JJA tackles end-to-end challenges with Winddle
Improving supply chain flows by relying on data exchanged with all actors in the chain is rarely seen as a priority by SMEs, but it is a mistake. At the Supply Chain Event, the company JJA shared its experience, best practices, and explained what the Winddle solution brought to its supply chain.
After working for Decathlon, Nicolas Souraqui chose to join JJA, a family-owned ETI specialized in the creation, manufacturing, import and distribution of decorative and household items, six years ago. He is now the company's supply chain director. "We have objects manufactured and assembled in Asia before transporting them to Europe for our professional customers."
During the Supply Chain Event in Paris in early December, he spoke about how the company approached its reflection and projects on optimizing supply chain flows and chose the Winddle solution.
When order flows resemble a black box
"We must live up to the ambitions of our company and deliver optimal customer service. At any time, we need to know where the goods are and in what quantity," says Nicolas Souraqui, Supply Chain Director at JJA. The company's mission is rich in challenges, including rapid range renewal, high seasonality, and complete production cycles that last around 7 months, from the development phase of an object to its delivery (lead time).
It's a lot to manage! Souraqui explains: "Often, supply chain managers start by monitoring transportation and its stages to track objects. It's a crucial moment indeed, but it only lasts for one to two months. And it's rare for containers to get lost at sea, or for delays to exceed a few days.
However, a problem encountered upstream during the manufacture of the parts that go into the product can have much more serious consequences. Especially when there are many stakeholders involved. In these conditions, the flow of orders resembles a large black box, which is very opaque."
The challenge is to obtain continuity of information between the validation of an order and its reception, with smooth coordination between the different stakeholders, especially suppliers and carriers.
The circulation of information requires deep reflection
The reflection on optimizing supply chain tracking began five years ago at JJA, and the business stakeholders have played a significant role in it. The question is how to make the information flow more transparent with subcontractors?
"It is useless to establish a theoretical specification if the supply chain teams do not have a precise idea of how their supply chains work and do not feel the need to optimize them, for example at the level of stocks," explains Nicolas Souraqui.
This is why the professional believes that the implementation of an APS (Advanced Planning System) is the first essential step in optimizing the logistics chain. The APS allows for a precise description and structuring of the procurement process, which then opens the way to optimizing the execution of flows.
Once the problem is identified, should we prioritize an approach through tools, or a reflection on the improvement of business processes? For Nicolas Souraqui, there are two triptychs to consider. The first - cost-time-quality - is entirely the responsibility of the supply chain director, who can therefore work on and optimize it as desired. The second associates the business organization, its processes, and its tools. "Tools, including software, come to support reflection and put it into action - at least to some extent."
The business departments as the best sponsors for an iterative approach
However, the selected IT solution should not limit the reflection by defining a fixed scope from the outset. Instead, it should generate questions, infuse debates, propose solutions, and encourage experimentation. "Do not involve IT teams too early in the process! The business should remain the project sponsor," summarized Nicolas Souraqui.
In practice, JJA consulted a consulting firm (Axoma consultants) to provide constructive feedback on its project, identify potential errors, and highlight the strengths of its differentiating approach. Afterwards, the selected vendors were invited to demonstrate their products. "At this stage, we were looking for a partner and a solution that we felt a connection with. Winddle quickly convinced us with its natively collaborative approach, capable of structuring business exchanges end-to-end with the relevant levels of granularity at each stage. The usability and flexibility of their solution to meet our current and future needs were also determining factors."
Subsequently, the JJA teams (including IT) and those of the vendor progressed iteratively, taking into account the evolving business discussions and requests.
An adapted and adaptable solution
Among the selection criteria, the ability to accurately describe the handled objects, orders, and flows proved to be crucial. "We needed a tool that would allow us to simply and effectively track the execution of an order - and to integrate the modifications it implies. ERPs struggle to take into account the variability of this data. However, it is essential. For example, if you order 1000 quantities of a reference and the supplier can only deliver 500 on the initially scheduled date, you must be able to adapt to the uncertainties and provide information to update the order. Having a tool capable of capturing information and adapting to it to enable the business to remain focused on management, addressing the root cause of the problem, and performance management is essential, and Winddle clearly opens up this possibility."
JJA employees will thus have an easy-to-use interface, allowing them to associate each object with its process, from order to delivery, including manufacturing.
Convinced Supply Chain Partners
On the side of subcontractors, manufacturers, or transporters, the availability of the solution in SaaS mode allows for quick connection of their information systems so that data useful for optimizing flows is automatically filled in. "A collaborative and easy-to-integrate solution like Winddle makes it easier to manage relationships with suppliers who understand our priorities and play the game more easily," concludes Nicolas Souraqui.