also some positive things. For instance, companies started realizing how important it is to leverage SC Analytics, and there was the growing notion that investing in excellent SC people actually does make a difference. Continue reading »

This entry was posted in Conferences, Supply chain optimization on by .
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