Imagine this: you get home on a Friday evening and start to order pizza, only to find out they are out of mushrooms and jalapeno peppers. Why, you ask? Because the delivery truck was stranded overnight.
But what if the pizza chain could deploy technology to find out where the delivery truck was stuck and take action? With this kind of technology, the pizzeria would have a clear view of delivery trucks, would be notified instantly and could have taken prompt action, resulting in a satisfied customer.
Whether you are an auto manufacturer like BMW or the local pizza chain, any disruption in the supply chain has the potential to cause major problems. McKinsey research indicates successful data transformations can yield enormous benefits. One US bank expects to see more than $400 million in savings from rationalizing its IT data assets and $2 billion in gains from additional revenues, lower capital requirements, and operational efficiencies.
Let’s take a quick look at three factors affecting operational visibility.
This pervasive issue brings many supply chain challenges to all organizations. To reduce costs, enterprises are moving manufacturing operations to countries that offer lower labor costs, lower taxes, and/or lower costs of transport for raw materials. In manufacturing, for instance, outsourcing may likely involve more than one country for different parts of their products shipped to various plants, resulting in a very complex supply chain. Regardless, they must maintain real-time visibility into their production cycle – from raw materials to finished goods – to ensure that the end-to-end process operates flawlessly.
Crucially, as companies expand their sales into global markets, localization of existing products requires a significant change in the supply chain as companies adapt their products to different cultures and preferences. In cases where enterprise applications are not well integrated, there is an inherent risk of losing control, visibility, and proper management over inventory. This requires managing diverse structures of data across geographies effectively and all of these operations must operate smoothly.
Evolving customer expectations
Thanks to an increase in connected devices and social media, consumer expectations are constantly evolving. No surprise then, that this brings with it newer supply chain challenges. At the same time, organizations are under pressure to innovate and deliver newer products while keeping their total manufacturing costs low. To deliver on these customer expectations, organizations must have clear visibility across the entire supply chain. Ideally, enterprises need to manage an agile supply chain, which can enable them to respond in real-time to any spikes and dips in demand and production needs.
In an ideal set-up, companies should be asking if they have all the data needed to make planning decisions and address challenges created by fast-changing markets. For example, if the stated lead times from suppliers are longer than actual times, this will lead to higher inventory levels than are actually required and affect decisions around network planning and optimization. Omnichannel retail has treated silos of sales data that have to be blended and harmonized to detect demand signals earlier in the planning process as well.
Ongoing compliance requirements
Aside from influencing consumer behavior, social media highlights the importance of having high-quality products. Furthermore, social media has not only raised consumers’ expectations of product quality but has also amplified the damages caused by product recalls. Enterprises are under increasing pressure to create high-quality products and deliver them consistently.
Faced by global operations, evolving customer needs, and stricter regulatory standards, most enterprises are overwhelmed by the sheer volumes of data coming from various sources. Proper data management and integration are crucial to solving these challenges by connecting the manufacturer’s supply chain management systems with those of their suppliers and partners. When done effectively, data management and integration give manufacturers clear visibility over all of their supply chain processes.
Embrace proven technology
The prudent approach is to implement proven technology and best practices of transparency to achieve clear visibility across the supply chain. This helps organizations improve business operations, spot emerging opportunities and proactively manage risk.
Led by our proven B2B Managed Services, OpenText™ Lens™ is a cloud-based data visibility product that helps monitor data flows between any system or data source, both within the enterprise and outside with business partners. The solution offers real-time visibility into all application-to-application (A2A) and B2B data flows with a single solution.
Crucially, Lens has a highly intuitive user interface that is easy to use for both Line-of-Business and technical users and allows them to create and customize their own dashboards that fit their individual needs.