Whenever you begin to analyze your supply chain visibility at any point, you might figure that you have good supply chain visibility. However, the question begs – How do you define that? For some time now, supply chain visibility has been known by pure track and trace analytics along with passive analytics. We do also have systems that may provide basic visibility but the problem is that it’s visibility that is not actionable. It reveals what’s at fault only and doesn’t go on to help ensure that whatever is wrong does not affect your relationship with your customers in real-time. In other words, you become good at coming up with a plan but fail to execute it.
So how do you make your visibility actionable? How do you encourage and implement your supply chain visibility to better optimize your processes in the moment? How can you truly make visibility a core competitive advantage for your supply chain? Martin Verwijmeren, CEO and co-founder of MP Objects, has coined these three critical stages that he mentions your organization may not be reaching its potential with making supply chain visibility actionable.
Stage 1: Visibility – Getting the data end-to-end
The first evaluation to conduct is one that checks if there is capturing of the appropriate data or not. A lot of companies align supply chain visibility with insight received from transportation but even this is not enough, considering possible involvement from international shipments. Warehouse, manufacturing, cross-docking and servicing steps as well as reverse logistics repair steps can and should be all tracked towards an end-to-end customer order. Tracking the basic steps across your end-to-end supply chain allows you to continuously evaluate and build towards optimizing your supply chain, and helps you set the right expectations with your consumers. The main goal of this step is to establish a single source of truth for your customer order, where your team can take action on exceptions for your orders and make certain they reach your customer on-time in-full (OTIF).
Stage 2: Collaboration – Making the parties work together
The above step helps you identify all the important steps you need to measure within your supply chain and ability to do that already puts you ahead of your competitors. What comes after that is collaboration. As globalization increases, the need for supply chains to multi-party in order to execute and deliver an enhanced experience to their customers is increasing. However, it’s crucial that your consumer does not associate their overall experience, whether good or bad, with these parties but associates their experience with your brand specifically. This is why it then becomes important to have visibility and collaboration with these partners.
A lot of organizations find this a major challenge as integration with their current systems and multiple parties often happens gradually and is a huge task for the internal IT team to maintain. Multi-enterprise then take this on and provides solutions that help connect all supply chain network parties together to provide visibility and control over these supply chain investments. This also happens at the same time real-time accountability and exceptions management are assigned across all supply chain steps and parties.
Stage 3: Orchestration – Optimizing flows order by order
Reaching this stage means you have already implemented reactive action into your end-to-end supply chain execution and strategy. This stage then helps you move away from reactive to proactive by intelligently leveraging the data you capture in your supply chain to enact your unique supply chain plan and execute the perfect order for customers at the most profitable cost. Analyzing factors such as SLA’s, transportation costs, available inventory across the network, lead times, supplier capacity, available internal and supplier capacity helps your supply chain carry out the most effective order flow for each customer and in relation to all other customer orders. Orchestration is about positioning your supply chain into action in a way that will achieve ultimate efficiency and create the best experience for the customer.
Supply chain is not only about being viewed. It is also about enacting action that encourages you to consistently optimize efficiently, reduce costs related to inventory safety stock, transportation and activities. Another important factor is that it helps deliver optimal experience for each and every customer. All this is incredibly hard to achieve with current systems and strategies. Putting into use these stages will ensure that your company orchestrates the perfect order every time that will keep customers and most importantly, attain new ones with proven competitive advantage in the supply chain.
Do you know the Top Supply Chain KPIs To Master In 2018, yet?