Dominating the CSCP

CSCP pic
At the beginning of the year, I decided to pursue the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation. In July, I sat for the exam and passed, which has led to my receiving countless questions about my journey. This article is intended to provide anyone considering earning this certification with all the lessons learned, tips and answers needed to be successful.

Preparation

There are two options for exam preparation: self-study or classroom courses. For me, self-study was the best method of learning and most cost effective. The self-study option includes three books, flashcards, online practice quizzes and exams, and access to the highly regarded APICS Dictionary.

APICS Premier Channel Partner, Australasian Supply Chain Institute, has a bundle deal! The total cost of all the online content and printed materials, week nightly two hour online sessions with a qualified APICS facilitator in Australia, an exam and an exam retake is $4,370 for ASCI PLUS members. The week nightly sessions commence in 23 September 2019. Don’t miss out!

Your own preparation method decision warrants more than just comparing prices. Honestly assess your levels of motivation and dedication to push yourself through 1,500 pages. The online classes will be your discipline! Be wise!

image001

The APICS CSCP Learning System

A connection of mine reached out to me on the ASCM discussion boards, asking if he could sneak through the exam without reading through the aforementioned material. My response: “There’s no need to sit for the exam without the APICS Learning System material. You failed.”

Honestly, unless you’re an industry titan, the chance of passing without the Learning System is razor thin.

The best way to utilize this system is to follow it sequentially. Assess yourself before you begin reading through the material by taking the pre-test. If you score above 30%, you’re doing better than I did. A low score should not discourage you, but motivate you!

Now that you know where you stand, read an entire module. Complete the end-of-section progress checks. After you’ve finished a module, return to the quizzes and take all of them. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to avoid memorizing answers. The exam is strictly based on comparison between terms. Use these quizzes to both understand which answer is correct and comprehend why others are incorrect.

Finally, take the post-test and score above an 80% to earn your congratulatory letter.

Flash cards

Write flash cards by hand or in a word-processing program. Memorizing hundreds of key words may zap the enthusiasm out of us all, but writing them even just once helps with retention. Treat this as another type of homework, and it will pay off at exam time.

How long will it take?

Everyone has different levels of experience and learning ability, but a good rule of thumb is your CSCP journey will be a minimum of three months. I began mine in March and tested in July. Along the way, I highly recommend at least touching the material daily. Putting it off for a week and rushing to catch up puts unnecessary stress on you and hinders your ability to learn.

Exam format

The exam has 150 questions. Of those, 130 are operational and 20 are pre-test (not counted). You will have 3 ½ hours to finish. There will be two answers that fit and two that are clearly incorrect. Do you know what the difference between third- and fourth-party logistics? Can you quickly state the triple bottom line? How does a make-to-stock manufacturing organization respond when demand forecasting predicts increased demand due to economic growth?

The exam will question your knowledge of minor variations between two terms (3PL/4PL), if you clearly understand what makes up a term (TBL), and if you understand how one key word is changed by a variable.

Scoring

Scores range from 200-350:

  • Fail – 200-299
  • Pass – 300-350

The questions all carry a hidden weight based on difficulty. The three modules require about a 70% or higher to pass.

Parting tips

Put in the time. Read the books at least once, preferably twice. Write down all of the flashcards. Take the quizzes slowly to gain comprehension. On test day, go slowly and flag questions you simply have no idea how to answer. I flagged a question during my exam and proceeded on. Roughly 30 questions later, something triggered that gave me the answer to the one that had stumped me!

Hope this is helpful to all of you aspiring CSCP designees!

By Michael Nichols, CSCP

Advertisements

Challenges and Opportunities for ASCI as a Professional Accreditation Body

Mailchimp Header

In its quest towards Professionalising Supply Chain Management, any organisation that attempts to develop a formal professional accreditation scheme in this industry is typically challenged by the fact that Supply Chain Managers are often not on the workforce radar. Supply chain management is still not sufficiently recognised as one of the key components of the execution of corporate strategy and there is still a huge under representation on the executive level.

Supply Chain Managers face unique challenges such as the absence of clearly defined educational pathways that would result in recognised credentials; incomplete or lack of appropriate job descriptions; limited opportunities for Continuous Professional Development; and sometimes, very indistinct career paths.

