Supply Chain Management has been a key in generating business value for an enterprise. These enterprises need to ensure that the supply chain remains relevant in the ever-changing business requirements and trends in the market. As per Gartner, the supply chain management (SCM) market will exceed $13 billion in total software revenue by the end of 2017 to exceed $19 billion by 2021, as software as a service (SaaS) enables new revenue opportunities. To sustain the growth, supply chain integration is considered as a game changing solution in this regard. How? Read on!
Today’s supply chains are getting complex because of disparate systems, multiple vendors based out of different geographies, evolving political and economic trends. To optimize supply chain operations, all the functions such as suppliers, transportation, manufacturing hubs, production levels, warehouses, distributors, etc. need to be integrated. This is required to centralize the operations and bring a real-time comprehensive view of the supply chain functions.
Many other reasons are driving enterprises worldwide to opt for supply chain integrations.
Some of the prominent ones are –
• Breaking silos between the various functions
• Moving from reactive to proactive supply chains
• Longer product life cycles
As more and more enterprises are looking to embed digital technologies in their underlying business, supply chain management becomes their top priority to start with. This blog aims to decipher the benefits a supply chain integration can provide when implemented correctly.
Supply Chain Integration Benefit 1 – Enhanced Transparency and Visibility – An integrated supply chain centralizes the complete operation of the supply through a single cohesive dashboard. It enables business orchestrations between various functions of a supply chain and automates the workflow.
Now the maintenance of events, creation of logs and notification alerts are visible to all the stakeholders. This brings online transparency and visibility to all parts of the supply chain. Also, for today’s discerning consumers and trading partners who are aligned to know the environmental impact of the supply chain operations, enterprises can share certain information with confidence and assure them of compliance, safety and high-quality.
Supply Chain Integration Benefit 2- Real-Time Intelligence – One of the major benefits of integrated supply chains is that once implemented it can store the past data and produce demand forecasts basis on the use of modeling and algorithms.
This shared view of demand is disseminated to the stakeholders from all the departments thus helping them to align their processes, resource, and systems well in advance. Now an enterprise can make a realistic MPS (Master Production Schedule) basis on the real-time intelligence available and optimize the materials, inventory, production schedules and storage location accordingly. This directly leads to better planning and forecasting along with improved relations both with the vendors and distributors.
Supply Chain Integration Benefit 3 - Effective Collaboration –It has been observed that the product delays are generally a by-product of mismatch in information and discoordination between the delivery, warehousing, transportation, and trading partners. An integrated supply chain promotes clear and concise communication among all the functions. The connected systems lead to better planning and collaboration with the vendors. Also, it helps in mapping each trading partner system configurations, database connections, business protocols, formats/schemas, notification trigger system, etc. with the enterprise resulting quick onboarding of these partners in the system and thus better collaboration.
Supply Chain Integration Benefit 4 – Flexibility and Agility – An integrated platform harnesses the power of a cloud; hence the changing business requirements can be made easily without investing in any hardware or software. It helps in making supply chain agile and scalable so that they can quickly respond to business requirements due to any internal or external events.
Supply Chain Integration Benefit 5 – Quality Control – Integration of supply chain gives the organizations the utmost control over the operations. This lets them view, track and modify the movement of material, inventory, transportation, storage, and production schedules as per the market demands.
As all the stakeholder data is centralized, an enterprise can ensure that supply chain operations are compliant at all the steps and thus maintain the desired quality levels. This improves the efficiency of the supply chain and helps in attaining supply chain sustainability.
Supply Chain Integration Benefit 6 – Data Centralization – An integrated supply chain collates that’s from disparate systems from trading partners and other vendors and present it in a consistent form is consistent and can be easily accessed by the enterprise for quick decision making. This leads to data centralization and brings people, processes, and technology together to maximize the performance of supply chains.
This empowers stakeholders to be more effective and enable the business to plan more conducive.
Supply Chain Integration Benefit 7 - Cost Savings – It is challenging for an enterprise supply chain to respond quickly to changing business requirements, to maintain transparency with trading partners, and gives access to real-time intelligence for supply chain visibility. All these lead to reactive supply chains that require huge manpower to manage the operations, product delays and an increase in infrastructure investments eventually leading to lower productivity and more costs.
Supply Chain integration provides a holistic solution to all these issues directly leading to cost savings and provide an opportunity for an enterprise to focus more on customer needs and how their needs can be met profitably.
The integration solution engulfs all aspects of the supply chain. When it comes to digital transformation, enterprises implementing integrated supply chains will have an undisputed advantage over the contemporaries. Enterprises going for the integrated solution would be greatly benefitted with increased efficiencies, increased business intelligence, reduced costs, etc. Not just only enterprises, an integrated supply chain can also benefit the trading partners to have reliable order quantities, have visibility in the end-to-end supply chain operations and empower them to plan better well ahead in time.
Hence, supply chain integration is undoubtedly the way ahead, paving way for next-gen digital enterprises taking all the stakeholders in the supply chain ecosystem together.