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APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, offers his viewpoint on supply chain and the latest APICS news.
Letters to the readers of APICS magazine from Senior Managing Editor Elizabeth Rennie and other members of the editorial staff
The official APICS blog features insights, analyses and ideas from experts and APICS leaders to help advance supply chains.
Each week, APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE, offers insights into global news and shares his exclusive commentary connecting current events with supply chain topics.
Subscribe to this weekly e-newsletter.
APICS research cuts through the clutter and brings you critical ideas and innovations in supply chain management, best practices, how-to steps, and practical advice that give you and your organization a competitive advantage.
“Supply Chain Management: Beyond the Horizon” is an industry-focused initiative with research and educational components. The research was conducted by Michigan State University in conjunction with APICS.
Transportation Journal is an APICS academic journal devoted to presenting new knowledge about the supply chain, logistics and transportation fields.
APICS, through a partnership with The Manufacturing Institute, explores how manufacturing and supply chain can attract, retain and advance women.
Most popular apics authors
With the advent of new technologies, demand signal repositories, better latency and predictive analytics, is it possible that POS data has the potential to become a primary demand signal? ......Read More
Patent research and analysis can be used to make procurement and strategy-related decisions and as a catalyst to derive dynamic insights — from early indications about future strategies of competitors or suppliers to innovation trends within a category.......Read More
As the owner of a sustaining S&OP process, it is my role to hold steady our organization’s operational values in the wake of changes such as these. To maintain process stability, I often train coworkers when they transition into their new S&OP roles. ......Read More
The best supply chain managers are also effective negotiators. Sure, negotiation skills are essential to purchasing — but they also play an important role in inventory management and transportation and logistics. Interestingly, some of the most essential negotiation skills also happen to be displayed each week on those reality TV shows about world-famous pawn shops. If you’re unfamiliar, basically, the programs depict a pawn shop staff’s interactions with customers, who bring in a variety of artifacts. Viewers watch as the players haggle over price and debate each piece’s historical background.......Read More
The demand consensus meeting is one of the most important steps in sales and operations planning (S&OP), with the resultant demand plan serving as a critical input for all other S&OP process meetings. Without a demand plan as a starting point, not much else can happen in the cycle. There would be no supply and demand balancing exercise, plan valuation, or scenario planning. In fact, when I worked as an S&OP consultant, the demand consensus meeting was the only S&OP process element universally employed at every company I encountered. Some of them also conducted supply review meetings, and a few held formal portfolio review meetings. But every single one had a consensus meeting.......Read More
I am currently shopping for software. No doubt many of you just cringed at those words — and your empathy is appreciated, but I really am excited to be leading this effort. It’s not often that supply chain management professionals get to choose and implement a new, high-impact suite of supply chain planning software that will advance the global sales and operations planning (S&OP) process.......Read More
Increasingly, company executives are viewing supply chain functions as critical to business success. This shift has driven initiatives across organizations that aim to improve performance, lead to more effective decision-making processes, and balance and align supply and demand.
Spanish clothing and accessories retailer Zara has been mentioned in this department frequently in the past few years. The company is famous for being able to receive an idea from a retail store manager and, as little as two weeks later, have the new product available for purchase. This continuous flow of new designs — rather than characteristic seasonal releases — is transforming the fast-fashion industry.......Read More
One of my master planners recently asked me: “Are lean and six sigma supportive of each other? And how do they work within a sales and operations planning (S&OP) process model?” Despite its thorny nature, I loved the inquiry.......Read More
Many years ago, when I was an automotive industry plant materials manager, I faced a big challenge. My company’s enterprise resources planning (ERP) system was failing us miserably with regard to our expendable packaging. Although we had initially been very successful at implementing a fully integrated ERP system driven by forecasts, material requirements planning and bills of material, it was discovered that pallets, corrugated boxes, dunnage and other packaging items were essentially impossible to plan for.......Read More
White Plains, New York-based personal care company Combe is fresh off the battlefield of the recent launch of its first consumer-facing omnichannel portal for the Just for Men hair care product line. The following case study highlights the major challenges, strategies and lessons learned, particularly with regard to the company's S&OP process.......Read More
Integrated business planning (IBP) transformation has become a strategic mandate at many of today’s most successful companies. IBP is a best-practice model that extends the principles of sales and operations planning to delivery a seamless management process.......Read More
A properly conducted exercise using QFD enables businesses to determine the degree of product customization required, the necessary lead time, feature and function combinations, the degree of integration and other differentiators needed, and more key information about potential products and services......Read More
You can’t predict the future. However, you still can—and definitely should—forecast. Even though reality often varies from the forecast, the variation usually is very slight, so only modest adjustments are required. This means that your plans need to be good, not perfect.......Read More
At a recent APICS event, I unwittingly walked into a debate about the duration of a typical sales and operations planning (S&OP) implementation. Apparently, some of the conference participants had heard conflicting information from speakers—as well as colleagues and peers—about the correct duration. Viewpoints ranged from a 90-day focused implementation to a two-or-three-year gradual implementation to the catchall “you are never done implementing S&OP” philosophy.......Read More
Delivering value to your customers hinges on the end-to-end, interdependent supply chain. The scope of this network includes some elements that you command, but it also demands reliance on partner organizations that extend far beyond your direct control. ......Read More
Early in my career, I was given some arm-around-the shoulder advice by a mentor. He said, simply, “Question everything.” When I asked what he meant, he smiled and responded, “You’re learning.”......Read More
I look forward to APICS magazine’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) issue every year. It’s a chance to write about the practical aspects of my two professional passions: supply chain sustainability and sales and operations planning (S&OP).......Read More
More and more, companies that used to treat capacity tactically are beginning to view it as a fundamental business strategy. When determining how to best approach capacity, there are three basic strategies to consider.......Read More
My inspiration for the “Sales and Operations Planning” (S&OP) department often comes from questions asked by coworkers over lunch or dinner, industry colleagues at a conference, or LinkedIn contacts. When a topic achieves a critical mass, I will send myself an email containing a few thoughts and file them in a folder aptly named “Future Articles.” Interestingly, the question people pose most often does not concern any of the more challenging mysteries of the S&OP universe. Instead, it focuses on a very narrow, yet very pragmatic, topic: What does a typical S&OP meeting agenda look like?......Read More
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