On July 18, JDA was privileged to host the 5th edition of the SCPC (Supply Chain Practitioners’ Council) at our new office facility in Bangalore, India. SCPC’s goal is to bring industry supply chain practitioners together for knowledge sharing, learning best practices and collaboratively solving supply chain challenges, and this edition’s theme was “Crafting Responsive Supply Chains for Profit.”
Rohit Saxena, like me, another torch bearer of SCPC, shared the vision of SCPC – to be able to influence one another as individuals, to influence industry and at some point in the distant future to also be able to pursue our lofty goal of being able to influence policy making. To add to what Rohit shared, yes, we are keen to build this network into a much bigger, stronger and vibrant one, with more torch bearers than ever before.
Vinay Krishna from Cypress Semiconductor shared a compelling story highlighting the key elements of their journey from a not so responsive supply chain in 2011 to a very agile one where they have been able to reduce their lead times from seven weeks to less than four weeks. A few of the things I am able to recall are their dual source manufacturing, consolidating planning resources to India, using analytics to determine planning parameters; and an organizational restructuring. All this has helped them to move from 32 manufacturing sites and 211 routes to 18 sites and 70 routes – which is a very commendable feat.
Manish Ghosh, vice president of consulting services at JDA Software, explained how differentiation in supply chain adds to the bottom line. Highlighting case studies from Altera, Dell and Michelin, he demonstrated how customer and product segmentation actually leads to multiple supply chains within an organization.
V. S. Sudhakar, co-founder of BigBasket.com, spoke about the challenges of shipping 100K items a day with a 99 percent fill rate. His narration and interaction on this subject evoked a lot of interest from the audience and he got everyone to put their thinking hats on as he continuously quizzed them on how they would have addressed these challenges, all while sharing how BigBasket.com is differentiating themselves in this competitive online space. Here are some interesting facts about BigBasket.com – they spent their first year focusing on the back-end integration, with no advertisements. They were clear about their goal –accurate and timely delivery within 24 hours without spending a fortune. Their future plans include having the largest number of SKUs than any other grocery retailer – i.e., in the range of 15,000-20,000 SKUs. Discussions around their home grown algorithm (MBQ), android app, WYSIWIG approach and penalty for late delivery fascinated and further enthralled the audience.
Vijayakumar Seelam shared how SanDisk was bogged down with challenges of high inventory and low service levels. He explained how they mapped the problem to be a function of demand variability and lead-time. The strategy was to delay product differentiation without adding significant cycle time or cost. Postponement strategy and consolidation of fulfillment sites resulted in 25 percent inventory reduction and helped them achieve end-to-end supply chain excellence.
To provide a different flavor from these presentations, the concluding session was a caselet (small case study) discussion designed to bring the audience together in smaller teams and to work collaboratively on solving a simple supply chain problem. This provided a close quarter opportunity to be able to hear and share each others view on problem solving and decision making. It also helped break the ice with attendees and created some great networking opportunities.
One of the most encouraging outcomes from this SCPC edition was the repeated request for more frequent editions. Write to me if you would like to hear more about SCPC and its mission. I would be happy share more of the great outcomes from these powerful events.