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Predict, Not Just Respond

Story of Harry Planner

Harry Planner

Based on a true story adopted for illustration of how digitalization can help to minimize the impact of current situation or any supply chain disruption…

Harry was a planner at a $550M company making motor parts and shipping them all over the world. The company was doing great because of high demand. But Harry had a hard time trying to make sure that the orders are delivered on time and what he should do when either there is not enough capacity or suppliers are late and delaying deliveries. He called them every day to no avail and situation was getting out of hand. Customers were complaining to the executives and he kept receiving phone calls from the CEO as well as other VPs in the organization nagging. He was trying so hard using his spreadsheet to match demand and supply. But apparently that did not work too well since the delays were getting longer. They were even losing business to their competitors. Harry was working until late every day and when he got home his wife was on his case too. There was no escaping at work or at home. He was simply losing it! And then came the tariffs! As a result, parts became scarce and more expensive. He had no other suppliers other than the ones he had been working with. He thought the only way he could stop going crazy was to quit!

On a weekend, while he was having lunch with a friend, Harry got some insight as to what can be done to make his life better. His friend, Speedy, worked at a slightly larger company, making furniture and other household items, as VP of supply chain. Harry asked him: “… so how are you doing with tariffs?”  Speedy’s response was, like many others we were also exposed but we used our system to re-direct our supply chain from tariff regions to a third country where they were partially disassembled and put together and then sent to us for distribution. Harry was truly amazed how fast they were able to do that and re-configure their supply chain. He was very curious about their use of spreadsheet. The answer surprised him. Speedy said, we stopped using spreadsheets a long time ago and adopted Adexa S&OP and S&OE to automate our planning to the degree that all of our planners only need to review the plan, already optimized, approve it and done for the day! And if anything happens, we can use our digital mirror of the supply chain to examine our best options and get recommendations from the system.”

Harry was so intrigued and excited that he lost his appetite. He ran home without even paying for the meal and placed a call to his VP. Harry told him about his conversation with Speedy. Six month later, Harry was sitting behind the control dashboard of his new Adexa S&OP/S&OE system in his new office as the new Director of supply chain planning and ensuring every customer’s demand is met on time. He could also assess his risk by changing demand, disrupt supplies, and/or change prices in order to estimate the exposure of the company and the level of financial risk. The system was also using the latest technology to define his safety stock for each month of the year.

More importantly, Harry left his office for home right after 5 every day to have his favorite dinner with his now happy wife and children. No more end of quarter night shifts!

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