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With APICS Education, People Make the Changes

  • Elizabeth Rennie

NCR Corporation

NCR Corporation manufactures self-service kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, automated teller machines, check-processing systems and more. Its global hardware line designs, develops, manufactures and delivers a diversified strategic portfolio of about 23,000 products in support of NCR’s omnichannel platform. Industries served include banking, retail, hospitality and travel.

In 2016, company leaders initiated an assessment of NCR’s supply chain to identify gaps in capabilities, prioritize a roadmap of corrective actions and initiatives, and advance overall process maturity. Several opportunities to improve customer satisfaction and business performance were identified, including heightening performance metrics, refining planning processes and moving toward organizational processes ownership across the network.

Jeff Rudy, NCR chief supply chain officer, says APICS education and the Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model were selected to enable these initiatives because they offer NCR an objective, credible set of lenses and drive continuous improvement. With the SCOR framework, NCR performed qualitative interviews, self-assessment surveys, quantitative assessments and external benchmarking analysis. The business then used the data to define the optimal future state and develop a high-level path forward.

“The APICS body of knowledge — in particular, SCOR metric implementation in the areas of reliability and responsiveness — created better visibility into our performance for our key stakeholders,” Rudy says. “We’ve aggressively focused on ship-on-time-in-full and perfect order fulfillment to drive a tight linkage between NCR’s view of our performance and our customers’ view of our performance. In fact, we’ve aligned the metric to our annual compensation calculation.”

Sustaining cultural change was a challenge at NCR, so the company empowered people as change agents who will continually challenge old norms. To support this, key operations staff members were invited to attend a multi-day SCOR training session. Then, they took the information gained back to their teams in order to implement improvement initiatives. “Representatives from all functions attended SCOR training and are now the subject-matter experts for their teams,” Rudy adds. “They are driving the benefits and lexicon across the organization.”

NCR also standardized many of its supply chain job descriptions to align with SCOR skills and competencies. The organization achieved better alignment within job families and descriptions, as well as a standard employee-development and talent-review strategies. “We also enhanced our sales and operations planning (S&OP) processes with a tighter meeting cadence, executive review and stronger collaboration with sales, which enables better forecast accuracy and predictability,” Rudy adds.

Earning an APICS certification also is encouraged and is based on whether a professional’s specific function relates best to the Certified in Production and Inventory Management, Certified Supply Chain Professional or SCOR-Professional (SCOR-P) designation. “For me, the SCOR-P training and framework simplified a very complex chain of events into actionable tasks,” Rudy adds. “It gives us an elegantly simple language to talk about and objectively measure our complex supply chain.”

NCR’s transformation has brought about the following results:

  • Increased agility in plan, source, make and deliver enables responsiveness to a highly configurable product mix and dynamic cycle times.
  • S&OP focused on near-term execution extends the planning horizon.
  • A holistic view of S&OP optimizes financials, with sales up 15 percent year-over-year and costs reduced 8 percent.
  • Skills and capability assessments identify areas for professional development and sustainable change management.

“The SCOR model clearly lays out the business functions that will allow us to more effectively and efficiently meet customer demand,” Rudy says. “By using APICS benchmarking data, references and resources, we have gained valuable insights into our supply chain and can objectively identify and exploit opportunities.”

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