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July 21, 2017

More than 2000 global supply chain professionals convened for the JDA Focus Conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada in April. TCS was a Gold Level sponsor of the event and along with eleven of my colleagues, I attended. We heard Girish Rishi, newly joined CEO for JDA Software, open the event with a stirring and information packed keynote address. Girish is a well-known supply chain expert. He led and grew the supply chain and enterprise solutions businesses for Tyco and Motorola Solutions prior to joining JDA Software in January. Girish painted an exciting vision for the future of digital supply chains and JDAs unique capabilities to enable it.

Many TCS clients are using and implementing JDA Software solutions. Those we spoke to say they are pleased with the changes at JDA under Girish.

The convergence of digital technologies is driving the transformation of supply chains to digital supply networks. This, combined with cloud computing deployments, data collection using the Internet of Things, social media, and the maturing of cognitive technologies, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, pushes companies to embrace more sophisticated analytics for planning and execution excellence.

The conference featured educational sessions on virtually every aspect of supply chain seen from the perspectives of customers, partners, academics, and other thought leaders. TCS Rich Sherman, a senior fellow in our Global Supply Chain Practice, presented a session on Digital Demand Management: Taming the Bullwhip Effect and it was very well-attended.

Rich described the way the digital revolution is transforming statistical forecasting and ushering in a more collaborative, cross-functional model of demand planning by looking to the future for events that will cause historical data to change. He summed up his point of view by saying, Forecasts based on historical data generally produce hysterical results. He challenged the audience to think about forecasts based on shipment history. The shipments dont reflect the inventory that was produced or not produced in error because the true demand is based on customer orders not on the companys capability to fill the orders, he explained. Vision coupled with practical reality made the session a hit with delegates. Richs blog on Digital Demand Management can be found here.

TCS used its sponsorship to exhibit its ability to support clients implementation of JDA Software solutions. We showcased our manufacturing planning, retail industry solutions, and integrated supply chain optimization, planning, and execution solution. We spoke to dozens of attendees who confirmed the state of transformation in supply chain thinking. We also had the opportunity to meet with many clients and, of course, JDA Software executives and took the chance to check that our offerings are aligned to our customers needs.

The conference was a great success and I am looking forward to next year. Rather than waiting a year, a long time in this digitally enabled world, wed be delighted to hear from you in the interim.


Matthew Lekstutis is the Supply Chain Consulting Lead for Tata Consultancy Services. He has over 20 years of experience as an industry executive and advisor including COO level P&L management responsibility. Matt helps clients to capture business performance improvement opportunities and drive growth by enabling new business models and technologies across the supply chain.


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