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Demand & Supply Chain Management Evolution

24 Mar 2020
Keeping vital supply chains running with 2x surge in Kinaxis usage

Jay Muelhoefer

The scope and speed of the global COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything ever seen previously.  Businesses are scrambling to understand, analyze and reorient their end-to-end strategies to survive the scope of this ever-morphing disruption.  Leading strategy consulting firms such as McKinsey and Bain & Company are regularly publishing updates with best practices about shifting from reaction to action, all of which include strengthening investments in supply chains.

When day-to-day conditions are so uncertain, there is one thing that remains certain: the speed to detect misalignment in your supply chain and the speed to correct your plans will be vital to successfully piloting your business through the crisis. As a cloud provider for some of the world’s largest and most complex supply chains, including Unilever, Ford and Merck to name a few, we have monitored a significant and sustained surge in activity on our RapidResponse® platform over the past several weeks.

Supply chain agility is the main muscle exercised in times like these.  Executives and supply chain practitioners are analyzing and determining the best course of action against multiple simultaneous and interdependent scenarios not just daily, but hourly or by the minute, for the entire supply chain.

While we are currently helping our customers make fast, confident decisions around COVID-19, Kinaxis has been used by our customers to help with all types of disruption from hurricanes, earthquakes, disease, cyberattacks, financial crisis and war.  We recently published a set of 5 Disruption Response Best Practices to guide both business executives and supply chain leaders through today’s reality.

In terms of the current COVID-19 disruption, Kinaxis customers have been using our RapidResponse platform to act now and act aggressively to lead through the supply chain crisis. Some interesting statistics and observations include:

  • Our customers are responding on a global basis.  We have supply chain practitioners using the Kinaxis cloud service from over 75 countries on every continent.  We observed a higher than normal usage first in Europe and then in the US.  The largest increase in usage is from Germany.  The one location with a 20%+ drop in usage this quarter was in China due to the impact of their manufacturing shutdown.
  • Industries are impacted differently.  There was first a surge in usage by our high-tech vertical customers due to dependencies on suppliers in China.  As the outbreak spread, other verticals such as life sciences and consumer products have increased their activity as their supply chains respond to spikes in demand for critical products such as medicine/pharmaceuticals, medical products, consumer cleaning supplies and other core consumer necessities.
  • The usage rate of people accessing Kinaxis has increased by over 33% this quarter as more of the supply chain collaborates on new scenarios to respond to the dynamic situation. To assist, Kinaxis is providing our customers with free unlimited report access users through the crisis period.  
  • The number of simulation scenarios have skyrocketed 2x.  We saw our first quarter with over 10 billion planning assessment calculations.  Kinaxis customers are creating complete lossless digital twins of their end-to-end supply chains and running what-if scenarios imaging different futures and the results on key corporate, financial and supply chain metrics.

We understand that the current situation has created uncertainty and fear for millions across the globe. But these data points are further proof that the world in general, and our customers in particular, are working diligently and smartly to ensure that basic needs are met. Kinaxis RapidResponse was designed to quickly counter all types of supply chain disruption and we will continue to partner with those companies in need of hyper agility when uncertainty becomes a certainty. To better understand the thinking behind Kinaxis concurrent planning and the business benefits, an executive eBook is available.
For more about the Kinaxis response to COVID-19, please visit our News page.






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News & Trends

Last update 3 Mar 2020
Manufacturing output growth weakens amid slower upturn in new orders
   Source: Markit US Manufacturing PMI   -  IHS Markit
United States 


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