Real-Time Collaboration, Real-World Benefits: 5 Ways Next-Gen Supply Chain Software Makes This Possible
Times of upheaval reveal how fragile the interconnected systems that make modern life possible can be.
An earthquake hits, and people find out how much they rely on electricity to power their lives. A market crash exposes how tenuous people’s jobs, retirement savings, and financial wellbeing can be. A pandemic reveals how much our daily lives depend upon a global supply chain, and how much the nodes in those supply chains depend on each other to keep products moving accurately. And the most effective way to tackle and even preempt such disruptions is active collaboration.
Today, through AI-powered supply chain management software, real-time supply chain collaboration on forecasting and capacity planning is increasingly possible across multiple tiers of the supply chain – not just tier one, but tier two and tier three.
And when something is possible, it frequently becomes essential — does anyone do business without email, or a cell phone, or a Zoom account these days? Not at the leading edge, certainly.
Here are five areas where real-time collaboration delivers immense value for supply chain operations:
1. More accurate and timely delivery
Supply chain management software facilitates collaboration between internal teams and external teams to respond to demand fluctuations – a critical area for trying to optimize the flow of products, and ensure timely and accurate delivery. Working in greater partnership with the different elements of the supply network gives supply chain teams a better idea of where exactly the products are, where they are going, and how to get them there most efficiently.
2. Improved demand forecasting
Supply chain management software enables organizations to work closely with their suppliers and manufacturers to share daily, weekly and monthly forecasts and plan for possible impacts on demand.
By monitoring changes in demand and supply and aggregating data from suppliers, manufacturers, and MRO providers, the real-time collaboration made possible by a supply chain platform helps organizations reduce costs and improve planning and forecasting accuracy.
3. Advanced capacity planning
A platform that provides up-to-the-minute insights into vendors’ capacity and schedules, as well as the ability to quickly share demand forecasts with suppliers enables organizations to pivot with the speed necessary in today’s fast-paced economy. That agility is critical to working with key supply chain partners to manage and resolve issues.
4. Better risk mitigation and resilience
In this new normal shaped by the pandemic, collaboration between buyers and suppliers is crucial to predict and mitigate risk to supply chains.
The AI systems powering supply chain software can provide predictive and prescriptive analytics – what’s going to happen and what to do about it – that can help blunt the impact of risk and decrease the cost of disruptions.
5. Increased visibility
Supply chain management software has enabled organizations to gain visibility over their end-to-end supply chains by gathering available data and bringing it together to provide a single source of truth. Real-time collaboration builds on that foundation to help them know the state of their supply chain at any given moment and be able to work with suppliers and vendors to adjust and optimize operations.
When disruption hits, that collaboration is vital. If that earthquake knocks out a manufacturing facility, or if a labor dispute impacts transportation schedules, organizations need to be able to process, share, and adapt to that information as soon as possible.
Today, a global organization’s supply chain is an incredibly complex network. Despite trade wars, new tariffs and a pandemic, that complexity and transnational nature is not going away any time soon.
To remain competitive and able to survive disruptions in this type of environment, supply chains and supply chain professionals need to demonstrate agility, resilience, and leverage real-time collaboration that only an intelligent supply chain software can accomplish.