Outsmart Disruption – Protecting and Future-Proofing Your Supply Chain

Watch this on-demand webinar to discover new ways to build resilience in your supply chain via intelligent decision-making and a continuous design process. 

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New ways to protect and future-proof your supply chain from disruptions

Watch this webinar to learn:

  • How continuous supply chain design helps address rampant supply chain disruption
  • Exactly what continuous supply chain design is
  • The maturity levels in supply chain management
  • Supply chain design competencies that are critical for a resilient and agile supply chain
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Supply chains have been hit hard with multiple crises and disasters in recent years. Protecting and future-proofing your supply chain from disruptions requires rethinking the least-cost and overly lean strategies that have dominated global supply chains for decades. Increasingly, organizations are evaluating their supply chains to remain relevant during an era of ever-changing conditions across the supply chain.

In this session, 5 time SDCE Supply Chain Pro to Know, Nari Viswanathan from Coupa, covered new ways to build resilience in your supply chain via intelligent decision-making and a continuous design process. Also included was a supply chain maturity model to help guide your respective company’s continuous design process.

Only about 9% of companies actively design their supply chains. This is based on the research done by Supply Chain Insights. Of those 9% of companies, most of those companies do their design in Excel spreadsheets, rather than utilizing a tool. So, the key question that we have to ask ourselves is: are we actively designing the supply chain? And the key word is “actively.”
Nari Viswanathan, Sr. Director, Product Segment Marketing, Coupa Software


What are some questions that businesses must answer to ensure their supply chain is meeting their strategic business needs?

The first set of questions have to do with network and capacity planning: How many DCs do we need? Where should they be located? Who should they serve? How do we plan for growth and seasonality? How do we adjust our capacity and labor requirements? The second set of questions have to do with inventory: Which DCs should stock which SKUs? How much inventory do we need? How frequently should we be replenishing? And the third set of questions relate to transportation: What if we change my delivery frequency? How many routes and assets do we need? How can I reduce my empty miles?

What are the business drivers that motivate a transition from episodic supply chain design to continuous design and planning?

A first driver comes from rapid shifts in demand, product, and channel mix. Another driver is the business need to manage multiple constraints simultaneously. A third driver stems from rapid changes in the underlying rules, policies, and flow path assumptions that inform planning and execution systems. When these change frequently, the supply chain needs to be dynamically re-optimized.

What is an example of a large company that successfully implemented continuous supply chain design?

A large food and beverage company was facing multiple challenges in its supply chain. First, they weren’t sure how to model the impact that a new product line would have on its existing supply chain network. They also were struggling to determine how adding this new product line would help to reduce transportation costs and increase truck utilization. They proceeded with a series of changes, the first of which was to undergo a network optimization to identify the optimal configuration, including the number of DCs, location of DCs, and product flow paths. They also implemented a multi-stop routing optimization to minimize costs and empty miles. In addition, they did a regional and local transportation analysis to support distribution systems (e.g. direct vs. multi-stop). As a result of these optimizations, they successfully merged both networks of product lines into one fully integrated supply chain network. They also identified major improvements after their changes, such as a 6-10% cost reduction, a 14% increase in load utilization, and a 33% reduction in the number of shipments.