As companies grow, they face a different type of growing pain. Growing number and size of spreadsheet managing critical operational data, plans, decisions and more. We call this “spreadsheet sprawl”. Users and senior operations managers across functions have to be careful that this growth - in number and size of spreadsheets - is managed carefully. Left unchecked, this can lead to a breaking point after which the spreadsheets that previously supported operations can become a 'burning platform' - leading to severe unproductivity of key team members (planners, procurement specialists, and managers) and far worse - direct, detrimental impact to the company's operations. This Implementation Note draws from the Zyom team's experiences to outline some early signs that such a breaking point is fast approaching, and what potential corrective action should be taken. And importantly, which actions to avoid.
Dive in, and reach out if you want to discuss these warning signs or what works.
Parts are super critical. For Product companies the sum-total of all parts is what ensures that the product that uses that part, is ready to make and ship.
Parts shortages, especially those that have a big impact across many products are painful - economically, and what your logo stands for to the markets it serves. And it needs to be attended to quickly but carefully.
This article starts with a short story (fictional) based on real life events, of a major planning dilemma - faced at the onset of the pandemic in the automotive industry, and weaves its way across Billions of dollars lost in a short period of time by many companies. Not so, for other industry peers, who increased shipments and revenue in the same time period when others were forced to retrench due largely to parts' shortages.
This is not an article about the auto-industry and makes no long-term predictions about this industry.
This article underscores, through specifics, the critical role of operations planning and execution, and highlights key elements - process, systems and people - that can be learned, and applied quickly to improve the supply chains of parts (components/ sub-assemblies, etc.). In due course of time, utilizing these elements, companies that operate manufacturing-intensive supply chains, can strengthen their parts' supply networks - ensuring uninterrupted supply.
Some of the learnings could be surprising, even counter-intuitive.
So, dive in, and reach out if you need help with the key points and questions raised.
Navigating the treacherous terrain of the ongoing pandemic and its knock-on effects (wide-ranging shortages from ships to chips) will require a new approach - new thinking and acting - from cross-functional operations leaders and teams at product companies.
There are no precedents of such severely constrained global supply chains. Forecasts of when this will end are all over the map - from mid-2022 to end of 2023. In the meantime, it continues to cause painful damage (circa late 2020, 2021) -
$ Billions of lost revenues - and poor visibility into future revenues and margin due to supply shortages and utter lack of supply predictability. All indicators confirming extreme uncertainty for companies - not due to lack of demand, but persistent and ever-shifting supply constraints (logistics, input raw materials/ parts for factories, labor and even energy).
The threat is clear - severely weakened enterprises, smaller (including emergent) and large. Those that have not invested enough to make their Supply Chains and cross-functional operations team-processes and systems robust will be most vulnerable.
So, how do you manage a crisis like this?
Temporary flare-ups (factory fires, accidents etc. taking capacity offline) and natural disasters (volcanoes, tsunamis) can provide some clues, but these pains are largely transitory.
Our experiences indicate that 'Scaling' operations of a product company - i.e., growing a smaller company to a bigger player, taking on larger incumbents and winning (even surviving with strength) in a short time span1 - has unique parallels with operating companies in extremely uncertain (demand/ supply) environments. And we can glean valuable insights from these to operate with eyes wide open while the 'fog' clears.
Stay tuned here for our upcoming update - on the systems and learnings that transfer - helping operations teams navigate chronic uncertainty.
(Based on our best work, and of our network of operations leaders)
Lead-Times demand CEO/COO attention, especially in the current (2020-early 2021) pandemic-induced disruptions in the manufacturing and logistics segments of supply chains across industries.
In highly uncertain demand-supply environments, as in the current "fog" of covid19, where supply lines face ongoing uncertainty and disruption at various points - such as, inadequate logistics or factory (fab) capacity, or labor shortages - lead time for a product enterprise becomes the most critical metric, right alongside adequate capital and product quality.
This article outlines why is lead time important, what mid-size and smaller companies can do in such uncertain (covid19) times against seemingly unsurmountable competitive odds to get a grip on their product's lead times. The article offers new ideas and approach in two of the key areas - Process and System - which can no longer wait.
