Supply Chain Front and Center: Thoughts From the APICS 2018 Conference

Hello from Chicago! I’m here attending the APICS 2018 supply chain conference, and I’m spending time around some brilliant minds in manufacturing and supply chain. I’d like to share a little of what I’ve encountered here through great speaker sessions and conversations with industry leaders.

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The Name of the Game is Adoption: Observations from the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit

I just finished my first day at the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit in Philadelphia and spent the day in the analytics track with manufacturing and technology leaders from across the country. The message from day one was clear: there’s a lot of talk about the technology behind analytics, and not enough focus on the human side that will ultimately yield results.

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People, Not Data, Will Transform Your Supply Chain

Cut Through the Data Craze With Collaborative Analytics

When business analytics first became available to US companies in the 1950s, capabilities were limited and technology was often prohibitively expensive. It was decades before most companies made analytics a standard practice in their organizations. Business leaders continued to rely on their experience and intuition to make critical decisions. But as analytics technology evolved, insights became more valuable and leaders took notice. By the 1980s, most large companies were employing some form of analytics for decision support.

Fast forward 30 years and companies like General Electric are making multi-billion dollar investments in their analytics infrastructures. It’s more than just Big Data; leaders know that their data is only as valuable as the insights it provides. As analytics have evolved and improved, decision-makers are demanding more from their analytics than ever.

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Why is predictive analytics one of the top disruptors for supply chain?

Supply chain executives are always on the hunt for improvements to efficiency that lead to cost savings. Improving processes is often low-hanging fruit that can be done quickly with the right tools in-hand. In this post, I’d like to show you how our customers have saved millions through inventory optimization and cost reductions by leveraging technology like AI and cloud computing. I’ll also touch on Deloitte’s 2018 MHI Annual Industry Report, which discusses trends of next-generation supply chains, and the tools most leaders believe will disrupt the industry. Automation is right at the top of the list.

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Lean Manufacturing Predictions for 2018

2017 was a big year for manufacturing! From adding an average of 16,000 jobs each month to continuing the years-long trend of increasing output and productivity, the US manufacturing industry saw a lot of good.

Here at LeanDNA, we had a great year too! We made major improvements to the way manufacturers leverage collaborative analytics to reduce inventory, manage shortages, and execute their lean projects. For example, we created more automated ways that our system’s AI-based Inventory Actions highlight opportunities for inventory reduction, and brought to light new ways for sites within the same company to collaborate on global inventory initiatives. But what’s next for the world of manufacturing as a whole?

Here are 5 predictions for what we expect to see in 2018: Continue Reading “Lean Manufacturing Predictions for 2018”

The Benefits of Digitizing Your Lean Project Management

Originally featured in AME’s Target Online Magazine

These days, everything is moving online. From smart doorbells to Bluetooth-enabled Crock Pots, people everywhere are realizing the benefits of an interconnected world. The same goes for manufacturing: Cloud-based ERPs and factory networks are just a few of the web-based systems allowing manufacturers to operate better than ever before. And lean is no exception to this shift online.

Earlier this year, Broadwind Energy, a manufacturer of structures, equipment and components for clean technology, started their Lean Six Sigma journey with an online, lean project management system. We sat down with John Tackett, Director of Operational Excellence at Broadwind Energy, to learn more about how their journey began, the results they have seen with lean and some advice for taking your own lean project management online. Continue Reading “The Benefits of Digitizing Your Lean Project Management”