Supply chain decision support: Grasp the nettle

If, like many others, you’ve worked hard over time to achieve incremental benefits by streamlining and tweaking your production and global supply chain models, you may now be feeling that the next “big” win doesn’t exist or is certainly harder to identify and deliver.
It is frequently the case that the current operational framework doesn’t support the flexibility and movement to deliver ground-breaking innovation or supply chain (SC) improvement. What would provide benefit is a safe and unbiased environment that models alternative scenarios which allows you to explore “what if” opportunities.

iDi Pac have understood this gap and partnered with a specialist software developer to create a combined innovation methodology and modelling tool that allows our clients to assess potential benefits and articulate new areas of opportunity. Using your product data and then incorporating a plethora of data points; CO2, costs, SC nodes and configuration, manufacturing data and so forth we link the data to innovations opportunities. The outputs turn Innovation into Business Language; SC agility, working capital, responsiveness, cost reductions etc. This output is then used to support SC strategy decisions which allow the client to articulate the alternative scenarios and perspectives and to develop the business cases that are needed to gain the internal support needed for ground-breaking innovation.

When we started looking at complex global SC’s through the prism of reducing CO2 emissions we found ourselves posing a number of key questions – questions that stimulate thought and challenge the accepted norm:
1. Are you transporting large volumes of air/dead space globally?
2. Could your product or ingredient be more efficiently transported in bulk, rather than in sales units?
3. Are there opportunities to complete final assembly or packing locally?
4. Does the pack format support this requirement? Can it be simplified?
5. Or, can manufacturing be centralised with final assembly, labelling & decoration delivered at final market destinations?
6. Do regional requirements; pack counts, languages, and forecast requirements put excessive stress on manufacturing plants?
7. Can you streamline inventory so that major manufacturing hubs can focus on a defined portfolio, using partner hubs at destinations to complete orders for the local market?

Having a Decision Support Model coupled with applied experience, SC know-how and excellence in innovation tools and packaging awareness provides visibility of scenarios that may in turn increase security in the supply chain, improve adherence globally through novel product formats and solutions and finally support and identify future competitive advantage.

With the correct tools we can model alternative scenarios; providing SC strategy decision-makers with the metrics and understanding they need to support effective definition of direction. Working in partnership with iDi Pac unlocks this potential and enables ‘innovative thinking’ that can be used in articulating excellence in What If scenario definition and to understand where you are able to:
• Understand where value is lost in your supply chain; physical and intangible.
• Deliver to increased levels of end-users, in convenient formats that suit them.
• Focus your hub manufacturing sites on driving efficiency and production of a core portfolio.
• Specialise and deliver local to destination.
• Increase brand security – serialise, identify, authenticate product in destination markets.

An alternative use is to take advantage of this capability to model ‘what if’ scenarios focussing on current SC design; allowing you to increase market share by identifying and then evaluating opportunities within your current SC framework. This might involve something as simple as identifying then removing supply chain barriers that inhibit development.
1. Have you identified emerging market opportunities? Where are your emerging market customers located?
2. How do they use your product? In what formats are they more familiar? Is unit cost or volume a barrier to market entry?
3. Does your supply chain cater for late stage customisation to deliver customers’ requirements?
4. Are there unmet needs that your current production model cannot deliver and are therefore not considered? Have you identified the value on this potential loss or simply see it as the cost of doing business?
5. Are your measures for success inaccurate, biased for current scenarios and not enabling future-model supply chain benchmarking?
6. Do you discount change through prejudice rather than sound knowledge

Exploring novel ways and routes of innovation, establishing frameworks from design and concept briefs are all typical outcomes when evaluating just some of the above. At iDi Pac we successfully partner with clients to create new solutions that enable them to drive supply chain efficiency and build market share. We begin this by drafting ideas for review and evaluation. From approval we undertake further development, followed by prototyping, trialling and ultimately, implementation.

iDi Pac is proud and has a great track record in Solving product and supply chain challenges through effective design and pragmatically engineered packaging solutions. Lets discuss your latest challenge, contact us.

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