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People, process and tools – ensuring supply reliability


An effective and efficient customer-centric supply chain can become a key differentiator in the competitive landscape of the lubricants industry. Ursula Thakkar, Head of Global Supply Chain and Planning at Infineum talks about the essential key components of supply chain management for sustained competitive advantage and industry leading customer service.


Today it is very important for organisations to continuously improve and transform the way they service customers to keep up with new ways of working. This is even more important in a rapidly innovating market place where customers are well informed and connected with current events and news, and consequently demand a faster response. A customer is not just buying a product per se but a resource or solution to a business challenge.


Like many change management efforts a transformation initiative of the supply chain is broadly composed of three key components: people, processes and tools.


People are most important Of those three components the most important component is people. Organisations tend to focus on the design of the process or the technology and tools that they are looking to invest in and do not pay adequate attention to the way people will relate to these or rather, how to motivate people to use the tools and processes.


The key reason change management initiatives fall short of their objectives is because organisations fail to invest the necessary time and resource to communicate, educate and support colleagues who are required to ensure that the new tool or process is effectively implemented to benefit customers.


Here, motivation is the key. Colleagues need to feel impassioned and motivated to invest time into learning about using the new process or technology and helping other colleagues to use it as well, until eventually they all are ambassadors


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for the new approach and their enthusiasm inspires others.


People drive the process Inspiring and motivating people to challenge the status quo, and to innovate is the philosophy that led to the start of the journey of developing and implementing the Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) process at Infineum over two years ago.


One of the key aims of the S&OP process is to address the imbalances in demand and supply which typically have a detrimental effect on an orgnisation’s operations and lead to poor performance to customers.


The supply chain team has many different touch points in the order-to- cash process – each of which must work flawlessly to ensure successful product delivery to the customer which the S&OP process helps achieve. A key to this success is listening to what the customer has to say and translating this input into actionable solutions that deliver reliability, efficiency and cost savings. In addition, the importance that third party service providers play in maintaining and improving complaint free delivery performance for Infineum, and the need to integrate their input into the S&OP process too, for extended visibility across the entire supply chain cannot be understated.


Collaborating for the right tools As part of the ongoing internal process, evaluation and adoption of new and evolving digital technology to streamline and optimise the supply chain is essential to stay ahead in today’s competitive landscape.


In February, this year Infineum partnered with Logility, Inc., to adopt its suite of optimised supply chain management solutions. The system was designed for Infineum to streamline its existing planning system using Logility’s Voyager AdapLink template-based integration approach to ensure that customer and operational output can remain synchronised throughout.


The multi-echelon inventory optimisation capabilities in Logility Voyager SolutionsTM will allow Infineum to quickly identify the reasons for inventory challenges and reduce manual intervention required by inventory planners.


The use of state-of-the-art technology solutions coupled with strong processes frees up time for team members to innovate and drive the business forward. With the support of sound technology and processes, the supply chain and planning team at Infineum is able to deliver on the organisation’s growth initiatives and commitments to customers of performance they can rely on.


To summarise; by saying that putting people first and introducing tools and processes to help them outperform is why Infinuem retains its competitive edge in supply reliability in a constantly evolving and dynamic supply marketplace.


LINK www.infineum.com


LUBE MAGAZINE NO.140 AUGUST 2017


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