"Manufacturing is in the throes of a massive shift from a production-centric to customer-centric business model," observes Randy Littleson, vice president of marketing with Kinaxis Inc., a provider of response management solutions. As he explains, traditional production-centric business models use a plan-and-execute standard that has become too rigid.
"Responsiveness to demand volatility is the new basis of competition," Littleson says, necessitating "customer-centric business models that focus on sense-and-respond processes," and help manufacturers "meet increasingly demanding and erratic customer buying behavior."
The plan-and-execute model, according to Littleson, relies on "machine thinking," which he describes as a closed-loop execution process that takes human input out of the equation. It would be better, he suggests, if manufacturers came to rely on real-time business intelligence and human collaboration to create demand-driven supply networks that are responsive to constant change.
|Responding more quickly to change increases customer satisfaction and drives revenue growth, while responding more efficiently and effectively to those same changes can drive breakthroughs in operating performance." -- Randy Littleson, Kinaxis|
Multi-enterprise visibility -- consolidating data from multiple sites (internal or external to the organization) for a holistic view of the extended supply chain and/or fulfillment network.
Real-time, collaborative analysis tools -- detecting and enabling those in the organization impacted by a change to collectively perform "what if" analysis of action alternatives.