Inspiration sessions

4D planning

With 4D Planning tools, engineering-to-order companies can add the dimension of time to their planning and construction documents. The combination of a schedule (Primavera, MS Project) with the 3D model (Nupas, Aveva) enables companies to visualize and communicate their plan.

Imagine the benefits of seeing what you are doing as well as seeing what you've planned to build. For example, 4D planning can identify and eliminate rework in advance, whereas this is not always visible when using traditional schedules. You can also run scenarios to assess how feasible your assembly sequences are.

4D Planning makes your plan more reliable, improves the productivity and profitability of your organization as well as project predictability at an early stage.


Digitization of retail

During the past decade digitization entered the retail market. During this session we re-examined how this has influenced the customer experience and impacted retail businesses. We used digital masters’ three key competences (hyperawareness, informed decision making and fast execution) as a starting point.

Valuable insights are generated for both retailers and manufacturers when digitizing the customer, and can be useful for planning and forecasting. Research has already shown that companies that apply these techniques (known as ‘digital masters’) are able to outperform their peers. This insight fuelled discussion on the necessary steps needed to become a ‘digital master’. 


Inventory Quick Check

The Inventory Quick Check offers an automated assessment of inventory improvement opportunities based on inventory levels and sales history. 

This can be accessed online and includes the following steps: a kind of benchmark questionnaire including upload of customer data, quick assessment of the optimal safety stock level, ABC-XYZ classification and a graphical presentation of improvement potential.

After customer’s input is provided, a report is generated that indicates improvement opportunities: inventory classification and health check, balancing safety stocks, improving forecast, differentiated service levels and reduction of MOQs. 

Do you know how healthy your inventories are? Go and check online now (free):


Blockchain applications in the supply chain

We discussed various blockchain applications in the supply chain. Blockchain was a new concept for most participants. Although most of them were familiar with the term, how you should use the blockchain in the supply chain and its implications for the supply chain were unclear.  After a brief explanation, the group consensus was that its potential is significant but that it could take a while before such applications are implemented for daily use.


Supply chain collaboration: key drivers to success

During this session, EyeOn shared findings on academic research regarding collaboration. The topic handled collaboration factors that are positively correlated with success in collaboration processes. The audience used smartphones to interact (‘real time’) with the presentation. They learned where to focus their efforts to increase their success rate in providing cost and service benefits. 

 ‘Trust’ and ‘Coordination’ are the two factors that explain the highest variance in collaboration success. One of the presentation’s key takeaways. Therefore, companies should spend time and resources in establishing these two factors first as a foundation for a well-structured collaboration process.


Revenue management to the next level: ‘How difficult can it be?’

Even though research shows increased trade spending, it often seems that promotional effectiveness is not as optimal as it should be; nor does it drive desired results. Phrases such as: ‘we have disconnected plans’, ‘we do not learn from the past’ or ‘we have no view on real return’ were familiar to participants. We asked them which factors they consider when planning promotions and where organizations feel the pain when we do not step up. The absence of an aligned strategy that maximizes effectiveness is not surprising when you consider how many parts of an organization are involved.  

Our conclusion is that we potentially miss important angles. In the end, it is a journey in which you do not want to skip steps. Go for a controlled process first. Then build insights and analytics, and aim to optimize in the third phase. Create your own journey!


The road to Excel Hell is paved with good intentions: how to select the right improvement initiatives?

Doing the right things is often more important than doing things right. When stuck in low maturity "Excel Hell" situations, focusing only on acquiring a better tool will drop you back into Hell if performance is low on process, people or data. Iterative steps using light-weight approaches are available in all 4 dimensions: overstretch yourself will risk to travel inward on the spiral. If Excel stays part of your planning landscape, ensure it is treated as such: develop a shared approach in your team so that your team can collaborate using proven best practices for applying Excel in a planning environment!

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