Decision-makers get a high-visibility assist with Kinaxis response management solutions


Front-line managers that must make tradeoffs and compromises to make up for unexpected events now are able to analyze alternative response actions before making a decision using a new category of solutions called Response Management.
According to Stephen Hochman, a director with Boston-based AMR Research , these solutions can lower costs and time-to-resolution of high-visibility judgment calls.
“In high-velocity, supply-constrained businesses where decisions are high in risk and complexity, many companies reach the conclusion that they require systems for collective risk tradeoff and response as the new basis of competition,” says Hochman. “Whether the risk takes the form of a forecast spike, a component approaching obsolescence, a sales order shortfall, or gaining more strategic sales and operations planning or network commitments, discrete manufacturers place a premium on the ability to see, study, and simulate alternate resolutions that show financial and operational impact before pulling the trigger on a major tradeoff.”
Graeme Walker, ERP development manager at Adeptron Technologies , a Toronto-based contract manufacturer, says reaction time is a key competitive differentiator, so the ability to run “what-if?” simulations ensures the right part is available at the right price, and can be delivered to customers when needed to build product on schedule.
“Use of‘what-if?’ scenario planning allows quickly looking at the potential consequences of a proposed action—such as accepting a customer’s order change—so we can determine not only if we could make on-time delivery, but also how accepting that order change will impact other customers’ orders,” Walker says. “It gives us the ability to determine what changes we should make to alter our course of action.”
Kinaxis is making a strong name for itself with so-called response management solutions that afford the visibility for a coordinated response to change.
“The drive toward perfectly optimized forecasts and supply plans is no longer enough to support the evolving requirements of complex global supply chains,” says Randy Littleson, a Kinaxis VP. “Instead, quickly responding to change is the new operating paradigm for demand-driven leaders. RapidResponse 9 connects myriad internal and external systems to enable quickly identifying—and then resolving—business tradeoffs with a collaborative response that balances opportunity and risk.”
Adeptron’s Walker says two capabilities of Kinaxis’ new solution stand out. The first is advanced alerting, whereby users can recognize business exceptions and opportunities in real time using self-created alerts. The second is TeamForm functionality, which automates the process of getting feedback from people who would be impacted by a proposed action.
“By automating‘what-if?’ scenario evaluation and incorporating feedback about the ramifications of a proposed action, [a company could] eliminate both paper and time from the process, and take the best course of action even faster,” Walker says. “The potential savings could be quite substantial.”

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