40% of executives agree that their vulnerability to supply chain risks has shot up over the past two years. Surprisingly, despite the fact that 92% of executives agree that supply chain visibility is critical to success, merely 27% have figured out a way to accomplish it.
Consider this: With just an internet connection and a quick online search, you can – at any time of the day – find the average weight of an ostrich (43 mph) or the GDP of the United States ($23 trillion in 2021). With this much data literally at our fingertips, it is ironic that businesses still cannot figure out a way to get timely, accurate data from suppliers across their supply chain networks. To this day, this communication gap remains one of their biggest challenges when it comes to synchronizing and effectively managing enterprise operations.
Many businesses are under the misconception that the solution to this dilemma involves a major technological transformation, complete with a complex, indecipherable web of logistics. But in reality, the solution is simple and straightforward. All it takes is a strong focus on an enterprise platform process to improve supply chain management.
Scaling supply chain management for the enterprise
It is estimated that over the next few years, the average enterprise will deploy hundreds of AI-enabled software applications across its operations. Enterprise supply chain management signifies a powerful new type of business software that is a core enabling technology for digital transformation.
But what exactly can you expect to achieve when deploying an enterprise platform process to improve supply chain management? How do you confirm that the technology is not only worth the investment for now, but also helps future-proof your business given the increasingly uncertain nature of the global economy? Here are the top three questions you should ask before you jump onboard with an enterprise supply chain management platform.
Q.1. Does the software vendor really understand your business and customer needs?
Whether your business focus is narrow or broad, your enterprise supply chain management platform should be agile enough to support your business goals. The right vendor is one that has considerable experience in your industry and knows its opportunities and challenges in detail.
Ask the vendor if they have worked with similar constraints, challenges, use cases etc., and whether their solutions can be adapted to these conditions. When choosing the right partner to work with, big is not always better. Look instead for a partner that has the right, relevant experience – and the attention to detail to adapt and personalize a solution so that it is a custom fit for you.
Q.2. Can the solution help you adapt to fluctuations in demand? Can it forecast demand and plan for it?
Today’s market is no longer what it was even five years ago. Businesses can no longer manufacture a randomly decided volume of product, go to market with it, and expect to sell it all out. To survive competition in these times, you have no choice but to adopt a demand-driven approach to production. Demand is shifting faster than ever before, and you need to be as prepared to cater to surges in demand with right demand forecasting and planning tools.
The only way to do that is to get ahead of these changes and accurately predict demand for the near term, so that you are always sourcing, producing, manufacturing, storing, and distributing exactly what your customers need at any point of time. In other words, you should look to partner with a provider that creates solutions for the future – ask them where they see your demand heading in the next six months, and how your resources can be optimized to maximize margins and revenue. What it comes down to is this: ask them what you need help finding answers to!
Q.3. Can the supply chain solution scale in and out at will?
When making an investment in supply chain solutions, it is never a great idea to jump in both feet first. Don’t be afraid to ask the vendor for a trial run – you need to be sure that you are comfortable with the solution before you onboard your whole operation on it. Run a pilot that follows a path of least resistance to get a feel of things. For instance, test operations that are not dedicated to a critical function, but are maybe deployed on a project running on a tight schedule. An understanding partner knows that making an investment is a big decision, and will not try to pressurize uncomfortable decisions without an adequate trial run.
Similarly, the solution should be able to scale in and out in response to changes in demand. The right solution ensures that you retain the transparency and agility to adapt your operations based on customer demand.. Unfortunately, though all businesses aim for growth, the truth is that there are times when things are a little slower than anticipated.
Customers always come first.
Pandemics, consumer trends, and supply chain disruptions notwithstanding, the single source of truth for enterprises is and always will be customer demand. That means that their supply chains, in their entirety, should be centered on demand at all times.
In a nutshell, you need a supply chain management solution that optimizes resources, minimizes cost, and meets demand.
It’s not a tall order.
ThroughPut’s custom-built supply chain technology helps enterprises predict, manage, and accelerate demand in real time, while also driving optimization of resources and maximum profitability. Let’s talk today to see how you can get started on your journey toward a secure, profitable future.