Today’s age of cut-throat competition calls for every company and industry to think out of the box and emerge with promising and innovative products and services. This challenge also applies to leading supply chain solution providers. They deliver the best services in terms of highly optimized inventory management, flexibility, and speed with order fulfillment, customization, energy sustainability, and compliance. One such leading company is ChainSequence, Inc., which facilitates change with industry-leading expertise in supply chain/ S&OP planning solutions to back it up. In an interview with Insights Success, the company sheds light on its journey, various offerings, major features, and future plans.
- Can you tell us about the inception story of the company, its progress throughout the years and its mission and vision?ChainSequence is the culmination of several evolutionary companies, and was founded based on a collective 50+ years of Supply Chain and Sales and Operations planning experience. Bill Mrzlak, founderof ChainSequence, says, “Our mission is simple, but clear–we are committed to helping enterprises identify challenges, create innovative solutions, and implement lasting improvements in Supply Chain processes to advance Sales and Operations goals.” After more than 10 successful years, the firm has held true to this mission. Although ChainSequence initially started with a heavy emphasis in the high-tech and semiconductor industry, over the years the firm has successfully applied its business model, knowledge, and experience in other industries. ChainSequence continues to expand in electronics, CPG, food and beverage, retail, education delivery, and even in the services sector.
- Brief us about the key personality (Founder/CEO).Founder and President of ChainSequence, Bill Mrzlak, is passionate about Supply Chain and Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP). Mrzlak began his career in management consulting as more of a generalist, but in the mid-90s, a former colleague presented him with an opportunity to join a new firm specializing solely on Supply Chain Planning. This also involved supporting international client needs, which would change the trajectory of his career. Taking a leap of faith, Mrzlak’s years of diligence, study, and natural affinity for this specialized work has paid off. After 25+ years in this arena, Bill is a top-tier specialist, currently among the leading experts in the complex art and science behind successful Supply Chain and S&OP. As a talented communicator, skilled in the nuances of working with multi-national organizations, Mrzlak continues to lead staff teams while incorporating advancements in software and AI to help client partners improve operations and become more competitive in their respective marketplaces.
- Brief us about your products and services that makes your company stand ahead in the manufacturing industry.ChainSequence specializes in Supply Chain and Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP). Within these areas, we offer three primary services:a. Education and Training
b. Process and Organizational Development
c. Change Management and Systems Deployment Governance
ChainSequence has found that experience can be the best teacher—no two companies are the same, and even different business units within the same organization can be unique. Rather than use a one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approach, ChainSequence factors in organizational, cultural, and geographical differences into its projects, so that business solutions and outcomes more effectively respond to each specific client’s challenges.
Mrzlak stresses the importance of the relationships he builds with client partners, observing that, “Clients often forget that we’re consultants by the end of the project, because we become embedded within their organization.” However, he added, “It’s crucial we ensure our clients ultimately own the final process so they can continue executing it successfully long after ChainSequence is gone.”
- What are the key attributes that helped to overcome the challenges which were faced by the company during its establishment? The world of Supply Chain and Sales and Operations planning management consulting is a crowded one. ChainSequence knew the risks involved in carving out a domain in such a competitive sandbox, as larger, more generalist organizations have sub-business units that deploy thousands of consultants to accommodate the growing demand in this space. However, the stark contrast between these larger organizations and ChainSequence is what sets the firm apart, offering, in many cases, a more attractive and economically viable option for many companies. ChainSequence doesn’t rely on volumes of consulting bodies to meet internal corporate profit quotas; rather, the firm’s smaller, more nimble teams are able to facilitate more appropriate, client-focused solutions through leading expertise, global experience, on-site teamwork, and educational knowledge-sharing.
- Share with us the accomplishments and achievements of the company.ChainSequence’s laser focus that targets supply chain and S&OP challenges has helped numerous multi-billion dollar global corporations 1) centralize, streamline, and improve processes and operations; 2) achieve in-house proficiencies; 3) improve collaboration and accountability across business units; and 4) sustain continuous gains long after engagements are complete. Other consulting firms may have a general knowledge, and some may even have some proficiency in these areas, but ChainSequence has become an elite specialist, with the experiential background, expertise, and proven results from serving a diverse range of organizations and industries that more conventional consultant groups can’t match.
- How does your product help clients improve productivity and efficiency?As the saying goes, it’s sometimes hard to see the forest for the trees, and this is true for many organizations out there. Mrzlak says, “When your internal organizations are dealing with the day-to-day chaos of producing and moving products out the door—within a stressful environment—to support demanding customers, it’s almost impossible to imagine that you can actually escape this environment.” He recalled, “We had a client who would joke, half-seriously, ‘Strategic planning is anything outside of the end of next week.’ With this kind of mindset, the thought of change can be overwhelming.” Mrzlak stresses that an outside, expert assessment is essential in helping enterprises see the bigger picture first, to identify how the pieces should fit together, before solving any individual problem. ChainSequence’s streamlined assessment model takes a pragmatic, surgical approach to improving productivity and efficiency more quickly. “You can’t solve all problems at once, but creating point solutions without a vision of the bigger picture won’t work either,” Mrzlak says, adding, “We help our client partners achieve incremental gains through a series of targeted solutions with an ultimate end-game in mind.”
- As an industry expert, what is your opinion on the future of manufacturing? What are the possibilities we can expect?In ChainSequence’s experience, a company’s business process is the lynchpin supporting the overarching Supply Chain planning and manufacturing environments. Many organizations still struggle to recognize the value—in integration, efficiency, speed, and quality control—that clearly defined processes bring to their business. Technology should be incorporated into every organization’s roadmap to alleviate this persistent problem. AI, ML, IoT, data integration and many other advanced tools continue to advance, bringing higher speed, accuracy, and insights. While technology is not the sole solution and won’t solve the issues of a bad process, assimilating well-designed technology into process improvements will provide the best outcomes.
- Where do you see your company in the near future?ChainSequence is expanding its services to assimilate advancements in data analytics and the use of AI and ML in the planning space to best leverage and integrate rules-based supply chain principles with robust S&OP programs. The firm’s growing network of data science partnerships continues to yield promising results in research and development on behalf of our clients both in the U.S. and overseas. Work continues to focus on developing programs that effectively improve operational performance in supply chain planning through process and technology. As our experience expands in different industry sectors and geographic regions, the firm is introducing cross-sector solutions that many organizations have not previously considered.