ToolsGroup

Supply Chain Resiliency - Top to Bottom

ToolsGroup

There is an increased focus on being prepared for supply chain risks such as digital threats, product traceability issues, and now the potential impact of a trade war.

Decoding the Language of Demand

ToolsGroup

If you’ve been in supply chain for any length time, you might be wondering what caused demand forecasting to develop so many different ‘personalities’ over the years. Demand forecasting, planning, sensing, shaping…what’s going on?

Still managing your inventory with spreadsheets?

ToolsGroup

Most companies are still trying to use Excel to optimize their inventories. Supply Chain Insights’ 2018 Inventory Optimization Technologies Study suggests the number may be as high as 75%.

Another Way to Think About Supply Chain Risk Management

ToolsGroup

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.

The 4 Stages of Supply Chain Analytics

How do you move from “what happened” to “what would happen if”? Most supply chains struggle with the first, and the latter is wishful thinking. What stage are you in? Find out where your supply chain is on the maturity curve.

Four ways Inventory Optimization can address tighter supply constraints

ToolsGroup

As the (U.S.) economic expansion enters its ninth year, supply constraints are showing up in supply chains.

Want to disrupt your supply chain? Check out this new analytical tool

ToolsGroup

Brad Householder, Founder and CEO of b2i, spoke at the ToolsGroup TG18 user conference recently and presented an innovative approach to strategically analyze your value chain to focus digital investments. Brad, by the way, comes from a great pedigree.

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Two Kinds of Supply Chain Risk and How to Prepare for Them

ToolsGroup

When most people think of supply chain risk, they often think about the impact of major unforeseen “headline grabbing” events - like the tsunami in Japan impacting automotive supply chains or horse meat making its way into British beef supplies. These are big, important and often unpredictable risks.

Modeling Supply Chains with “Digital Twins”

ToolsGroup

The growing momentum around systems-based thinking in supply chain planning has given rise to a new concept called the “digital twin”.

Offer 2-Day Shipping to Your Customers by Distributing Your Inventory

ShipBob isn’t a traditional 3PL. They offer 2-day shipping using integrated technology and by splitting inventory across fulfillment centers in the largest US cities to ship orders from locations closer to customers, reducing costs and time in transit.

Transforming the manufacturing supply chain with MEIO

ToolsGroup

Editor’s Note: Last year ToolsGroup became Microsoft’s partner for Multi-echelon Inventory Optimization (MEIO) in Industrial accounts. Microsoft’s Bill Moffett and I collaborated on an introductory blog on MEIO for manufacturing businesses.

How to Move from Gartner Stage 2 to Stage 3 Retailing

ToolsGroup

Using the Gartner Demand Planning five stage maturity scale, analyst Mike Griswold estimated on a recent call that retailers as a group averaged just 2.3 out of 5.0, leaving money on the table due to poor inventory performance.

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“Digital Transformation” and Supply Chain Planning

ToolsGroup

Here is the scenario. The C Suite says it wants “digital transformation". Your company has an older supply chain planning (SCP) system of record (SOR) like SAP APO that was developed in the 1990s.

How Not to use Machine Learning for Demand Forecasting

ToolsGroup

Eight years ago ToolsGroup was one of the first supply chain planning software vendors to employ machine learning to improve demand forecasting. As the tag line to a popular commercial goes, by now “we know a thing or two because we've seen a thing or two.”.

Your Supply Chain Probably Has a Data Problem - Start There

Common problems like data access and quality are preventing you from taking the first step towards transformation. Modern visibility providers are putting band-aids on bad data, giving you the ability to make misinformed decisions. Solve the data first.

Three Key Themes in the New Inventory Optimization Vendor Ranking

ToolsGroup

The 2018 Nucleus Research Inventory Optimization (IO) Value Matrix Report has just been released, and analyst Seth Lippincott identifies the latest technology trends, top inventory optimization solution providers, and the strengths and weaknesses of each vendor.

