Regional supply chain issues add complexity, Kinaxis says

Tell us a bit about yourself and Kinaxis

I am an enterprise software entrepreneur with 25 years of experience building effective enterprise software sales operations in Asia Pacific and Japan. Kinaxis combines human intelligence with AI and planning to help companies plan and monitor risk.

How can companies plan in the face of supply chaos?

It is clear that there will be more and more disruptions in the future, so forecasting both demand and supply will be even more difficult for the future. The key to prosperity in the future will be to move beyond the slow, cascading planning processes of the past 30 years.

This means breaking down operational silos and focusing on improving the end-to-end supply chain, rather than individual links. By using a single version of the truth, built from accurate and up-to-date real-time data, businesses will gain a competitive advantage.

How does Kinaxis use ML to solve planning problems?

We use heuristics for real-time simulations in supply and demand planning, use case optimization and machine learning for complex industries, such as retail, goods consumer packaged goods, life sciences and issues requiring significant training.

What is unique about our machine learning application is that we use a “self-healing supply chain” solution. This automatically improves the accuracy of planning design assumptions and keeps companies’ supply chain running smoothly.

What supply chain issues are unique to APAC?

For APAC, the biggest challenge is the cultural diversity between North Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Cultures, languages, ways of thinking and the time needed to establish trust are different in each country. Political issues related to China can lead to unexpected policy changes at any time and without warning, and these in turn can have a significant impact on businesses in the region.

Cross-border supply chain challenges remain despite free trade agreements; the borders are not as open as in EMEA. Also, they are sometimes closed due to unexpected policy changes. There is also a complete dependence on sea or ocean freight. Even ESG compliance will require huge investments and business model changes for many companies in the region.

The enterprise scale and market size of companies in APAC are also generally smaller than those in Europe or the Americas. There is no market maturity, as not all countries or companies are able to adopt the technology as quickly as others.

Sharon D. Cole