Digital Supply Chains enabled by SAP Leonardo Portfolio / SAP IBP platform. Ready to learn more?

Digital Supply Chains enabled by SAP Leonardo Portfolio / SAP IBP platform. Ready to learn more?

It is my pleasure to communicate the launch of GitaCloud Digital Learning DL Platform (access it at learning.gitacloud.com). We will provide comprehensive learning on this platform across Digital Supply Chain Fundamentals as well as enabling technology solutions like SAP Leonardo portfolio (of which SAP IBP is a key component). This platform is designed to cater to a wide range of learners: Business Planners and Executives looking to understand why & how to start Digital Supply Chain Transformation programs, IT Analysts and their Managers to understand detailed functional and modeling capabilities of SAP IBP platform, SCM practitioners and independent consultants to learn SAP IBP in a digitally enabled, hands-on, and remote support based comprehensive offering.  

SAP IBP Response & Supply Workshop Conducted Successfully

SAP IBP Response & Supply Workshop Conducted Successfully

SAP Integrated Business Planning IBP platform and applications are growing their footprint rapidly. IBP Supply Optimizer can handle an arbitrarily deep distribution / production network with ways to maximize enterprise profitability or customer service goals. Order Based Planning in IBP for Response which can be reviewed in daily/weekly time buckets real-time through Excel UI is one such notable capability.

We recently concluded our SAP IBP Response & Supply workshop based on IBP 1705 release. It was well attended by learners coming in from US, Europe, India, and Singapore. Many of the learners are repeat learners who have also attended our past IBP workshops on S&OP or Demand & Inventory. We covered several advanced topics over 4 days. It was challenging content for learners to absorb over 4-days, we moved fast through a long list of advanced  topics with effectively balancing slide-ware (concept slides) and software (demos, exercises).

Enabling Customers and SCM Practitioners on IBP

Enabling Customers and SCM Practitioners on IBP

At GitaCloud, we are committed to enabling Customers evaluating SAP IBP and SCM Practitioners looking to transition from SAP APO to SAP IBP. We realized early that the best way to learn and stay on top of a rapidly evolving platform is to teach a diverse set of learners and do this on a monthly basis on top of our customer pursuits and engagement workload. We just completed our fourth IBP workshop in 2017 - this one went the best so far as we continue to refine the product and make it more and more relevant to our learners. This blog post covers the S&OP workshop flow in detail as well as feedback from our learners. These workshops are being very well received and in high demand. We will continue to have similar workshops rest of 2017 across Response & Supply, Demand & Inventory, and Control Tower & Integration topics. 

Automotive Spare Parts Business: Business Challenges and Supply Chain Excellence Strategies

Automotive Spare Parts Business: Business Challenges and Supply Chain Excellence Strategies

This blog post covers business challenges & recommended supply chain excellence strategies to deal with them for Automotive OEM companies, specifically focused on the Automotive Spare Parts Supply Chain.

When we put together the increasing strategic importance of spare part business with the inherent complexity in managing this business, we can appreciate the complex challenges and the large business value of spares supply chain excellence for Auto OEMs. The best in class performers will manage their spare parts business in a forward looking and advanced analytics driven manner when it comes to spare parts demand forecasting, inventory optimization, and integrated business planning across the multi-enterprise landscape.

I will cover the following areas in this post for Automotive Spare Parts Businesses:

1. Growing Strategic Importance of Spares

2. Maturity Stages: Crawl-Walk-Run

3. Organization Structure Choices

4. Multi-tier Distribution Network

5. Forecasting & Planning Challenges

6. Forecasting & Planning Strategies

7. Supply Chain Performance / KPIs

8. Closing Remarks

Integrated Business Planning in Pharmaceuticals: Part 2 - Solutions that Deliver Hard Value

Integrated Business Planning in Pharmaceuticals: Part 2 - Solutions that Deliver Hard Value

This is Part Two of my two-part blog post to evaluate the Pharmaceutical Industry. In this post, we will review Integrated Business Planning and related Decision Analytics as a strategic response to managing complexity and delivering best-in-class business performance in the Pharmaceutical industry. In Part One, we covered current supply chain performance benchmarks and key issues prevalent in the Pharmaceutical industry.

This post is structured across the following topics:

  • Background
  • Long Range Planning
  • Short / Mid-Range Planning
  • Special Demand Situations: Tenders
  • Demand Sensing & Inventory Optimization: How it helps, Hard Benefits
  • Integrated Business Planning IBP: How it helps, Hard Benefits
  • Sales & Operations Planning S&OP vs. Integrated Business Planning IBP
  • IBP: Solution Capabilities Required
  • IBP in Pharma
  • Closing Remarks

Supply Chain Talent: Needle in the Haystack

Supply Chain Talent: Needle in the Haystack

Given the blurring of boundary between Supply Chain business expertise and Supply Chain technology expertise, it is not a surprise that many organizations are facing challenges in filling up open positions in their Supply Chain function currently and for the foreseeable future. Digital transformation enabled by IOT and multi-enterprise supply chain operating networks of tomorrow will make this Supply Chain talent gap even wider. This is the number one concern for most supply chain executives: talent that can learn new platforms & capabilities fast and be able to consistently deliver context-independent insights from a diverse set of data sources. New technology mastery and ability to find needles in big haystacks are necessary but not sufficient going forward for the Supply Chain talent in winning organizations.

Customer Centric...Demand Driven...Outside-In...Is there a difference?

