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How to Measure Inventory Health

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Financial executives measure inventory health with metrics like inventory turns because they view the firm from a financial viewpoint - such as how much working capital is being tied up.

Why the Forecast for Supply Chain Planning has been Only Partly Cloudy

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Cloud-based supply chain planning is gaining traction. Each year more users opt for cloud-based systems and there is a lot of support in the analyst community.

Gartner Study Identifies Supply Chain User Wants and Needs

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Source: 2017 Gartner Supply Chain Technology User Wants and Needs Study, Dwight Klappich. The annual Gartner Supply Chain Technology User Wants and Needs Study, now its tenth year, is one of this industry's most comprehensive studies of supply chain users.

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Gartner's Six Levels of Supply Chain Planning Autonomy

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Source: Andrew Downard, Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference, May 2017. Business is moving fast and there is so much new data now speeding through the pipes that Gartner says it’s not possible to plan a supply chain without some level of automation.

Increasing Supply Chain Visibility and Security

Securing the supply chain starts with having visibility into the status of your assets, but this requires more than GPS coordinates on a map, because security isn’t just about preventing theft. Your assets don’t just need to arrive at their destination. They need to get there on time and untainted by heat, moisture, or physical shock.

Building a Business Case for Improved Demand Forecasting

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I’ve always maintained that improving demand forecast accuracy, as helpful as it can be, shouldn’t be the end goal itself, but simply a means to the end. A recent report from Gartner agrees, focusing specifically on the challenge of building a better business case for improved forecast accuracy.

How to Become a Supply Chain Planning Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant

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Being selected for the Gartner Magic Quadrant leader’s quadrant is a pretty big deal. For a software vendor, it’s like winning an Academy Award.

Seven Recent Trends in Retail Demand Forecasting and Replenishment

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Most retailers are facing a shrinking operating “margin for error”. So it’s not surprising that many are looking for more accurate demand forecasting and intelligent stock replenishment.

The Amazon Supply Chain Revolution, Part I

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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.

Leveraging Supply Chain Data for Competitive Advantage

What does it mean to become a digital business or digital supply chain?

Another Way to Think About Supply Chain Risk Management

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In a previous blog we described a new concept introduced by Gartner Research about the need for both macro-agility and micro-agility. Now we apply this same macro-agility and micro-agility concept to risk management.

A Different Solution to the Supply Chain Talent Shortage

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“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?

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There’s Blood in the Supply Chain

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This week’s posting is actually a video rather than a written blog. The National Health Service (NHS), the world’s largest health care organization, has implemented a new supply chain planning system for managing the United Kingdom’s blood supply.

Sales & Operations Execution (S&OE) vs. S&OP

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S&OP (Sales & Operations Planning) and SI&OP (Sales, Inventory & Operations Planning) are two well know acronyms. Now Gartner has added an acronym with a distinctly different twist, Sales and Operations Execution (S&OE).

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When is Inventory Too “Lean”? Finding the Right Balance

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I learned about “lean manufacturing” (or simply “lean”) back in the 1990s when I met James Womack and read his book “ The Machine that Changed the World ”.

CIO: Here's Why Analytics is Eating the Supply Chain

Life science companies are adopting innovative cloud technology to provide a single source of truth for end-to-end supply chain decision-making.

Gartner says “Add S&OP to your Financial Planning”. Here’s Why.

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“Based on our research, every organization which aligns top-down financial plans with bottom-up demand plans, as part of their S&OP, sees an improvement in the accuracy and predictability of their financial forecast.” - Matthew Spooner, Research Director at Gartner.

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How Gartner Sees the Future of Supply Chain Planning

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Source: Algorithmic Supply Chain Planning: The Future of SCP , Amber Salley, May 2016. Gartner has taken a look at the future and sees lots of algorithms.

Demand-driven supply chain planning in a push business

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A question we hear often is “How can I have demand-driven supply chain planning in a push business? Demand-driven seems more appropriate to a pull strategy, the opposite of a push strategy. How can they coexist?”. To answer the question we propose looking at the supply chain of two seemingly unrelated businesses, fashion companies and poultry producers.

Is Inventory Optimization a Key to Omnichannel Survival?

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For multi-channel retailers, it’s getting increasingly difficult to survive in “the Amazon jungle”. Bob Ferrari of Supply Chain Matters recently pointed to The Sports Authority bankruptcy as one indication.

The Modern Supply Chain: Present and Future

The external manufacturing environment is a highly dynamic, ever-changing landscape. The supply chain must both anticipate and adapt to that change.

Here’s What’s Wrong with Demand Forecasting

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Note: Due to the holidays, there will be no blog post next week.

