Today’s companies continue to expand to reach global markets, but this has made control of supply chains more and more complex. Companies recognize that developing and executing successful supply chain strategies can be key to gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. A key to managing a global supply chain is having strong visibility. This has in turn prompted companies to use technologies such as ERP/MRP systems, warehouse management systems and transportation management systems. Additionally, companies are utilizing hardware technologies, hand-held scanners, GPS, tracking devices, cameras, microphones, RFID readers, wireless networks and automated warehouse systems (AGVs, Robots). Adoption of these technological tools allows more visibility than ever before. But having the data, alone is not enough; managers now have millions and billions of bits of data to decipher and sort through. Having piles of data is not enough, supply chain managers are now faced with how to best use the data to obtain the right information to track performance, diagnose bottlenecks and uncover opportunities for continuous improvement.
It was the penultimate day of my trip to our San Jose office. In the evening Vikas, Dinesh & I went for a short hike at the Alviso Marina County Park. It was a beautiful trail and the hike was uneventful except for Vikas’ narration of his past exploits with a mountain lion. After the hike Dinesh said that we should grab a quick drink and I suggested a nearby Mexican joint. “The place serves amazing guacamole. You should have that with tortilla,” I tried to tempt Vikas’ mostly vegetarian palate.
L: Dick Fosbury doing the “Fosbury Flop” to win the high jump gold medal at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics (Source: International Olympic Committee)
R: Illustration showing path of center of gravity in the Fosbury Flop (Source: Wikimedia Commons, Author: AlanSiegrist)
A Poetic take on the needs of Operations and Supply Chain Leaders, and how process automation with OpsVeda changes the game!
Look up an implementation plan for enterprise software, and “Custom Reports” will show up as a task with significant effort. However, talk to anybody who has gone through these implementations and they will tell you that almost 80% of the custom reports created are hardly used. In fact, most users will not even be aware of the existence of many of these reports.
Recently I overheard a conversation between two of my colleagues. One was requesting inputs for a task assigned, while the other was protesting that he didn’t have the time to prepare detailed documentation. The term “detailed documentation” appeared to send a shudder down the requestor’s spine. He promptly replied, “Please don’t give me anything lengthy… A half page document with ALL the details is what I need.”
"An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed & direction unless acted on by an external force". No, this is not going to be a blog on the Basic Sciences... I mentioned Newton's first law of motion only to highlight an interesting parallel between the inertia of physical objects and human behavior. The latter is difficult to measure, but all of us have come across umpteen situations where we have modified our natural behavior in response to an event. And mostly these are changes for the good... improved driving habits when cops/cameras are in the vicinity, hitting the gym few days before a health check-up, quarter-end scramble by sales people etc. are examples of these. In the mentioned situations, cops, health-check up, and limited time have taken the role of Newton's "external force".
Last month Gartner published an article titled “Extend Your Portfolio of Analytics Capabilities” where they discussed the four types of analytic capabilities, their usage and the human intervention needed at each level to translate the data insights to action. The framework is captured well in the below figure – also from the same article.