One Way to Start Your Digital Transformation

ToolsGroup

Editor's note: Due to the holidays, there will be no blog post next week. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Many companies are taking a serious look at “digital transformation” and it’s possible to think that it requires a big leap or a daunting hurdle to transform your business.

Three New Ways Retailers Can Improve Inventory Performance

ToolsGroup

Editor's Note: There will be no blog post next week. Many retailers consider competing against Amazon their biggest challenge. While the impact of Amazon is real, it is only a thread in the larger retail competition tapestry.

Segmenting your spare parts supply chain for 3D printing

ToolsGroup

From warehouse robots (very real) to equipment that you control with your mind (in the labs), new technologies appear so regularly that it can be hard to separate real from science fiction. But in the spare parts business, 3D printing has become “here and now”.

End to End Supply Chain Visibility - Solving The Data Problem

People think end-to-end visibility is simply aggregating data from multiple sources, storing it in one place, and serving it up. That task, though hard, is relatively simple; but more importantly, doesn't solve the fundamental challenge - The Data.

What’s Your Forecast Accuracy Target for 2017?

ToolsGroup

Editor's Note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no blog post next week. In 2016, it seemed as if everyone in supply chain was looking to improve their forecasting performance.

Traditional Statistics versus Machine Learning. What’s the Difference?

ToolsGroup

Since machine learning is a hot topic, we thought it useful to clarify the difference between machine learning and traditional statistics as applied to supply chain planning (SCP).

Supply Chains that Push and Pull Different Products

ToolsGroup

Editor's Note: There will be no blog post next week due to the US holiday. Push-driven supply chains have been around forever. Pull-driven have become increasingly popular and in most cases arguably better. But what about employing push and pull for different products in a single supply chain or distribution network? The mobile phone retail supply chain presents such a case of simultaneously maintaining both strategies.

Digital Transformation of Supply Chain Planning at SKF

ToolsGroup

Jörg Schlager describing SKF's Integrated Planning (Source: Optilon). Digital transformation ” is tough for any firm, but when you are $9 billion industrial manufacturer, it is a sizable undertaking. At last week’s TG18 ToolsGroup user event , global bearing manufacturer SKF laid out an impressive review of their transformation to “ Integrated Planning ”.

Connecting Supply Chain Planning to Profitability

What collaboration between supply chain and ?nance can achieve.

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

ToolsGroup

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.

Trade promotion forecasting: the present and the near future

ToolsGroup

Trade promotion forecasting is difficult: getting it right involves factoring in many variables. Marketing people, who are often responsible for it, may excel at creating and running promotions. Forecasting demand data, not so much.

Advanced Analytics versus Artificial Intelligence

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What Will a Supply Chain Planning Job Look Like in the Future?

ToolsGroup

We have tackled the question of automation before, but his time I want to focus specifically on what automation will mean to the job of the supply chain planner. There is a saying that the best forecasts come from having access to inside information that is not yet widely known.

Removing the 3 Barriers to Building a Predictive Supply Chain

Machine Learning and AI are not magic bullets to solve all supply chain problems. Despite many software companies slapping AI on everything the reality is that there are a lot of hurdles to overcome before AI can be effective. Learn how to leap them.

Analysts Support a Single Model for Sales and Operations Planning

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Inventory Can Be Scary

ToolsGroup

“Your inventory problem is scary because you’re selling out before you can make new items to meet demand”. That’s what Robert Herjavec from the TV show Shark Tank said to an aspiring clothing retailer after their pitch in Season 8. Many retailers agree that inventory can be scary.

Forecasting the Long Tail and Intermittent Demand

ToolsGroup

Forecasting demand in the long tail is much different than in the head. Items with intermittent, unpredictable demand are a growing part of business. You don’t have to be an internet retailer like Amazon to see it.

Why you should modernize your spare parts planning

ToolsGroup

There’s untapped cash and profits in your spare parts business. Aftermarket parts is a big net margin producer for many manufacturers, and yet service levels and inventory in these operations are often woefully sub-optimized (See CapGemini statics above).

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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.