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Creating supply chain harmony with a connected cycle of information

May 12, 2022 - Team EdgeVerve

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Visibility and control are critical for businesses to derive total value from their supply chain processes. Without a doubt, great products and a firm brand name lay the foundation for optimal growth. Sadly, though, a broken supply chain and an opaque network of supplier-distributors-logistics can be significant hindrances. With the complexity of modern supply chains, tying them all together into
a coherent whole and building supply chain harmony increasingly require a technological edge and data.

Data is one of the missing links here, which, when adequately harmonized, can make the whole process, from suppliers to sales, as clear as crystal.

How can enterprises leverage technology to gain more visibility and utilize insights to control their operations effectively? Let’s look at how enterprises can harness the power of advanced technologies to gain insights, thus creating supply chain harmony.

Achieving end-to-end visibility in modern supply chains

Communication is vital to creating supply chain harmony and achieving end-to-end visibility. That is possible only when information on how each element in the supply chain works is available to everyone in the network. Big data plays a pivotal role here, but not data presented in an unstructured manner.

The data harmonization process considers all efforts to collect, collate, and combine data from multiple sources. Then, the same data is presented to users in a structured way to view what is expected and what is happening closely.

Today, most businesses have their footprints spread across the globe. Hence, it becomes imperative for them to coordinate with local vendors, retailers, and distributors to reach hyper-local customers. It’s no wonder that achieving end-to-end visibility is critical to developing supply chain management. And data is essential for enabling supply chain harmony. However, one of the most challenging aspects is to have visibility – adding a high degree of digitally-enabled visibility into the supply chain. This requires organizations to enhance oversight of internal processes and extend the reach of information flows upstream in the supply chain.

But, the modern supply chain has a complicated web of data, and in specific instances, sufficient information is not available due to various silos. In order for businesses to gain a complete picture, it’s essential to centralize, catalog, and manage this constant data flow.

This is where Control towers play a vital role in tying a supply chain into a coherent whole that has end-to-end visibility. These centralized decision-making and data dashboards bring together the information critical for that supply chain and allow for rapid analysis and action. Businesses are focused on achieving total customer satisfaction. In order to reach the stage, the former needs to bring together all the data available in the market, from the supplier’s end, from the customers that are buying from other tier-one suppliers, and from the distributor’s end, into a centralized system for easy accessibility, which is the harmonization of data

Feeding market demand into supply chains

Data collating is not the end of the journey; instead, it is just a new beginning. The primary task commences post when the consolidated data is processed and analyzed to extract actionable insights.

Further, feeding demand data into supply chains increases efficiency in understanding demand patterns, opening up demand-side information to the broader supply chain, and improving supply chain collaboration and resiliency.

Enterprises today are looking to make demand signal flow all the way to the uppermost point in the value chain, which is the raw material supplier, thus making the entire process seamless and optimizing the networks to reduce friction. Thus, getting the market signals as quickly as possible and then responding quickly will help improve supply chain collaboration and inventory worries. Data transparency smooths out the nervousness in the chain, leading to better functioning of logistics and forecasting. And, data harmonization lays down the foundation for a collaborative supply chain.

Being agile by using Automation

Leveraging Automation can help businesses free logistics professionals from a host of background tasks and address the huge number of potential variables that affect a moderately sized supply chain. In developed markets, PoS information can run into several gigabytes of data every day, depending on the granularity of such information. The frequency of sharing that information and the granularity of sharing that information cause data explosion.

Analytical tools powered by AI and ML capabilities process data presented harmoniously, extract granular insights and feed the supply chain with the correct information in real-time. This allows a planner to see what inventory was held up even when in transit, understand the business-critical items, and immediately move to a mitigation strategy and potentially charter airfreight for essential items within hours.

In a nutshell, timely and consistent data that flows back to the suppliers is critical as it provides them with an open platform to input their stock or open up inventory availability directly to suppliers and distributors.

Thus, taking the improved data generated by better collaboration and turning that into automated insights and actions helps improve supply chain visibility and immunes businesses from unforeseen disruptions. Availability of data can help create supply chain harmony.

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