10 March 2020
Efficient and Resilient Supply Chains for Everyone
For the past twenty years, I have designed, configured and deployed supply chain planning systems for very large retailers. Recently, more and more companies from other industries would reach out and ask for help: Manufacturers wanted to find out how they can cut their inventory on-hand using the AI solutions we had built for retailers. Distributors how to make their operations more efficient with continuous optimization. CPG companies how to plan sales and supplies for the next year while responding to external events and disruptions. Companies of all shapes and sizes have been asking for more efficient and more resilient supply chains.
These are problems we know how to solve, but the underlying technology available just isn’t good enough: what my team and I have been using for multi-billion-dollar companies cannot scale down to the size of even a large national manufacturer. Existing systems are hard to use; expensive to buy; hard to configure; costly to maintain. This was frustrating to me as I knew that a better, simpler way to solve these problems is possible: there’s no reason why we should still follow the mainframe-based paradigms of the past: daily batch cycles, critical paths, big black boxes of algorithms. We can build better solutions for more companies using modern software approaches and what we’ve learned truly matters to business users. After all, without user adoption, any AI- or data-driven system decays into an unkempt garden.
To paraphrase a famous Alan Kay quote, if you really care about a piece of software you should also build the layer below. And that’s what I set out to do: with a fearless team of product and tech experts from my previous company, we’ve created a new kind of Continuous Planning platform: built on open AI and ML technologies; ready to integrate with any ERP system, on-premise or on-cloud; simple to configure and customize; and, of course, event-driven: ready to respond to any event in real-time so that plans and reality can be constantly in sync.
More importantly, we built what we know business users have been clamoring for: a simple, task-based, users-first solution that tells them what issues have popped up in their supply chain and what they should do next, based on state-of-the-art forecasting and optimization. Continuously, 24/7.
That’s what we’re working on at Dataviva; and if the above sounds at all interesting, let’s talk.