Assess existing supply chain structure and processes to identify features of Logistimo to adopt and to define the scope of deployment.
The steps in the planning stage include the following:
1. Identify deployment objectives.
2. Study supply chain landscape.
3. Define scope of deployment.
4. Perform an infrastructure adequacy assessment.
5. Prepare for deployment.
Identify Deployment Objectives
The first step in planning is to determine what the deployment seeks to achieve: what are the end objectives; what does a successful deployment look like?
With regard to supply chain objectives, most deployments primarily focus on achieving the objectives such as preventing stock outs, reducing material wastage, achieving sustainable cost and service levels, and so on. Each of these objectives could further be defined as specific metrics.Based on the sector, challenges and scale of your product usage, the supply chain objectives to be achieved may vary from the basic ones mentioned above.
Study Supply Chain Landscape
With a clear end-objective, the next step is to understand your existing supply chain landscape. Assessing your supply chain involves identifying the nature of the supply chain, the flow of materials, nodes in the supply chain and the infrastructure available at each of the nodes.
The study can be divided into two steps:
Identifying the nature of your supply chain: Sources such as The Logistics Handbook document or MIT OpenCourseware courses can be used to identify the nature of your supply chain.
Understanding the supply chain landscape: The facility survey document can be used perform this study.
Define Scope Of Deployment: The objectives and supply chain study would need to be evaluated to determine the scope of the deployment. This is a crucial stage and would require all stakeholders to define a roadmap for the deployment.
The steps in the scoping stage include the following:
1. Identifying the challenges noted in the study that directly affect the objective.
2. Mapping the supply chain to Logistimo’s product offerings.
3. Finalizing the functions at different nodes that can be supported by Logistimo (managing inventory, managing orders/indents, monitoring temperature of materials, etc.).
4. Perform An Infrastructure Adequacy Assessment
5. After defining the scope, an assessment of the current infrastructure needs to be performed against the requirements of minimum infrastructure required to adopt Logistimo.
An infrastructure requirements document can be used for performing this assessment.
Prepare For The Deployment
Based on the defined scope, a detailed deployment plan with tasks, budget, and resources has to be created. This should include the following:
1. Outlining the various activities associated with the deployment.
2. Assigning timelines to each activity and allocating tasks.
3. Allocating resources and costs to each stage under appropriate cost heads.
4. Defining thresholds for each cost center and an approval matrix for expenditures above the threshold limits.
The project plan document provides an overview of tasks typically performed in a deployment. However, tasks and estimates can vary based on the nature and scale of your deployment.
Piece together metadata, enable configurations and go-live with the deployment. The deployment stage is where the project is implemented and the tasks defined in the project plan are put into action. The steps in the deployment stage include the following:
1. Gather metadata.
2. Procure hardware.
3. Allocate human resources.
4. Configure the service.
5. Configure the service.
6. Train users.
At this point, information related to the supply chain would have been gathered as a part of the study. However, detailed data per node in the supply chain will need to be gathered and this metadata can be broadly divided into the following types:
- Materials: Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) data such as name, type, nature of materials, etc. can be collected using the Material metadata collection template.
- Users: Contact data of users associated with an entity, including descriptions of their roles and reporting relationships, can be collected using the Entity and users metadata collection template, and contact data of supervisors can be collected using the Supervisors metadata collection template.
- Entities: Entity or facility data such as name, type, location, supply chain relationship with other entities, reporting hierarchies, materials managed, etc. can be collected using the Entity and users metadata collection template.
- Inventory: Inventory metadata such as min stock level, max stock level, and so on, can be collected using the Inventory metadata collection template.
- Assets: Asset or equipment data, such as type of asset, capacity, temperature range in which they are maintained, etc. can be collected using the Asset metadata collection template.
Based on the gaps identified during the infrastructure adequacy assessment, the required hardware will need to be procured. The procurement might be related to electronic hardware or SIM hardware, as listed in the Infrastructure requirements document.
A record of all the hardware that is deployed on the field should be documented along with adequate sign-offs from the responsible parties. The Hardware acknowledgement form can be used during handover of hardware.
Allocate Human Resources
Based on the scope, specific roles and responsibilities have to be defined before deployment. This might include a wide range of resources including entity managers, supervisory staff, training staff, support staff, deployment managers, and so on. The personnel for these functions may be available within the organization or additional workforce may be needed. The steps in the process include the following:
The steps in the scoping stage include the following:
1. The task and resource mapping in the project plan can be used to identify specific roles and responsibilities.
2. Assessing internal human resource to understand adequacy of skills to perform these roles.
3. Hiring the necessary staff, if the available resources are inadequate.
The design and function of users in a supply chain will need to configured in the application. Different design decisions will need to be made broadly based on the following considerations:
1. Supply Chain functions per echelon: The structure and functions of a domain depend on the scale and nature of operations, the modules adopted, and the type of data required at each level in the operating framework.
2. Notifications: Notifications, which can be instantly enabled or disabled in real-time, allow periodic alerts, updates, or any ad-hoc communication to be sent to users.
The instructions to configure the Logistimo application can be found in the Configuration section of the Logistimo Knowledge Base.
Once the domains are created and configured, metadata collected during the planning stage will need to be updated onto Logistimo. The instructions to setup metadata on the Logistimo application can be found in Setup section of the Logistimo Knowledge Base.
The final piece before the deployment can go live is training users on using the product and following the processes.
Setting up a training process includes the following steps:
1. Defining a training framework which accounts for the number of trainings needed, the nature of training, curriculum, and exercises for each training.
2. Setting up a training domain.
3. Creating training documentation.
4. Collecting training feedback.
A training kit including, Training requirement checklist, Minimum quorum letter, Training curriculum, Guide to installing Logistimo and Training feedback form, has been provided that includes all the reference documents required at this stage.
Post-deployment, metrics are monitored to continuously improve usage and enable greater impact. Monitoring is an ongoing process, and steps in this stage include the following:
1. Track progress.
2. Measure improvements.
Monitoring can be broadly divided into the following steps:
- Ensuring adoption status of users: The primary objective is to ensure that users are using the product.
- Improving data quality of the data collected: The quality of the data being entered in the application should be monitored in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
- Analyzing supply chain performance: The progress of the deployment should be in in line with the supply chain objectives.
- Understand user feedback: This can be periodically assessed based on queries and improvements received via the support platform.
Based on the progress in each of these stages, measures will need to be taken to improve them. This might include basic measures such as the following:
- Conducting refresher trainings.
- Updating the system with latest metadata.
- Addressing specific challenges faced.
A monitoring supply chain metrics document can be used to measure supply chain improvements.