Today’s unpredictable global marketplace makes supply chain systems much more complicated to quantify and control. For many organizations, this creates new, uphill challenges in supply vs. demand that require education and training in the art and science of best-practice supply chain planning. For business teams that don’t have the necessary in-house resources or indepth expertise in supply chain planning, ChainSequence offers game-changing guidance. Through facilitated training sessions and on-site process development engagements, ChainSequence teams help companies better understand and align all the moving parts that must work together in order to achieve and manage a truly functional supply chain system. In addition, ChainSequence’s Process-to- System Integration services provide client teams with the strong support, documentation, and expertise they will need to best reinforce the planning effort while maintaining the integrity of the process design.
Below is their story,
Bill Mrzlak, President and Founder was an essential player in the management consulting arena for many years, with managing partner roles at two previous consulting organizations. In 2009, Bill and his long-time colleague, Mike Morrissette, jettisoned from their consulting group after 10-plus years and launched ChainSequence. “I’ve always enjoyed consulting because of the variety of engagements, industries, locations, and unique challenges I encounter,” says Mrzlak. “By 2008, Mike and I felt the risk/reward ratio wasn’t there and recognized we needed more control over the direction of the business.” Through ChainSequence, they were able to develop and deploy a much more nimble and effective supply chain business model, which is entirely based on their combined 50-plus years of experience. When Morrissette unexpectedly passed away several years later, Bill vowed to carry on the legacy he and Mike had created. “Mike was a mentor, business colleague, and friend. His experience and knowledge helped shape ChainSequence’s philosophy and core values, and I will always be grateful for his guidance,” he recalls.
ChainSequence addresses its clients’ supply chain and sales and operations planning (S&OP) challenges through various pragmatic, business process-oriented solutions. Many companies are quick to look to technology in order to solve ongoing problems, often without taking the necessary time to understand what is causing these issues in the first place. Bill and his teams stress that technology—as a tool—can certainly help, but by ignoring or not resolving the underlying process issues, organizations will only achieve a bad outcome more quickly.
ChainSequence takes a multi-tiered approach, beginning with an assessment of a client’s current environment to understand root-cause issues. Walking through this process with client team stakeholders, the team defines targeted solutions that can provide the highest return in the shortest amount of time. “As the saying goes, ‘don’t boil the ocean,’” says Mrzlak. “It’s unrealistic to expect to solve all problems at once.” In many instances, he maintains, process corrections that are combined with the introduction of rules and controls can be the solution. In other environments, building staff proficiencies through education, and introducing technology solutions, like ML, AI, and/or data analytics components can also align business process improvements with long-term goals. In each engagement, the hallmark of ChainSequence’s success is its ability to take a surgical approach to evaluate each client’s problem, and then apply years of insight, experience, and proven change management guidance to directly impact positive transformation.
ChainSequence recognizes the influence that organizational, geographical, and cultural differences can have on the success or failure to implement change, and factors this dynamic into its approach. The firm’s clients learn quickly that ChainSequence consultants are true partners who are wholly invested in their success. At the end of many engagements, clients forget ChainSequence’s consultants are only embedded for a short time. Mrzlak says the driving philosophy has always been, “We are jointly defining a solution with you, and not to you. When our client partner ultimately owns and embraces the solution, then the likelihood of its success will be much higher.”
ChainSequence’s professionals have all been on the front lines of the war on business chaos. ChainSequence’s successful projects have resulted in numerous follow-on engagements as business climates evolve over time. While word-of-mouth has been a large part of ChainSequence’s client activity, its strong online presence also drives new business and introduces new markets to its services year over year. As thought leaders, ChainSequence publishes articles in international business trade forums, and provides subject matter expertise at supply chain- and S&OPrelated conferences throughout the U.S.
Mrzlak says that every supply chain-driven business entity should think of its supply chain as the engine that both supports and drives the organization’s machine. A company can have a highly successful sales team, but without a robust, nimble supply chain structure, bad things will inevitably happen: product demand will be forecasted poorly; products won’t be built in a timely manner; and inventory will end up in the wrong location, with the wrong products, and in the wrong volumes. Most important, products will not be delivered to customers when and where they want them. The inevitable outcome will be huge negative revenue and bottom-line implications to the organization.
ChainSequence’s primary service offerings focus on business processes around supply chain planning and S&OP. However, it’s people first, then process, and finally the management of change that drives business process transformation. Technology, which continues to evolve, is without question a huge enabler in making those people and process changes a success. ChainSequence incorporates Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) into its process solutions to improve forecast accuracy and better handle the volatility and irregularities of the overall supply chain network.
At its inception, ChainSequence focused heavily on the high-tech sector, specifically in semiconductor companies. Because growth in this market was unsustainable due to M&A activity and consolidations of semiconductor companies, the firm began to expand its services into new markets. It can be difficult to break into a new industry without having explicitly worked within it. ChainSequence overcame that obstacle through its breadth of knowledge in sound, rules-based foundational supply chain principles. These principles can be applied to almost any industry, ranging from electronic goods, clothing, food and agriculture, and CPG to education and other service-based sectors in which no physical product is actually being produced. The theory of constraint-based planning is universal to solving and balancing an excess of demand with limited supply, whether that supply is electronic components, cloth, or people.
As the team successfully increases its reach to encompass more industry sectors, the firm has also been partnering with other organizations to expand its presence in the U.K. and European regions.