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Optimizing supply chain and operations (CS245a)

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Visualization and scenario planning: Mapping a complex, end-to-end global supply chain


This story is for executives who:

  • Have limited/no end-to-end supply chain visibility or ability to understand trade offs

  • Want to optimize supply chain and operations from a cost, cash, service and risk perspective

  • Have multiple data systems with no ‘single source of truth’

  • Need data-led intelligence to enable distribution and manufacturing footprint optimization

The Challenge

This global multibillion-dollar water heating and air conditioning manufacturer has over 3,000 suppliers and more than 18 manufacturing locations globally including Mexico, the US and Australasia. The company is comprised of two separate divisions: water and air, each with its own supply chain and strategy. Having grown through acquisition, the business had an increasing diversity of product offerings.

Some facilities had overlapping capabilities while others had unique abilities based on location. Data resided in multiple, unintegrated sources. Consequently, leadership had little true visibility of its plan-buy-make-move supply chain and operations. With ongoing supply chain volatility, they needed the ability to quickly identify changes to flows and find alternate pathways to mitigate risk and optimize the network.

Providing end-to-end supply chain and operations visibility

Maine Pointe’s subject matter experts used a data-driven approach to review, map and assess current design, identify opportunities for improvement across the company’s global facilities and distribution footprint. This enabled us to provide the optimum strategy to capture all financial and market opportunities. To achieve this, we:

  • Examined 30M+ records of unstructured data from disparate systems and spreadsheets
  • Built a digital twin with an end-to-end data model and network flow paths
  • Created dynamic analytics dashboards to provide seamless visual access to insights across the entire value stream
  • Developed a complete digital model of the extended enterprise, including structure, operational description and policies

Scenario planning

Using advanced data analytics tools, we delivered the following strategic insights to enable growth and optimization of the client’s site/product network and manufacturing footprint:

  • Ran selected scenarios for a 10-year manufacturing and distribution roadmap – provided four to five key options for consideration, scenarios included:Looking at spare parts distribution and making data-led recommendations based on 1, 2 or 3 distribution centers Assessing alternative scenarios for improving manufacturing footprint and reducing risk by relocating production from one of the US plants: either to Mexico (including looking at options to bring products to the United States if worsening trade relations led to border closures), or to an alternative greenfield site in the US
  • Identified and prioritized five key strategic roadmap projects 
  • Finalized a baseline model for manufacturing and distribution 
  • Tested and modeled a number of options for a new manufacturing/distribution footprint model looking at cost savings and risk reduction

Single version of the truth across the organization

The result was the company’s first ever visualization of its end-to-end supply chain map, comprising procurement, manufacturing and distribution across all divisions and all locations.

The Results

Maine Pointe’s data analytics team, supported by procurement, operations and logistics experts:

  • Enabled C-suite to gain insight and control across their complex supply chain and operations
  • Provided powerful digital dashboards, allowing executives to review digital twin* scenarios to optimize the manufacturing and distribution footprint in terms of cost, service and risk 
  • Developed five key strategic projects and prioritized them for an implementation roadmap
  • Established a baseline model for manufacturing and distribution optimization
  • Deployed critical capability to help the client rebalance its supply chain

*A digital replica of potential and actual physical assets, processes, people, places, systems and devices

Lessons learned for other executives

  • CEO leadership is essential to ensure alignment behind a strategic transformation initiative
  • Scenario planning is critical to understand where potential supply chain and operations risks and opportunities are and respond accordingly
  • To carry out complex modeling, you need the tools and expertise to gain a deep understanding of data

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