8 years, 8 months ago

Is Your Supply Chain Classic or Country?

Customer conversations at the User Summit on driving productivity in the value chain
The OpenText BPS User Summit last week offered an opportunity to talk with many of our customers about how they are achieving business process improvement. As our keynote speaker Clay Richardson of Forrester Research said, “I’m excited!” about BPM and the possibilities. Some impressive initiatives are being undertaken and I wanted to share two of the stories focused on the supply chain in commercial and public sector implementations.

BPM Addresses Supply Chain Priorities
If your organization competes on the basis of its supply chain then you’ve probably watched with interest the annual Top 25 Supply Chain report from Gartner Research. I follow this report closely each year and have written about it for CMSWire where I’ve shared some case study examples in the past. This year there were a few surprises in the list but it mostly consisted of “old favorites,” including Apple, Dell, P&G, Wal-Mart, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Microsoft. Four key themes emerged for this year’s leaders – including how they deal with volatility, their approaches to value chain network integration, their focus on sustainable execution and their abilities to orchestrate. Clearly, BPM and business architecture disciplines and technology are useful to address all of these key supply chain themes.

Supply Chain, Classic
It is no surprise then that one of the stories that interested me and many others at last week’s User Summit was the outstanding presentation by Ted Bozarth, a Business Consultant with Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

Ted is a member of the Enterprise Services Group responsible for development of business transformation methodology, co-leading Coke’s Enterprise Architecture effort and providing business consulting services to the Supply Chain area of the business. Ted has impeccable credentials including Project Management certification, a Six Sigma Blackbelt (in the interests of full disclosure, I am a recovering Greenbelt) and a BS in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University.

His current focus within ProVision is modeling business strategy and linking it to the business architecture (processes, facilities, metrics, etc.) to enable strategy-driven business transformation. This ProVision activity is critical to Coca-Cola Bottling who owns and operates five production centers and 47 distribution centers throughout nine states, operating a direct store delivery (DSD) supply chain model, and sells four cases of beverages per second, including Coca-Cola Classic in 22 different packages or case sizes. Work to date includes: Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Material Flow to Consumer, Supply Chain Metrics Modeling, Point of Sale Materials Management, Transportation Brokerage Management, and Supply Chain Strategy.

Clearly Ted and his team are using ProVision to improve some classic supply chain areas and for a Classic product! I look forward to hearing more from him as he and his team progress in their transformation efforts.

Supply Chain, Country
Perhaps less expected but equally interesting to me was the conversation I had over breakfast last Wednesday during the User Summit with Cliff Nottingham of the US Army Security Assistance Command – “The Army’s Face to the World.” His eCollaboration business process application is serving the country well in support of the USASAC mission to implement Foreign Military Sales (FMS) of defense articles and services to eligible foreign governments.

And lest we think the supply chain is inconsequential to the mission, keep in mind that USASAC is responsible for life cycle management of FMS cases, from pre-letter of request, development, and execution, to closure. The command manages more than 4,655 FMS cases valued at more than $121 billion. Each sale of equipment to overseas customers comprises the same “total package” of quality materiel, spare parts, training, publications, technical documentation, maintenance support, and other services that AMC provides to U.S. Army units. Additionally, each sale is made in accordance with the policies and strategic interests of the U.S. government and materiel is either shipped from U.S. government stocks or from production – their goal is to field a total package and promote self-sufficiency.

We often hear about the public sector interest in learning from and adopting best commercial practices. I think the USASAC story is a great example of where the private sector could learn much about managing and improving their financial and product supply chain from government!

I’d be interested in hearing more stories about using business process and case management to improve supply chains – whether classic or country. I definitely see this as an area that is only increasing in importance in the face of our current economic and market challenges.

About Deb Miller
Deb Miller is Director of Market Development, Business Process Solutions for OpenText. Her work focuses on industry strategies for business process improvement. Her career includes more than 20 years of global industry experience with GE. You can read more of Deb’s writings at http://DebsG360.wordpress.com/ and follow her @DebsG360 on Twitter.

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