Date: 17 Mar, 2021
The Future of Supply Chains & OpsVeda
A conversation between Puneet Suppal, VP Marketing, & Jon Krause, Member of the Advisory Board, OpsVeda, Inc.
I recently reported a conversation I had with Gary Primeau a member of the Advisory Board at OpsVeda. Continuing my exploration of how our advisors view the evolving business and technology environment, and the role that OpsVeda can play I sat down with Jon Krause as well.
OpsVeda Advisor Jon Krause worked on IT and operations projects at Accenture for 10 years before joining the sunglass company Oakley as Director of IT, which then evolved into a role as CIO and VP Operations. Oakley was later acquired by Luxottica, the world’s largest sunglass company, and Jon eventually became CIO for Luxottica North America. He was with Oakley/Luxottica for almost 19 years before he left to start his own consultancy with a portfolio of clients in manufacturing, distribution, and e-commerce.
Puneet: Jon, how did you first get familiar with OpsVeda?
Jon: I saw the OpsVeda product in action right at the end of 2017 through working with one of my clients — and I really liked what I saw. I was interim COO for the client and was talking to the VP of Distribution, asking how were we doing with respect to our shipments by the end of that quarter? We did mostly large volume shipments to primarily big box retail, so it was important to understand the inbound shipment flow because we didn’t manufacture anything on our own — most of the products were procured outside of the U.S.
We needed to know what product was going to our locations in time to be turned around and shipped, so that we could have a good estimate of where we’d end up for the quarter. I threw that out to the VP of Distribution and wasn’t sure what he would come back with. He came back with an OpsVeda report. It was a great report because it gave me visibility into our potential to fulfill, and where we actually end up with all the orders.
Puneet: Was a report like this something common, was it something you would routinely see in the industry? What caught your attention about the report that landed on your desk?
Jon: A report like this was something that we had to get custom build whenever we needed it. This client had OpsVeda do all the same things, which made it much easier to execute. Making changes and getting the dashboard updated was a lot faster and easier versus what we had to do with a custom solution.
OpsVeda also ties very tightly into SAP, which obviously was important to us. That gave us a lot of flexibility with how we could look at our order portfolio and start to see how we could execute to the best of our ability for a particular quarter. The high-level dashboard provided vital information that helped the executive and operations teams understand where our execution needed to be improved to achieve our goals for the quarter. Moreover, the high-level presentation was derived from detailed data generated by the operations department. I was just seeing the high level, but then our operations team had all the details that they could execute on after I made the decisions. It’s also faster, easier, and more flexible to use than having to do IT development. It also allowed us to pull it into spreadsheets.
Puneet: I agree that’s one place where OpsVeda can instantly add value. As a technology industry veteran, how have you seen operational intelligence evolve and what role does OpsVeda play in the evolution?
Jon: In the 1980s through the early 2000s, implementing ERP solutions was the big thing, but it’s no longer true. Nowadays, it’s about having a solution that can unlock specific information to use in a more valuable way. You need a solution that can unlock information that brings value to many divisions of the company and the entire executive team. It’s about better and faster analytics to enable better operational execution. It also must be agnostic to what backend solutions are being used.
Puneet: The supply chain is also an evolving landscape today with technology front and center in its evolution. Since OpsVeda works at the intersection of technology and the supply chain—how do you see that playing out?
Jon: I think the pandemic has accelerated changes that were already happening with the supply chain. Business volume to retail is down by almost two-thirds, and volume from e-commerce is up 300 to 500 to 1000 percent. The number of big shipments out to retail stores or wholesale is declining, and those shipments were a little bit easier to execute. Smaller orders to consumers are increasing. One company I was just talking to recently had typically shipped 90% of their product wholesale and retail, and just 10% e-commerce in the past. Now e-commerce has grown 500% and retail has fallen 60%.
The companies that are able to shift towards e-commerce are the ones that are going to keep winning. That means getting near shore with your sourcing, being able to execute on a model where you must see multiple fulfillment options to get your product to a customer, and blending the lines between distribution and retail locations. Better visibility of your information is going to make that easier.
And, that’s where a player like OpsVeda can make a difference – helping these companies complete the cycle with efficiency.
Puneet: So, if you had to think of one word to describe OpsVeda, what would that be?
Jon: Well, for me it's actually two words. I like ‘operational intelligence’ or ‘operational agility’ as possible options.
Puneet: Very well. So, let’s do one more question. If you could help me complete the sentence “I believe in OpsVeda because...”
Jon: Because it's a product that delivers real value, and I've seen it work. And that's why. It's that simple. I believe in the product because I actually used it and it hit on something that I had to do previously that we did custom. So, to me – that's why I love the product.
Puneet: Jon, thank you for your insights and your strong vote of confidence for OpsVeda. I thank you for your time and look forward to many more chats – hopefully, in person soon.