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Roger Fleury is the director of Ardent Solutions, an industrial MRP specialist and Microsoft partner. Fleury works in a consultancy role for Ardent Solutions, advising businesses on the way they manage their supply chains and resources.

Why Forecasting Is Damaging Your Business

On Thursday October 19, 2017, Apple’s shares fell nearly 3% as the market responded to signs of weak demand for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. According to reports, an unnamed Taiwanese supply chain source was quoted as saying that production volume for the phones was cut by up to 50 per cent and that it was done much earlier in the cycle than usual. It’s not just demand either. The subsequent launch of iPhone X has prompted widespread reports of shortages in supply of the new phone into the first quarter of 2018. Despite this, Apple remains on course to become one of the first companies to ever reach a market capitalisation of $1 trillion. These issues of supply and demand, then, highlight a deeper rooted flaw in the way most modern businesses approach production. Too many bu...

Why Traditional Manufacturing Theories Don’t Work

Complexity and variability are the new norm in modern business. Changing customer behaviour, shorter product lifecycles and a rising complexity in global supply chains is making life increasingly difficult for production planners. The traditional theories of manufacturing are outdated and taking a demand-driven approach is the answer. Today’s business customer is a very different creature to one that existed ten years ago. From order to fulfilment, today’s customer demands speed and flexibility. Whether it’s a smartphone giant that needs to launch the latest device every 12 months, or a fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company that needs to deliver seasonally relevant and customised soft drinks, meeting market demand is a challenge. If manufacturers fail to meet this demand, their custome...