Does your business understand the impact your supply chain has on the bottom line? Does your business understand the impact of its decisions on your supply chain? – Supply chain optimization is essential in rapidly changing environments that require maximum reliability and efficiency.
The Supply Chain Academy has demonstrated success with companies in all parts of the supply chain through examining and offering joint solutions throughout the Supply Chain. With you, we work through the performance, profitability and customer experience pinch-points in your organisation and to ‘tease-out’ hidden costs and wasted resource.
We offer consultancy in all areas of transport, logistics and supply chain. Our team offer complete management support services, including the use of sophisticated computer modelling applications for detailed operational decision support; warehouse and facilities design; dedicated project planning, management and implementation, and performance measurement and improvement covering the following:
Supply Chain Strategy
Logistics Performance Review and Improvement
Simulation and Modelling
Project and Change Management
Transport Management and Engineering
What is Coaching?
Coaching is a development technique based on the use of one-to-one discussions to enhance an individual’s skills, knowledge or work performance.
It is possible to draw distinctions between coaching and mentoring, although in practice the two terms are often used interchangeably.
At the Supply Chain Academy, using the Insights Discovery model and through individually focussed coaching sessions, we target; high performance and improvement at work specific skills and goals, individual personal attributes (such as social interaction or confidence).
The process typically lasts for a relatively short defined period of time, or forms the basis of an on-going leadership or management development programme .
Supply Chain Simulation
The Beer Game – Understanding Your Supply Chain
As a first step to getting your team to understand why optimising your supply chain is so important, we can run a bespoke version of the Beer ‘supply chain simulation’ Game for you:
The Beer Game (or beer distribution game) was originally invented in the 1960’s by Jay Forrester at MIT as a result of his work on systems dynamics. It’s a role-play simulation game that lets participants experience the potential problems of traditional supply chains.
This competitive business simulation game demonstrates the need for coordinationthroughout the supply chain. Suppliers, manufacturers, sales people and customers all have their own – often incomplete – understanding of what real demand is.
Each group has control over only a part of the supply chain, but each group can influence the entire chain by ordering too much or too little. Each group is influenced by decisions that others are making.
This lack of coordination, coupled with the ability to influence while being influenced by others, leads to the Bullwhip Effect (shortages and overstocks across the supply chain).
Objectives & Outcomes
- The object of the game is to powerfully demonstrate, through simulation, how inter-related and inter-dependant a real supply chain is and the effect that people can have on each other when working in a typical supply chain that involves multiple connected parties.
- The simulation seeks to achieve the above with all the pressures of playing in a real world, complex operating environment where players are at the mercy of forces outside of their direct control in the system.
- The objective through all the iterations is to minimise cost while at the same time maximising service to customers.
Outcomes of Participation in the beer game include:
- An appreciation of supply chain dynamics.
- Understanding of the communication flows required for effective supply chain management.
- Understanding the effect of supply chain operation on inventory.
- The development and effective implementation of Sales and Operations Planning processes.
- Understanding other development needs for the group members.
Feedback from Majestic Wine’s Supply Chain Director (Neil Firth) about the Beer Game:
I wanted training that was different yet educational, to get my team to think and be prepared for any supply chain scenario. We worked with the Supply Chain Academy to develop a bespoke version of the beer game, to help them understand what happens across the supply chain. It was a well-run event that the team learnt a lot from. Read the Majestic Wine Case Study here.
The simulation is a powerful tool for ensuring people from different functional areas (sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing, procurement, customer service, warehouse, distribution etc) acquire a common understanding of how much the supply chain (and business costs) can be affected by such things as lead times, customer demand fluctuations, out of stocks, supplier behaviour and supply fluctuations etc.
- How do you take what you have learned and apply the learning to your job?
- What outcomes do you expect to see once they have been on a programme and returned to work?
- Training is only the start of the learning journey. Organisations invest in training, but fail to see the return on investment when the learning is not applied.
- The Supply Chain Academy can help you implement the changes that are necessary.
Appreciative Inquiry is a model for change management uniquely suited to the values, beliefs and business challenges facing managers and leaders today in any sector.
Training companies or Learning & Development Managers often use a form of the ‘Training Needs Analysis’ or ‘Organisational Needs form’ to help them create bespoke ‘training solutions’.
Both have value but they are based on asking staff depreciative questions based on needs. For example, In response a staff member may answer ‘I’m not good at Excel because I can create bar charts but not do programming’. AI brings an appreciative approach where a response might be, ‘I am good at Excel as I can create bar charts, but I need to improve my programming skills’. AI brings about a different mindset.
AI offers a positive, strengths-based approach to organisational development. It values and recognises the best in people. It gives permission to ask people questions to explore their strengths and the discovery of new possibilities.
The AI cycle can be as rapid and informal as a conversation with a friend of a colleague, or as an organisation-wide process involving every stakeholder group.
Appreciative Inquiry 4-D Cycle
Discovery: Engage all stakeholders in the articulation of strengths and best practices. Identifying “The best of what has been and what is’
Dream: Creating a clear results- oriented vision in relation to discovered potential and in relation to questions of higher purpose, such as, “What is the world calling us to become?”
Design: Creating possibility propositions of the ideal organisation, articulating an organisation design that people feel is capable of drawing upon and magnifying the positive core to realize the newly expressed dream.
Destiny: Strengthening the affirmative capability of the whole system, enabling it to build hope and sustain momentum for ongoing positive change and high performance.
At the centre of the cycle is the affirming topic choice.
This process works particularly well if there are communication issues amongst departments. Perhaps one department is performing better than another. AI addresses these issues by bringing in key stakeholders to discuss and learn from each other to take action. Staff build relationships with each other which over time enhances communication.
AI topics become an organisations agenda for learning knowledge sharing and action.
AI and Action Learning sets.
Action learning is an educational process whereby the participant study their own actions and experience (possible from our training) in order to improve performance. Learners acquire knowledge through actual actions and practice rather than through traditional instruction.
Action learning is done in conjunction with others, in small groups called action learning sets. It is proposed as particularly suitable for adults, as it enables each person to reflect on and review the action they have taken and the learning points arising. This should then guide future action and improve performance.
We can design bespoke training for organisations and offer Appreciative Inquiry & Action Learning sets as a process to help support them articulate how their staff joint learning impacts the work they do and ultimately the bottom line.
- Organisations will get a sense of what was learned on the programmes and how staff can apply knowledge together in the AI and Action learning process.
- Regular reviews – we can help them start to see the changes in internal processes.
- The empowerment of staff to get their job done.
- Each person starts to appreciate each other’s strengths.
- A group may produce new internal handbooks that look at new ways of doing projects better and leaner.
- Builds a culture of recognition for good work done.
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