The subtle art of identifying a unified platform for supply chain
Phew!! The recent events in Supply chain have made me skip a breath here!
Supply chain chaos is hitting global growth and could get worse: CNBC
Supply-chain crisis fuels latest retreat from globalization: WSJ
Supply-chain crisis, hoarding products spark food shortages across the U.S: New York Post
All this in a span of 60 days? And while we try to decipher the code and take a closer look, we are hit by a new headline. Was the pandemic the progenitor? Or is it a sign of global supply chains rising back?
Irrespective of the cause, my question is, “How is your overall supply chain software coping with the crisis?”
And the answer has been, again, very wavering; the usual ones are as follows:
“Our processes had to be changed,”
“Our IT Platform needed an upgrade,”
“We have tied up with a new software vendor for a niche process change that our existing one was not capable of handling,” so on and so forth.
What amazes me is that many Fortune 500 customers are also coming up with similar responses.
From the above responses It is noticeably clear that there is an apparent need of a unified view. Earlier we have seen how a unified platform can save a crisis day and fix process changes. Now let us dig into the subtle art of identifying a unified supply chain platform.
This is one unique and multi-dimensional art, that for sure needs experience in 3Ps, i.e., Process, Product and Planning. The key here is to decouple the process first and then align them closely with respect to their similarities.
Holistic process identification
There could be a ton of issues in the overall process at various nodes, and the current crisis could have just made the situation worse than it already is.
Identifying the complete process for all your commodities in a holistic way is the steppingstone to mastering the art.
There could be procurement teams working in silos, managing niche categorical requirements that may have a supply to production plan of their own, which may not be aligned with other similar categories, processes, and production requirements.
Stitching these together can bring about process simplification and then can complement the unification of the IT side of things.
Processes need to be configured and dismantled in a jiffy to cope with the ever-changing requirements and low code contributes effectively.
There can be two-way requirement of the product for any industry. One is the final output, and the other is the raw materials that need to be procured for the final product.
This sounds simple, but there are a ton of processes involved, like supplier onboarding, sourcing, ordering, goods movement, stock management etc. at a very high level.
The trick is to tie all these under the bigger umbrella of your supply chain into a platform that can help in attaining optimal inter process visibility, align, and complement each other.
This is essential to identify the exact problem node on a crisis day without losing sight of the allied processes. Only a unified platform can get such intricate details on to the operating table.
The basic difference between intelligent and organic planning is that the former has taken over the role of the quintessential lever to bridge process and product.
Apart from forecasting from existing data, intelligent planning also brings out the best in AI by smartly communicating information such as inventory to production, sourcing to supplier onboarding, receiving to inventory, and many other combinations.
At its peak, intelligent planning proves its effectiveness by converging these combinations into one perfectly harmonized and optimized decisive layer that can think from and for the business point of view.
Blockchain technologies are at the forefront to achieve superior planned collaborations both organically and inorganically. Along with IOT and robotics that are connected to AI enabled servers can be game changing.
So, the subtle art of identifying a unified platform calls for a 360-degree endeavor. Everything matters, nothing stays irrelevant, each category contributes, and each cent is accounted for.
We at Eka have been through all of this and more, so that our platform can be stretched in by different dimensions and processes.
Eka platform is battle hardened and time tested; we ensure perfect scalability to deal with any crisis events.
Eka E-sourcing solution custom built for direct materials procurement
Let’s catch up on how a Unified Platform needs to be Implemented on our upcoming Webinars
To read part 1 of this series of articles by Rajesh Savio, please go to Importance of a Unified Supply Chain Platform
This article is the second in a 4-part series on Unified Platform: Supply Chain, written by Rajesh Savio, Industry expert in SaaS source-to-pay optimization.