Episode 129: Stabilize Your Supply Chain

Back in 2001, Optessa Founder Srinivas (Vasu) Netrakanti identified an important but poorly served niche: to provide high quality planning and scheduling solutions that truly addressed industry needs. And as a management graduate and highly successful serial entrepreneur, he had the knowledge, experience and courage to deliver it.

Vasu partnered with Founder and CEO Ashok Erramilli, who brought his own incredible skills – including an Electrical Engineering Ph.D. from Yale, years of experience as a consultant to engineering and networking corporations, and from his role as Research Manager at Bellcore (now Telcordia) – to the mix.

The ambitious and highly skilled duo built Optessa with the vision of helping complex manufacturers optimize their production plans and schedules, utilizing intelligent solutions. Their Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) software creates complete, optimal, even quality solutions, and their software can model any manufacturing requirement, with speedy deployment.

In today’s episode Ashok discusses current industry challenges in light of COVID-19, the importance of evaluating supply chains by criteria other than simply cost, achieving balance and stability in supply chain and the power of data-driven analytics.


[06.30] The story behind Optessa, and how they continue to deliver and evolve.
[10.50] How Optessa uses data optimization to allow customers to match supply with demand and stay efficient.

“We help manufacturers answer these three basic questions: what do I make, where do I make it and when do I make it?”

[13.15] How COVID-19 has hung a question mark over the industry, the challenge of trying to be prepared for everything, and how the crisis has highlighted a need for more robust supply chains.
[16.20] From risk to stability, flexibility to responsiveness, the need to evaluate supply chains by criteria other than simply cost.
[19.05] How the current crisis highlighted supply chain vulnerabilities companies didn’t even know they had, and the importance of readily available good data, to allow companies to use predictive analytics to be proactive rather than reactive.

“You can have the most efficient supply chain, but when you have a disruption like this one, that could be the end of your business.”

[21.01] The art of trade-offs – how you can use optimization to reconcile contradictory elements and achieve the best balance for your business.

“Given your comfort level, your priorities – it will tell you the best trade-off.”

[23.57] The story behind the name Optessa.
[25.11] What effect the USMCA might have on manufacturing.
[28.02] Customer case study: how Optessa reduced the number of change points from 1200 to 300 for one client, saving them enough money to pay for a whole new software suite, by interpreting, anticipating and so minimizing change.

“In the real world, as soon as you make a plan – things change!”

[33.20] Optessa’s ideal client, and the questions they need to ask themselves before getting in touch.
[36.45] Why if a company has two out of three V’s – volume, variety and value – Optessa can help.
[37.54] What the future holds for Optessa.

Head over to Optessa’s website now to find out more, meet the team and discover how they could help you too.

Check out our other podcasts HERE.

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