Executive Briefings

Excelling in the Changing World of Contract Manufacturing

At Jabil, a highly diversified contract manufacturer, today's challenges aren't so different from most companies. Customers want visibility and flexibility in the supply chain.

But, with more than 300 top brands as customers, the company is solving supply chain problems for a wide variety of customers — in multiple industries — so its solutions must be able to scale and flex to accommodate all that diversity, says Lizet Tymon, Jabil’s director of advanced planning.

In the past few years, Jabil’s role as a contract manufacturer has expanded greatly.

“Now, we're offering services from design engineering, planning as a service, all the way from logistics and direct fulfillment,” Tymon said in an interview at Kinexions, the annual event for Kinaxis customers and partners. “Before, [our customers] kind of managed the supply chain, and we were just executing to their plans. They're relying more and more on us to manage their supply chain on their behalf.”

To overcome some resulting challenges, Jabil has invested in digitalizing the supply chain — one of the biggest initiatives in the company, Tymon says.

“We have created a seamless process that integrates demand planning, material sizing, materials availability and inventory strategies all in one,” she says. “We're able to model and simulate certain capacity constraints, material constraints, and see in real time the effect that would have in each part of these processes.”

As a result, Jabil is seeing supply chain visibility improvements — and visibility in insightful ways. Some early 2017 adopters, Tymon says, are already gaining benefits of the implementation — seeing reduction in inventory, while maintaining delivery and even improving it.

“It's not about getting a bunch of data,” she says. “It's about being able to get true insights and recommendations — where the major opportunities are that the team needs to focus on.”

See video for full interview

But, with more than 300 top brands as customers, the company is solving supply chain problems for a wide variety of customers — in multiple industries — so its solutions must be able to scale and flex to accommodate all that diversity, says Lizet Tymon, Jabil’s director of advanced planning.

In the past few years, Jabil’s role as a contract manufacturer has expanded greatly.

“Now, we're offering services from design engineering, planning as a service, all the way from logistics and direct fulfillment,” Tymon said in an interview at Kinexions, the annual event for Kinaxis customers and partners. “Before, [our customers] kind of managed the supply chain, and we were just executing to their plans. They're relying more and more on us to manage their supply chain on their behalf.”

To overcome some resulting challenges, Jabil has invested in digitalizing the supply chain — one of the biggest initiatives in the company, Tymon says.

“We have created a seamless process that integrates demand planning, material sizing, materials availability and inventory strategies all in one,” she says. “We're able to model and simulate certain capacity constraints, material constraints, and see in real time the effect that would have in each part of these processes.”

As a result, Jabil is seeing supply chain visibility improvements — and visibility in insightful ways. Some early 2017 adopters, Tymon says, are already gaining benefits of the implementation — seeing reduction in inventory, while maintaining delivery and even improving it.

“It's not about getting a bunch of data,” she says. “It's about being able to get true insights and recommendations — where the major opportunities are that the team needs to focus on.”

See video for full interview