Supply chains today are being challenged in ways many have never experienced. The system has already been struggling due to the ongoing three-year Covid-19 pandemic, consequently causing China’s lockdowns, massive port congestion and longer lead times for material and finished goods that originate from China. The problems are further augmented by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as it has impacted trade lines and capacity. As a result, shipping and container capacity are limited, and shipping has become more expensive and unreliable…
Undoubtedly, global disruptions are here to stay and it is crucial for the leaders of global enterprises to focus attention on ways to drive greater resiliency and agility across their end-to-end supply chains. As we’ve seen over the past years, what was planned and what actually happens are often two very different things. In order to stay resilient and thrive in the new normal, capturing these differences and adjusting your business strategy to them is a must.
The main challenge of this process is that often annual, monthly, and day-to-day supply chain planning are developed separately and lack connectivity, especially in the face of continuous global disruptions, such as hurricane season, that inevitably cause changes to the well-built strategy. Based on our partnership with Fortune 500 companies and digital transformation leaders, we outlined 3 best practices to overcome this challenge by building a bridge that connects the higher-level plans to daily execution.
1. Supply Chain Innovation with Perfect Supply Chain Data
Using a Single Source of Truth empowers effective collaboration of internal cross-functional teams to support daily operations, gain better alignment between the functions, and ensure rapid response to market changes. Without a single unified data source, it is easy to get out of sync and miss relevant information that influences key decision-making. In order to maintain all processes up to speed, supply chain data must be kept clean, fused, and harmonized to address and mitigate any disruptions occurring. Having technology, tooling and data for rapid and continual supply chain innovation enhances situational awareness of supply chain performance on the fly.
2. Real-time Operational Intelligence
A Common Operating Picture (COP), such as TransVoyant’s Precise Predictive Enterprise™ (P2E™), powers the actionability of various functions and teams to bridge silos between monthly planning and daily execution activities through an end-to-end supply chain view – e.g. inbound containers, shipments, inventory, orders, availability, sales, and final-mile deliveries, enabling greater collaboration and optimization of processes. The COP provides continuously updated control tower views, reports, and dashboards, including precise real-time status, location, lead time, and arrival information to plan downstream operations; real-time views and management of incoming goods to balance workload, capacity, and labor; end-to-end process monitoring, measuring and automation… everything that’s necessary to take proactive actions when real-time behavior deviates from the plan.
3. Care Team Services
Various supply chain disruptions can place sales and operations teams in firefighting mode and reactive positions, due to a lack of transparency and awareness to the potential impacts these disruptions create. Expedites in raw materials and finished goods, frequent rescheduling of production, reprioritization of outbound transportation to meet customer expectations… all add cost, potential revenue loss and negatively impact business profitability. However, leveraging done-for-you services takes the weight off shoulders and puts the business in a more proactive position by serving as the first line of support – managing automated exceptions, actionable intelligence, and control tower alerting of actual vs. planned performance.