Given the highly disruptive events of early 2020, many global organizations are seeking ways to harness change. Indeed, industry analysts say leading retailers and brands must now reimagine their business models to survive, and here is the good news: Those who are willing to take calculated risks are likely to come through stronger than ever and find themselves better equipped to anticipate and plan for future changing consumer habits. Below are five key strategic areas where companies can create an agile and resilient supply chain.
Breaking down barriers has never been more important. This means creating new connections, thereby enabling collaboration to drive agility, velocity, and resiliency across supply-chain ecosystems. This creates a unified connection to partners, utilizing a single data model to ensure that all parties are working from a single version of the truth.
Part of the problem is that many companies have created a landscape consisting of “islands” of information, which are likely to elongate lead times and cause a stocking up of inventory as a buffer against supply shortages. To eliminate some of this excess, all parties must be placed on a single network platform. By managing and synchronizing demand and supply beyond the four walls of an enterprise, supply-chain officers can leverage demand sensing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to mitigate the impact of variability across their ecosystem or value chain. By connecting all systems of record to a system of engagement a company can generate a forecast coding system capable of migrating its plans into execution both seamlessly and in real-time.
Many companies are still burdened by a kind of institutional inertia, unable to “think faster” and react to sudden changes in demand including not just the number of units or items but also in speed of fulfillment. Antiquated systems that rely on generating an order before it moves to the warehouse and on to transportation management are simply too disconnected to work in today’s world, where a seamless digital network is essential. By better leveraging continued investment to improve strategic fulfillment and orchestration, companies can map out a way to synchronize all outbound fulfillment activities, from order to delivery, including warehouse operations.
4) Sense and Respond
To better create “what-if” scenarios, companies must begin driving toward end-to-end visibility and orchestration. This means advanced visualization for intelligent sense and response, supported by the product, transport, trade, and finance flows, with built-in alerts. Key to this effort are messages and issue resolutions on the network platform, supporting a “single source of truth.” Once a common backbone has been created, a company can predict the impact of disruptions on its financials and demands on its supply. Based on a calendar view of data in real-time, supply-chain officers can optimize planning and be able to connect it in real-time to the execution function.
5) Shifting to Digitized Ecosystems
Today, it is a mission-critical objective for companies to develop a fully connected ecosystem on a shared cloud platform, within Execution. Many global organizations are seeking ways to harness change. Indeed, industry analysts say leading retailers and brands must now reimagine their business models to survive. Planning. Visibility. Sense and Respond. Shifting to Digitized Ecosystems. creased reliance on automation and autonomous decision-making. This means taking advantage of advances in A.I. and machine learning and placing this technology in a central role within any given enterprise, where it can anticipate, predict, and automate a response mechanism across the supply chain.
Industry analysts maintain that the journey may well begin as an aspirational effort that requires building trust and breaking boundaries for both the client and its solutions provider. Once autonomous or semi-autonomous systems are launched to establish pattern recognition, disruptions can be mitigated with a mutually agreed-upon strategy and implementation. Having finally achieved this full integration, a company can move beyond its supply network to the ultimate goal: that of a truly digitalized ecosystem.
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