The industry to date, does not have a Professional Accreditation Body that can work with industry to address these challenges in Supply Chain Management. ASCI has now fully established itself as the Professional Accreditation Body for the Supply Chain Industry.

The opportunities 

ASCI has developed a set of standards and a professional framework that will enhance the quality of the Supply Chain workforce. It will focus entirely on enhancing public trust and confidence in Supply Chain Managers, enable compliance with regulatory or legal requirements across the Supply Chain and enhance the status of Supply Chain Management as a career path.

Through its Ethics Management Program, it will guide the behaviour of Practitioners in the Supply Chain domain, especially when it comes to morally or ethically ambiguous activities.

ASCI, in collaboration with industry, will establish and standardise roles (and the associated knowledge, skills, and abilities) and pathways to better align supply and demand of Supply Chain Professionals and Practitioners, increase awareness of career paths, and facilitate recruitment and retention by employers.

ASCI has developed a Professional Accreditation Scheme that offers its members Professional Recognition of Competence towards Professional and Practitioner Registration.

To become registered or to join a professionalisation committee, please contact the ASCI National Office today at professionalisation@asci.org.au or visit our website: https://www.asci.org.au/professionalising-supply-chain-management

ASCI-6

Dr Pieter Nagel is Head of Professionalisation at Australasian Supply Chain Institute

 

 

 

The Power of Partnerships: Why customer-centric alliances are the future for all businesses

Simon Arch

Guest blogger: Simon Arch, Alliances Director, JDA Software ANZ

It’s no secret that most successful businesses around the world have customers at the centre of everything they do. In fact research by Deloitte and Touche discovered customer-centric businesses were 60 percent more profitable compared to companies that weren’t focused on the customer.[1]But how can companies create genuine partnerships with other businesses which put the customer at the centre of everything and why is this critical for business growth?

In my role, I am responsible for developing an ecosystem of partners that together provide the best value and best possible customer outcome. Together with a carefully selected group of partners, we develop aligned go-to-market strategies to present to prospective customers to help their businesses succeed.

It sounds easy, right? Wrong! It’s a constant juggle of individual personalities, goals and emotions. I often describe my role as part marriage broker and part marriage counsellor (!) as I get caught up in working with egos, changing business priorities, shifting budget expectations and quality of delivery.

The ongoing challenge I face on a daily basis is educating prospective partners and customers that no single business can provide all that’s required to deliver a successful outcome. There is no ‘one size fits all’ anymore. The problems we face are getting more complex and the end customer’s expectations are increasing all the time.

Our goal is to help our clients to understand they will get better value by bringing together each and every supplier. We find that’s a significant challenge, to set the customer’s expectations that there’ll be multiple stakeholders involved from day one. This is often a big cultural shift – customers have always dealt with just one supplier, why would they need to work with three or four? Once they see the value of working with a combined team of specialist suppliers though, the fears disappear.

Other challenges we face are to find the appropriate partners for the specific customer we’re working with and having enough partners with the right skills. We invest significant time in finding the partners, developing and training them on our software and keeping up with the demand as we grow our business. We’re always scanning the market and keeping our ear to the ground to find new partners.

We recognise that if we can combine in-depth industry and consulting knowledge with the technical knowledge from us about our software, then we’ll have a partnership made in heaven where we are able to expedite the solution and the deployment for the customer.

We also have an ongoing assessment of all our business partners, we often discover partners which may have been great years ago, may have changed industries or capabilities and may not be the right fit anymore.

The main things to consider before partnering with another business are to determine what or who is a useful partner? Is it one that has industry knowledge, technical capability or customer base? Alignment with your company is critical. A hunger to win business and a passion for the industry are key things I look for, but they are difficult things to discover without exploring the partnership first. Another point to consider is commitment – commitment to work with you and vice versa. We’re ultimately looking for a match of skills, passion and culture.

My top four tips for businesses who are looking to expand their alliance network and create a successful customer-centric partnership approach are:

  1. Carefully understand your requirements. Consider is it a gap in your own skills or is it a gap in your existing partner network? Analyse this carefully at the beginning.
  2. Work out what their capability is like. Do they have enough capacity to grow with you? Don’t forget technical delivery capacity.
  3. When you do find partners, prioritise, make sure you engage on every different level in their business from executive level engagement to the sales team and the technical delivery teams.
  4. Pick and choose who you are going to approach (potential customers) very carefully as partners like to see successes. When partners see that the partnership is working they are much more likely to want to do more repeat business with you.

