Latest Lombardi Blueprint Release offers the ultimate tool for supply chain collaboration and optimization

Posted on May 12, 2009

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Last week I had the opportunity to see a demonstration of the enhancements made to Lombardi’s already solid Blueprint solution prior to its official launch date, which is today (May 12th, 2009).  (NOTE: Here is the link to the Introduction to Blueprint Spring ’09 Webinar.)

In a previous review of Lombardi’s Business Process Management offering, which is an on-demand, web-based tool that is available on a free trial basis, I touched on the fact that Blueprint is in reality a communication vehicle that leads to a greater enterprise-wide understanding of the processes that define your business.  With additions such as the “participant” feedback option, the company has put an exclamation point to that observation, and in so doing has revolutionized the collaborative process within the increasingly diversified global supply chain.

Reflecting the already familiar MS Office-type format that has contributed to streamlining user adoption, Blueprint’s new participant feature enables stakeholders both within and external to the organization to quickly and easily highlight the pain points associated with a dynamic supply practice.  What this means is that vague and usually generalized contentions can be identified and centrally shared and managed leading to faster and more meaningful resolutions.

The secret of course resides in Blueprint’s’ intuitive collaborative mechanism that engages stakeholders at the point of real-world, real-time execution. This real-time “monitoring” capability belies the blueprint moniker in that it is anything but a reflection of the traditional concepts associated with a static process outline application.

And as a web-based solution, suppliers for example can access Blueprint and within a matter of a few simple keystrokes submit feedback on what they perceive as an impendiment to fulfilling an order or responding to an RFP.  In essence, Blueprint encourages a precise and proactively meaningful dialogue that can be centrally monitored by the client.

This timely real-world interface means that issues will be escalated to the appropriate individuals within a company substiantially increasing both response and resolution time.

Risk Mitigation

Timely and meaningful feedback will also enable organizations to address areas of risk faster and more reliably.

For example, Blueprint’s’ modular logic can quickly isolate areas of the supply chain that pose a problem and help to map out alternative “resolution routes” while still maintaining a global perspective in terms of enterprise wide impact.

In an upcoming PI Window on Business Special Broadcast titled “For Want of a Nail: The Pandemic Effect,” I am joined by a senior researcher and lead author from the University of Minnesota whose paper on the ripple effect associated what he refers to as “crucial preparedness gaps” in the coal supply chain, creates the urgency of having the flexibility to respond to changes in supplier capability on a real-time basis.

What his study found, is that without having at once both a localized as well as globalized view of your organization’s supply operations, and the means to effect immediate changes where necessary, leaves one vulnerable to a catastrophic breakdown.  You merely have to refer back to a headline from the July 20, 2007 Wall Street Journal article “A Key Strategy of Japan’s Car Makers Backfires.”  Without going into detail, the article reported that “nearly 70 percent of Japan’s auto production” had been “temporarily paralyzed” that week for want of a “piston ring costing $1.50.”  While experts linked the problem to Kanban, the just-in-time philosophy of keeping as little inventory on hand as possible, what this situation emphasizes is that even the best managed supply chains are vulnerable especially in a world of increasing globalization where supply networks are being increasingly stretched.

In this regard, Lombardi’s Blueprint solution is first and foremost the best tool available today.

Be sure to mark Tuesday, May 26th on your calendars so that you will remember to tune in to the first of four PI Window on Business 90-minute Specials.  In this initial Special titled “For Want of a Nail: The Pandemic Effect,” I will be joined by Nick Kelley, a researcher from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, and the lead author of the November 2008 white paper “Pandemic Influenza, Electricity, and the Coal Supply Chain (Addressing Crucial Preparedness Gaps in the United States), to discuss the true nature of the latest swine flu crisis in terms of its potential impact on supply chains.  It is a show you will not want to miss!

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