Retail Supply Chain Planning Best Practices from Frost & Sullivan

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Frost & Sullivan has reported its best practices in technology leadership in supply chain management for the Retail and Wholesale Distribution Industry.

Increasing S&OP clarity by adjusting “depth of field”

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In last week’s blog we talked about the fundamental challenge of connecting tactical S&OP down to detailed execution. Here we look in the other direction and examine the challenge of connecting tactical S&OP up to the strategic plan.

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Five Types of Inventory Optimization You Should Know

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Inventory configuration is usually the predominant issue in most manufacturing environments. Inventory policy is usually the predominant issue in most distribution environments. Here are five types of inventory optimization that you should be aware of if you are considering an optimization solution.

Balancing Priorities in the Supply Chain: How Data Discovery Reveals Unseen Associations and Opportunities

Leading companies are constantly managing competing supply chain priorities.

A Hierarchy of Needs for Supply Chain Planning

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Abraham Maslow created his magnum opus “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” by studying the best performing humans and their needs. While reading more about his theory, I realized that best performing supply chain systems also possess certain hierarchical needs.

The Seven Key Capabilities of Demand Sensing

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break through that. Editors Note: A few weeks ago, we published a blog describing why most CPG companies have hit a demand forecasting ceiling.

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A Path Towards IoT Enabled Service Parts Planning

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Editor's Note: This week we have a guest post from Bob Ferrari, Managing Director of the Ferrari Consulting and Research Group. This blog first appeared in Supply Chain Matters. It is the second in a series on how companies can build foundational service parts planning technology to prepare for the Internet of Things (IoT).

An Example of Outstanding Change Management

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Managing change at the individual level is essential to realize benefits across the organization. Companies pick supply chain planning software based on the benefits to the business. But they install the software successfully—and realize the gains—when they convince users of those benefits.

The Sustainable Supply Chain: Realizing Costs Savings and Increased Efficiencies Through Data Discovery

The sustainable supply chain is the future supply chain.

What’s New in Inventory Optimization?

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Principal Analyst James Cooke of Nucleus Research just published his 2016 Inventory Optimization Value Matrix which highlights this year’s key trends, including functionality and usability.

The Difference between Multichannel, Omnichannel and Unified Commerce. And Why It’s Important.

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It can be exhausting in retail. As shoppers use technology more frequently during their buying journey, their expectation of service increases. Retailers are forced to transform their business to keep up.

Gartner’s 2016 Supply Chain Planning Predictions - This Time its Different

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Usually Gartner’s year-end predictions for the upcoming year consist of extrapolation of recent trends and gradual changes that are already happening, so they don’t make for particularly exciting reading. Not this year. For the first time in many years, Gartner is predicting big near-term changes in supply chain planning. In Predicts 2016: Reimagine SCP Capabilities to Survive , Gartner starts by laying down the gauntlet.

Five Ways Machine Learning Can Improve Demand Forecasting

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Machine learning is being incorporated into solutions in every walk of life - home thermostats, health monitoring systems, equipment maintenance, marketing software, etc. In the latest generation of products, machine learning is adding intelligence pretty much everywhere you look.

Machine Learning: A Quantum Leap in Forecast Accuracy for the Modern Supply Chain

Whether you realize it or not, Machine Learning is having a profound impact on your everyday life.

What’s Wrong with Aftermarket Parts Supply Chain Planning?

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This is actually a trick question. What’s wrong with aftermarket supply chain planning really has nothing to do with planning, but with management expectations. This is a case of management not expecting enough from their business.

Will Supply Chain Planning Productivity be a Hot Topic in 2017?

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Planning productivity can be increased by segmenting tasks according to the tools best suited for the activity. For years, planning productivity has not been a particularly hot topic at most companies.

Five Things You Need to Know About Machine Learning for Supply Chain Planning

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First a confession: I borrowed this blog’s title directly from Gartner Analyst Noha Tohamy and her recent research note Five Things Supply Chain Strategists Need to Know About Machine Learning. I couldn’t do better myself.

Four Reviews of DDMRP for Supply Chain Planning

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Source: The Enterprise System Spectator. In recent months four experts have weighed in on Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (DDMRP). Here is an overview of those reviews, followed by my own short commentary, plus links to the articles at the end of the post. Lora Cecere of SC Insights was the first of the supply chain expert opinions I saw on DDMRP. Lora said, “The concepts of DDMRP are growing in popularity.

Digitizing the Extended Supply Chain: How to Survive and Thrive

The digital economy is upending all industries and processes, placing a premium on speed, customer satisfaction, personalized products, and collaboration.