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Supply Chain Planning BPO: What’s Driving It and Should You Get On Board?

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You know that great feeling you get when you have an expert getting the job done? More and more businesses are hopping on the outsourcing bus and letting the experts take the wheel to drive supply chain planning processes.

The Franke Story: Three Points to Learn about Supply Chain Complexity

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Nowadays everyone’s writing and speaking about supply chain complexity , but not many are talking about how to turn around all that complexity and variability for business advantage.

Robots in the Building: The Positive Influence of AI for Supply Chain Planners

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Have you looked at a job listing for a supply chain planner recently? The planner’s role has expanded to include a combination of technical skills and communications and interpersonal skills.

Five Things You Need to Know about Inventory Optimization in the Digital Age

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With all the buzz around digital transformation, someone peering in from outside supply chain may assume most businesses have already digitized essential tasks like inventory planning. The reality is that this transformation takes time and a change of mindset.

How does your demand forecasting compare to your peers?

Demand forecasts are becoming increasingly more difficult to predict and less accurate. How are supply chain professionals dealing with this? What kind of technology are they using to deal with this shift? How is their approach to forecasting evolving? Take this assessment to find out how your demand forecasting process stacks up against others. It’s also a handy resource to identify improvement areas for your team. It only takes a few minutes and you get instant feedback.

Keeping It Local: How Shorter Supply Chains Impact Supply Chain Planning

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After decades of longer and more global supply chains, some are becoming shorter and more localized. This trend has important implications to supply chain planning. But first let’s take a look at the factors driving this change. . Contracting Supply Chains. .

Quick Start Guide to Using Machine Learning for Demand Planning

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Anyone who has done demand planning knows it is extremely complex, with forecasting challenges and rapidly shifting consumer demand, often exacerbated by seasonality, new product introductions, promotions, and myriad causal factors (e.g. weather, social media).

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?

How Procter & Gamble is thriving on supply chain complexity

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Source: Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference. Procter & Gamble (P&G) is known for best-in-class supply chain planning.

Buyer's Guide for Supply Chain Network Design Software

Network design as a discipline is complex and too many businesses are still relying on spreadsheets to design and optimize their supply chain. As a result, most organizations struggle to answer network design questions or test hypotheses in weeks, when results are demanded in hours. This Buyer’s Guide helps you find easy-to-use technology to become more proactive and less reactive when it comes to network design and optimization.

Which supply chain planning processes should we automate?

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Now that more companies are embracing supply chain planning productivity and automation, many firms are asking which processes they should automate. Let's first address that question and then look at where this trend is heading in the future.

How Supply Chain Planning Can Create Profit in a Declining Market

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When a business finds itself in a declining market, failing to stay in lock step with customer demand poses an existential threat. Trends and other market forces that impact commercial opportunities need to appear on the planning radar.

Demand Planning Apps Top Supply Chain Planning Machine Learning

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Source: Gartner 2018. Gartner recently polled both users and vendors on which supply chain planning (SCP) applications are employing machine learning and in three different analysis, demand planning and demand forecasting came out top of the list.

The Three “Habits” for Successful IoT Implementations

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Editor’s note: Due to the upcoming holidays, this will be our last blog for 2018. The next posting will be on January 8 th , 2019.

The 2018 Supply Chain Software Buyer's Guide

Learn which supply chain applications are the best for your organization.

Supply Chain Planning in Emerging Markets: Four Points to Remember

ToolsGroup

Supply chain planning in emerging markets is different. And while each market can be unique, we found a few repeating themes in our own experience and from sources including Gartner and our customers Procter and Gamble (P&G) and Cipla Medpro. Here’s what we found: 1.

Gartner Questions Supply Chain “Control Towers”

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Gartner says that future supply chain planning will look less like a "control tower" and more like a refinery "control room'" with many value-added analytics that automate, guide and control the supply chain.

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.

