MRP Pitfalls and Missteps

The evolution of Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) software has vastly improved the efficiency of today’s global manufacturing supply chains.  At the core, MRP systems are a collection of databases, interfaces, rules and information.  These software systems focus on optimizing the production planning and execution process.  This typically begins with customer or forecast demand (independent demand) for finished products.  This forecast demand then drives the detailed acquisition and production of all subassemblies and parts (also know as dependent demand). MRP II takes a more holistic view of the company-wide manufacturing environment.  It expands the focus beyond individual production planning to include both operational and financial planning as well as …

Middle Office Transformation

Until recently, many fast growth organizations have suffered huge performance gaps in what is known as their Middle Office.  As the name implies, the Middle office is operational in nature and sits between the enterprise Front Office and Back Office. The Front Office has traditionally been supported by Sales and Marketing CRM solutions.  These solutions include Salesforce.com, Siebel, MS Dynamics and Marketo.  The Back Office has traditionally been supported by large ERP players such as Oracle, SAP and Infor.  Unfortunately, that left the “Middle Office” to fend for itself.  In order for Middle Office Organizations to gain efficiency and remain compliant, they were forced to either create customized …

The Coming AI Winter

In the not too distant future, machines will be capable of doing some amazingly human things, like showing compassion, lying, creating music, multi-modality communication, exhibiting the capability for self-reflection and recursive thinking. Or at least they will be able to simulate these human capabilities. Much of the advanced research into AI is focused on technology singularity or General Machine Intelligence, while more practical applications such as speech and vision recognition research is focusing on something known as Pragmatics.   Pragmatics is the ability to understand meaning based on context.  As an example, words or visual cues alone cannot define proper meaning, and the ability to have context awareness offers …

Complacency

“Real” Change Management – Digital Transformation

The comic strip goes something like this, “What if we don’t change at all … and something magical just happens?”.  While this humor exemplifies familiar levels of complacency, it is in reality the leading cause of organizational and digital transformation failure.  High levels of organizational complacency puts the overall organization “at risk” and has become an epitaph for many large sedentary companies. Charles Darwin summarized it best: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change” Moving the Organization Moving an organization out of their comfort zone to achieve significant operational improvement requires several things: 1) a highly …

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