ZARA – the excellent example of supply chain

About Zara

Zara became successful but accurately predicting the forecast of supply and demand which was possible by innovative use technology along with applying agile technique of operations and strategy.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The basic was providing PDA’s for not only transaction of customer purchases but for generation of ideas of new fashion creation the business model has its agents whenever and wherever get inspired they quickly share fashion sketches to main head office and the approved new items will be available in the stores by six weeks. (Hugo, 2020). Due to this concept Zara is the only fashion retail to have a new fashion design range of clothing every two weeks on average, the result is 11,000 distinct items are produced over a year. This is all possible due to highly sophisticated distribution system of Zara called Cube, in 2019 Zara was ranked 46th most valuable brand.

The manufacturing is not done based on cost instead it is preferred based on market demand. The shortest throughput ratio of manufacturing creates various verities of unique products and usually the new styles are sold out in stores also this creates trendy and each time customer visits the store they find new verities and purchases immediately due to products sold out in the future.

Challenges

Zara have outsourced manufacturers in China, Bangladesh, European countries and other regions, to maintain high quality each batch of products produced is compulsorily shipped back to Spain main headquarters for final design adjustments and packaging then again packages are shipped and distributed all over the globe. However Zara can expand its design centric appealing to more regional areas like China where another global cube can be created. This will reduce the cost however the coordination can be complex and just in time manufacturing may fail. So the challenge for Zara is to keep up the fast fashion trend with high cost.

Today due to Covid-19 the model of Zara is effected and cannot meet the high demand, in 39 countries Zara has closed over 3,785 stores globally. The sale is dropped 24 percent in first two weeks of March 2020. (Chapman, 2020)

Climate activists

Climate activists are fighting against through away fashion trend by Zara and this is the core strategy of business model perfected over decades.

Climate activists criticizes the culture of throwaway to save planet as the fashion industry consumption is lot of energy and water.

The demand and pressure to have sustainable clothing, the idea to have recycle large quantities of clothes to be recycled however the high quality and fast fashion demand is still new along with recycled clothing range. (Müller, 2020)

The good thing is parent company Inditex is among few top players investing in recycling technology.

Rent the clothes

New trend to have fast fashion without throw away is possible renting clothes on subscription business model which already exists in US. (Müller, 2020)

References

Chapman, B. (2020, March 18). Coronavirus: Zara owner Inditex shuts 3,785 stores globally as sales plunge. Retrieved from Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/coronavirus-zara-shut-stores-covid-19-sales-fall-inditex-a9408841.html

Hugo. (2020, January). Zara’s Unique Business Model is Driven by Its Supply Chain Capabilities. Retrieved from SCM Globe: https://www.scmglobe.com/zara-clothing-company-supply-chain/

Müller, S. (2020, January 27). Zara’s fast-fashion problem in focus. Retrieved from DW: https://www.dw.com/en/zaras-fast-fashion-problem-in-focus/a-52161858

DESIGN THINKING

Design Thinking: SIMPLICITY IS NOWADAYS A KEY COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

The set of processes by engaging in exploring new creative of delivering or creating products and services which adds up value to customer experience. (Razzouk & Shute, 2012)

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

To deal with real-world problems it’s important to have skills in design thinking to provide a more practical, realistic and cost-effective approach.

The foundation of design encourages to be more with reasoning activity. As it is a more iterative and interactive process of solving problems which is only possible to keep activities and systems simple.

Simplicity

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs.

Design is more human-centric, the success of design thinking is first thinking about the delivery of products or services to humans and as per current or future new experience. (Rousi, 2018)

Always the design to be successful is by keeping the system simple, the live example is Apple and Google made their company successful by keeping simple design for users.

Keeping simple reduces the reduction in the process so it is a competitive advantage to have good design thinking.

The best example can be seen by the research conducted by London design council to study leading brand design departments such as Microsoft by making the computer easy to use by anyone by keeping it simple for a human to understand and operate a computer. (A study of the design process, 2007)

adding value to customers

In this digitization era the customer experience (CX) is everything front focus for every organization which eventually adds up the value. The simple tweet can tarnish the organization image if gets viral because customer demands convenience to be instance and to have all their issues once recorded not be repeated. The customer is very well aware, expects requests to be fulfilled instantly and customer agents must know the problem well informed.

