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Celestica has identified three main priorities in its effort to achieve supply-chain transformation: improving forecast accuracy in the face of growing demand volatility, acquiring visibility of product and optimizing of inventory at multiple locations, and synchronizing the chain from end to end.
“Having visibility is one thing,” says Murphy. “But knowing the cause of everything, with a system solution that synchronizes the entire supply chain, is key to our clients.”
Those goals are within reach today, he says. Advances in information systems over the past 10 years have made it possible to enable integration, with the ability to collaborate across multiple networks in real time, Murphy says.
Celestica’s efforts come at a time when contract manufacturers are seeking to do more for their clients than simply building product. Providers are “going up the value stream,” looking to provide additional services that are crucial to getting product to market, says Murphy.
The company is five years into its implementation of the RapidResponse forecasting and planning tool from Kinaxis. “It’s core to our architecture,” Murphy says, adding that the system allows Celestica to be proactive in simulation environments. Employing “what-if” scenarios, the company can see how emergency orders perform, and what impact they have on risk, revenue and inventory levels. “Previously,” he says, “we might chase that [information] for a couple of weeks.”
Clients, too, are struggling to synchronize their supply chains. They are seeking visibility into their contract manufacturers’ operations, all the way to the part level. Celestica needs to be able to respond to customer requests within minutes, as opposed to the days it took in the past, says Murphy.
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