The supply chain is constantly evolving, creating a critical need for transparency. True transparency requires thorough analysis and integration of many data sources. Put a stop to number columns for the IT team or inaccurate Excel evaluations completed by interns. Multidimensional analyses and the intelligent development of "Big Data" to improve your supply chain is our daily business!

Control Tower

The network equipment provider Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) wanted to offer its customers – the mobile telephony operators – even better after-sales service. The goal was to raise the availability level of components, while at the same time reducing inventories and costs. Barkawi installed an "iHub", in which the planning, requirement forecasts, orders from the production facilities and all delivery processes are digitally bundled. The project was a huge success for all involved. Barkawi even won a "Best of Consultants" award for it in the competition run by the German business magazine "Wirtschaftswoche".

In innumerable other S&OP-projects Barkawi employs the Supply Chain Cockpit, an innovative, proprietary software platform. Its modular structure enables fast and individually customized implementation, while its open-source systems like Apache make setting it up inexpensive. In Qlikview, the market's best provider of big data analyses, we have found a perfect partner for ensuring the optimum performance of the Supply Chain Cockpit, which also contains leading-edge database technology components for data integration, so that all numbers, data and facts find a home.

But we can go a step further than the iHub and Supply Chain Cockpit, with a kind of war room called a Control Tower that would turn even NASA green with envy. We introduced a Control Tower at a major international supplier of mobile telephones. Here, all the key data comes together in one room, and short decision-making channels minimize reaction times, despite big data. Systems like Kinaxis form the basis, while what-if simulation tools make it possible to predictively operate the supply chain: which deviations in your supply chain are critical? Which partner interfaces are so important that they should be monitored permanently? What are the options? How short are the reaction times?

On the way to becoming a digital champion

The digital champions respond to questions like these, and many more besides, in this single, all-encompassing system: the company Airbus, for instance, runs a Control Tower with its modern, digital Customer Support Center, and can get a defective A380 back in the air in no time flat.

Control Tower

Of decisive importance with the iHub, Supply Chain Cockpit and Control Tower is reducing the large volumes of data down to the right parameters. The goal has to be to filter out of the data the KPIs that are needed to efficiently run the supply chain, and to generate useful ratios that honestly and reliably map the performance of the supply chain. Service level/Fill rate, available-to-promise (ATP), turnaround time (TAT), order to cash, on-time delivery (OTD/OTDR/OTDC), etc. are some examples of key performance indicators. We are experts at optimizing these key figures – and at many other things as well!

2/6 Supply Chain

Machine and plant downtimes are growing ever more expensive and are becoming a massive threat to competitiveness. If low inventories lead to a production standstill at your facility, the well-organized competitor will be way ahead of you. Departmental thinking and focusing on individual links in the supply chain in isolation is an obsolete approach now, and unrealistic, because every error or standstill affects the entire supply chain: if Procurement hasn't purchased sufficient amounts, the entire supply chain stops; if it has bought too much, the costs burden the entire enterprise and affect prices all the way to the end customer, who may then decide to buy a cheaper competitor product. That is why modern supply chain champions have long been considering their supply chains from a holistic, overall standpoint!

The typical supply chain encompasses the following seven stages, usually with different people responsible for each discipline, which to date have each been regarded in isolation:

Grafik: Analytics

The demands on supply chain management are growing constantly.

Companies with a conventional supply chain generally update and extrapolate historical data, for example, they derive the forecasts for the future from past requirements. "Normal" delivery times are also incorporated into the planning, as are the typical deviations from them. But the world is changing fast: it is becoming ever more difficult to predict the deviations, the number of variables and unknown quantities is growing constantly, and historical figures, data and facts are growing less and less dependable.

The customer is becoming "hybrid", the carousel is revolving ever faster, the supply chain champions are dictating new standards: for instance, companies with less sophisticated supply chain concepts will not be able to refuse same-day delivery forever if they don't want to be catapulted out of the market.

Integrated process and integrated data

That is why modern supply chain champions have long been looking upon their supply chains as a single, integrated process. And the leaders in modern supply chain management are also often far ahead of the field when it comes to data quality and the comprehensive networking of data. Integration is the magic word here, both on the process side and on the data side, with each step in the supply chain (including all service providers and partners!) and their respective data being perfectly interconnected with one another.

