Category archives: Digital transformation
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.
Heineken is one of the world’s best-known beers. But for HEINEKEN International, the famed lager is only one of its products. The company owns more than 165 breweries around the world. It operates in 70 countries with a workforce of 80,000, producing over 300 specialty beers and ciders at international, regional and local levels. Planning such a large operation efficiently is no doubt a challenge, but HEINEKEN’s quest for efficiency started in the company’s early years. In 1966, HEINEKEN became one of the first Dutch companies to adopt container shipping. Decades later, they would debut a climate-efficient shipping route between their brewery and the port of Rotterdam. Today, the company is betting on prescriptive analytics to plan its operations more efficiently and prevent lost sales in a constantly changing market. AIMMS has been a crucial partner in this journey. To learn more about these efforts, we spoke with Wilko Sierksma, HEINEKEN’s manager for Network Design and Global S&OP.
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!
An interview with Daniël van Gool at Peapod
It’s an exciting era for retail as companies continue to focus on creating and providing a great experience for their customers, while driving innovation and market share. There’s no doubt that the role of data, technology and analytics in retail decision-making is growing, and that this trend will further heat up over the next few years. I spoke with Daniël van Gool, Director of Supply Chain Development at Peapod, a leading U.S. online grocer who serves the East Coast and Mid-West, to hear about how he views the role of analytics and technology in driving supply chain innovation at his company.
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.
KFC, a fast food favorite, made headlines last month for suffering a chicken shortage that brought 900 restaurants in the UK to a halt. Recently, the chain announced it was suffering from a gravy shortage as well. Not ideal for a chicken restaurant. No chicken and no gravy mean no customers. The whole debacle could have cost Yum! Brands Inc., KFC’s Parent company, up to £1m in losses per day. Not to mention a PR crisis that, despite a cheeky apology, will follow the company for years to come. What went wrong?
For three decades now I have been helping my clients with their Supply Chain questions….I have seen a lot of change along my journey. Some of my early projects included initiatives like helping large retailers transform from a pure paper-based operation inside their 4 walls to a first-generation Warehouse Management System (WMS). I also helped my clients with Sales & Operations Planning and with Distribution Network Design and Transportation Optimization Projects, to name just a few. In the past, all of these projects shared a few common traits including long, tedious and expensive implementations involving small armies of consultants. It would take a long time and a lot of money before businesses could see improvement. That is not the case any longer. Today, I am happy to say that I am still helping clients make better decisions. The big difference is AIMMS. Today, with our Agile approach and extremely cost-effective cloud native technology, my clients are using our software in a matter of days to improve their business.
The chemical industry is facing some powerful changes that are directly impacting revenues and margins. It’s also highly competitive. Everyone is trying to dominate their niche. This means chemical companies need to be adept at managing costs and profitability. But doing this ad hoc is too difficult. Having the right technology is key.
Spreadsheets and legacy tools are no longer enough
There’s a lot of flux in the chemical industry. Raw material prices fluctuate constantly. Selling prices vary depending on international markets and what’s happening in certain countries. That margin between selling prices and raw material prices needs to be carefully managed.
At the same time, the industry is consolidating and changing rapidly. As mergers and acquisitions increase, managing demand in large geographies becomes even more complex. Companies that spin off due to M&A activity need to find ways to manage their own destiny. Many chemical companies are using S&OP (Sales & Operations Planning) as a tool to tie up operational planning and activity with financial goals and strategy. Many are still using spreadsheets and legacy tools to support this process. These tools may provide a good starting point for S&OP, but do not always provide the sustainability or flexibility that companies require to be agile during times of rapid change.