Customer Centric...Demand Driven...Outside-In...Is there a difference?

Lora Cecere of Supply Chain Insights recently came out with crisp definitions of the next generation concepts in Supply Chain. These concepts are overlapping, yet different, and often lead to confusion within Supply Chain Transformation teams. GitaCloud leads with transformative outside-in processes like Demand Sensing. We see some of this confusion first-hand and applaud Lora's effort to drive clarity into the conversation.

The Truth About Size Zero

The Truth About Size Zero

I came across an interesting article from Wayne Brown on AT Kearney's website in their Automotive industry's Ideas & Insights section. The article titled 'Making Sure Lean Stocks Are Properly Nourished' talks about the importance of optimal inventory, not zero inventory as some lean practitioners believe to be the holy grail. The article is well written and hits the mark mostly. There is a key miss though when it comes to planning accuracy, which has prompted me to write this blog post.

Beyond S&OP and IBP ... A Commentary on the Need for New Technology

Beyond S&OP and IBP ... A Commentary on the Need for New Technology

In his article in the previous issue of ForesightDean Sorensen (2016) argued that while there is increasing complexity in business environments, there has not been enough focus on tying strategy to execution. I am in agreement with him: I think the biggest systems integration challenge facing CEOs is how to seamlessly tie strategic decision making to operational execution (S&OP). 

It's complex, it's volatile, but business decisions need to be made. Now what?

It's complex, it's volatile, but business decisions need to be made. Now what?

I recently attended Llamasoft SummerCon 2016, annual conference for the well-established supply network design & optimization player: Llamasoft. Garry Kasparov was one of the keynote speakers. For the chess aficionados among us, this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with the legend and get a picture taken with him.

Garry discussed how as he became the youngest ever chess champion at the age of twenty-two, people routinely hounded him to understand the secret behind this unprecedented success.How did come up with a strategy to defeat veteran grandmasters? How did he plan and replan rapidly in the face of a changing battle competitive landscape, how did he decide on the best move to execute next when faced with multiple options with unclear line of sight in terms of opponent's counter move? Did he have supernatural insight: how many moves ahead could he see to visualize a checkmate on a cluttered board? What went on in his mind during a tense game in the face of missteps? In short, what were the strategic design, tactical planning, and operational execution related decision making processes that led to this extraordinary success.

You will agree we are all looking for similar answers in this increasingly complex, dynamic, and competitive world, moving under time pressure, knowing the risks a single bad move could bring, balancing facts and instinct in the fog of war, which is how business runs in the global marketplace today. If you need insights into your own development as a decision-maker and ideas on how to encourage future growth, then read on.

Consumer Products Industry: How the Smaller Players can Compete

Consumer Products Industry: How the Smaller Players can Compete

Many non-traditional consumer products manufacturers have supply chains designed for business to business commerce of non-consumer products.  Others find that they get a greater return by investing in their product development or manufacturing scale than in improving their supply chain processes.  Still others are early in their overall business maturity and cannot afford to be fully competitive in their supply chain processes, often because their overall volumes do not permit the economy of scale benefits of large volume supply chains.

Can you really understand future demand, when it is nothing like the past?

Can you really understand future demand, when it is nothing like the past?

Multi-enterprise demand sensing is a capability designed to provide business users a demand sensing / shaping (what-if simulation) platform to most accurately sense demand at the point of consumption (retailer store POS) based on a forward looking prescriptive analytics based demand model. It also has the ability to causally relate the end consumer demand signal with the upstream replenishment demand signal for the manufacturers to minimize bullwhip effect and reduce inventory / working capital needed to cover the high error in typical time series based backward looking demand (shipment) forecasting processes. 

Collaborating across business silos harder than herding cats?

Collaborating across business silos harder than herding cats?

Social Project Management breaks the walls between the Project/Program Managers and the team actually doing the work. Cloud based social project management platforms can empower the team to view the plan real-time, make recommendations to edit it, record time against tasks, collaborate on a given task with fellow team members, and have visibility into project progress metrics in a seamless modern environment. 

Can Integrated Business Planning Solutions be agnostic to industry vertical needs?

Can Integrated Business Planning Solutions be agnostic to industry vertical needs?

Integrated Business Planning seems to be just a buzzword for most S&OP vendors from 90s and ERP vendors looking to get to the second generation solutions. True integrated business planning is not inside-out enterprise centric, but an outside-in value network centric idea. Given the value network configurations and push/pull dynamics are quite different by industry, it would make sense to think of IBP offerings in value network terms. However, most offerings in the marketplace are horizontal offerings with vertical functionality added as an after thought.

How real is big data analytics when it comes to managing supply chains?

This blog is aimed at Supply Chain leaders and their business teams. It is intended to help you understand where supply chain and big data come together as practitioners in these disciplines currently have limited understanding of the other side. 

What is big data?

While the term big data is hyped big time by technology vendors, most supply chain leaders and their business teams do not understand the concepts and opportunities well given the misdirection from technology vendors. Most technology vendors attempt to dazzle their audience with the ever growing data volume and the speed with which they can sift through the volume. What they don't know or forget to tell you is that most supply chains do not have an issue with volume. The real challenge lies with the variety and velocity of data for which you require solution providers that get the supply chain problem and its vertical context, not vendors with a one size fits all approach to big data platforms and solutions. 

This blog is written by Ashutosh Bansal.

You can read the full blog here