Accomplishing data transparency along the whole supply chain is the fundamental prerequisite for this, especially as different areas of management are typically responsible for the different steps within the chain, and in many cases they use different IT solutions.

Predictive analytics

And there is another crucial difference between supply chain champions and the rest: the way they consider the supply chain holistically from the point of view of predictive analytics.

Experience shows that more than 90% of all supply chain problems arise in forecasting, and then perpetuate themselves or even get worse in the procurement phase and the rest of the supply chain! The idea behind predictive analytics is to prevent problems before they happen, instead of spending money and time later trying to repair the damage after the fact. Siemens, for instance, has trains equipped with artificial intelligence that can be in operation between 98% and 100% of the time! And the Siemens technicians are determined that they can achieve 100% "railability".

Planning and forecasting are rightfully becoming more and more a kind of global risk management, with which a company endeavors, with all its specialists, to get a grip on the uncertainties between sales and costs, and to successfully forecast them: what changes, risks and variables are there in the market and competition, at the customer, in the own product, with the component suppliers, in procurement, with the fulfillment partners, in inventories, etc.?

Which critical issues and resources can a company take care of early on, before problems arise? The following areas are the most predominantly involved here:

  • Demand analytics
  • Finished inventory optimization
  • Replenishment planning analytics
  • Network planning
  • Transportation analytics
  • Procurement analytics
  • Predictive analytics on the factory floor
  • Geospatial analytics in network planning and optimization

The heart of supply chain analytics: mathematics

Supply chain analytics is based largely on mathematical models and analyses, such as Dynamic Multiple Regression Modeling, and on simulations and optimization models. These are not new, of course, but together with big data and the right IT systems like SAP HANA, they help create an entirely different application landscape.

These new, high-performance platforms also help the processes with their data analysis, which means that companies can react in real time, as soon as customer orders, inventories, production figures etc. change. The planning and forecasting instances receive updated values immediately, and the supply chain can be adapted to the new situation without delay. In this way, the disjointed and slow value chain with its numerous individual disciplines becomes a modern, high-performance, networked, fully integrated big data tool. We will be happy to show you how your company can also become a supply chain champion with supply chain analytics!

3/6 Supply Chain

Modern enterprises with smart logistics and supply chain management not only link the various individual process steps with each other, they work closely together with their fully integrated service providers in a collaboration. For example, if the service provider operates the warehouse and replenishes the shelves with replacement parts for the customer as soon as a part is sold, the borders between the company and its suppliers and service partners disappear. It's all about perfectly functioning partnerships!

And that applies not only to the processes, but also to the data. In companies with modern logistics and professional supply chain management, data are increasingly pooled nowadays and the participants in the chain are interconnected with each other – often in the Cloud – so that the supplier sees, for example, the products being sold out of the inventories and can replenish them immediately and just in time. The forwarding company, also connected up, is at the same time in the starting blocks, because it can see when and where goods are needed. Everybody pulls in the same direction and has the same goal: perfect logistics. Because the competition is tough!

Collaboration & Connectivity

Partner ecosystem, connectivity and collaboration are important terms that describe the modern supply chain universe. In logistics and supply chain management, everything is about making sure the right volumes are at the right place at the right time. So having the "right" inventories is a key variable at the start of a chain of actions. Vendor managed inventory and replenishment and inventory health play a crucial role here.

With smart concepts like merge-in-transit, crossdocking, hub & spoke, PUDO, FSL, etc., modern, digitized companies digitally record and accompany inventories, material and goods along the entire supply chain. All partners are linked up to it digitally and completely integrated in a big data stream. Connectivity ensures the data integration, collaboration the unbroken interaction of all companies, partners, service providers, etc. involved in the process. All this together leads to perfect digitization!

Pic: Supply Chain Collaboration

4/6 Supply Chain

Digitization of the supply chain – planning, forecasting, suppliers, service providers, customers, procurement, inventories, replenishment – all perfectly integrated in a digital data stream. Warehouse locations perfectly chosen, network planning optimized, planning algorithms and inventories perfected. "Digitization is the magic word! The goal of digitalizing the supply chain is to make it optimally plannable, transparent and as fast and flexible as possible! But what has to be done? How do you take conventional Excel tables, Access and SQL databases and transform them into a networked world of data? Barkawi won an award for doing just that in a customer project!