Remember, action and patience are key when it comes to business partnerships.  At some point there will be issues – even from your own team – so you’ll need to counsel the stakeholders and above all be very patient. But when customer-centric alliances work well they can mean the difference between a thriving growing business and one which is going nowhere fast.

Visit: https://jda.com

[1]https://www.superoffice.com/blog/how-to-create-a-customer-centric-strategy/?insvid=16a24ae7840993e7–1555393641677

How Ingersoll Rand Revives Exhausted Products

By ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE

Industrial manufacturer Ingersoll Rand (IR) has long positioned itself as a company that prioritises efficiency, energy savings and productivity. As its website states, “With principled leadership and ethical business practices, our high-engagement culture delivers enduring results that lead to a sustainable world.” Recently, IR saw potential to create added value by helping its customers meet their own environmental challenges. As a result, company leaders are taking the conservation philosophy to a new level.

IR’s sustainability commitment includes the extremely ambitious goal of reducing not its own, but its customers’ carbon emissions by 1 gigaton by 2030. Greenbiz’s Heather Clancy reports that this is equivalent to the annual emissions produced by Italy, France and the United Kingdom combined. Much of the plan revolves around remanufacturing end-of-life equipment. (Read more after advertising)

APICS Premier Channel Partner

“[IR] has operated an aftermarket service organization in Charlotte, North Carolina, since 1974,” Clancy writes. “After all, many metals used to make its Trane heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment have a demonstrable value, and there are well-established processes for recovering it. But in more recent years, the 183,000-square-foot operation … has become involved with activities focused on a different sort of mission: keeping older equipment in the field for as long as possible.”

Scott Tew, executive director for IR’s Center of Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, told Greenbiz that the company is focused on the concept of a “customer for life.” He recounts the story of a historic hotel in Portland, Oregon, that needed to upgrade its Trane HVAC system but had limited access to remove and replace failing equipment. Engineers disassembled and transported components back to Charlotte for repair, then reinstalled them in the exact same footprint as the original system. IR expects them to continue functioning for decades.

IR says it will fully support this environmental strategy moving forward. In fact, the company has established a new-product-development requirement that directs engineers to design for sustainability. As Clancy writes, “That includes both efficiency considerations and materials choices.”

Far-reaching results

For years, IR has looked to the APICS body of knowledge as a source of best practices, the primary method for getting employees speaking the same language and a key method for working toward a unified supply chain strategy. In fact, the company adopted a policy that required all materials managers to become APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designees within 18 months of being hired.

Then, to sustain this investment in learning and development, IR rewrote its materials management job descriptions to require CPIMs for all incoming managers. In addition, staffing personnel began targeting CPIM designees for open positions. (Read more after advertising)

ASCI Ad - CPIM

Today, IR has hundreds of CPIMs — and the finance team reports that this investment has paid off. A recent analysis found a direct correlation between materials manager performance and APICS certification. Most importantly, we’re now seeing that this training has led to initiatives that clearly aim to create a better world through supply chain. Learn more about what this globally recognized standard can do for your organization, your suppliers, your customers and beyond.

To find out more about APICS training, contact Australasian Supply Chain Institute (ASCI) National office at enquiries@asci.org.au

7 Powerful Supply Chain Trends You Should Not Ignore

APICS Premier Channel Partner

Extract from an article: http://www.scmdojo.com

Today’s technological disruption is fast and ruthless and it is transforming most of the industries including Supply Chain. Nothing new here.

So what are 7 big supply chain trends that you need to be aware of as a supply chain professional?

#1. Big Data will be big force you can’t ignore

Although “Big Data” has become a contemporary buzzword, it has significant implications supply chain, and presents an opportunity and a challenge to most industries.What makes Big Data unique is its:

  • Velocity:in real time
  • Variety:the data varies in time and in context, and is not a fixed data model to real time
  • Volume:the volumes are significant and require unique approaches

Volume can occur in many ways. There is more data because, among other reasons, the data is captured in more detail via current ERP & other software packages. For instance, instead of just recording that a unit sold at a particular location, the time it was sold and the amount of inventory at the time of the sale is also captured. Moreover, long global supply chains necessitate data capture at multiple points in the supply chain. In addition, there is now a proliferation of consumer sentiment data resulting from Tweets, Likes, and product reviews on websites. Such data must be analyzed and quantified.