Outlined are four specific, contrarian lessons from dynamic, younger companies that despite their smaller size and vulnerabilities took on much larger competitors, often successfully, achieving solid operating success (some learned navigating the last Deep Recession circa 2007/2008). The author draws inspiration and leans heavily on the work done by Team Zyom collaborating closely with its customers
You could find these valuable for your operations to tide over this period of variability/ volatility in demand-supply, and utilize the operating capability outlined here to your advantage in 2020 and beyond.
The end goals of Intelligent Operations will require all these and all the engineering & conceptual leaps that we are familiar
with - Lean, Six Sigma, constraint-based management, optimization (via Operations Research), Supply Chain Planning (starting with MRP/DRP),
Sales & Operations Planning, among others.
Given the fog that's beginning to accumulate around "Intelligence" and its applications in Operations, which can either help us go up the mountain of operational excellence or make us slip badly, as many new technologies in their hype-cycles do, we thought it best to convene an open forum of and for Operations practitioners. Knowing first-hand the aspirations of operations teams and leaders at companies we work with, has brought added urgency for such a forum.
Our facilitator has lived through 2 decades of technology hype-cycles partnering with cross-functional operations teams and their leadership in the hi-tech electronics & consumer electronics industries, deploying some ‘bleeding edge' technology and process-change solutions. He has worked alongside colleagues at companies such as HP, Dell, Compaq (prior to HP), 3M among others in the past, and more recently with companies such as Samsung, 2Wire, Ruckus, Aerohive and Cambium, implementing change-enabling systems and processes. He looks forward to this opportunity to share and learn.
Making a company scale is vital. For hardware product companies (offering physical goods), this is especially key when technology is still in its early stages of adoption. Scaling early provides a solid competitive anchor in the markets they serve, making it harder for follow-on competition to achieve similar scale or size. Most research and case-studies have overlooked a very important piece of the scaling puzzle - scaling operations effectively and rapidly - both the Demand and Supply-side.
The author derives ideas and inspiration from an example of scale available to us in abundance - that of us, Humans, and attempts to answer the following question -
Utilizing experiential evidence of scale from directly working with a company that scaled significantly in a short period, and direct and indirect knowledge from other companies, including past experiences, the author arrives at, what could be fairly counter-intuitive answers.
One specific capability in particular stands us in good stead.
This article could give you some fresh ideas as you plan to scale in the new year (2019).
Operations provides a competitive advantage for Product companies
(Hardware products) by increasing the speed at which companies operate. However,
even the best-run companies run into hard limits when it comes to key parts of
their Operations Cycle time - making it very hard for cross-functioning teams to
ship the right mix of products in a timely manner and achieve desired operating costs.
The problem is not new. However, there is a new approach to solving this problem - one which
requires a careful meshing of good processes with specialized capabilities only available via
the Cloud. These capabilities are beyond what ERP, S&OP tools, spreadsheets and
emails can provide. Equipped with this, some well-run companies have reduced key Cycle times
by up to 87% and gained an operating advantage.
What is this solution & what operating advantages does it provide?
Cross-functional Operations teams at Technology-driven companies at various stages of their development & maturity cycle stand to gain from the learnings shared.
Imagine if you could get front row seats to the unfolding of an
amazing journey. Join us to get a brief glimpse into such a
journey, from the viewpoint of Fred Harried, VP of Operations at
What Ruckus Wireless has experienced over the last 4 years has been nothing short of amazing. From small beginnings in 2004, navigating the ‘Great Recession' (2008-2009) to become a leading player in the Wireless Internetworking industry, and now a Public company - as of Nov. 16!
Early on, Ruckus Operations decided to partner with Zyom - creator of the Operations Support Systems Mozart which helps Product companies scale efficiently.
This webinar will cover 2 facets of the journey:
1) What Operations leaders face when they have to scale Operations significantly over a short period of time?
2) Systems smarts - What Ruckus Operations did differently? How did Zyom's System Mozart help?
and close with a Q&A.
Rakesh Sharma, President of Zyom, will facilitate this discussion and be your tour-guide on the Systems leg of the journey.
This webinar is now over
For more information Please Contact Us
Demand Responsive Companies - Why is it important?
How to make your company Demand Responsive?
The trend towards outsourced manufacturing on the supply side of OEMs and Branded Product Companies, combined with multiple and multi-tiered channels that these companies sell through has created a need for a new approach - Demand Responsiveness.
