Increasing Supply Chain Visibility
In our "now" economy, consumers demand real-time visibility, along with the near-immediate delivery of goods. This has created a great deal of supply chain disruption, causing businesses to reevaluate the way they operate. Gary Allen, vice president of supply chain excellence at Ryder, provides tips on how to achieve end-to-end visibility, and ultimately ensure a more efficient supply chain.
1. Start with the experience. Begin by defining what visibility means to your end users/customers, what kind of experience you want them to have, and what you want to gain from increased visibility.
2. Select a platform for connectivity. Your digital platform should connect key players. This means ensuring the platform is technologically agnostic and all intended parties can easily access it.
3. Attract the right talent. New technology enables both new processes and new talent. Recruit people who are analytically inclined and highly skilled at interpreting data.
4. Manage and standardize data. Having a clear data strategy is imperative. Cleansing and defining consistent data models allows you to consistently utilize and translate the data into meaningful information.
5. Trust the information. It’s critical to believe the data. You must trust the information, its security, and the entities you exchange information with. Find ways to confirm confidentiality and ensure security around the financial exchange of information.
6. Interpret and leverage figures. You can’t find ways to improve until you know what problems to solve. Data allows you to proactively manage exceptions before they occur, saving your business time and money while keeping customers happy.
7. Drive efficient decision-making. Once you discover opportunities for improvement, you have to respond to those needs. Now that you know where everything is across your supply chain, you can execute solutions.
8. Focus on real-time transparency. The frequency and size of data exchange is dramatically increasing at an accelerated rate. Being able to leverage this data in real time is imperative. The key enablers consist of understanding what data is most critical to solving key business problems, what it means, and what to do when exceptions occur.
9. Opt for a neutral integration platform. The ability to flex up or down, quickly adjust, and accelerate the development of new capabilities requires an Enterprise Integration Platform. This allows companies to easily integrate, regardless of the execution systems in play.
10. Develop an extended ecosystem. Assuming you can develop and own all these capabilities offers a false sense of security. Today’s new digital environment requires a collaborative approach to managing your supply chain. Developing an extended ecosystem that brings the best of all your partners’ capabilities into a single environment is vital.