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“Digital Transformation” and Supply Chain Planning

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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.

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

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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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Four ways Inventory Optimization can address tighter supply constraints

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

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.

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.

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?

Three Key Themes in the New Inventory Optimization Vendor Ranking

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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.

How Not to use Machine Learning for Demand Forecasting

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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.”.

Advanced Analytics versus Artificial Intelligence

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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.

Digital Transformation of Supply Chain Planning at SKF

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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 ”.

Three New Ways Retailers Can Improve Inventory Performance

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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

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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”.

One Way to Start Your Digital Transformation

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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.

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.

Trade promotion forecasting: the present and the near future

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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.

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

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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).

What’s Your Forecast Accuracy Target for 2017?

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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.

Analysts Support a Single Model for Sales and Operations Planning

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Connecting Supply Chain Planning to Profitability

What collaboration between supply chain and ?nance can achieve.

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

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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.

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.

Forecasting the Long Tail and Intermittent Demand

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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

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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.

Inventory Can Be Scary

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“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.

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.

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.

Probabilistic Forecasting Can Extend the Life of SAP APO

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Since the beginning of time – OK, since the beginning of demand forecasting the standard approach has been a single number forecast that works relatively well with stable high volume demand.

Real time analytics for your S&OP Meetings?

If you aren't running a well-oiled Sales & Operations Planning process with the added benefit of sophisticated supply chain analytics & optimization - you are probably leaving major revenue and margin opportunities on the table. S&OP has become a standard process to improve business performance, collaboration and predictability. Ready to take things to the next level? This Guide offers insights into where commonly used technologies fall short, and what you should look for to get more value from S&OP using analytics. Download the buyer’s guide for S&OP.

What’s Wrong with your Supply Chain Planning System: Twelve Symptoms

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Source: Gartner Research. The right SCP technology avoids key symptoms that reduce planner productivity, plan timeliness and plan usability. Doctors look for specific symptoms when diagnosing what’s wrong with a patient.

New Findings from the Gartner Supply Chain Users Wants and Needs Study

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The annual Gartner Supply Chain Technology User Wants and Needs Study is one of the most comprehensive studies of supply chain users. The most recent survey included more than 473 people spanning the globe.

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Blockchain’s potential to authenticate supply chain planning data

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Blockchain data can be a useful source of certified data to support the supply chain model or "supply chain twin". With all the hype around Bitcoins, you’ve probably at least heard of the distributed database technology known as blockchain. But blockchain isn’t just for cryptocurrency and other financial services applications. It’s even finding its way into supply chains, and it has the potential to have a significant impact on supply chain planning.

What’s wrong with Strategic Network Design?

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Editor's note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, there will be no blog post next week. The problem with strategic network design is when it accounts for service time but not service level.

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Leveraging Supply Chain Data for Competitive Advantage

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

Supply Chain Complexity and the Need for Disruptive Technology

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The keynote address at the always enlightening Supply Chain Insights Global Summit was given by Lora Cecere, and she used it to focus on the problem of growing supply chain planning complexity and how to fix it.