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Tips for Avoiding Supply Chain Pain

Earth Globe MiceIndustryWeek recently hosted a webinar that examined the challenges and best practices for mitigating risk to achieve supply chain excellence. While we have the entire session recorded, for those interested in the ‘Readers Digest’ version in the form of questions posed to our speakers—keep reading.

The speakers included Nutanix’s COO, David Sangster, CIMdata’s VP of Research Stan Przybylinski, and our own Director of Product Marketing Scott Reedy.

The costs of failure are high. And failures can range from missed revenue targets to managing a social media tempest. In addition, fears of building to the wrong revision, inventory shortages, quality defects, natural disasters, and countless other issues all of which can disrupt the delivery of products to market.

In this three-part blog post series, we’ll start with the questions asked of David Sangster.

David brings more than 20 years of product development, manufacturing, and operations experience to Nutanix. He is well regarded for his insights into strategies to streamline supply chain success while avoiding costly quality failures.

Attendee Question: How does Nutanix allow their suppliers access to Arena PLM?  Are suppliers part of the change approval process?

Sangster: Arena offers a number of options for suppliers to access PLM data, ranging from the entire bill of materials (BOMs) to just particular parts, or revisions of parts. Our suppliers are absolutely part of our change control process (CCP) – there’s tremendous value in including them early on in the change approval process.

Attendee Question: Is there a supply chain risk management department or owner at Nutanix? If so, how many full-time employees are involved in this activity?

Sangster: Compliance at Nutanix is shared between multiple departments (Legal – Export, Engineering–Regulatory; IT – Business Continuity; Supply Chain–SC Risk Management). For SC Risk Management, we currently have one person who owns this.

Attendee Question: We are a very small company of less than 30 employees and we outsource heavily. What would you recommend we do to manage so many potential risks without having a dedicated resource to own this?

Sangster: The sheer number of possible supply chain disruptions is staggering, and can make your head spin if you’re not careful. I’m reminded of the old question–“how do you eat an elephant?” Answer: “one bite at a time.” Pick three possible supply chain disruptions – I suggest focusing on quality and delivery disruptions – and fix those. And so on. You have to grow and mature into this–as it’s impossible to fix overnight.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog post series next week.