Steps to success in supply chain management
In their recent report, “Supply Chain Intelligence:
Adopt Role-Based Operational Business Intelligence and Improve Visibility” Aberdeen group researchers Nari Viswanathan and Viktoriya Sadlovska looked at the steps needed to improve supply chain performance, regardless of what the current plant situation might be. Here are their recommendations.
Improve supply chain visibility and integration. With improved operational efficiency in mind, companies need to focus on how to use supply chain visibility data to drive responsiveness in their supply chains. Specific areas of improvement should be prioritized -for example, distribution or warehousing processes, in-transit shipment tracking, visibility into competitive carrier rates or monitoring logistics bottlenecks. Once the initial level of visibility is established, companies should examine ways to extend visibility to their suppliers and customers and obtain appropriate tools for tracking supply chain performance and managing an efficient workflow.
Move from just having visibility into processes to taking control over them. Being able to take control of or respond to disruptive events is critical for top-performing companies to differentiate themselves further from their competitors. Control can be achieved with the help of tools such as workflow and escalation mechanisms in addition to mere tracking of events, setting up role- based alerts, and increasing the use of supply chain BI.
Enhanced supply chain business intelligence capabilities are required to better understand supply chain processes and trends and take control of the long-term business outcomes. By having the tools that extend beyond mere monitoring, companies enable their supply chain managers to react to disruptions and resolve issues more effectively.
Provide visibility for executives into critical supply chain operational metrics and the connection between critical business / financial metrics and supply chain operational metrics. Today’s executives at Best-in-Class companies are more likely to be in close touch with the state of affairs across the enterprise, including supply chain and manufacturing operations and their impact on the overall business performance. With globalizing supply chains becoming more of a differentiator for truly global 21st century firms, executives now need to closely look at supply chain management dynamics. Executive dashboards need to allow for drill down into higher-level metrics to view more granular supply chain operational metrics.
Improve the use of cross-functional supply chain metrics.
Both within the enterprise and externally, taking a cross-functional look at the siloed processes can offer better insight into true performance levels. Companies should also use this approach in developing supply chain partner performance measurement strategies and negotiating supplier terms.
Improve supply chain business intelligence technology capabilities. In order to successfully monitor, capture and analyze performance data in a complex supply chain, top-performing companies across industries have implemented a series of capabilities and software enablers to help them in managing this mass of information. Having supply chain business intelligence technology that is designed to integrate data and event flows across departments, functions and roles within the global enterprise is an advantage when compared to an infrastructure that does not allow for such robust connectivity and performance analysis. These supply chain BI systems integrate information across internal and external groups and trading partners and help supply chain professionals in responding to the myriad of events during supply chain planning and execution. Top performers are significantly more likely to have adopted such automated enablers, from supply chain performance dashboards and reporting, to advanced analytics and role-based exception alerts.
For a full copy of the report, go to www.aberdeen.com