The rise of the Big Data is a hot supply chain trend as revealed by Google Trends.

Do supply chain folks have strategy for big data analytics?

The examples of potential applications of big data within logistics and supply chain would be:

  • Manufacturerscan advise customers about improved notification of delivery time, and availability; based on historic and current manufacturing data.
  • Freight carrierscan reliably advise time of delivery, factoring in weather, driver characteristics, and time of day and date of arrival.
  • Retailerscan forecast and understand customer sentiment dataand use of mobile devices in stores

#2. 3D Printing is now needed to support product life cycle

Where does 3D printing fit in today’s supply chain trends? And what is your company doing to fully leverage this powerful and surprisingly versatile innovation?

3D Printing has been around for 3 decades and generally using additive manufacturing, however, commercialization at mass level still has to take off.It involves fabrication of products through the use of printers which either place layer upon layer of materials or employee lasers to burn material, resulting in a finished design.

Today 3D Printing is used within several industries such as used for making medical implants, jewellry, customized football boots, lampshades, racing-car parts, solid state batteries and customized mobile phones

While much has been said and written about the impact of 3D Printing, it is only now it is being used as a term in its own right as its interest is continuing to increase in trending as we can see in Google Trends:

What are the potential applications which impact supply chain?

  • Manufacturing the inventory of long tail “C Class” items to support customers at the end of product life cycle.
  • Providing vendor managed 3D Printer at customer siteby providing the software designs for products which customer can on demand as a licence or pay-per-print basis.
  • By providing design data to customer encourage customer to print using onlineits like shapewaysor sculpteo so they can print as and when needed.

The key benefits for supply chain

  • Drastically reduce lead timeand increase on-time deliveryperformance by closer provision of parts by installing printers on customer site
  • Simplify supply chain network
  • Reducing space requirementin warehouse
  • Reduce Excess & Obsoletefor high variety and low volume items.
  • Faster prototyping and samples
  • Agile and response supply chainto shorter product life cycles.
  • Possibly cheaper products to make and purchase for low volume items
  • Supply chain can support greater customization
  • And many more!!

ASCI Ad - CPIM

#3. Internet of Things (IoT) – Industry 4.0

Can Internet of Things aka Industry 4.0 be a force for faster growth in an increasingly digital global economy? Most people who know about this will emphatically say “Yes”. Why such optimism? The IoT can boost productivity, drive the emergence of new markets, and encourage innovation.

What is the Industrial Internet of Things? The Internet of Things is the industrial application of a network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment. In manufacturing, connected sensor networks already monitor logistics movements and machines such as mining equipment and entire utility plants, helping organizations reduce costs through more efficient operations. As a term its interest is still trending up.

The Internet of Things is driven by an expansion of the Internet through the inclusion of physical objects combined with an ability to provide smarter services to the environment as more data becomes available. Various application domains ranging from Green-IT and energy efficiency to logistics are already starting to benefit from the Internet of Things concept.  There are challenges associated with the Internet of Things, most explicitly in areas of trust and security, standardization and governance required to ensure a fair and trustworthy open Internet of Things which provides value to all of society.

#4. Moving supply chain to “Cloud”

Cloud computing can help your organization to realize major benefits by redefining traditional supply as it’s computing facilitates enhanced responsiveness to supply chain disruptions.Moreover, new technologies and service providers make it possible for companies to turn their supply chains into end-to-end business operating strategies. The connected cloud enables the real-time collaboration that makes this possible.

How can cloud-based computing make supply chains more competitive?

Cloud-based application can make supply chain to be more connected, Intelligent, Saleable and Rapid.The notable benefits could be:

  • Real-time visibility: supply chains become more dynamic, secure and interactive
  • Seamless collaboration: supply chain capabilities are harmonized beyond physical boundaries
  • Actionable insights: innovative data analysis supports advanced decision-making
  • Maximum efficiency: integration of people, process and technology
  • Organizational flexibility: digital plug-and play enablers provide natural “configure and re-configure” capabilities
  • Enhanced responsiveness: using better information and sophisticated analytics to interpret and react speedily to disruptions, including demand and supply signals
  • Proactive prevention:decision support, driven by predictive analytics, helps to confirm reliability and rapid adaptability
  • Last mile postponement: swift repurposing of organizational assets at short notice helps to ensure that supplies always meet changing demands.

