Transforming supply chains with unified data management

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Many organizations lack the technology and architecture needed to automate decision making and generate intelligent responses across the entire supply chain, as demonstrated by supply chain disruptions over the past few days. past year. However, these serious incidents can no longer be blamed solely on the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, they can be blamed on businesses being slow to adopt automated supply chain decision-making, leading to inventory backlogs, price inflation, shortages and more. Further contributing to the backlog is continuing to single-handedly sourcing for a region rather than taking advantage of the region’s distributed capabilities. These factors have added to the complexity of the systems and the downsides of the lack of automation and the pandemic have brought these serious existing breakdowns to light.

Which brings us to today, and the inability to effectively manage these data flows is proving debilitating for many companies. In one Gartner Researching more than 400 organizations, 84% of supply chain executives report that they can better serve their customers with data-driven insights. An equal number of respondents said they needed more accurate data to predict future conditions and make better decisions.

The challenge here is that companies are managing their supply chains with a bunch of disparate and disconnected data sets and tools. Instead of residing in a centralized location, critical information can be scattered throughout the supply chain, kept in functional silos and tied to individual technology solutions and operations teams, limited transparency and optimization.

Ultimately, this affects the overall outcome of the supply chain digitization process. Human analysts, as well as advanced technology engines, can have a hard time accessing relevant, current, and reliable data. Data can be segregated between functions, resulting in a lack of end-to-end transparency. Latency can significantly affect an organization’s ability to sense and respond immediately to disruptions or new information.


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End-to-end connection in the supply chain

Supply and demand disruptions in 2020 and 2021 have highlighted the need for digital transformation, visibility, and end-to-end orchestration. And the availability of new digital capabilities such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), data science and advanced analytics are not a game changer for connecting the world’s supply chains. To keep pace with increasing demand from manufacturers and retailers, the supply chain must evolve to become a real-time adaptive ecosystem.

Whenever an exception or a disruptive event occurs anywhere in the ecosystem, it can be recognized and resolved autonomously in a synchronous and collaborative manner. Regardless of how the value network is geographically distributed and how many suppliers it includes, today even the most complex global supply chains can be digitally connected through digital solutions. intelligent solutions in near real time.

Advanced technology enables near-real-time monitoring and communication that relies on data for success. Across the value chain, each supplier is digitally contributing information related to cost, lead time, inventory levels, availability and other key metrics – creating opportunities for key partners Collect and provide real-time feedback, thus gaining insights into demand evolution.

But that’s just the beginning. Today’s forecasting, business planning, and execution optimization tools also rely on massive volumes of third-party data – including news, weather, and even social media association – impact on end-to-end supply chain performance. Enabled by new, enhanced capabilities like AI, ML, and predictive analytics, these new cognitive tools are incredibly powerful and accurate at turning massive amounts of raw data into strategic recommendations. , can act, often autonomously, allowing supply chain teams to shift focus from firefighting to strategic improvement.

Leverage partners to build a supply chain ecosystem

Digital platforms can bring together these disparate data sources and functions to help make decisions faster and collaborate better. Unified data management makes companies more agile and flexible in responding to changes. Through the best in-house developer and partner network, companies can share data and ideas across teams, enabling real-time feedback and cognitive planning among stakeholders. . However, to provide synchronous feedback across the entire global supply network, traditional walls will have to be overcome with cutting-edge technology that supports real-time, end-to-end orchestration.

Breaking these traditional walls requires a fully integrated, partner- and developer-friendly platform to help democratize data access, streamlining data management. and encourage self-learning and continuous improvement. Through a digital command center, information can be shared across the entire supply chain to generate cognitive insights, identify disruptions and opportunities, and recommend actions. strategic action. These partnerships can turn data into a competitive advantage by unifying the entire supply chain around a truly integrated, holistic technology ecosystem.

And when data is aggregated and made accessible to every stakeholder, companies can make smart, strategic decisions based on a set of real-time insights. . The supply chain is a powerful ecosystem fueled by data, and it requires scalability, security, data integrity, real-time responsiveness, and exceptional processing speed. Think of the huge amount of data from customers, partners and suppliers used by companies. Millions of bits of information flood every network touchpoint. Without collaboration, users will find themselves blocked by their disparate data-driven workflows, making decisions based on slow, incomplete, and disconnected data.

To really exploit this large amount of data, companies should look for solutions that support self-learning. Supply chain democratization is not created overnight. They require every partner and function to have equal access to data and optimization tools that take all outcomes and priorities into account – entering data and making decisions faster than ever . Such ecosystems lead to supply chains that are strategic, functional, and built to withstand today’s fluctuations and obstacles.

Jim Beveridge is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Blue Yonder


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