Probabilistic Forecasting - a Primer

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An experienced gambler might hedge their bet on multiple outcomes, rather than just the most likely "single number forecast". At ToolsGroup we have been big advocates of probabilistic forecasting (sometimes also known as stochastic forecasting).

Leveraging Supply Chain Data for Competitive Advantage

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

The Nine Top Supply Chain Planning User Concerns

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Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning System of Record (21 August 2018, Amber Salley, Tim Payne, and Alex Pradha) calls out the concerns most often cited by users.

The Absolut Company: Balancing Service and Inventory Creates a Delicious Mix

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The world’s #2 selling vodka brand leaves nothing to chance when it comes to quality and sustainability. Here’s how they teamed up with ToolsGroup partner Optilon for a seamless supply chain planning process.

Can S&OP become more continuous? Automation is key.

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Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP), a process often focused around a monthly meeting, is evolving into a more continuous process. A recent whitepaper by supply chain planning and optimization firm Optilon explains why and how.

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Overcoming a shortage of supply chain talent

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Editor’s note: There will be no blog post next week due to summer holidays. There is a shortage of supply chain talent. Supply Chain Insights reports that more than half of all companies are seeing an increase in employee turnover and experiencing unfilled job openings.

Navigating the Road to Successful Automation - A Process Driven Approach

Speaker: Jon Leposky, Director of Operations and Logistics, Z Customization

Automation can be an incredibly powerful tool to lower costs, increase capabilities, and enable scaling. However the road to implementing automation can be long and challenging even when all the proper steps are taken. Being equipped with the proper tools and knowledge of common pitfalls when implementing automation can make the difference between a show stopping disaster and seamless success.

Gartner’s Top Ten User-Rated Supply Chain Planning Capabilities

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Gartner Research recently released its new Magic Quadrant for Supply Chain Planning System of Record (SCP SOR) in which 485 user companies identified their top ten rated planning capabilities for delivering SCP goals.

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.

Supply Chain Planning for Direct-To-Consumer

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Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) presents special supply chain planning challenges for both smaller microbrands (e.g., eyeglass brand Warby Parker or mattress seller Casper) and much larger consumer goods incumbents, but the planning challenges are different depending on which type of company you are.

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.

Automated Order Processing and Proactive Inventory Management

Speaker: Irina Rosca, Director of Supply Chain Operations, Helix

Organizations need to focus on demand driven supply planning, utilizing real time information on customer orders from all marketplaces (e-commence, Amazon - or other online retailers, and point of sale data from brick and mortar). Focusing on this information once per month during the S&OP meeting is too late for all business units to align. Companies should have seamless integration between order entry, inventory management, forecasting and supply planning models and purchase order status to sense risk, pull levers to mitigate potential risk, and communicate within and outside the organization. This is especially important for new product releases, in store programs or promotions (sales, end caps, PDQ. etc) or online promotions (company run or 3rd party). Depending on total supply chain lead time, not having real time visibility and analysis of this information can significantly affect sales and the bottom line.

Decoding the language of S&OP

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Since demand forecasting has developed many “personalities” over the decades, I recently wrote a blog that “decoded” the language of demand.

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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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ToolsGroup to Take the Stage with Lennox at American Supply Chain Summit

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Lennox to Highlight How It Worked with ToolsGroup to Transform to Service-Driven Supply Chain Planning.

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Mid-market companies leapfrogging supply chain planning maturity stages

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Is the latest technology enabling some mid-market companies to leapfrog supply chain planning (SCP) stages of maturity? The evidence suggests that it is. Publicly, analysts are still cautioning mid-market companies not to aim too high.

Parts Town: An O2C Journey from Manual Processing to Digital Transformation

Speaker: Sarah Gibson, Platinum Operations Manager

The order-to-cash (O2C) process is often considered the lifeblood of an organization. It’s why so many business leaders are looking to next generation of O2C solutions to unlock value across their enterprise — value that’s necessary to remain competitive. Join us for an educational webinar with guest speaker, Sarah Gibson of Parts Town, as she takes attendees through her company’s digital transformation journey.