#5. Gamification of supply chain

User adoption and the efficiency of future procurement systems will benefit from gaming methodologies. Such systems will give companies to assume a competitive persona, utilizing reward based psychology inherent in gaming to drive user behavior in the purchasing, logistics or materials management scenarios.

#6. Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning in supply chain

Imagine MRP runs over night send PO to supplier based on a parameter setting, then send a reminder email before due date and if supplier is late call a supplier contact in the voice of “Siri” to ask why they are late and when they will actually deliver! Possible? I think very much possible even with existing AI and machine learning capabilities.

Artificial intelligence (AI) existing for some time and was introduced to develop and create “thinking machines” that are capable of mimicking, learning, and replacing human intelligence. Since the late 1970s, AI has shown great promise in improving human decision-making processes and the subsequent productivity in various business endeavors due to its ability to recognize business patterns, learn business phenomena, seek information, and analyze data intelligently. Despite its widespread acceptance as a decision-aid tool, AI has seen limited application in supply chain management as we stand today, but I think this will eventually become a mainstream technology in next decade or so.

#7. Augmented reality (AR) will soon be in your office

Most smart phone and mobile devices has some sort of app which deals with augmented reality (AR). Supply Chain systems integrated with AR devices could allow a buyer to point their smartphone at a product and receive instance information about its availability, pricing options, delivery time, lead time and more.AR could possibly become a way on how business can order their stocks, finding alternatives for out of stock items and download the information pack and data sheets. I think AR is probably the most under rated prospect amongst other supply chain trends.

Conclusion

The biggest challenge to embracing innovation and disruption these technologies will bring in your supply chain design – Forgetting old habits and adopting new, can be big challenge. Take the Jump!

This also means a life of continuous learning.

FINAL APICS CERTIFICATION COURSES IN 2019 ARE OPEN FOR REGISTRATION: Registrations close August 23rd 2019

Contact the ASCI National Office e today for your information pack and quotation at enquiries@asci.org.au

Does Transparency Begin with Brands and Retailers?

white and black barcode

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Guest blog by Shweta Chordiya

Just as consumer focus on farm-to-table has increased supply chain transparency within the food retail industry, an increasing focus on what materials, apparel, footwear or furniture  are made of, the origin of these materials and manufacturing processes is set to transform fashion retail.

In a latest report by Sourcing Journal – 85 percent respondents said transparency is either extremely or very important to their industries’ success. To add to that, 66 percent of organisations surveyed said they’re currently pursuing transparency initiatives. Another 15 percent plan to within the next year, while 13 percent expect to in the next 2-to-5 years.

With transparency becoming the new norm, where does it begin and where does responsibility lie in driving it forward?

 Transparency: from buzzword to business

As consumer awareness of corporate and social responsibility increases, so does the number of questions they ask. Highlighted by the aftermath and worldwide criticism following the 2013 Rana Plaza incident, addressing ‘transparency’ has become an important differentiator for many brands and retailers. From farm-to-factory-to-store, it requires brands to be able to trace the journey of their products right down to the origin of the raw material.

In the same report by Sourcing Journal, when asked who was mainly responsible for improving transparency in supply chain, more than two thirds (78 percent) of those polled put brands at the top of the list, followed by factories (60 percent) and retailers (50 percent).

However, responsibility cannot be given in isolation or in silos. It’s a tough time for brands and retailers, so choosing to invest in next-gen technology that allows them to easily and cost-effectively embrace collaboration should be their focus.

ASCI Ad - CPIM.png

Technology and Collaboration: long term focus

In this data-driven supply chain having data is not enough. Data should be relevant and easily accessible at your fingertips. Replacing the traditional mix of emails, spreadsheets, phones calls, and PDF attachments with a cloud-based next-gen collaborative tool will provide the most up-to-date information in real-time. Moving away from silos to a coordinated approach supported by the latest technology will help to provide a single version of the truth allowing for an informed and transparent decision-making process between retailer and supplier.

