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Interactive, graphical tools to help your team diagnose, optimise and improve your supply chain.

Since the beginning, Sequoia’s Tools offering has developed from highly complex, though admittedly somewhat impenetrable spreadsheets, through robust Excel-based tools and into the latest incarnation: graphically interactive web-enabled services. Each iteration has had the same objective: to provide tools that enable Supply Chain teams to use their data to make informed, economically sound decisions and to facilitate insightful discussions, both within the Supply Chain function and across functional boundaries. By transferring knowledge; building client capability through both appropriate tools and supporting skills, teams can continue to drive results long after our specific assignment has finished.

A focus on usability of software to deliver results.

Our applications are constantly improved to deliver tools that are easier to use, incorporate the latest thinking and are specifically tailored to your business. We have built dozens and dozens of Supply Chain models and have learnt from our own experience how to present information in an easily digestible form to support successful decision making. Our tools offer flexibility, interactive data with clickable charts, drill down options and dashboards to ensure that decisions, whether strategic or operational, are driven by a comprehensive understanding of appropriate Supply Chain data.

Our leading application in this area is OnTarget which has been rolled out globally for several multi-national clients and is currently supporting the realisation of very significant inventory, service and cash improvements in each one. Find out more.

Can we make effective decisions in S&OP meetings?

Our client was a private label supplier of complex, chilled ready meals – which had only 1 or 2 days shelf life. This meant that:

  • the order to despatch cycle was measured in hours and therefore normal S&OP functions were based at and closely coupled to factories, and
  • the multiple processes and complexity of the products meant that capacity pinch points were unpredictable from day to day and week to week.

To get an effective, cross functional S&OP process working, Sequoia built a graphical capacity model – driven by master recipe data from the SAP ERP system:

  • Capacity was modelled by process, by day – so that the compound effects of in-week cycles and promotional plans could be visualised, live, within an S&OP meeting;
  • Drill down capabilities facilitated detailed interrogation of which SKUs were pressurising which processes in any specific period;
  • What if capabilities meant that forecasts, shift patterns and even installed processes could be modified – during a live discussion to finalise forward plans for both Sales and Operations. This modification was non-destructive so that the model could easily be reset to the original assumptions or saved as a specific scenario.

An inventory policy that takes in to account ALL the variables?

A large, complicated, Direct Sales client has experienced consistent and challenging sales growth and ever increasing geographical and SKU complexity. Forecasting is distributed to markets and procurement is via a globally distributed supply base.

The net result is that inventory management priorities are extremely difficult to assess and communicate.

Sequoia were asked to build an inventory policy model, leverage several of our skills:

  • Solid core code components that robustly evaluate the relationship between inventory and the business parameters that drive inventory holding;
  • The ability to deal with large complex data sets;
  • The knowledge to create interactive, graphical tools.

We built a Board / Exec level, graphical policy tool that could both be used to evaluate inventory improvement initiatives and communicate them around the business from the Exec and out to the markets.

  • Has selectable scope – allowing analysis to be performed at a total company level, or with a selected subset of countries, brands and categories;
  • Computes aggregated inventory driving parameters (e.g. Forecast Accuracy and Lead Time) across the selected data set;
  • Provides a graphical display, with selectable parameterised axis for managers to display the information in a way which suits their purpose;
  • Facilitates What If analysis of improvements in driver parameters;
  • Allows drill down to individual SKU / location level to better understand the source of problems or improvements.

What figures should I use to set replenishment & purchasing parameters?

The days of clunky safety stock tools or back-of-an-envelope EOQ calculations is over.

Oriflame Model

After years of assuming someone would create a tool to set ERP parameters precisely, Sequoia has developed our own. OnTarget is our web-enabled Inventory Management application, which encapsulates over two decade’s worth of experience in setting FMCG parameters.

Incorporating the complexities of FMCG reality; variants, seasonality, events, intermittence and obsolescence risk it has transformed performance wherever it has been deployed. The graphical interfaces and presentation of science-based parameters facilitates rational discussion and challenges ways of working. For a more in-depth understanding, please visit our dedicated OnTarget page.