Strategic Supply Chain Evolution

“I don’t think anyone – especially when you get to the senior management level – wants to sit in an office and just do spreadsheets every day,” Karon Evanoff says , when describing why continual learning is the number one driver for her as Vice President, Global Supply Chain, at audio, video & control technology company QSC, LLC.

And that learning is centered on emerging technologies that can support Karon’s team and ultimately her customers, allowing her to “stay a relevant and innovative supplier”. These days, Karon acknowledges technology develops and shifts incredibly quickly, so standing still is not an option for a forward-thinking supply chain leader.

She says: “If you’re still sitting in four walls of the ERP, and you’re not thinking about collaborating and using visibility platforms, or you think you can still do it with old technology, then good luck! You could do that years ago, when technology wasn’t morphing and changing as quickly, but now you can’t sit there and wait for big ERP companies to do it, they don’t move fast enough.”

Karon’s 25+ years of Supply Chain experience from working in various high-tech industry sectors such as data storage, telecommunications, solar and now AV/IT has provided her with both a broad and in-depth exposure to supply chain needs over time.

Modern Challenges

Karon manages the global functions of logistics, procurement, sourcing, global planning - both supply and demand - and trade compliance, and she says that the current pressures – the pandemic, geopolitical influences, and materials shortages – have meant her day-to-day looks different than it would in ‘normal’ times as the business navigates new challenges. She says: “It’s a lot more tactical than it would normally be, but we still have the strategic side to focus on, one area of which is digital transformation.”

Karon is rolling out more functionality with e2open’s connected supply chain platform and says deployment of purchase order collaboration is starting now, to be followed by inventory collaboration. She says: “We’ve deployed their demand planning, supply planning, S&OP, and now we’re doing the upgrade because they have a platform called Harmony which provides greater analytics and real-time executive dashboards, plus machine learning and AI with the ability to manage exceptions at a platform level.”

Why e2open?

The agility that e2open gives to QSC, LLC cannot be underestimated, says Karon, pointing out that a collaborative platform aids people in becoming proactive in a lot of areas that previously focused on the reactive nature of waiting to obtain the information manually and digesting the reports. It allows the business to capitalize on the connected trading partner ecosystem approach - looking at the connected supply chain holistically. “It’s the buzzword that everyone is talking about, but I believe everybody on this planet does something that touches somebody. People in the past used to think of supply chain as purchasing. Now with these collaborative tools, you don’t have to stay in four walls.” This visibility gives us flexibility, which means the ability to increase revenue, Karon explains. “We’re able to take all that data on the platform and provide forecast bias and forecast accuracy. It allows us to understand our inventory needs and optimize levels and locations – this is helpful to the external stakeholders, too. Then, my team is able to create different scenarios and see how it affects the overall business allowing us the insight to increase revenue in areas where we currently have inventory, while we’re waiting to replenish other items.”

An Agent of Change

“People need to get out of the old-fashioned mentality that ERP can do everything and educate themselves about what they need, look at their processes and get help. I think the reason why technology innovations fail at companies is because they think they know everything and feel no outside expertise in business process excellence is required.”

She’s talking from the experience of having two successful technology implementations that she says went well and says that whenever a rollout has not worked as planned, it’s been because people didn’t want to get outside help from experts on process development before implementing a tool or technology. It’s not a surprise that Karon has been named as one of supply chain’s most influential women, and she says this is because she’s always had great people to learn from – and she recognizes that people now say the same about her.

E2open is the connected supply chain software platform that enables the world’s largest companies to transform the way they make, move, and sell goods and services. With the broadest cloud-native global platform purpose-built for modern supply chains, e2open connects more than 400,000 manufacturing, logistics, channel, and distribution partners as one multi-enterprise network tracking over 12 billion transactions annually. Our SaaS platform anticipates disruptions and opportunities to help companies improve efficiency, reduce waste, and operate sustainably.