Moreover, supplier and factory engagement processes have moved from one based on monitoring and correction, to one that incorporates this end–to-end approach. For example: ensuring all associated factories in your supply chain have been audited ethically and technically to quickly identify any vulnerabilities and making better use of historical data to make proactive decisions rather than being reactive to unexpected (if predictable) outcomes.

As sustainability climbs higher up global fashion brands and retailers’ agendas, having scalable and appropriate technology solutions will help build the foundation for transparency. This year’s Fashion Transparency Index produced by Fashion Revolution shows sports and outdoor brands are leading the way. 70 out of the 200 major fashion brands are publishing a list of their first-tier manufacturers, and 38 brands are disclosing their processing facilities, where ginning and spinning, embroidering, printing and finishing typically takes place.

Conclusion

Transparency is the new norm. The absence of transparency and collaboration will ultimately compromise not only the achievement of an organisation’s long-term goals, but could lead to consumer abandonment of the brand. In short, transparency begins and ends with every single stakeholder in the retail supply chain.

As the industry searches for new ways to align both transparency and collaboration, the adoption of new technology will play an important role in making more effective decisions and improve consumer confidence.

You can also learn more about why retailers are trusting Adjuno to elevate transparency, visibility and efficiency across their business in our podcast here.

About Shweta Chordiya

Shweta has worked in the supply chain industry for 10 years, six of which have been in Asia, based out of Hong Kong. Shweta has experience across a range of disciplines within the industry, notably supply chain operations, trade finance, marketing communications, PR, event management and content management for marketing collaterals. At Adjuno, she is responsible for all marketing and communications activity across the Asia Pacific region.

ASCI Risk Management Program

connected

Risk within supply chain has become more and more prominent from both a legislative and industry globalisation point of view. There are countless articles flooding our inbox about the risks of quality, delivery and customer experience.

Together with the Ethics Management Program and Body of Knowledge, the ASCI Risk Management Program is a core component of the ASCI Professional Accreditation Scheme. Under this scheme, individuals register as professionals and practitioners. It is the only program of its kind in the supply chain domain in Australia.

Crucial to ASCI’s submission to the Professional Standards Authority is the identification of the risks associated with decision making in the supply chain. Furthermore the PSA is interested in ensuring that, once supply chain management is legislated as a profession, the professional indemnity cap under legislation is determined at the correct level to suit the risk exposure in the supply chain profession.

Of course, ignoring supply chain risk has wide reaching consequences, such as penalties imposed by legislation, impacts to business continuity and the adverse effect to our own careers.

The ASCI Industry Risk Committee commenced in February 2019 as one of ASCI’s professionalisation committees, focussed on developing a Supply Chain Industry Risk Management Framework to support ASCI members in understanding potential decision risks and mitigation guidelines.

Currently, the committee is defining the themes that will comprise the Supply Chain Industry Risk Management Framework, i.e. sourcing and procurement risk, these themes will encompass the full spectrum of supply chain.

In the longer term, these themes will form a collection of papers in a library and fleshed out for the community via ASCI’s Roundtable Series, Leadership Series and Lunchtime Webinar Series for feedback, education and sharing.

The Risk Management committee welcomes feedback on themes that require attention.  Please contact us at risk@asci.org.au

Machine learning and artificial intelligence for retail supply chains

How retailers can incorporate machine learning and artificial intelligence into their supply chain: A snapshot of the recent ASCI Networking Breakfast panel event

 

By Harsha Illindala, Vice President, Solutions Advisor – APAC at JDA Software

 

I was lucky enough to host a panel at a recent ASCI breakfast on new advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence and how they are helping retailers optimise their operations and supply chain. I was joined by Michelle Grujin, Managing Director, Retail Industry Lead ANZ at Accenture and Marcy Larsen, Industry Solution Executive, Retail and CPG at Microsoft.

IMG_2990

IMG_2989

While these technologies are becoming increasingly important, we first discussed some of the macro trends influencing retail customers today, what makes them different to customers from 10 or 20 years ago to frame why investing in these technologies is so important:

  1. Hyper-personalisation

 

Retailers are now expected to customise the customer experience to the segment of one. Retailers need to cluster and segment more narrowly across all retail formats.

  1. Premiumisation

There is a growing interest in premium food, clothes and other merchandise. There has been growth in health, vegan and specialised foods. Customers are also concerned with ethical sourcing and fair trade. They want to believe in the product.

