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In March 2014, SSA & Company partnered with HAVI Global Solutions (HGS) to host a roundtable on Applying Continuous Improvement to Supply Chain Services. The roundtable and simulation exercise featured HGS representatives Scott Saunders, SVP of Supply Chain Services, Ken Shearer, SVP of Sales & Business Development, Eli Carmeli, SVP of Packaging Technology Integrated Solutions Operations, Cherryl Choi, Senior Manager of Global Supply Chain Integration, and Liz Harada, Director of Business Process. John Rodgers, Senior Managing Director of SSA & Company, moderated the discussion.
HAVI Global Solutions is the supply chain management firm that partnered with McDonald’s to manage its replenishment and supply chain performance and bring McDonalds’ supply chain to #2 in the world, after Apple and ahead of Amazon. HGS’ view of a global supply chain is not linear. Instead, a global supply chain strategy takes an integrated look at a business – a web of interdependencies – that begins with front-end consumer insights and incorporates knowledge about what producers make, how it gets to distribution centers, and how it can be timed and controlled for quality to make customers happy. Additionally, the supply chain must accommodate expected and unexpected pricing shifts while maintaining continuity of brand equity through uniform packaging and ensuring the right products are always in stock. Finally, the supply chain ends with sustainability – an outcome, not just an option – of a well-run supply chain. HGS is committed to deepening their current customer partnerships while also establishing new value-added relationships with new customers. HGS helps their customers grow smarter through operational excellence, risk management and strategies for success.
To simulate the challenges of supply chain management, HGS engaged roundtable members in the “beer game,” initially developed at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Teams represent beer retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and brewers, and the object of the game is to minimize total cost without making the mistake of minimizing one team’s cost at the expense of the others. As order backlogs develop, players unintentionally force their teammates further down the chain into more serious backlogs. The ensuing avalanche is termed the “bullwhip effect”: decisions made by individuals along the supply chain actually worsen problems, and teammates end up blaming each other for their failures. Roundtable participants reported wanting to “fire their customers,” feeling overwhelmed by the uncertainty they were managing, and being surprised by how much small shortages were magnified as they rippled through the supply chain. Through this game simulation, we discovered the importance of visibility to data across the supply chain and of collaborative behavior between supply chain partners.
HGS evaluates supply chains based on the extent of synchronization between all links in the extended supply chain. Depending on the level of development of a set of key attributes – Collaboration, Employee Roles, Information Systems and Data, and Demand and Supply Planning – a company’s chain may fall into one of five “levels” of maturity:
HGS asks its clients, “What do you need to use now to meet your company’s future objectives?” The company continuously improves by demanding the same from its internal operations – enhancing execution and performance based on where it needs to be tomorrow, not today.
HAVI Global Solutions, LLC (HGS) provides consulting, design and execution services across the business value chain, helping their customers grow smarter with idea to end-of-life solutions that address their most demanding and complex challenges. The world’s most respected brands rely on HGS to help deliver a competitive advantage, manage risk, achieve operational excellence, and realize their growth strategies through our industry neutral position and flexible business model. Fine-tuned over three decades, HGS’ experience, global reach, and the expertise and passion of their people to listen, understand, and anticipate customer needs are the essence of the HGS business and brand. Leveraging capabilities in packaging, promotions, analytics, supply chain, sustainability, recycling and waste solutions – HGS helps customers connect and collaborate more powerfully to build smarter brands and businesses. For more information about HAVI Global Solutions, please visit www.havigs.com.
SSA & Company is a management consulting firm that helps companies execute on strategy for world-class performance – from fast-cycle, targeted process improvements to a total rethinking of a company’s operating model. Born out of Lean Six Sigma and refined through ongoing innovation, SSA & Company’s approach improves execution within client organizations and builds sustainable skills and capabilities within client teams. Whether working with Fortune 50 corporations or private equity portfolio companies, SSA & Company delivers quick, game-changing results that add value immediately, and over time. SSA is part of G100 Companies, a unique business partnership that combines the world’s best C-level learning communities with a handful of premier professional services firms. G100 Companies helps the most distinguished companies and executives drive performance, learning, strategy and reputation.
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