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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

Competing on Data Talent

In my last post, I introduced the longitudinal study that MIT Sloan Management Review has been conducting over the past five years. From 2010 to 2012 they indicated that 67% of those surveyed believed that analytics gave their organizations a competitive edge. In 2013, that figure stabilized at 66% revealing the so called 'Moneyball Effect' where leaders lost their competitive edge that they once enjoyed because followers matured and made analytics core competencies. In 2014, that trend continued, falling to 61%.

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Demand Planning and Forecasting, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

Warehouse Inventory Management: Getting The Right Product To The Right Person

When supply chain professionals plan for future demand, their thoughts gravitate to meeting customer service levels while minimizing the amount of capital tied up in inventory.  Demand planning and warehouse inventory management is about having the right product in the right place at the right time … right? Four occurrences of the same word would cause my old English teacher to shudder at this excessive use of a word in a single sentence. However, let us return to the important business of meeting consumer demand without incurring the cost of excess inventory.

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Platform, Posts, Software Development, Supply Chain

The VISION thing

“If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything!” That was one of my Dad’s favorite expressions and I think it’s wise; I try to live by it every day. It applies nicely to software development too where I put it in the following terms: “If you don’t have a vision for your product you’ll clutter it with lots of unnecessary features!”

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Platform, Posts, Software Development, Supply Chain

Agile Software Development: It’s Not a Process

Once upon a time, agile software development was revolutionary and cellphones were for making cellphone calls, but those times are long gone. Agile is a mainstream best-practice and if you aren’t applying it then I must brand you a laggard. But agile has changed in the last decade, and not always for the better.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Posts, Supply Chain

Competing on Data

By now, most of you have probably heard of, or read, the book entitled Competing on Analytics by Thomas Davenport that demonstrates how some of the most successful organizations in the world have made analytics a core capability and integral to their strategic planning. MIT Sloan has been tracking this phenomenon since 2010 echoing Davenport's findings. From 2010 to 2012 they indicated that 67% of those surveyed believed that analytics gave their organizations a competitive edge. However, in their last installment of their longitudinal study, something interesting happened. Something that I like to call the 'Oakland Athletics Effect'.

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Platform, Posts, Software Development, Supply Chain

The Benefits of 20/20 Hindsight

Choosing the technology for a long-term project is a risky business – this season’s hottest software may be horribly out of fashion a year or two from now. That’s a big problem if you’ve built your supply chain on it; no-one wants to upgrade their software platform very often.

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Platform, Posts, Software Development, Supply Chain

Introducing a Blog for Your Inner Software Geek

Tecsys develops innovative software products. Yes, we are a provider of supply chain solutions (and hey, Your Supply Chain Matters!), but underpinning all of that is a team of software development professionals who build our products with the latest technologies and tools.

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Demand Planning and Forecasting, Posts, Supply Chain

Measuring Forecast Accuracy – Getting Started

Improved forecast accuracy leads to many downstream improvements in operations and ultimately, on the balance sheet. That is why Gartner, Inc., a highly respected information technology research and advisory firm, puts forecast accuracy at the top of its pyramid of supply chain metrics. In a study published in February 2012, Gartner stated that a 6% forecast improvement could improve the perfect order by 10% and deliver a 10-15% reduction in unnecessary inventory.

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Posts, Supply Chain

Increasing Profitability with Automation & Validation

I was reminded recently that there are really only two ways to improve your organization’s profitability; increase revenues or decrease costs. Arguably, increasing revenues does not necessarily translate into higher profits.Take a moment to think about how much revenue it would take to bring the same amount of dollars to the bottom line as would a 2% decrease in operational costs.

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Posts, Supply Chain

The Evolution of Business Forecasting

Back in the mid-nineties, I attended a conference on business forecasting. The focus was on the science of statistical forecasting, and, well...I may have drifted off during the second half hour of discussions on Winters’ triple exponential smoothing.

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Analytics, Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain

About Forecastability

Forecastability is an important word in demand planning.  Oddly, the word forecastability is not listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary nor is it found in Wikipedia.  However Wiktionary describes forecastability as “A measure of the degree to which something may be forecast with accuracy”.  That something could be an item used in the production of a finished good or the finished good itself.

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Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

What defines BIG thinking?

In the movie Big, Tom Hanks plays a child trapped in the body of a 30-year-old who challenges the status quo at a toy manufacturer. To the audience it all makes sense as the movie progresses – think like a kid when selling stuff to kids. How revolutionary! Yet the audience also relates to the adults who pretend to know what kids like.

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Posts, Supply Chain

Pushing the Boundaries of Your Value Discipline

In my last blog post, I mentioned the three forms of value in a commercial transaction: Technical, Organizational and Personal. This trilogy of values reminds me of one of my favorite books, The Discipline of Market Leaders by Michael Treacy and Fred Wieserma. The big message in this book is that no company can succeed by trying to be all things to all people.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

Big Data – Synthesis

In 2013, Gartner conducted a survey on Big Data Adoption in Supply Chain Industries and found that adoption has been flat and is lagging behind the overall adoption rate of other industries such as banking, insurance, and retail to name a few. Gartner ascertained that these characteristics pertaining to the Supply Chain industry are attributable to an inherent lack of understanding of what Big Data truly is and a fundamental lack of the required skill sets. This, in essence, is the challenge facing the Supply Chain industry.

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Posts, Supply Chain

Is Your Supply Chain Evolving Into a Value Chain?

Information technologies have evolved and so have the expectations of the business community. Do you remember when the main objective was automation? Now organizations who continue to view their supply chain applications as transactional engines are missing huge opportunities. Supply chain applications must provide a competitive edge by offering differentiation, depth of functionality, adaptability and robust analytics. The supply chain is also continuously evolving; its evolution leads us to the value chain.

