The "New Normal" economy of the post-Great Recession era has forced companies to operate leaner and meaner than in the past. The current economic environment is defined by high demand volatility, increased pressure on margins, heightened risks to supply continuity, and resources that are stretched thin. Today, more than perhaps ever before, Supply Chain is on the spot to for just cost reductions to the bottom line but genuine value to the enterprise and its shareholders. A key question facing Supply Chain executives today is: Where are the "weak links" in our supply chains, and how can we address these gaps?
It was with this question in mind that the editors of Supply & Demand Chain Executive undertook this year's Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100 process with the goal of highlighting "100 Great Supply Chain Projects." Ten years ago, Supply & Demand Chain Executive announced its first "100" list of supply chain solution providers, consultants and other organizations that were helping lead the way in transforming companies' supply and demand chains. This year the magazine focused the criteria for its "100" feature on supply chain transformation projects that demonstrate the broad spectrum of opportunities for enabling excellence in the supply chain.
The projects cited in this year's "100" article and online at SDCExec.com put the spotlight on successful and innovative transformation projects that are delivering bottom-line value to small, medium and large enterprises across the different functions that comprise the supply chain. The projects featured in the "100" article can serve as a roadmap for supply chain executives looking for new opportunities to drive improvement in their own operations.
Enabler: Apptricity Corporation
(Irving, TX, apptricity.com)
Customer: Department of Defense (Defense)
The Project: TMS. Automate planning, organizing, coordinating and controlling theater transportation activities.
Solutions/Services: TMS based on Apptricity's SOA platform, providing advanced transportation request planning, management and execution capabilities. Cargo management and real-time visibility throughout the theater of operations and accessible worldwide via the DoD enterprise.
Business Impact: Using the Apptricity TMS solution, Army Transportation Units and their command structure have real-time visibility and the capability to manage, plan, coordinate and report cargo movement within theater.
Enabler: Axway (Phoenix, AZ, www.axway.com)
Customer: Con-way (freight and logistics)
The Project: Implement a B2B infrastructure that integrates Con-way with its customer and partner community and creates automated transaction intelligence.
Solutions/Services: Up to 65,000 messages and more than 300,000 transactions flow through Con-way daily. The company deployed Axway Interchange and Axway Sentinel as a data-exchange system using a broad range of protocols and custom web services to deliver fast (less than two seconds) data search-and retrieval process, and visibility and alerting capabilities.
Business Impact:Enhancements to Con-way’s services and information flows have increased customer satisfaction, lowered IT time and cost expenditures, while providing scalability and flexibility to manage its complex supply chain.
Enabler: Avercast (Rexburg, ID, avercast.com)
Customer: Markwins International (Health & Beauty)
The Project: Forecasting, planning and collaboration. Move from flat-file database, improve accuracy and provide suppliers and planners a way to interact directly with planning data.
Solutions/Services: Avercast Business Forecasting, Supply Planning, Sales Forecasting & Supplier Connection.
Business Impact: Today Markwins' key suppliers can view the company forecast while customers are entering their own projections for Markwins' products. Markwins can now roll up accounts of smaller (but no less important) customers and treat it as one record without sacrificing fine-grain analysis and the ability to adjust forecasting parameters as needed.
Enabler: Basware (Helsinki, basware.com)
Customer: Global leader, power industry
The Project: Invoice automation. Standardize accounts payable best practices across this global leader's operations worldwide, gain visibility and automate inefficient manual processing of millions of invoices annually.
Solutions or Services Used: Basware Invoice Automation
Business Impact: Process improvements, greater visibility and efficient control of invoices. Through invoice automation, this company has been able to implement group-wide A/P best practices. The new invoice automation solution has enabled the company to cut in half the processing time of millions of invoices annually, and some group units are now able to achieve 60% fully automatic, straight-through processing.
Enabler: Cadent Resources, Inc. (Arlington Heights, IL, demandcaster.com)
Customer: $10 million metal component manufacturer
The Project: Demand planning and forecasting. Develop a strategy to manage cost-of-materials volatility — and hedge against future price increases.
Solutions/Services: DemandCaster Demand Planning, Forecasting, and Inventory Optimization SaaS.
Business Impact: PPV savings of $120,000. Improved inventory management, resulting in lower inventory levels.
Enabler: Caterpillar Logistics Services Inc. (Morton, IL, logi.cat.com)
Customer: Manitowoc Crane Care (Heavy Equipment Mfg.)
The Project: Solution implementation. Consolidate three N. American warehouses into one showcase facility located near the UPS Central hub in Louisville, KY. With goals of improved customer focus, reduced cost of ownership, increased dealer loyalty, through a long-term agreement with a world-class partner.
Solutions/Services: Operations/planning, packaging/branding, program management, transportation management, IT infrastructure.
Business Impact: Start-up completed ahead of schedule and under budget. First full year of operations was completed at end of 2010, and client operating costs were $250,000 under budget. Claims and bin denials are better than forecast, and productivities are exceeding targets.
Enabler: Celsis International Ltd. (Chicago, celsis.com)
Customer: Kao Worldwide (Personal Care)
The Project: Quality control project. A faster (and safer) product quality testing process to improve cash flow and reduce warehousing, working capital and inventory requirements.
Solutions/Services: Celsis Advance system.
Business Impact: Kao updated its quality process, enabling it to test and release products 50% faster. The company reduced inventory and warehouse space requirements.
Enabler: Demand Solutions (St. Louis, demandsolutions.com)
Customer: Certified Transmission Rebuilders (Automotive)
The Project: Rebuild manufacturing workflow. Optimize scheduling of work for individual transmission technicians to achieve improved manufacturing throughput.
Solutions/Services: Demand Solutions Advanced Planning and Scheduling
Business Impact: By standardizing its process, Certified Transmission was able to initially improve stocking levels by 30% and improve productivity. The company increased overall throughput of the units it produces by as much as 50% in some cases. The company has seen a 5% increase in each builder's efficiency just from the scheduling being automated with APS, and the new software has given them visibility into every planned order they need.
Enabler: Descartes Systems Group Inc. (Waterloo, ON, descartes.com)
Customer: Kraft Foods (Consumer Packaged Goods)
The Project: GPS enabled management of the Sales and Merchandising Workforce. Improve the productivity of Kraft's sales and merchandising operations.
Solutions/Services: Descartes Sales & Merchandiser Management Service with Sprint as the wireless carrier and handset provider and integration with ADP, Kraft's payroll calculation provider.
Business Impact: The project provided a system with actionable data for supervisors to better plan and manage the operational activities of the resources in the field. Access to this data allows them to conduct improved workload modeling for better resource capacity planning, and the refinement of labor standards. The project also improved the productivity of the Kraft sales and merchandising work force in the field, resulting in less hours and mileage reported and reimbursed, and an increase in the volume of product merchandised.