The inter-connectedness, expansive footprints and co-dependency within the process industries, and the dynamic supply chain interactions in an inter-enterprise network, form the basis for these “Top 10 Resolutions” to building a better supply chain operating network in 2015 and beyond.
Realize Unprecedented Visibility – While the definition of supply chain visibility differs among companies, it is still important to define what visibility means to you and your company, and then align your processes to gain the specific kind of visibility you need and desire. A significant area of business pain is supply chain visibility, according to many surveys.
Gain Indisputable Understanding – Synchronize transactional data gathered across your business network to drive insights into information and align it with your business needs. A supply chain that senses and properly responds to market demand or supply disruption allows you to make both better and faster decisions.
Respond to an Infinite Variety – When you’re talking about tens of thousands of companies and individuals communicating with each other, all the differences in the way they each operate and think about their business processes creates massive complexity in the center. A business ecosystem isolates you from this complexity and removes friction in commerce.
Impact People’s Lives – A business network has a huge impact on people’s lives. When a critical mass of partners are actively participating, you reduce the amount of time trucks need to spend on the road, the amount of product sitting in a warehouse, the obstacles and stress people need to overcome in order to do their jobs well, and more.
Laugh-Out-Loud More – B2B Social is expanding rapidly, even in supply chain management, improving communication and collaboration among supply chain trading partners. It is an invaluable tool to help identify new innovations, understand market trends, learn evolving practices, and more. Even sharing LOL moments with each other will strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, protect you from stress, and it’s free.
Exceed Contributions to Sustainability – When you eliminate paper-based processes with order and invoice automation you lower energy usage, save trees and water, and lessen greenhouse gas emissions. Collaborating with carriers in a business network allows you to leverage unused capacity, maximize loads, optimize modes, and lower transportation resource allocation.
Deliver Differentiated Customer Service – Supply Chain Operating Network ecosystems enable companies to speak the language of their individual customers, greatly improving customer service and satisfaction while also providing the agility needed to keenly respond to ever increasing customer demand fluctuations or supply risk.
Make the Impossible Possible – It’s not uncommon for very smart people to spend months figuring out how to make complex business processes work best for them, and in the end compromise often trumps the ideal. A business ecosystem makes what was the impossible now possible — with you and your individual partners securing respective tailored processes and it all fluently working together.
Eliminate Waste and Unnecessary Costs – Partners running blind to each other’s operations are unable to “sense and respond” to potential disruptions throughout the supply chain which can adversely affect inventory levels and working capital. Integrating partners across a business network eliminates these issues.
Adopt an Outside-In Skillset – Adopting an outside-in supply chain is strategic, focuses on what matters to the customer and creates collaborative partnerships that derive real value over time. Be flexible to work with and meet your trading partners on their terms while still operating with your own ideal processes in place.
Ed Rusch is Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Elemica.
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