Top 5 Attributes of Successful Supply Chain Execution

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The face of modern supply chain management has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. The advent of globalisation and offshoring models, the rise of the internet, ecommerce and same-day delivery, have all presented challenges and opportunities in equal measure.

Today we’re going to explore the top five attributes that are present in almost all successfully managed end-to-end supply chain execution strategies.

#5 – Connectivity

The seamless flow of information is as vital for an efficient and profitable supply chain as is the uninterrupted flow of goods. Robust connectivity is needed to enable faster, more frequent interactions across globally distributed supply chain networks.

The advance of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is having a huge impact on supply chain management. Even the most distant and disparate parts of any supply chain can be connected and managed centrally, while providing real-time feedback on the operating environment.

Ask Yourself;

  • How quickly and easily can you connect with partners to synchronise digital processes?
  • What can the cloud do to improve your global connectivity and information sharing?

#4 – Collaboration

All businesses involved in supply chain logistics are highly dependent on their partners, both internally and externally. Any disruption to the flow of goods and information has a knock-on impact to every other partner involved, so it makes sense to work together to minimise risk.

Perhaps due to growth, particularly through mergers and acquisitions, or simply because of the geographically dispersed nature of modern supply chains, too many businesses still operate in silos. This affects more than just the efficiency of internal processes, but the overall ability to communicate with the wider supply chain network.

Ask Yourself;

  • Where could you find added value through closer collaboration with partners?
  • What information do you have that your partners will find value in?

#3 – Standardisation

The benefits of shared standards have been demonstrated before – think about the impact that global standardisation of palette and carton size have had on the efficiency of storage and transportation.

If we consider the potential application of common standards to IT (infrastructure, systems and processes), many opportunities arise to reduce costs, streamline workflows and speed up deployment times, both internally and across the wider partner ecosystem.

Defining common standards should be considered as a part of supply chain network design and optimisation. By building easily repeatable and scalable templates, adoption across the wider network becomes much easier, more efficient and cost-effective.

Ask Yourself;

  • How can you leverage repeatable template models to standardise cross-company processes?
  • What benefits will you see from an enhanced Service-Orientated Architecture (SOA) design?

#2 – Visibility

Many of the points we’ve already discussed are often reliant upon access to information. After all, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”.

The more information we have at our disposal, the more opportunities we have to leverage it to our benefit. Sifting through these data lakes to identify actionable insights remains a challenge however, which is where analytics, business intelligence and cognitive computing tools are changing the game.

The highly dynamic nature of supply chains means that information itself can quickly become obsolete. Obtaining and analysing data in real-time helps to enable agility in this fast-moving market and as such, has become critical to supply chain optimisation.

Ask Yourself;

  • What improvements could you make to operations with the data currently available?
  • How would real-time analytics and intelligence allow you to optimise processes?

#1 – Agility

The pace of change is ever increasing and nothing lasts forever. We must look beyond the next 2, 3 or even 5 years – we may not know what’s coming, but we can be sure that we won’t be doing things the same way we are now.

For this reason, agility is perhaps the single most important factor to embrace. Technology has become a fantastic enabler of agility and despite the pace of change, when implemented properly it is able to help future-proof businesses and ensure they remain flexible enough to quickly adapt to changing markets or customer needs.

Ask Yourself;

  • Where can you benefit from using flexible solutions like XaaS (Anything-as-a-Service) models?
  • How easily can you make changes, big or small, to applications, systems and infrastructure?

Learning to Embrace Change

In the digital age, we cannot just “wait and see” what the competition does.

By the time the success or failure is evident, either we have lost the competitive edge and the chance to differentiate ourselves in the market, or we have simply fallen too far behind the curve to catch up.

Change projects don’t have to be these massive, cumbersome, seemingly-irrevocable tasks that often invoke fear across management teams. They can – and indeed, should – be approached in a phased manner that offers the opportunity to step back and re-evaluate if needs be.

Invenio’s consultants are experts at doing just that. By taking a considered and phased approach, utilising Agile methodologies, we have helped businesses like Redington Gulf to optimise their global supply chains.

Contact us anytime to discuss how Invenio can help modernise your business.

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