RMG Networks Blog

Ski jumper as a metaphor for supply chain solutions

I love the Olympics. The Winter Olympics are especially intriguing to me — whether it’s a 42-pound granite stone sliding across the ice, a biathlete shooting accurately with a heart rate of 130 BPM or snowboarders on the halfpipe, it is refreshing to see athletes who have dedicated so much time and effort to the perfection of their event. And not to mention the most incredible (or I might say crazy) of them all — the ski jumpers!  They are literally flying through the air for over 300 feet.

Does managing your supply chain ever feel like you’re the one flying through the air like a ski jumper in Pyeonchang? This is the case every day in many manufacturing, distribution and fulfillment centers. There are so many supply chain variables to keep track of and even more potential disruptions — and you still need to stick the landing at the end.

As a supply chain executive, you are often faced with questions like:

Have I forecasted demand properly? Is my inventory level sufficient? Are the trucks on time? Are my employees working at optimal rates/standards? How is on-time-delivery stacking up against service-level agreements (SLAs)? How are we performing in non-production measurements like safety and quality?  How is employee morale or employee engagement, and how will that affect my retention goals?

That’s just to name a few …

These are all metrics and KPIs to consider regularly, but in many cases, the pertinent data and reports are scattered across multiple systems. Do I find this in my ERP, WMS, LMS, TMS, MES, WCS, or in a 4-inch binder placed on my desk each morning? Regardless of how many disparate systems you might need to pull data from or how many locations that data comes from, there is a solution that can make this easier and more streamlined.

Consider the benefits of a solution that can “ingest” data from multiple systems in multiple locations, perform required calculations of that data and display it in multiple meaningful visualizations. This solution can provide real-time performance and exception reporting, not just to you as the supply chain executive but also to key managers, supervisors and even the workers on the warehouse floor doing the picking, packing and loading. Think of how much better they could perform their jobs with this visual supply chain data on large scoreboards throughout the warehouse. The data can be sent to desktop dashboards and mobile devices as well.

Less far-fetched than imagining yourself as an Olympic athlete is a supply chain solution like the one I’m describing. Intelligent visual communications from RMG can make this level of data integration a reality.  Reach out to learn about how our visual supply chain solutions are helping some of the most robust supply chains improve their performance.

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