The digital champions already in existence today are better, faster and cheaper than their competitors, because these innovators have realized that the success of many products is no longer based on the product itself! Speed in finding replacement parts, part availability, small batch sizes, attractive prices, etc. are at least as crucial success factors.

If an agricultural machine suddenly breaks down on the day of the harvest, and it then starts raining, not only the harvest is lost. The customer will look for a new dealer that can procure and install the replacement part within a few hours thanks to its modern ordering process and perfect digitized supply chain.

Perfect timing: Production and delivery on-demand

This in turn can only work if the process is perfect throughout the entire process chain: smart inventory management, professional S&OP and an optimal interplay between forecasting, procurement and the best possible use of production are the prerequisites. Production and delivery take place on demand, just in time whenever the goods are needed.

The partners and suppliers – like the customers – are fully integrated into an end-to-end process chain with the goal of accelerating the flow of information and creating the best possible preconditions for maximum control of the chain. The necessary routes to storage venues become increasingly mobile and flexible, because the system monitors where the goods are on the transport route, for instance using RFID technology.

Digitalization and perfect integration offer fantastic opportunities here! Identification technologies and information systems generate transparency about the inventories and help process the enormous volumes of information and make the right decisions at the right times! The data are bundled in an individually tailored Supply Chain Cockpit, Control Tower or iHub – fragmented data silos are a thing of the past!

Barkawi: Award-winning consultancy

Barkawi has proven many times that customers make a quantum leap like this, and in a competition held by "Wirtschaftswoche" magazine in 2014, we won an award for a project in which we digitized a customer's supply chain! We will be happy to explain the best way to go about this in a personal meeting with you!

A software decision made easy: How companies gradually transform the challenges of modern supply chains into measurable results using a software concept tailored to their individual needs.

Here is the sofware booklet

Booklet Good-bye Excel chaos!
Graphic: Supply Chain Digitization

5/6 Supply Chain

Regardless of whether your company needs a precisely targeted IT solution or a long-term platform for continuous operation, Barkawi offers you extensive industry know-how combined with technical expertise and a broad portfolio of solution partners. But most importantly: we have done these projects – actually implemented them – countless times already! Our technical expertise encompasses the solutions from the world's best providers, as well as our own software and tools that many of our customers have already used with great success in their global supply chain management to get a grip on their specific problems.

In addition to these external providers, Barkawi also offers numerous proprietary tools and solutions for the typical demands on professional supply chain management:

DSP Data Decision Platform

The data analysis platform DSP Data Decision Platform from Barkawi is often the first step away from vast amounts of spreadsheets and databases and toward a standardized data landscape. Our DSP serves our customers from the widest range of industries as a tool for gathering, processing and the Cloud-based provision of supply chain-relevant data from various parts of the company.

These include, for instance, sales-plan data from the Sales department, capacity data from Production, inventory and movement data from Logistics. These data are often to be found in different systems with varying data structures and types. The DSP solution encompasses the specific extraction, integration, analysis and visual presentation of data from varying data sources.

For example, MS Excel and Access files, CRM and ERP systems are processed in this way into information, on the basis of which better supply chain decisions can be made: optimized procurement amounts, allocation of production capacities, more exact delivery promises and much more besides. This increases availabilities, reduces inventories and minimizes escalation costs, for example. And that is a win-win situation for everyone!


ClearOps is a special-software company founded by Barkawi. Its product of the same name is a proprietary web platform with which all the participants in the supply chain can use and exchange data together. ClearOps consolidates, processes and analyzes big data, while the users across the entire company have access to the analysis results (data analytics).

In real terms this means, for example, that ClearOps enables replacement-part-procurement data from agricultural machine manufacturers and more than 300 dealers to be networked. Needs, consumption, inventories and deliveries are recorded throughout the entire distribution network, all the way through to the end customer, which enables an optimization that extends beyond what were previously the limits of the company.

ClearOps calculates optimum supply volumes and inventory levels and coordinates the balancing out of inventory reserves between the dealers. Increased part availability raises the supply quality and consequently also sales and customer satisfaction. It is a great customized tool for specific demands!

Pic: Digitalisierung Daten Analyse

Barkawi Pricing Decision Platform

The Barkawi Pricing Decision Platform is another proprietary software tool that makes good decisions possible despite complex data situations in the pricing environment: regional prices, centralized prices, freight costs, discounts, bonuses, criticality of parts, competitive factors and much more are contained in it.

