Archive for Consulting Services

20 Things to Know about WMS System Integrators

Systems Integrators (SIs) are a key part of the warehouse management system solution ecosystem. SIs have different business models, strengths, and weaknesses.

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A Maturity Model for Supply Chain Design

LLamasoft has developed a maturity model related to supply chain design solutions.  As a leading supplier of supply chain design solutions, this is a natural extension for them. Developing a maturity model, however, is not for the faint of heart. The model explicity ties ROI from a design project to the maturity level.

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Advanced Demand Management and Process Optimization at a Water Distribution Network in Brazil

A water purification company in Brazil can have the demand for their water treatment and sewage services increase as much as four times on a sunny day on a weekend.  To more accurately forecast demand, they count the number of vehicles driving into the community.  Demand analysis also relies on a forecast of weather conditions and historical tourism data. They are also prototyping IoT, Big Data, machine learning, and predictive analytics for process optimization.

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Why Businesses are Elevating Supply Chain Design from a Project to a Core Business Process

When I speak with new customers, many of them tell me how in the past they viewed supply chain design as an optimization project that was completed every three to five years, often by third-party firms. Now these large, multi-national businesses are bringing supply chain design in-house and adopting it as a core business process. Why? What’s the value of making supply chain design a core business process and what can’t you achieve by just […]

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AS IS/TO BE Process Mapping versus Warehouse Audits

When companies decide that their present warehousing operations are not what they should be, and that they need to either implement a warehouse management system (WMS) or outsource their warehousing operations to a 3PL, they need to work toward putting together a request for proposal (RFP). If that pre-work for putting together a RFP includes a very detailed and granular AS IS/TO BE Process Map, in my view the company is going about this selection […]

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Perfect is the Enemy of Good (Logistics)

Running Professional Services at Descartes for the last nine years, I’ve seen this old adage come up time and time again. It hasn’t mattered if the customer was implementing a TMS, Visibility, Route Planning or Mobile solution – I’ve seen “grand” projects crash or get endlessly mired and not produce the anticipated business results. The lesson learned is that it’s OK to strive for perfection … that’s what creates much of the innovation that moves […]

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Social Audits Can Mitigate Outsourcing Risks in Asia

An increasing number of companies that outsource production in Asia are not certain about key manufacturing links in the supply chain. This is especially true for the apparel industry. This is largely due to an unregulated subcontracting process where work is given to subcontractors without the permission of the brand owner. Typically, this occurs because the appointed factory has been overstretched with higher volume of orders than its capacity. This is true for almost every […]

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How a Large CPG Company Runs an Efficient Supply Chain in Developing Countries

Infosys, the global IT services company with an offshore model, held its annual Infosys Connect conference last month. Two directors from a very large consumer packaged goods (CPG) client spoke during a track session for analysts. Like many Western multinational firms, this company’s growth will largely come from developing countries, where the company has a goal to acquire 1 billion new customers. But running an efficient supply chain in these regions is very difficult. There […]

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SAP Performance Benchmarking in Supply Chain Management

SAP briefed ARC a while ago on its benchmarking services, the company’s version of the benchmarking metrics offered by the Supply Chain Council (SCC) and the Warehouse Education Resource Council. In fact, SAP tells us that it is “compliant” with the SCC’s Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model. This basically means that many, but not all, of SAP’s metrics come from the Supply Chain Council, the gold standard for supply chain management metrics. As with […]

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S&OP is Not a Supply Chain Process!

So says Peter Skurla, the man credited with coining the phrase “Sales & Operations Planning” and a principal at Oliver Wight, the consulting organization most strongly associated with expertise in S&OP.  Over my years of covering supply chain management, several companies have told me how helpful “Ollie Wight” has been in helping them get to a better S&OP process. In a conversation with Peter, he made the point that if you want to have supply […]

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