Supply Chain Advisory

We work as strategic advisors with key customer executives to help them make better decisions, action them and achieve the sustained success they desire. Our strength lies in our ability to ‘connect the dots’; apply our analysis and synthesis skills to arrive at innovative solutions, and then use our facilitations skills to drive change management and adoption of the recommended solution.

We are passionate about engaging with our clients as partners to deliver customized solutions specific to their needs. We also strive to strike an ideal balance between management theory and practice. Our engagement methodologies are based on sound and proven management frameworks and applied in the context of our customer’s business environment.

Functional strategies in the areas of sales, supply chain, manufacturing and procurement need to be aligned with a company’s overall business strategy; especially in today’s world of constant disruptions. With rapidly changing business environment and new business models, the supporting value chain functions need to be aligned towards delivering a set of common objectives and goals. There is no place for functional silo optimization in today’s customer driven environment.

With our vast experience and expertise in developing solutions for end-to-end supply chains, we help in translating a company’s strategic aspirations in markets, customers and products into key strategic requirements for the sell-side, in-side and the buy-side of their value chains.

Using proven tools, we apply a logical three step approach for developing strategic vision, priorities and execution roadmaps for our customers. The approach essentially helps companies answer three sets of questions (Why, How and What) as they think through the key Strategic Priorities and Initiatives that will help achieve them.

  • The Why stage helps in establishing the case for change in strategy and the business value of making such change. Often driven using our high impact simulation game (TFC game brochure link) based experiential workshops
  • The How stage helps in establishing the strategic initiatives and priorities? How would the organization, people, processes and technology need to change to support the business case?
  • The What stage is focused on developing an actionable roadmap for implementing the strategic initiatives, and typically answers the following questions – what resources are needed? what investments are required? what will be the measures of project success?

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The configuration of a company’s supply chain network determines its ability to deliver to its promises. These are the decisions on the locations, capacities, costs and lead times of distribution centres, manufacturing plants and its supply sources. The design of the network is critical because the company is investing in mid term to long term supply capabilities based on these decisions, and these determine the agility, flexibility and the efficiency of how it can serve its customers. Moreover, eighty percent of a company’s supply chain costs and delivery capabilities get locked in with these decisions at the very start. In today’s complex, globalized and high variability supply chains the network design decision takes on an added criticality.

Our expertise in developing sophisticated mathematical models, combined with our understanding of business practices is a unique differentiator in helping our clients take realistic and optimized network design decisions. Our approach embodies the following steps:

  • Understanding the current network and business environment, and the company’s strategic objectives that the redesigned network needs to achieve
  • Develop a mathematical model of the current network to create the baseline model
  • Develop scenarios and theoretically most optimized network options to meet the strategic objectives
  • Evaluate the theoretical options against the practical realities to arrive the most realistic design options

Our phase wise approach, iterative design process in strong collaboration with key stakeholders, and the use of best of breed network optimization tools helps in arriving at risk mitigated design options that can start with quick wins. We also develop detailed roadmaps for the network design project to help staggering the investments and fund the subsequent stages using the returns from the initial quick wins.

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Most organizations struggle with the challenge of developing a consolidated plan that cuts across timeframes (strategic, tactical, operational), functions (sales, marketing, manufacturing, supply chain, finance) and geographies (regions where a company may operate in). That’s the first challenge. The second challenge is to ensure that the plan is ‘optimum’, i.e. it is demand driven (based on what the customers will buy) and makes the best use of resources (people, equipment, inventory, money) to deliver the highest profits to the organization.

The Integrated Business Planning (IBP) process framework helps managers take a strategic view of the business and achieve it through executable plans in each business function so that everyone is working towards ‘One Common Goal’. In essence, it is a common sense process designed for effective decision making for any organization, big or small, in private or public sector.

Simple, yet Complex

IBP is a simple to understand concept, but complex to implement. Primarily due to the need for alignment with business strategy and alignment across business functions such as sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing, logistics and procurement. While the right set of processes and technology tools are essential ingredients, most companies struggle in their IBP journeys on the people dimension, due to the mentality of functional silo mindset and lack of alignment and communication between business functions.

Our Approach

When it comes to IBP / S&OP we focus on the ‘people’ dimension. We work with our customers in helping them in the following areas

  • Develop the case for change for strategic and functional alignment
  • Create awareness and help obtain senior stakeholder sponsorship for the implementation program
  • Develop the IBP Program roadmap
  • Establish Change Management Strategy and Program
  • Help in selecting the right S&OP technology platform
  • Program manage the implementation
  • Develop awareness and knowledge of IBP principles and processes using business simulation game based experiential learning and realization approach

Our methodology is unique. We use a leading supply chain game The Fresh Connection to challenge participants to help save a company from the brink of disaster by taking strategic and tactical decisions in the functional areas of Sales, Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement. Participants are challenged to align business strategy and functional objectives by taking into account current business issues and trade-offs inherent within and across each business function. By participating in ‘rounds’ that each constitute 6 months in the life of the company, the participants are encouraged to be proactive and look at longer time horizons, rather than focus on short term reactive measures. The need for having a structured planning and decision-making process, such as IBP is also clearly established.

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Our business environments are changing rapidly owing to changing customer preferences, competition, technology, government regulations so on and so forth. Organizations have to constantly understand the change facing them and adopt their value delivery processes to meet the new requirements. A continuous focus on process improvement is thus required to survive and sustain in today’s world.

We enable our customers undertake the continuous improvement journey using our Lean and Six Sigma expertise. Using Lean methodology, we help our customers enter a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement where all employees and stakeholders are focused on doing what is ‘right’ for the customer and aggressively eliminating all activities that are acting as bottlenecks or wastes to provide the right value. Using Six-Sigma methodology, our customers deploy highly disciplined processes that helps them focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services.

We also help align senior executives on the need for initiating lean and six sigma projects in their organizations and train resources at all levels with foundational skills (Yellow Belt) to create understanding and awareness, and project implementation skills (Green Belts) to ensure successful Project Execution.

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