Introduction and challenges
Most companies have tools and processes at their disposal to facilitate the management of their supply chain: ERP giving end to end visibility, steering and planning processes (forecasting, S&OP etc.) and sophisticated optimisation tools under constraint (APS).
Despite these efforts, the expected performance level is not always reached: shortfalls may occur alongside large overstocks leading to a non-optimal service rate. Even organising several prioritisation meetings or setting up multiple time-consuming excel files, built in parallel with the ERP, may fail to address this in full.
There are two main reasons for these malfunctions: ERPs work sequentially by propagating a need at each step of the process. The existence of fixed horizons implies that the upstream signal is no longer representative of the customer’s needs; reducing reactiveness. In addition, the lack of data quality in the ERP makes decision-making more complex. On the other hand, APS systems integrate all constraints (capacity and availability of materials and components) to define an executable plan. They consider constraints as fixed and therefore do not enable the identification of service optimisation points. There is room for manoeuvre however; through capacity adjustment and renegotiation of order dates.
How we can help
Through five years of research and development, Argon & Co has built and deployed a control tower solution (Argon & Co supply control tower) to enable clients to reach new levels of performance. Typical results are a drastic improvement in customer service rate (+10% to 15%) and supply chain agility, and reinforcement of stock control (-10% to -20%)
This control tower is based on five key areas that are not addressed by traditional processes and tools:
- Stabilise the signal by spreading the real demand to all supply chain actors (planners, supply, control, quality, logistics, and distribution)
- Identify the constraints of each actor that should be lifted in order to maximise the satisfaction of the final need throughout the supply chain, whatever its complexity (multi-site, multi-level, multi-organisation, multi-ERP)
- Define clear and coherent priorities of actions for functions; promoting collaboration and effective planning rituals
- Empower all actors and offer a synthetic vision of the progress of the action plan
- Identify the sources of non-quality in ERP data (missing information, no range, missed forecast dates, incorrect declarations, etc.) to prioritise the necessary actions
With these objectives in mind, Argon & Co supports its clients in the implementation of these innovative processes:
- Fast experimentation in POC mode (duration of a few days) through a plug and play tool (in particular on SAP)
- Definition of new supply chain operating models
- Experimentation and sustainability of new practices
- Change management support
- Control of the associated performance through a pre-configured supply chain dashboard