Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Modern Supply Chains And The Way Ahead
“The only thing constant in life is change” - François de la Rochefoucauld.
The world is changing continuously and demand is increasing rapidly. It will be soon that businesses and their supply chains will struggle with the skyrocketing demand and erratic supply. Businesses need to plan ahead and be well-prepared to cope up with the 21st century demands and gain competitive advantage.
The manufacturing world demands a change in supply chain management
Back in the old times, the manufacturer owned factories and controlled their own production. They had detailed know-how of their capacity and schedules. Demand was mostly localized and hence within control. Today, with the unpredictable and massive demand, it is critical for the supply chain operations to be globally distributed and build multiple tiers to optimize costs and maximize value. As many players become a part of this operation, it is important for the businesses to make good use of the cutting-edge technologies like Big Data, Predictive Analytics and Cloud platform in place to drive these complicated supply chains (sample figure below).
For best results, optimize your processes, not your plan
Today’s global, outsourced, multi-tier supply chains requires a new class of software that goes beyond legacy planning. Integrated supply chain demands 21st century sales and operations planning, an emerging trend sometimes called response management. It’s past time trying to optimize your plan; it’s time to optimize your processes. In particular, supply chain owners must look at agile response leading to event driven planning, live collaboration with all the stakeholders in the process and flexibility to accommodate the changing needs of the customers. Companies today need technology that provides quick decision support for managers seeking to maintain an effective balance between demand and supply.
The 21st century - Evolution and Revolution
When the world around you changes, you know it is time to evolve. Today, in most industries IT is used as a support mechanism. To evolve, IT has to become a vital part of the supply chain. It has to play the role of an Enabler, rather than just support, to build decisions supported by relevant data. Advanced analytics must be put to work to build logical deductions from the extensive data that is available. Cloud platforms must be utilized for information sharing and collaboration. Collaboration is the key to survival and success and supply chain managers must utilize the idea to the fullest.
With the ever-evolving modern IT technology, can IT-enabled supply chains be the "Next Big Thing" in the supply chain management world?