For supply chain professionals, the challenges multiply with each passing day. Like everyone else, I see disruptive events such as natural disasters, security breaches, technology failures, political unrest and economic instability in the news 24/7, and these events are greatly affecting today’s global supply chains.
Over the past decade, I’ve watched as globalization, competition and digitalization have forever changed the business landscape. Throw in the fact that current, and potential, customers now have higher expectations, and more buying power, than ever before and you have very little room left for error when it comes to supply chain planning, process management and execution.
With changing markets, volatile demand and a dependency on partners who can only be indirectly managed by contracts and influence, brand owners require constant access to timely, complete information. They need the ability to plan and see across the network and work collaboratively with partners to resolve the frequent disruptions that can hinder the achievement of customer service and margin goals. Unfortunately, the enabling technologies for visibility, management, and decision support in this environment have not kept up with the pace. As a result, supply chain professionals struggle to make their most important decisions based on information that is fragmented across their network of partners.
Successful Supply Chain Management (SCM) is, in a way, like a hearty holiday meal. A lot of time and effort goes on in the background before you set the table. Your meal won’t be a hit with your family and friends if everything doesn’t come together in a timely fashion. So, let’s take a look at a few of the key ingredients that your business requires to set the table for successful SCM.