Sales and Operations Planning courses across Australia in 2012

Delivering balanced and efficient sales and budgets through improved communication and information flow.

19 & 20 March - Stamford Plaza, Melbourne
22 & 23 March - Medina Grand, Perth
26 & 27 March - Sir Stamford Circular Quay, Sydney
29 & 30 March - Stamford Plaza, Brisbane

GRA Director, Matt Miller, will lead this practical course which uses industry case studies and 'take-home worksheets' to enable participants to plan for and assess their own organisations.
The course aims to:
  • Educate participants in the principles of sales and operations planning
  • Provide a 'how to' framework to establish and fine tune the S&OP process to ensure it remains effective
  • Explore and consider the data required to support the meeting framework
  • Assess the immpact improved data availability and effective reporting can have on individual and business performance
  • Discuss who should attend each of the framework meetings and their roles in and around the meetings
  • Discuss successful implementation approaches
  • Identify opportunities for participants to apply the knowledge they have gained in the course within their organisations.
Click here to download the Sales & Operations Planning course brochure for further details and registration information.

Improving Supplier Performance

Great supplier performance management requires more than just a scorecard. Here are four strategies to focus on to ensure your supplier relationship management program is leading to results.

Step 1 - Create scorecards around business goals
Meet with company executives to find which key performance indicators (KPIs) the scorecards should focus on. These KPIs should reflect the areas where improvement will benefit the business most.

Step 2 - Set performance expectations
What will define excellent performance? Poor performance? What is the level of performance that will result in disengagement with the supplier? This needs to be set before scorecards are issued,

Step 3 - Talk with suppliers
Performance managers should communicate with suppliers from initial agreements to contract renewal periods. Open communication channels will lead to both supplier and stakeholder success.

Step 4 - Share with stakeholders
Access to inventory information will help improve other areas of the supply chain. Supply chain risk, for example can greatly benefit from performance data - but they need access to scorecard data to do so.

For more on this discussion, check out SRM Software Advice’s blog post: Four Best Practices to Improve Supplier Performance Scorecarding.

Supply Chain Review - Game Changer - Part 1

Prospects for the retail sector appear to be going from bad to worse, with far reaching implications. 

In the 2010-11 financial year, according to Deloitte Access Economics, retailing posted its worst result in 20 years, with little prospect for significant improvement in the near future.

GRA Partner Carter McNabb discusses the challenges and opportunities facing retail logistics service providers as the retail environment changes forever.
Developing a multi-channel strategy can be daunting, particularly for retailers 'forced into it' by falling sales revenues.

Will it create a problem or an opportunity for your business? 

Click here to view the entire article as published in the December edition of Supply Chain Review.

GRA gives focus to packaging business

Aperio is one of Australasia’s most successful suppliers of flexible food, beverage and industrial packaging.  Following the completion of a recent project with GRA, Associate Director Andrew Coventry had this to say:

“After undertaking a broad diagnostic, GRA identified some great opportunities for our business (relating to both working capital and profit improvement).  The GRA team worked effectively with management to prioritise the key areas of focus in terms of inventory reduction, freight cost optimisation, distribution network structure and broader organisational processes such as S&OP.  Importantly, the review focused on opportunities that are deliverable and actionable.”said Associate Director, Andrew Coventry.

Asset Maintenance in Resources Conference - Perth

Click here to download a copy of Steve Bray's workshop presentation:

"Accurately forecasting your demand for Maintenance, Repair & Operations/Overhaul (MRO) spares to maximise uptime performance."

GRA presents with Super Retail Group

Together with Super Retail Group's Merchandising Planning & Operations Manager, Christine Ogden, GRA presented at the Queensland Supply Chain & Logistics Conference in Brisbane on 2nd September 2011. 

The case study focuses on how Supercheap Auto became a market leader in demand planning and inventory optimisation.

Click here to view a copy of Christine Ogden's presentation.

Click here to download GRA Director, Matt Miller's breakout session presentation on Category Management.       