Our tool holds the necessary price master data, simulates price changes and optimizes the overall pricing concept! Whether you are in the energy business, the agricultural machine technology industry, the mobile telephony industry, the construction machine business or in plant construction, you can improve your margins by double-digit percentages with our solution. After-sales service and spare parts as a generator of sales and profits – that is our goal!

Latest news:
Kinaxis and Barkawi Strengthen Strategic Partnership!

More Information: Link



Pic: Supply Chain Software partner

6/6 Transformation

The supply chain in most companies is today far more complex than in the past. There are many reasons why, but most important is that the digital champions have set new standards that now have to be met. If same-day delivery is standard at the competition, the rest of the market has to move up its game or accept that it soon won't be a serious competitor anymore! Big parts of the market have transformed from push to pull, and companies with a strong supply chain are adapting to that. But how do you do it? What does a typical project look like? Do you have to attack digitization in one fell swoop, or can you also approach it step by step? Barkawi offers more than just concepts: we execute and accompany the implementation, every step of the way!

Many companies want to make the decisive step into the future by digitalizing their entire supply chain, but they don't know exactly how to do it. In a modern, high-performance supply chain there are innumerable partners, suppliers and data sources – from buying raw materials through to the point of sale. The partner ecosystem encompasses 3PL and 4PL service providers, dealer-managed inventory, inventory management, selling data, planning and forecasting, predictive maintenance data and much more. That can't be done with an Excel table infrastructure anymore!

Pic: Supply Chain Digitalisierung

Digitization: Step by step

The bad news is that there is no end-to-end single solution that you can install in one go and there's your digitization. Digital transformation entails a big, successive, gradual evolution; process chains and their data that encompasses the entire range of an OEM's activities have to be completely dovetailed with one another and digitally mapped – and that far beyond the confines of the company itself, because the external partners are also part of this data integration!

The good news is that using new technologies, software and systems like Kinaxis, e2open, Servicemax, PTC, FIELDFORCE, SAP, Synchron, etc. and connecting them up with existing systems leads to more efficient processes and more relevant information, and it has many other benefits as well!

Data integration and digitization along the supply chain enables you:

  • To reduce costs and risks;
  • Achieve optimum transparency throughout the entire supply chain;
  • Plan capacities and goods flows in perfect line with the expected needs;
  • Ensure the greatest possible speed and flexibility;
  • And gives you maximum freedoms with minimum complexity

The following top-6 steps have repeatedly proven their worth in digitization projects:

1. Identify the success factors:
What makes the company successful?
The success factors of a company, such as speed, availability to deliver, large product range, price or cost leadership, have to be clearly identified and defined in advance.

2. Segment and prioritize the customers:
Who and when?
Segmenting the customers in an ABC analysis provides the decision-making basis for prioritizing the order in which the digital connections have to be made. A-customers are often integrated in the first step, as much of the sales are generated with just a few of them, and not with the "long tail" of C-customers!

3. Calculate the business case for A-customers:
Who and how much sense does it make?
Analyzing the costs and feasibility for typical A-customers, in order to calculate the total costs, against the background of the total benefit, cost-benefit analysis, feasibility, etc.

4. Develop the road map:
What and how quickly?
Compiling a "road map" for how to work through the digital steps, in line with their temporal, financial and organizational feasibility within the company. Often it is neither possible nor does it make sense to execute the digitization in one big development leap. A gradual digitization is generally more realistic, less expensive and better!

5. Select software:
Which IT providers are a good match?
Defining a requirements catalog, evaluating and selecting a software product or provider that can meet the company's software requirements in line with its success factors, e.g. software for perfect inventory management for a complex product portfolio.

6. Implement:
Who actually does it?
When implementing the software and interfaces to the predefined customers, suppliers, partners, etc., Barkawi Management Consultants uses a specialist team of software experts that have successfully executed this process countless times before. Barkawi works together with the world's best providers.

Pic: Barkawi Andreas Baader Mike Landry Henry Greulich

Short communication paths
for a successful
Technology Transformation

Get in touch:

Andreas Baader
Managing Partner
Phone +49 89 - 748926 - 712

Alain Huillet
Phone +49 89 - 748926 - 0

Mike Landry
President North America
Phone +001 - 678 - 213 - 2940