Digital Transformation and Supply Chain Visibility—Getting There!
Activ Technologies talked about the five action steps for 2021 that all supply chain executives need to take to ensure agile and responsive supply chains to give their companies a competitive advantage. But what defines supply chain visibility and digital transformation? What pieces need to be in place and how do you implement those ideals to fully realize the advantages?
Activ believes that achieving true supply chain visibility requires digital transformation. And that, supply chain visibility is real-time, rules-based, and alert-driven. Supply chain leaders engage with many systems and tools to plan and optimize their network of suppliers, warehouses, customers, and more, but each of these systems only delivers pieces toward the goal of supply chain visibility. The key is getting the disparate systems to work together to deliver true visibility and to transform your supply chain. So how do you get there?
How to Get There
The first steps expressed in “Five Actions Impacting Supply Chains in 2021,” address key actions: 1) Make Data Flow Transparent Among Trading Partners and 2) Digitizing Processes for Responsiveness.
Visibility & Flow
Supply chain visibility requires a connected business network and a transparent exchange of data. To start, you need a platform that is agnostic to the systems, agnostic to the data formats, and agnostic to the data protocols to allow transformation of the data among your trading partners. Regardless of format—spreadsheet, EDI, JSON, IDOC, etc. – you can then transform and integrate that data to establish a single system of record with real-time data access. The digitally transformed information allows data to flow in both directions and be available in real-time—all the time.
Real-time data flow allows you to configure your own set of business rules to build your workflow structure and optimize your resources. For example, if your supplier’s shipment is going to arrive a day late, then log the information but take no other actions. If the shipment is going to be more than a day late or the supplier is shorting your order, then take an action. This ability to create your own rules brings you closer to total “responsiveness.”
An integral part of the business rules are alerts—notifications to a designated team member or members to facilitate the overall management of the supply chain. Configurable rules allow adjustments for your selected alerts and notifications to promote ongoing improvements in performance. Those alerts and notifications promote quick responses to changes in schedules, inventories, and deliveries. A digital process along with your transparent data flow lets you leverage all aspects of your supply chain from purchasing to fulfillment, manufacturing to warehousing, and logistics to transportation.
With the first two steps achieved, you’ll see a digitally transformed model with real-time data exchanged in your business network. With real-time supply chain visibility, you’ll gain efficiencies across your supply chain along with cost savings and improved customer service.
Activ Technologies offers a cloud-based, multi-enterprise platform, ActiVate®, that digitally transforms supply chain processes and presents a pathway for supply chain transformation. Want more information about ActiVate PaaS? See the product sheet for more information.
Download Activ’s eBook, Your Roadmap to Supply Chain Digital Transformation.