  1. Convenience

Convenience is the price of admission: customers expect retailers to be convenient to deal with. They prioritise this, often over price.

  1. Mobility

The ability to shop online from a Smartphone means customers are more mobile than ever before and can purchase from anywhere.

  1. Urbanisation and population

There is a changing population mix with more customers living in urban areas. Customers will favour retailers who prioritise inclusion and diversity and demonstrate authenticity.

  1. Talent

We then went on to discuss how talent in retail is changing. According to the 2019 Retail C-Suite Viewpoint surveyconducted by JDA Software and Microsoft, talent is a top three issue with the C-suite in retail.

The workforce is varied with more part-timers and a workforce with time constraints. The gig economy is mobilising millennials and the retired workforce. Employees now have the ability to achieve genuine flexibility and hold down several different styles of job which fits in with their lifestyle and personal constraints.

For retailers the focus is now less on workforce scheduling and more about engagement with employees. There is also a huge competition for skills so retailers need to create a dynamic environment which values their skills.

Engaging employees with technology that is as advanced, if not more advanced, than what they are able to access at home is important. Employees, just like customers, expect retailers to demonstrate inclusiveness, diversity and authenticity.

  1. Provenance in supply chain

Customers care about the claims made by brands and retailers about products. Smart looking packaging and brand advertising strategies are important. Environmental and societal influences, morality and accountability are priorities for the customer.

  1. Data

The influence of data is significant. Customer trust is established when the right data is provided. When there is transparency of data between suppliers – shipping through to store – it creates a better customer experience.

  1. Influence of digital

Customers expect the physical experience to be on par with the digital experience. Technology is transforming the customer: 75% of a customer’s visits to a store are influenced by digital and 58% of sales are impacted by digital, according to the 2019 Retail C-Suite Viewpoint survey.

Digital has changed the customer journey; digital is now the ‘front of store’. The customer journey has evolved to loyalty – discovery – research – purchase – fulfillment.

We then went on to discuss which technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), is emerging to help retailers meet the needs of the customer in light of these macro trends.

The Tech

We then covered technology that is playing increasing important role in the supply chain for retailers and why companies should be investing in them:

Technology for personalisation

36% of the C-suite in retail expect to undertake pilots using AI in personalised product recommendations, 20% for localised pricing and 29% for personalised product assortments.

AI helps retailers meet customer expectations around product availability and fulfillment choices – in-store, pick-up and delivery. Customers expect instant gratification when it comes to fulfillment.

AI also provides a flowing, single view of inventory and allows for dynamic allocation and fulfillment, predictive replenishment and a shorter product life cycle.

Technology for provenance in supply chain

AI and ML provide real-time visibility. Traditional systems such as ERP centric reports and dashboards are too slow, alternatively AI provides real-time and direct visualisation of supply chain data with ML identifying and weeding out data discrepancies.

Blockchain is becoming an increasingly common buzzword and is something that could old the answer to many provenance related issues. With Blockchain providing a method to manage forms of exchange, entities in a supply chain can with increased confidence know where each asset has originated

Technology for the workforce

Technology is changing rapidly and affecting supply chain practices. There are several workplace changes that will become more important to how supply chain operates.

With more virtual and contingent workers, automation, increased connectivity through workplace social networks (e.g. instant messaging, communities) and more advanced communication tools (e.g. virtual meetings, webinars) will become increasingly important. Apps (e.g. personal organisers, goal setting, real-time feedback, team activities) will play a role, as will gamification (e.g. realistic training scenarios to stress test and develop supply chain strategies). Artificial Intelligence (e.g. advanced data mining) will help identify business trends and opportunities.

Challenges in adoption

We went on to discuss the major challenges facing retailers in adopting these technologies.

Some of the key observations included:

  • 55% of retailers don’t have single view of inventory
  • 78% of retailers don’t have real time view of inventory
  • 50% of retailers believe their technologies are lagging
  • Most retailers have CDTOs / CDOs and in-house AI teams, but tangible and scalable innovations have been far and few between
  • Many retailers have started off by trying to understand “what will my data show”, but need to transition to “what action needs to be taken” as a result of those insights

Is technology simplifying supply chain or adding to complexity?

We went on to question whether an increasingly complex supply chain is being simplified or further complicated by technology. We agreed that technology can minimise store effort in handling product and create flexibility in flow volumes and mechanisms.

