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Managing the Complexities of a Global Supply Chain


Ray Suarez, a speaker at the marcus evans Manufacturing CXO Summit 2013, on optimizing a global supply chain.

Interview with: Ray Suarez, Vice President Sales Operations, Konami Gaming, Inc.


A business today can succeed or fail based on its ability to manage its supply chain, believes Ray Suarez, Vice President Sales Operations, Konami Gaming, Inc. Many factors come into play in a global supply chain, including people and product management, but what is absolutely critical is to communicate the strategy to everyone in the organization. A lot of times the leadership vision does not get down to the bulk of the workforce, Suarez says.

Suarez is a speaker at the marcus evans Manufacturing CXO Summit 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada, September 16-17.

How can manufacturers optimize the performance of a global supply chain?

The global supply chain requires local, national, and international focus. With local suppliers, it is possible to have face-to-face relationships and receive a quick turnaround on requests. On the national level, the variables become more complex. This is even more true at the international level where international regulations and laws are considered, the need to plan and forecast expand with each level of complexity.

In Japan, for example, suppliers do not carry excess inventory risk without a confirmed purchase order or commitment. Thus, manufacturers must carry bigger risk, to ensure supply chain viability.

How can they minimize that risk, while maximizing opportunities?

The communication with the sales force is critical if manufacturers do not want to get stuck with parts or supplies. The sales team is the main point of contact with existing and potential customers, they engage with customers, identify revenue opportunities and forecast demand. Manufacturers must then consider whether there is an exaggerated or conservative estimation of demand, and then ensure a supply chain that is flexible enough for success. The supply chain must support the business goals and optimize opportunities with a minimum amount of risk.

We recognize that there is a partnership between our suppliers and Konami, and we strive to establish a win-win situation. To maximize the value of our supplier partnerships we have for several years now been giving our suppliers a six-month rolling forecast with purchase order coverage for agreed lead times for delivery.

Everything comes down to providing a forecast down to your suppliers, so you can maximize returns and opportunities to support your customers.

How do you make that six-month forecast so confidently?

You have to know your customers, sales people, suppliers and capabilities. You must have an awareness of all the variables in the process. Much like playing a sport, you have to know the rules, barriers and challenges, in order to position yourself for success.

What opportunities do manufacturers underutilize today?

They underestimate the skill set for forecasting, which is partly an art and partly science. They need experts and knowledgeable people who understand their business to properly manage their supply chain. It starts with the sales team, if they do not put the proper emphasis to have the best possible people representing their company, but for every sales person facing the customer, there are many more individuals behind them who are also just as critical links in the supply chain. You must identify and replace weak links in the supply chain to increase the opportunity for success.

Finally, communication is absolutely critical. Everyone needs to know and understand the vision, and goals.
Written by
: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager

Contact: Jennifer Keljik, marketing manager
Tel: 312.540.3000 x6592

About the Manufacturing CXO Summit 2013

This unique forum will take place at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa, Las Vegas, Nevada, September 16-17, 2013. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on developing KPIs, strategic manufacturing, global supply chain, solving the skill gap, and design for manufacturability.

Please note that the Summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

About marcus evans Summits

marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, case studies, roundtables and one-on-one business meetings.


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