GRA joins Retail Leaders Forum as Gold Sponsor

GRA will join the Retail Leaders Forum on the 6th and 7th March 2012 at the Sydney Marriott Hotel as a Gold Sponsor. 

Speakers include:

- Ian McLeod, Managing Director - Coles
- Maile Carnegie, Managing Director - Proctor and Gamble
- Senator Nick Sherry, Federal Minister for Small Business
- Melinda Smith, COO, Masters
- Michael Ford, CEO, The Good Guys

GRA to present at Asset Maintenance in Resources Conference, Perth

GRA Partner Steve Bray will lead a workshop at the Asset Maintenance Conference from 7-9 November 2011 in Perth . Key benefits and learning outcomes include:
  • Accurately forecasting your demand for Maintenance, Repair & Operations/Overhaul (MRO) spares to maximise uptime performance
  • Improving accuracy in MRO demand planning
  • Optimising MRO inventories
Twelve case studies on 'Optimising Uptime for Fixed and Mobile Assets' will be presented. Companies speaking include BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Rio Tinto, Newcrest Mining, Onesteel, Argyle Diamonds and GRA.
To view a copy of Steve's workshop presentation click here.
For more information or to register, click Asset Maintenance in Resources Supply Chain Brochure.

GRA Partner Carter McNabb will lead four new courses in demand planning and inventory optimisation across Australia.

GRA Partner Carter McNabb will lead four new courses in demand planning and inventory optimisation across Australia.                     

Listen to GRA Partner Luke Tomkin speak at SMART 2011

Click below to go to the video link.


Premier supply chain consulting firm GRA has been named as a finalist in the 2011 SMART awards in the category of Excellence in Supply Chain Management and Distribution.  GRA was nominated for its work with Symbion Pharmaceutical Services (SPS) for the successful completion of a project to reduce inventories and improve service levels using GAINS demand planning software.

The SMART conference and expo is the leading event in the Asia-Pacific region for those in the supply chain and logistics industry and will be held on May 25 and 26 at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. 

GRA Partner, Steve Bray, and Deputy Director of Naval Inventory Procurement, Andrew Stephens, will present on ‘Achieving Improved Supply Chain Performance through Organisational Transformation’ on Day 2 of the conference.  The implementation of major change within a long standing government organisation is never easy.  Mr Bray and Mr Stephens will discuss the challenges, successes and lessons learned, and will cover the initiatives taken to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Naval supply chain through organisational transformation and improved supply chain planning.

“SMART provides an excellent snapshot of the state of play within Australian and Global supply chains” said GRA Partner Carter McNabb.  “We have been involved with SMART for many years and look forward to continuing the tradition.”  In 2011 GRA will sponsor morning and afternoon teas at the SMART exhibition. 

Supply Chain Network Optimisation

From inventory optimisation, manufacturing capacity optimisation and warehouse space optimisation through to route optimisation - we’ve all heard of or engaged a number of different optimisation approaches. Each methodology provides benefits to the organisations engaging their techniques, but in most cases, each approach deals with the separate pieces of a supply chain network.

Having driven savings out at a local facility level, companies now realise they can deliver the next wave of improvements in cost and service by examining their network of supply chain facilities and taking a “whole of supply chain” view to optimise networks.

What is supply chain network optimisation?
Supply chain network optimisation (SCNO) takes all of the flows of material needed to satisfy demand into and out of the network, considers the costs and constraints associated with those flows around all of the facilities in the network and then finds the lowest cost solution satisfying all of the identified constraints. As examples, costs can include fixed and variable costs for manufacturing, the receiving, handling and despatching costs at each storage facility as well as the various transport mode costs. Constraints can include the manufacturing or delivery lead times from each facility to its customer, the percentage of customers serviced within those delivery lead times, minimum order quantities or a minimum or maximum capacity constraint. 

GRA to speak at National Supply Chain Competition final event

Premier supply chain consulting firm GRA will present at the first National Supply Chain competition on 24 May 2011.  Taking place at the University of Technology Sydney, GRA Partner Carter McNabb will present alongside Dr John Gattorna, Adjunct Professor at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management, author and internationally recognized ‘thought leader’ on supply chains, and Chris Butterworth, Lean Thinking expert.