Simplicity factors to add value to customers

All this with the overall best operations management system in place is only possible by keeping simple products and services, if the ease of use is adopted then future needs can be known and hence adds value to customers. (Ghanem, 2019)

Example of product which added value to me as customer

The value-added to the customer can be judged by the customer’s journey with products. Microsoft is a successful company today and started with the launch of the Windows operating system which became first as a software company, the products were a success due to ease to use the computer even by common man, the total 35 years of journey. The Operating system changed and enhanced customer experience even by adding futuristic content like Holo Lens. (Gibbs, 2014)

Since the school days I started using the product in year 1995, and the fact is still I am using as of today in year 2020 which includes this work itself.

The reason is simple, the operating system is simple whenever there are major changes when customer complains the changes are considered and new experience is delivered.

Conclusion

The key future of adding customer value is all depends on design thinking of simple products and services easy to use.

References

A study of the design process. (2007). Retrieved from Design Council UK: https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/sites/default/files/asset/document/ElevenLessons_Design_Council%20(2).pdf

Ghanem, G. (2019). Simplify Customer Experience. Retrieved from Avaya: https://www.avaya.com/blogs/archives/2019/07/five-factors-to-simplify-customer-experience/

Gibbs, S. (2014, October 2). From Windows 1 to Windows 10: 29 years of Windows evolution. Retrieved from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/02/from-windows-1-to-windows-10-29-years-of-windows-evolution

Razzouk, R., & Shute, V. (2012). What Is Design Thinking and Why Is It Important? Review of Educational Research, 330-348.

Rousi, R. (2018). Simplicity and the art of something more. http://www.humantechnology.jyu.fi, 67-95.

MB-300: 01-001-Workspaces

Intro

Workspaces are simply tile based forms to show related information in one place in standard organized pattern.

Workspace tiles

Most of the standard menu items are removed from respective modules and placed directly under workspace tiles. Like example in previous version of Dynamics AX the menu item for units was different now in D365FO its only under Product maintenance tile.

The basic idea is the similar feature of cues from Dynamics AX but with enhancements. It contains some buttons for action or to show some filtered grid (under workspace tile pane), list of data in modern grid format (tabbed list container), fancy charts (workspace chart pane) and related links (related links panel).

Example/Scenario

The module procurement and sourcing for purchase orders activity have many stages, just by looking as purchase list page which show all purchase orders with various statuses and action required to turn this junk complex information into smaller with limited features with some nice graphs for analysis sufficient for end user instead of clicking and navigating to many places which could be frustrating and time consuming. All this info at one place is a workspace. The standard name for this workpace is Purchase Order Preperation

Purchase Order Preparation – workspace

Creation

Workspace can be create in many ways the 2 know ways are:

  1. Visual studio is required and can be developed on dev environments only which means no direct creation on live.
  2. Directly on any environment without visual studio, the trick is creating a tile linked to power apps like power BI

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MB-300 Introduction

Microsoft has added new certifications in line for Dynamics 365 F & O which now covers more functional areas with reasonable meaning. Before this was not the case only few certifications were/still available for AX 2012 versions compared to massive modules available.

MB-300 Microsoft Dynamics 365 Unified Operations Core

This certification covers intro to most of the best features related to functionality, LCS, security, data migration and support

For more please follow this page and donate to support.

80650-08 : Dimension based configuration

Dimension based configuration

First understand variations, the item having multiple variations created using product masters. Example: Item pen maintains a one item code with different variations like color: blue, red, green and black. Otherwise create new item code as blue pen, red pen, green pen and black pen. Item variations are used in dimension based configurations.

While creating a new item code select

  • Product sub-type: Product master
  • Configuration technology: mostly it is predefined variant change it to dimension based configuration

This is only used when creating routes and to maintain versions by defining rules which item during production order or sales order picks and unpicks item automatically.

Example: The Sales order of phones having multiple accessories included based on warehouse location then no. of accessories to be included or removed automatically during the process is based on configuration rules for bom items.