Listen to this video where Zyom, Inc. President & Founder, Rakesh Sharma explains why Demand Responsiveness is critical, and how to make your Company Demand Responsive.
(site requires registration)
For more : http://www.supplychainbrain.com/content/index.php?id=5032&cHash=081010&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=13142
Connecting the Dots .. from Channel Demand to
Supply Response Utilizing Demand Responsiveness
Supply Chain Planning & Forecasting: Best Practices Conference -
Hilton San Francisco, CA
October 18th, 2011 11:25AM - 12:25 PM
Speaker: Rakesh Sharma, President, Zyom, Inc.
The problem is old - How can we accurately gauge and best respond to
market demand? Once companies gain market traction, great things can
Distributors and VARs embrace a company's promising products, demand fortifies, it seems ‘happily ever after' is just around the corner, until the next spike or slump. Companies, building their channel reputation ‘shipment by shipment', can see a rapid reversal in fortunes if these ‘bends' are not navigated quickly and carefully.
The answer is ‘enhanced' Demand Responsiveness. By enlisting the support of field sales, channel demand signals and changes can be quickly interpreted, and "relevant" forecasts kept fresh. One company started reaping the benefits of Demand Responsiveness - shorter response cycles, smarter re-sizing of Channel Inventory and overall higher ‘quality' of Sales data. The key elements are bold cross-functional leadership and a simple premise - ‘connect the dots all the way from Channel Demand till the last shipment has been delivered'.
The Rise of the Small - How a small company is
Rethinking Operations and gaining ground
Zyom Webinar Series - Operations
Fred Harried, Vice President, Operations, Ruckus Wireless &
Rakesh Sharma, President, Zyom, Inc.
Current economic uncertainty has impacted companies of all sizes.
According to recent studies, smaller companies have been harder hit
than their larger counterparts in this slowdown - contrary to past
Yet, Ruckus Wireless, a young wireless networking company (started in 2006) continues to buck the trend. Ruckus sells its products in the highly competitive Wireless networking marketplace. One of the key ingredients to their strong competitive standing is - Operations. Three years ago the executive management at Ruckus started to execute on plans to Rethink Operations and its role at Ruckus.
Learn how Ruckus partnered with Zyom to Rethink Operations, making it an engine for growing revenue while staying laser-focused on keeping Operational costs low.
This webinar is for all Operations personnel and executives (Supply Chain, Planning, Finance and Sales Operations) at companies that design and sell products who want to learn
- Key elements of this ‘Operations model'
- Benefits of this approach (including some ‘unplanned' benefits)
- How Ruckus is pulling this off despite constraints
Building Responsive Operations - Strategy &
Systems for an Uncertain Economic Climate
Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning (IBF) - Demand Planning & Forecasting: Best Practices Conference w/ Demand Mgmt Forum - San Francisco, CA
April 30th, 2010 2:15-3:15 PM
Fred Harried, Vice President, Operations, Ruckus Wireless &
Rakesh Sharma, President, Zyom, Inc.
Ruckus Wireless is a growing, young company competing with bigger, established players. Ruckus had to adapt fast to the changing economic climate. Two years ago, as demand was climbing, the operations leadership at Ruckus made a conscious decision to build a lean operations model. Given the uncertain economic climate, they needed to scale their business globally without increasing costs. This presentation will outline the results including a scalable and highly sophisticated process and enabling system that enables Ruckus understand global demand, respond quickly and intelligently to changes while acting in close concert with its global supply networkThis event is over
Product Cost Forecasting & Cost-based Planning- A
New Frontier in Operations Management
Institute of Business Forecasting & Planning (IBF) - Supply Chain Forecasting & Planning Conference- Phoenix, AZ
February 26th, 2008 3-4 PM
Speaker: Rakesh Sharma, President, Zyom, Inc.
To date most of the focus of the forecasting and planning discipline has been in the area of ‘Demand and supply-centric forecasting and planning'. Zyom's customer set out to build a systematic picture of their total product and total operational costs (called "Full-up COGS"). This presentation will discuss Cost-forecasting, Cost-based planning, and why these two concepts are important. We will detail the critical processes that comprise cost based forecasting and planning as well as the key roles and capabilities required to make this concept work. Finally we will show how we partnered with our customer to construct an end-to-end process and supporting system, that will help the company drastically improve its current and forward visibility of their total operational costs as well as result in better operational cost control.This event is over