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Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain

Supply Chain Visibility at Becker’s Annual Meeting

The recent Becker’s Hospital Review Annual meeting in Chicago was invigorating and thought-provoking, with many presentations from CEOs of many leading healthcare systems. I wanted to share an overview of three breakout sessions that spoke specifically to Healthcare Supply Chain.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

Big Data Implications

Big data and big data analytics pose a series of implications and challenges.  Organizations that seek to become analytical competitors must have an established analytics culture consisting of  well trained employees who are using the right enabling technologies.  However, these organizations face challenges maintaining consumer privacy while they collect and use sensitive information.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

Big Data Analytics

Big data is all around us.  As we have seen, big data is characterized by its volume, velocity, and variety (the infamous three 'V's).  Great, you have a lot of data...now what?  Well, these untapped 'dark data assets' give rise to vast opportunities for those organizations that seek new ways to compete.  Studies have shown that organizations that compete on analytics by focusing on their core competencies fare much better than those who do not.  Some have gone so far as to call big data the ‘new oil’.  In part two of this four part series, we will take a closer look at big data analytics.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

Big Data Demystified

With the advent of big data, organizations are beginning to recognize the impact that big data and analytics can have on their ability to compete in their respective industries.  In a recent study by MIT and the SAS Institute, 67% of leading organizations firmly believe that analytics give them a competitive advantage.  This recognition has revealed that it is not only about the volume, velocity and variety of the data at hand, but having the right culture, skillsets, and technologies in place, while respecting the privacy of consumers.  This post will be the first of a four part series aimed at demystifying the term 'big data', and touching on opportunities, implications and challenges related to big data.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain

The Hierarchy of Healthcare Supply Chain Metrics

In my July post, I introduced the 'Hierarchy of Supply Chain Metrics', which is a framework of supply chain metrics conceived by Gartner, the world's leading information research and advisory company.  The model provides 3 tiers of integrated metrics to assess, diagnose, and correct supply chain performance, and is a great example of what constititutes a supply chain scorecard.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Posts, Supply Chain

Tecsys Analytics with WERC Benchmarks

It has been said that you can't manage what you can't measure.  In the world of analytics, this is our daily mantra.  However, as succinct as the statement may be, you can't help wondering if it is missing something —  a little something called perspective.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Posts, Supply Chain

The Hierarchy of Supply Chain Metrics

Since 2010, Gartner, the world's leading information technology research and advisory company, has been publishing an annual report entitled 'Gartner Supply Chain Top 25' which ranks organizations that demonstrate leadership in supply chain management.  In each of these reports, the 'Hierarchy of Supply Chain Metrics' is positioned as the ideal set of metrics to measure supply chain operational performance.  To emphasize Gartner's stance, the subtitle reads: 'The Metrics We Wish We Had'.

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Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

“Business As Usual” is not the future of healthcare supply chain!

Isn’t this the most interesting time in US healthcare? Actually, in healthcare across the globe? Because no matter how your healthcare system is funded, the containment and management of supply chain costs is a constant business reality we are all facing. To that end, supply chain is finally coming into its own in the C-Suite of most organizations. We are realizing, as an industry, that what has worked in the past will no longer work in our emerging reality — on all sides of the business equation. Everyone has to participate in the change.

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Analytics, Business Intelligence, Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain

3 Stages of Hospital Supply Chain Management (SCM) Maturity

Having been involved in the development of a pan-Canadian Electronic Health Record, I have a keen interest in how healthcare benefits from standardized policies and technologies designed to reduce healthcare costs and improve patient outcomes and safety through improved synergies and efficiencies.  My interest also extends to the hospital supply chain.  With inventories representing 30% of hospital costs, second only to labor costs, there are huge gains in organizational performance that can be had through better supply chain management.

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Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

Trends Are In the Air

Tecsys-Sponsored a Lunch & Learn program at the recent IDN Summit, “The Transformable Supply Chain” featuring Brent Johnson, Chief Procurement Officer, Intermountain Healthcare; Curtis Dudley, Vice President of Integrated Performance Solutions, Mercy; and Mike Wentling, Chief Solutions Officer, ROi. The discussion focused on the changes in the healthcare supply chain that have driven the development of consolidated service centers/supply chain centers.

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Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain

Reading to Think: Concepts in Healthcare Supply Chain Management

I would like to share some reading I have been doing that is providing a lot of food for thought. The first source is the book “Healthcare Will Not Reform Itself” by George Halvorson, CEO of Kaiser Permanente. What a compelling read! Mr. Halvorson walks us through many scenarios, while breaking things down to accessible portions.

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Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain

What the C-Suite Needs to Know about US Healthcare

I recently had the opportunity to hear a presentation by Brandi Greenberg, Managing Director at The Advisory Board and the Healthcare Supplier/Provider Institute in Las Vegas. Brandi presented research findings that are packaged for the C-Suite. I found it very enlightening and wanted to share my notes with you.

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Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain, Warehouse Management

Healthcare Self-Distribution: Early Considerations

We recently hosted a web event titled Demystifying Demand Planning: WHY and received an interesting question from one of the participants. The question had a much broader reach than Demand Planning and I thought it would be terrific to share it with all of you.

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Healthcare, Posts, Supply Chain

Establish Trust via Demand Planning

Trust. Hard to gain, easy to lose, and widely discussed in supply chain management in healthcare. Typically, trust is limited, and the lack of it is limiting our ability to work together. So how do we, as supply chain participants, create it? The answer is multifactorial; however, one key component is communication. An easy channel for communication is data and metrics, and heaven knows we have data!

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