The event concludes the seven week national competition run by supply chain industry body apics, giving participants the chance to demonstrate and improve their supply chain knowledge and expertise with a web-based business simulation, “The Fresh Connection”.

“We take great pride in providing our clients with unique and sustainable end-to-end supply chain solutions that deliver a genuine competitive advantage.  The Fresh Connection reveals to participants the benefits of what we advocate, that optimising the end-to-end supply chain gets the best results,” said Carter McNabb.

The Road from China

China is a critical trading partner for Australia particularly with regard to our mineral exports and the range of imports from food staples, through electronics, household goods, to automotive parts to complex heavy engineering items. 

There is however a growing set of sourcing alternatives to China which can provide competition against rising Chinese prices and the comfort of a second set of suppliers.

Within the normal constraints of overseas sourcing, Chinese imports provide a source of low cost goods delivered on time to a specified level of quality.  For Australian merchants used to trading with local and overseas niche suppliers, prices and trading terms, Chinese capabilities seem almost limitless. From basic offerings to high tolerance make-to-plan items, the Chinese cost advantage based on low labour and material costs blew away the competition.

GRA joins National Supply Chain Competition as Gold Partner

Leading specialist supply chain and logistics consulting firm GRA has joined Australia’s first national supply chain competition as gold sponsors.

"We are delighted to be a part of this innovative interactive competition that demonstrates the benefits that can be achieved by integrating the end-to-end Supply Chain," said Carter McNabb, GRA Partner.

"The Fresh Connection provides teams with a valuable opportunity to increase supply chain knowledge, while building effective teams and enhancing cross-functional awareness through collaboration."

Commencing in March 2011, the seven week competition run by Supply Chain industry body apics will offer participants the chance to demonstrate and improve their supply chain knowledge and expertise with The Fresh Connection web-based business simulation. Participants are challenged to work as a team to save the fictional company, The Fresh Connection, from financial ruin. The challenge is to transform the company’s Supply Chain to make it profitable again.

Healthy Supply Chain GAINS

Melbourne, October 2010

Australian supply chain consulting firm GRA is achieving continued success in the pharmaceutical industry, with Clifford Hallam Healthcare Pty Ltd (CH2), Australia‟s leading wholesaler and distributor of healthcare products and services, joining its list of blue-chip clients. CH2 will begin using GRA‟s flagship forecasting and planning software, GAINS, later this year.

With revenues of approximately $800m and over 15,000 products, CH2 is Australia's largest pharmaceutical and medical healthcare service provider. The company's 8,000 plus customers are located throughout Australia in metropolitan, regional and country areas and include public and private hospitals, aged care, primary care and veterinarians.

"Building on existing success in the pharmaceutical wholesale industry, we're looking forward to working with our new client partner to deliver market leading results," said GRA Partner, Carter McNabb.

GRA teams with Ariba

Leading specialist supply chain consulting firm, GRA, today announced that it is teaming with Ariba, Inc., the leading provider of collaborative business commerce solutions to provide a complete suite of supply chain and procurement software solutions and professional consulting services across Australia.

“Building on our existing success in supply chain and inventory optimisation, we’re looking forward to working with Ariba to help our customers deliver market-leading results with even greater strength in the procurement field,” said GRA Partner, Carter McNabb.

“Focusing on the procurement and spend management elements of the supply chain can deliver significant EBIT improvement. Ariba’s market-leading sourcing and procurement solutions complement GRA’s existing inventory optimisation and supply chain consulting expertise,” said McNabb.

Used by more than 340,000 companies around the world, Ariba’s solutions combine industry-leading software as a service (SaaS) commerce technology with the world's largest web-based global trading community and expert capabilities and services to help companies buy, sell and manage cash more efficiently and effectively. Delivered as a cloud-based service, the solutions can be easily accessed and quickly help companies gain control of costs, minimise risk and optimize performance and profits.