Ringing in 2015, it's that time of the year where we reflect upon our ccomplishments and failures, as we wonder what the new year will bring in next.
As we look back at 2014 and into 2015, we’re wondering what you’re working to improve.
If you’re in the supply chain world, we’re betting one of the things you’re thinking of is improved supply chain visibility.
It’s a good goal, but it doesn’t have to be forgotten about or given up on by the end of the month. Here are four ways you can turn the dream of better visibility into a reality.
Consider all of your suppliers
And by all, we mean not just the ones you talk to every day. Supply chain disruptions are always lurking under the cover of normal operations. Companies today are hit with minor events more frequently, and a major crisis every two or three years causes significant supply chain delays and financial damage, Resilinc’s work with customers shows. Many of these disruptions occur deep in the supply chain, several tiers beyond where many companies put their attention. Companies that widen their visibility and gather and use information about how suppliers on the n-tier are faring tend to also be more successful in mitigating risks or reducing exposure to possible threats.
Add analytics to your supply chain risk management strategy
Advanced analytics capabilities were recently pegged the fastest growing segment of the business intelligence software market by research firm Gartner Inc. There’s a reason for that: Big Data is shaping new opportunities for companies to be hyper-responsive to their customers’ changing needs and the complex business environment in which they operate. Tapping into the wellspring of data sitting in existing IT systems often brings with it improved supplier engagements and customer experiences, in addition to near-term insights about global events and their impact.
Expand access to key supply chain information beyond your team
Creating a centralized repository where multiple organizations within a company or value ecosystem can pull vital data and manage events in real-time refines a company’s ability to stay agile and flexible during critical situations. Cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) solutions make it easier to share business continuity information, pool together input from cross-organizational decision-makers and speed up response times in the aftermath of a supply chain disruption. And as a recent Gartner survey points out, SaaS deployments are becoming mission critical across many industries, and that cost reduction objectives and operational agility are among the main drivers for adoption.
Connect the corporate social responsibility strategy with supply chain best practices
Companies today are being held accountable for how green they are, how they enforce fair-labor ethics globally, how they manage waste and reduce their carbon footprints as well as how they track sustainability. Many of these practices directly impact supply chain decisions, or have already shaped the supply chain network and supplier relationships. Look, for instance, at the impact conflict minerals reporting and compliance or has had recently, or how the now-standard WEEE and RoHS regulations shifted manufacturing and supply chain partnerships a decade or so ago. By linking these aspects more closely, companies not only keep consumers and shareholders happy, they also extend overall visibility and create competitive advantages.
So don't let your New Year's resolution go to waste. Supply chain visibility is within in your reach. You just have to take the reins and guide your SCRM strategy in the right direction.