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Supply Chain


Sending Supply Chain to the Cloud


By Ross Valentine, Senior Director of Product Line Management, Jabil


plexity has moved far beyond the ca- pability they offer, such as VLOOKUPs and pivot tables. They are useful for sorting data, and occa- sionally for utilizing that data for simple and structured calculations. But, the data now required to man- age a supply chain is not only ex- tremely complex, it is also diverse and extraordinarily dynamic. I spoke with various people


S


from large, global enterprises at the recent Gartner Supply Chain Execu- tive Conference in Phoenix, where we launched Jabil’s InControl SaaS (software as a service) solution, and while they see the changes and de- mands growing, I am still surprised to see how many supply chains still rely on spreadsheets and continue to


preadsheets have their place; they are great for expenses or budgets, but supply chain com-


lack the visibility needed to make im- portant decisions.


All About Data For Jabil, it was clear some


years ago that spreadsheets had run their course. The company has been manufacturing other people’s prod- ucts for more than 50 years across some of the most demanding indus- tries in the world. The companies that rely on Jabil expect efficiency and effectiveness, reduced risk and managed variable demands, all at speed and at the lowest cost possible. Add to this the globalization of the supply chain and the risks due to natural disasters, such as floods in Thailand, earthquakes in Japan and volcanos in Iceland, and it’s easy to see why supply chain planning is such a complex science. As demanding as the story is on


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the supply side, it is important not to ignore demand. Consumer demands for personalization and volume or mass customizations are changing manufacturing methods and supply chains. Consumers expect to see new technology hit the market fast, and first-to-market advantage is greater than ever. This means that brands need great agility for their manufac- turing partners and their supply chains. It means that we need to compress the time between idea and mass production, making rapid inno- vation that delivers an agile, fast and flexible supply chain essential. With both supply and demand


sides of the equation needing change, it was clear to Jabil that it needed to move, and help its customers move, from silos of data to more collabora- tive data, on a digital platform. After all, the world is more collaborative than ever. We all use social media to find out what is going on all around the world. We are part of a sharing economy and this paradigm shift in behavior needs to be applied to sup- ply chains in the B2B world. As well as the shift to the sharing economy, there has been a shift in thinking to- ward the value of data, particularly the value of big data analytics.


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InControl is a supply chain decision support system for complex and growing supply chains. The company manages thousands of suppliers, mil- lions of parts, all for hundreds of cus- tomers. Jabil launched an internal version of InControl four years ago and has more than 150 customers al- ready onboard. The response has been phenomenal. Customers love the product and many have asked how they could use it in the parts of their supply chain that are not cur- rently managed by Jabil. The natural solution was the cloud-native SaaS solution that was launched last month at the Gartner supply chain conference. The journey to the current SaaS


offering has been fascinating and not without its challenges. The system gathers data from multiple sources, some structured and some quite un- structured. The data is more and more granular, as is the level of in- sight demanded by the user and by the executives who will use the data to provide actionable insights. One of the challenges is pulling


all this data together and weighting it to produce insights, such as risk analysis. Pulling multiple data points together into a single frame-


work can help assess whether a part or vendor carries too high a level of risk. Another challenge is that of too much data. We have found lots of un- used data in decentralized places; those dreaded silos again. Centraliz-


Consumer demands for personalization and


volume or mass customiza- tions are changing manufacturing methods and supply chains. Consumers expect to see new technology hit the market fast, and first-to- market advantage is greater than ever. This means that brands need great agility for their manufacturing partners and their supply chains.


ing and normalizing all that data in a single place provides further oppor- tunity for insight and analysis. Because Jabil supports innova-


tors, along with large name brand companies, we have seen the value that data can provide throughout the entire product lifecycle, starting with the way the products are designed, to the way they are made, packaged, fulfilled and even their end-of-life re- quirements. Supply chains have changed


radically in the last 50 years. As they now change at accelerating speeds, the time for spreadsheets has past. It is time to grasp the nettle of data an- alytics and take control of the supply chain.


Contact: Jabil Circuit,


Inc.,10560 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street N., St. Petersburg, FL 33716 % 727-577-9749 Web: www.jabil.com r


Ross Valentine is the sen-


ior director of product line man- agement at Jabil, responsible for the architecture and delivery of applications on the company’s in- telligent digital supply chain SaaS platform, InControl. He has 17 years of experience creating supply chain solutions that span design, procurement, manufac- turing, and fulfillment for some of the world’s largest EMS providers and OEMs.


July, 2017


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