Make Your Exisitng Systems Work For You

September 23, 2009

David Edwards . Operations Professionals

All too often companies struggle with the same issues every day. Everyone involved with the issue is just too busy putting out the raging flames driven by these issues to stop and eliminate it at the source. And in a large majority of cases, the tools to eliminate the source are right under their noses. Sophisticated ERP, SCM and WMS systems have been implemented, but for a variety of reasons are not being used to their full potential. Companies waste mountains of precious time, energy, and money fighting problems that could be eliminated if they just used their existing systems to their fullest potential. The following article details some of the most common reasons for this lack of utilization, and offers some simple advice for getting your money’s worth from the software investment you have already made.

Read The Full Article Here: Driving Business Process Improvement with Software You Already Own

Written by Marek Omilian    
Tuesday, 08 September 2009 

Many companies struggle to realize the full value of their software investments. Whether due to unclear business requirements, lack of user awareness, organizational resistance to change, or not leveraging existing software to address new business requirements, a significant amount of software functionality goes unused. To tackle this problem you should consider conducting a Business Process Improvement (BPI) planning engagement to unlock your software’s full potential. BPI engagements provide a structured framework to analyze and address business problems you face every day, driving cost savings and additional value from software you already own.


Leading The Way With BPI – Who’s In Control

September 23, 2009

In this article from, the struggle for control of the BPI process between IT and the business units being examined is discussed in depth. While IT has the expertise in the tools and techniques of BPI, business units resist  change processes that are not led by their own organizations. Successful BPI initiatives that are led by IT have been executed in organizations where IT leadership has recognized the need for IT to closely collaborate with and serve the business units. It’s in their best interest to do so because BPM is at the center of so much IT activity. Says Burlton, “Process is so important right now because it is the linchpin of all these other things we’ve talked about for years: ERP, CRM [and now SOA]. Process holds everything together.”

Who Controls Business Process Improvement

By Meridith Levinson

November 01, 2006 — CIO

 In the 1990s, Michael Hammer and James Champy’s blockbuster book, Reengineering the Corporation, set off a tidal wave of business process improvement initiatives throughout corporate America. The two management gurus showed that redesigning a company’s processes, structure and culture could lead to a dramatic increase in performance. But a lack of attention to change management and the impact of these initiatives on employees yielded counterproductive results in many companies that tried to put Hammer’s and Champy’s ideas into practice.

Business Intelligence – Mining Your Data For Gold

September 19, 2009

A recent article from Supply and Demand Chain magazine details the results of a recent study conducted by IBM. If you are working to develop meaningful information from the mountains of data you collect every day, you are not alone.

What’s on Your CIO’s Mind? Analytics, Analytics, Analytics

IBM study highlights business intelligence as top priority as today’s chief information officers focus on becoming more strategic, enabling business growth By Editorial Staff

Above (from YouTube): IBM CIO Pat Toole comments on a new global study of more than 2,500 Chief Information Officers (CIOs).

Armonk, NY — September 18, 2009 — Leveraging analytics to gain a competitive advantage and improve business decision-making is now the top priority for CIOs, according to a new study of more than 2,500 chief information officers by IBM.

via – Article – What’s on Your CIO’s Mind? Analytics, Analytics, Analytics.

Leading The Way

September 18, 2009

I got an email from a valued client this morning, it was a classic, a little story someone had sent him that he felt compelled to forward on to his close contacts. I have to share it here:


What does the future hold for us as individuals, companies, a nation, or a global community? The answer depends on us. The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Hyper Hyping Technology

July 17, 2009

In a recent AMR Research article on Business Week, Kevin O’Marah states “As businesses prepare for a new normal of hyper-volatility, the limits of the Japanese-inspired, low-tech, Lean philosophy are starting to show”. He goes on to use the latest AMR research on Supply Chain Risk to support his premise that the increasing level of supply chain complexity and risk requires an increase in the use of supply chain technology. This doesn’t surprise me coming from a technology industry guru, the answer to everything is always more complex technology.