We also discussed automation. There are increased and more affordable automation solutions in warehouses and in-store. Automation delivers productivity but also narrows variations. This means there is a greater need to manage the inventory flow to leverage the automation. Retailers need to manage coordination across inventory planning, transportation, yard, dock and warehouse operations.

A big thank you to the ASCI for inviting me along to host this excellent and insightful panel.

If you have questions about how AI and ML can improve your supply chain, you can contact me at Sriharsha.Illindala@jda.comor visit the JDA website.

ASCI as Professional Accreditation Body

Extending an invitation to all Industry Peak Bodies in the Supply Chain

 

ASCI has positioned itself as the Professional Accreditation Body for the supply chain industry. In this capacity, it has developed a Professional Accreditation Scheme, in line with the criteria set by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), which oversees the legislation for lawyers, accountants, etc.

Although ASCI has not yet obtained legislation for supply chain as a legislated profession, we are following the exact process in the expectation that we will one day be ready to seek formal legislation.

In doing so, the ASCI Professional Accreditation Scheme, in its current form, is the only one of its kind that is based on the PSA guidelines. To distinguish this from the offerings of other organisations, often also referred to as “Professional Bodies”, we need to understand the distinction between the various professional bodies in our industry. The term “Professional Body” is often used by Industry Peak Bodies in their reference to the fact that they serve the “profession”. They do indeed, but not as an accreditation body, rather an Industry Peak Body. They most often offer certification programs, rather than a professional accreditation scheme. Certification programs are not to be confused with a Professional Accreditation Scheme.

Here is the difference:

“Certification”, a formal process of assessing that an individual is qualified in terms of particular knowledge or skills. It requires the candidate to study a particular learning set and write an exam on this set of knowledge in order to obtain certification.

“Accreditation” which, as in the case of lawyers, accountants, engineers, etc provides independent recognition of achievements and maintenance of the exact standards required to join the community of professional supply chain professionals and practitioners.

Professionals and practitioners registered under the professional accreditation scheme, are recognised for their competence, ability, integrity, and service to the profession. It is a voluntary means of demonstrating professionalism and involves being held to account by your peers for your abilities and adherence to ethical standards.

It is in this context that ASCI has commenced discussions with several Industry Peak Bodies in the supply chain domain, with the objective to offer registration against the Professional Accreditation Scheme through these Industry Peak Bodies, to their members, making the scheme more accessible to the broader supply chain community. Peak Bodies that are interested in offering professional and practitioner registration to their members can do so by affiliation with ASCI.

If you represent a peak industry body then we want to hear from you. Contact Our National Office at professionalisation@asci.org.au to commence discussions. It is through our common passion for the sustainability of the supply chain community that we can collectively raise the bar of supply chain management in Australasia.

ASCI-6

Dr Pieter Nagel is Head of Professionalisation at ASCI. Contact him about collaboration or registration at professionalisation@asci.org.au

ASCI Ethics Management Program

Given the importance of industry participants consistently demonstrating ethical behaviour in building credibility and establishing an enduring professional framework, the importance of a comprehensive and robust Ethics Management Program for the industry cannot be understated.

Together with Industry Risk Review and Body of Knowledge, the ASCI Ethics Management Program is a core component of the ASCI Professional Accreditation Scheme. Under this scheme, individuals register as professionals and practitioners. It is the only program of its kind in the supply chain domain in Australia.

The ASCI Ethics Management Program is unique as it consists of the ASCI Code of Ethics which is supported by a comprehensive complaints management process that allows complaints to be submitted by external parties regarding breaches of ethical behaviour or business practices of a registrant. The process enables the complaint to be heard, with equitable rights of appeal for the individual in accordance with the legislation. The scheme also includes scope for a sanction or penalty and supportive remediation processes.

With its in-depth work on Professional Accreditation Scheme supported by the Ethics Management, Industry Risk Review and Technical Review Committees and rigour in the registration process, ASCI clearly differentiates itself as a Professional Accreditation Body, rather than simply being an traditional industry peak body.

Upon registration, candidates are required to commit and submit to the Ethics Management Program which ensures full commitment from the registrant and oversight and educational support by the ASCI Ethics Committee.

The details of the ASCI Ethics Management Program is available on the ASCI website at https://www.asci.org.au/ethics-committee