Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Building an Intelligent Supply Chain

A blog post by Preeti Havaldar

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, 
but the one most responsive to change.
-      Charles Darwin

With the ever-changing market demands, it is critical for any supply chain management system to evolve continuously. The use of Information Technology is considered as prerequisite for the effective control of today’s complex supply chains. Modern supply chain management uses advanced techniques such as business intelligence, demand sensing and network optimization to forecast and manage demand in a better fashion.

Modern supply chain management uses powerful data analytics to extract the business intelligence out of the shared data needed for strategic and actionable insights into the supply chain network. Such supply chain intelligence tools operate on real time data which makes the chain intuitive and more responsive to demand. Business intelligence upgrades the quality and timelines of data and helps in decision making process. It improves reliability of forecast and reduces uncertainties in supply chain. Implementation of BI system with effective tools is critical in the whole process of supply chain management. Automated information processing prevents manual mistakes and results in accurate information.

The success of these new supply chain management approaches depends on the organizations’ willingness to share supply chain information which is often facilitated by internet based technologies. Supply chain collaboration requires sharing of information between supply chain partners, congruence of goals across the supply chain, synchronization of decision making, alignment of incentives and sharing of resources. Collaborative communication is required to facilitate this along with the creation of pooled knowledge base.

In this competitive world, managing the future is the equivalent of managing information. Intelligent information is the key to effective decision making. Timely and accurate information is more critical now than at any time. It is about time that IT is treated as the Enabler in the area of supply chain management, instead of being looked at as a supporting entity.

With the rate the technology world is progressing, are we heading towards building fully IT enabled supply chain networks in the near future?


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