Supply Chain Digitization Series, Part I: Accelerate Digital Transformation By Taking Advantage of These Supply Chain DisruptorsBy: Pasquale Gatti | January 18th, 2023
Supply chain disruptors are inevitable. However, there are some emerging trends that can help organizations be better prepared for those situations, improve supply chain management, and more effectively mitigate risk. Shorter product life cycles, supply chain transparency & visibility, supply chain integrations, and automation technologies are critical opportunities to consider if you’re serious about staying ahead of the curve and setting yourself up for success for years to come.
Let’s face it–there’s no escaping supply chain disruptors. Regardless of why it happens, the end result is always an impact on the availability of goods and how they reach their final destination.
If you’ve followed the news you’ll see that supply chains are improving but it’s still going to take time before they return to pre-2020 performance (if ever).
As you continue to evaluate your supply chain’s resilience and ability to withstand a black swan event, it’s important that you consider taking advantage of some of the major disruptors that are beginning to surface. Let’s take a closer look at some of these mega-trends, challenges, and opportunities that you should have your eye on:
Shorter Product Life Cycles
According to Supply Chain Digital, “shortening product life cycles make time-to-market critical, and so businesses must utilize technology to ensure a greater perspective and tighter control of the supply chain.” Many companies today use a single supply chain for all of their products, despite the differences in life cycles. That’s why it’s going to be critical in the future to develop different supply chains to accommodate these varying lifecycles and remain profitable. If you don’t plan ahead, leverage the right technology, and put strategies in place that will enable you to quickly respond to disruption, you may find yourself vulnerable when it strikes.
Improved Transparency & Visibility
With the levels of CO2 rising, more companies are focusing on sustainability this year, and for good reason. In fact, many consumers and global trade authorities may soon demand that companies disclose all of their supply chain practices. While some companies have already begun providing transparency when it comes to the sustainability of their supply chains and their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, the jury is still out on the impact of the supply chain on other aspects of society.
Even companies that may want to be up front about their practices, may not be able to without having full visibility into their operation. If you’re one of them, you should consider the importance of supply chain visibility and how it can dramatically improve your operations and brand image–and according to our research, help you attain the following benefits:
- Improve receiving operations by 65%
- Speed up time-to-receive per shipment by 70%
- Save money by helping you avoid missed sales opps by up to 35%
- Shorten time between shipment arrival and goods being on shelves by up to 45%
More Supply Chain Integrations
With inflation on the rise, larger companies are looking to integrate more full order life cycle and transportation components into their supply chains to lower product and freight costs–with some companies even partnering with 3PLs to integrate 3PL-based technologies to combat the “Amazon Effect.”
Many of today’s technologies already integrate multiple management systems via API and the cloud to provide real-time supply chain data. As the supply chain continues to evolve, more components will be added as organizations look to make partnerships and build integrations with third parties. For example, look for more businesses to integrate and start offering inland services to reduce overall freight costs and streamline the supply chain.
Robotics currently play a huge role in transforming supply chains and supply chain management–and the proof is in the numbers:
During the second half of 2022, North American companies spent $869 million on more than 16,400 robots. That means AI (artificial intelligence), AR (augmented reality), and VR (virtual reality) will play an essential role in supply chains by automating procedures using algorithms based on data from previous processes.
That means companies just like yours are leveraging IoT to deliver better customer experiences by incorporating the technology into their products and services. An example could be cheap sensors on perishable goods that can measure temperature and placement and send a warning if the products are not being stored at the correct temperature.
Leveraging a Single Platform For Business Users & Suppliers
The basis for making meaningful supply chain improvements is simply good data. But perhaps the most critical component to facilitate that is utilizing a source of truth platform that your business users can use side-by-side with suppliers. One that enables you to drive better collaboration and results that include:
- Ensuring vendor shipments are on-time
- Improving shipment accuracy
- Improving poor fill rates
- Reducing transportation problems
- Reducing fees with compliance management
- Ensuring 3-and-4 way matching (order to ASN to receipt to invoice)
How Syncrofy Can Help
When it comes to being in position to take advantage of the disruptors we’ve discussed and achieving supply chain resiliency, Syncrofy can provide the visibility to help get you there. What is Syncrofy? It’s a multi-enterprise data platform that enables transparency, intelligence, and automation across your existing supply chain networks.
It stands out from other solutions in the marketplace because it provides you with full visibility and valuable insights into your supply chain right out of the box leveraging your existing technologies. There’s nothing to configure, no mapping, or specialized data warehouse required. From the get go, you can see what’s going on across your network, what’s working, and where potential problems may occur. This allows you to be proactive, respond to disruption, and stay on the same page with suppliers.
It’s also designed for everyone in your organization. Syncrofy was created specifically with the non-technical user in mind so there’s no need for data scientists or database administrators. You’re able to see your supply chain as it’s happening in a human-readable, easy to understand format. You’ll also get pre-configured tools to make fast, well-informed decisions on your supply chain that you can’t get with any other platform.
Click here to learn about these disruptors and how you can take advantage of them with our FREE on-demand webinar, “2023 Supply Chain Trends & How To Lower Costs & Improve Productivity Now.”
Mahesh Nandyala is Chief Product Officer at CoEnterprise and a member of Forbes’ Technology Council.
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