Configuration Process

  • Configuration groups
  • Create BOM
  • Assign item and configuration groups
  • Create configuration routes
  • Create configuration rules
  • Approve and activate BOM

See good post here

80650-07 : BOM Product Change Cases

BOM Product Change Cases

To document changes made to product and this functionality uses the standard AX 2012 R3 onwards feature of case management functionality.

Product Changes like: Component substitution in BOM, Formulas & Production route

Approvals are used in change cases to release changed component, formulas and routes.

Process

  • Setup
  • Create case
  • Associate Entities
  • Enter case details
  • Approve, activate or expire entities

80650-05 : Creating BOM with versions

BOM versions

For the component items must be setup with proper storage dimension like mandatory site

To plan materials and resources for multiple production sites, the system reflects the BOM version and route version based on req site, valid date and active product dimension for the items qty.

To control BOM versions active or inactive : A combination of date, quantity or site control are used as:

  • Date with different quantities
  • Quantity with different dates
  • Quantity and date on different sites

Example: Create multiple BOM versions with each same basic items plus few items changed in each version with different qty and also control date for activation of each bom versions

Multiple active BOM version per item has activation constraints based on version type chosen

  1. Time period: dates cannot overlap
  2. Quantities: each version must have different quantities
  3. Site: Sites must be different

Production orders selects BOMs automatically if only one active versions is available however in case of multiple active BOMs then in Production order manually BOM selection is required.

Active BOMs can be used in:

  • Sales Order
  • reporting as finished BOM
  • Calculations for BOM item
  • Production Orders

Copying BOMs using Copy BOM route form

Copy a BOM to a new BOM

Under BOM versions item lines below section button functions Copy BOM route form opens

  • Base Data: Copy from BOM No, Site, Item No, Config, date To:
    • BOM No site with replace or add option
    • Or Production Order
  • Production: From Production No  To:
    • Production No with Update BOM No
    • Or Production Order

Copy a BOM to existing BOM

Directly using BOM lines button “Create BOM” which has option to copy a BOM which opens up Copy BOM route form


BOM version via designer

  • Released Product list page:
    • Create, edit , delete new BOMs and BOM versions
      • Checking BOM for errors like BOM circularity, checking which BOM versions attached to selected BO, check route versions
      • Calculations
      • Printing

80650-04 : Creating simple BOM

Creating Simple BOM

Simple means no bom versions required, go to inventory management->common->Bill of materials->New BOM and lines under it.

BOM creation process

  1. Create BOM: from released products->Engineering->BOM->Lines
  2. Create BOM versions: Link the items (item or sub bom) to BOM. Approve and activate BOM versions
  3. Add Products: add component items (item/service type) to BOM. Can be done using BOM designer form or the BOM line form
  4. Create Configurations (optional): setup configurations and/or rules
  5. Create site specific BOM & routes: auto selection of correct BOM route and versions

80650-03 : Exploring BOM form

Exploring BOM form:

One way go main BOM item in Product Info Management -> released products -> Navigation Pane: Engineering -> BOM -> Lines

This opens and shows versions which can approve, activates and calculations along with item lines where each BOM lines tab has

  • General
    • Confi group
    • Item no
    • Position: To organize lines in sequence
    • BOM line type
    • calculation yes no
    • Sub bom  link
    • valid date ranges
    • operation no: route based,  to consume item at a specific step example: Batching plant issues concrete to elements
    • Sub Contractor vendor account
  • Setup
    • Qty
    • Per series: to make no of qty into one series. Example item gloves qty 2 but per series one to become a pair. Used when item qty as a single is too small in value
    • unit
    • Formula: (see measurement topic for more details)
      • Standard
      • Height*Constant
      • Height*width*Constant
      • Height*Width*Depth*Constant
      • Height*Width*Depth/Density*Constant
      • Step
    • Consumption is
    • Flushing Principle
      • Start: When Production Order is created and set to started then item is automatically consumed
      • Finish: When Production Order is created and set to Finished then item is automatically consumed
      • Manual: Item is manually picked and registered against production Order
    • Constant scrap
    • Variable scrap
    • Measurements like height, width, depth, density & constant
    • Step-consumption: if formula type step is selected

2nd way is Inventory Management -> Common->Bill of materials

This opens a form list all BOM items with BOM no and versions