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Partner Sebastian Valencia Speaks to Forbes About Supply Chain Planning Implementations

March 30, 2023 |  Managing Partner Sebastian Valencia spoke to Forbes on emerging trends and shifts in supply chain planning implementations. Read an excerpt below or click through for the full article here.

Supply Chain Planning Implementations Are Hard

Executives at several systems integration (SI) firms agree, implementing supply chain planning is just harder.

Sebastian Valencia, a managing partner at Clarkston Consulting, pointed out that consulting will be a larger component of a SCP project that it will be for more transactional systems like warehouse management systems. John Sharkey, the CEO of Spinnaker SCA agrees that there is much more consulting around a supply chain planning implementation than around supply chain execution.

Clarkston Consulting does supply chain planning implementations of SAP, Logility, Kinaxis, and o9 Solutions while Spinnaker SCA implements supply chain execution and supply chain planning solutions. Spinnaker SCA has implemented SCP solutions from a variety of software companies including Blue Yonder, Kinaxis, and SAP.

“Warehouse management is more transactional,” Mr. Valencia said. “If you have a warehouse management system, you scan something, you put it away, you store items, you replenish, you build pallets. It either works or it doesn’t work. Planning systems are a little bit of a black box. There can be a time lag between cause and effect.”

Mr. Valencia went on to explain the reasons for this, “There is more carryover consulting needed to prove value. You need to continue to tweak the technology. SCP requires more of a statistical background and some engineering foundation to understand what’s happening in the system. Is the tool doing what it is intended to do? And if not, what parameters, what settings, what tolerances” are not set up correctly. “Clients are not used to this. When a WMS or an ERP goes live, it is live.” With supply chain execution or ERP, “the first couple of weeks are the heaviest weeks. You can either print an invoice, or it didn’t print.”

“But with a supply chain planning tool, that first day after the go live, nothing really happens.” There are no obvious signs that the system is not working. “The first month when you start connecting those dots. You need to reinforce this with the user. Is the system giving you the answer that you’re looking for? And if not, let’s go and figure out why it isn’t.

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