However, his survey results don’t really support the idea that simpler (Kanban) is not better, the companies surveyed seemed to realize this year that the most successful supply chain risk mitagation strategies were closer collaboration with your suppliers, clear communication of expectations to your suppliers, and having a backup plan. The more things change, the more they stay the same, technology is a tool that can be leveraged to execute business more efficiently, but it cannot replace strong realtionships and clear communication in mitigating supply chain risk. In most cases, simpler is better…

Supply Chain Risk: Kanban Won’t Cut It

Posted by: Rachael King on July 16

Today, Kevin O’Marah, chief strategy officer for Boston-based advisory firm AMR Research, is guest blogging. Here’s his post:

Somali pirates, oil prices on a roller coaster, and poison peanuts are typical of the new reality for global supply chains in these crazy, turbulent times. As businesses prepare for a new normal of hyper-volatility, the limits of the Japanese-inspired, low-tech, Lean philosophy are starting to show. The global supply chain in 2009 is a lot more than just a factory and a loading dock – today’s system of plants, distribution centers and retail outlets works more like a worldwide telecoms network than an assembly line. Add a hefty dose of supply chain risk to the mix and a tech-free Lean gospel just can’t hack it anymore.

Success with Supply Chain Technology

July 13, 2009

A recent article from AMR Research defends SCM technology. Supply Chain Technology itself is not the issue, the issue driving success or failure is well summed in the excerpt “When technology–not surprisingly–doesn’t solve the organizational and process problems, it gets blamed for the organizational shortcomings”. SCM technology is a tool, it is used to execute organizational strategy, if that strategy is not well formed or the processes that are supposed to support it are not aligned properly, the technology does little more than automate the same problems that existed without it. Successful SCM technology implementations start with well aligned strategies and supporting processes, without this foundation the technology will be sure to fail…

Defending SCM Technology: It’s Not the Answer, but a Damn Good One

AMR Research | July 01, 2009

Master Your Future

July 3, 2009

Are you a ‘master’ of your supply chain. If you are, a recent Accenture survey says you have “achieved 10 percent greater forecasting accuracy than their counterparts did; that service management masters attained 33 percent better turns on “spares” inventories, and that masters of sourcing and procurement delivered 2.5 times more value for every dollar they spent on procurement than companies that haven’t achieved ‘masters’ status did.”

supply chain master: a definition

New research into high-performing supply chains looks at what sets the best apart from the rest …

By Mark B. Solomon, Senior Editor
From the July 2009 issue

Rational Decisions

July 3, 2009

Retailers and wholesalers have made significant inventory adjustments over the past 18 months in response to declining sales. This restructuring has impacted the manufacturing sector hard as they lose not only the reduction in sales, but the associated downward adjustment in inventory levels as well. The question is whether an uptick in sales will be accompanied by an associated increase in stocking levels, leading to an exagerated uptick in manufacturing requirements. If optimization techniques are properly applied, then we should expect to see some increase in stocking levels as consumer demand increases, just as we have seen stocking levels decline with decreases in consumer demand. This makes the task of managing manufacturing resources all the more critical during these periods of drastic demand swings…

SUPPLY CHAIN STANDARD: Rationalised and Optimal

July 1, 2009 — The current recession has seen massive destocking by retailers – is this the new norm or will the shelves fill up again come the upturn?

Lean Supply Chain

July 1, 2009

As you look for ways to reduce working capital and improve your cash position, don’t forget to look outside your own organization at your suppliers and customers. Optimizing inventory levels within your own company involves making inventory provisions to cover execution deviations that occur outside of your control. In many cases, your suppliers and/or customers are duplicating those provisions in their own inventory optimization strategies. Working closely with your supply chain partners to share information can yield significant reductions in total supply chain inventories.

Supply Chain Management: Invest in Your Suppliers

By Scott A. Heintzelman

Lean manufacturing is a term that has gained great exposure during the last 10 years. If you know about Lean, you’ve probably heard about reducing waste of all kinds on factory floors through improved processing efficiencies. What you may not know is that Lean philosophy can be applied to other parts of your operations as well as Supply Chain Management.

Survive or Thrive?

June 28, 2009

A new CFO survey reveals an interesting performance difference between current approaches to negotiating the current economic conditions. Companies working to holistically improve integration and eliminate silos are outperforming companies purely focused on short term cost cutting and cash flow management strategies. Long range thinking yields short range results…

CFOs: Survival Trumps Profits, Supply Chain Growing in Popularity

Sean Murphy, Associate Editor — Supply Chain Management Review, 6/26/2009 12:46:00 PM

The current economy has prompted many corporations to worry more about staying alive than making money, and supply chain management may be poised to become an even more important business practice than it is now, according to the results of a new CFO survey.