Mani Janakiram, Director, Supply Chain Strategy & Analytics
Intel’s supply chain is a global and complex capital-intensive network, requiring many specialized materials and highly complex manufacturing processes, while having short product life cycles. Manufacturing lead time is routinely measured in months, while customers demand order flexibility to be satisfied in mere days. Intel benchmarked and aligned its key supply chain metrics and concentrated focus on satisfying its customers. Now, its performance metrics are mainly APICS SCOR metrics (e.g., Perfect Order, Order Fulfillment Lead Time, Inventory Turns and Asset Utilization).
Advanced analytics had a very clear connection to selecting the most salient cross-supply chain metrics, including improving system predictability, increasing agility, reducing inventories and improving customer satisfaction. As such, Intel tracked, aligned and improved the most impactful “Tier 1” metrics that steered operational excellence in core business and provided insight into developing future lines of business.
Intel’s analytics team provided advanced data models to help its supply chain to make better and more effective decisions. Intel has built advanced analytical capabilities in-house by hiring right, funding and leading advanced university research, and training and building an internal team of data scientists with diverse skillsets. These scientists regularly evaluated and employed advances in technology such as big data, cognitive computing, ML/AI, text mining, agent-based modeling and simulation.
By adopting a new mission, Intel’s alignment, focus and discipline allowed it to continuously progress and improve, moving to attain standing as a world-class supply chain. Developing and mastering the analytical techniques to forecast, plan and align cross-functional supply chain metrics enabled millions of dollars in savings (e.g., avoiding purchasing capital equipment, reducing inventory levels and inventory obsolescence, and considering system-wide optimal trade-offs). Similarly, advanced analytics solutions enabled Intel to capture millions (potentially billions) of dollars of revenue through improved customer satisfaction, increased agility and faster time to market.