Today, flexibility and adaptability are key differentiators of a successful supply chain strategy. With more supply chain threats than ever before, companies realize that an agile supply chain is a necessity, not an option. Recent events have shown that it’s better to be prepared for anything, and have a strategy in place to respond to unpredicted circumstances.
It may be a mild disruption like a delay or lack of suppliers, or it can be an unexpected crash of the economy or a virus outbreak. At some point, something will surely go wrong. And the more companies are prepared, the faster they will get back to normal after a shake. In times of crisis, some companies seem to handle disruptions far more successfully than others.
Their secret may not be so obvious: supply chain agility. With a strong, advanced risk management strategy and flexible supply chain, recovering from the disruption happens faster and implies less permanent damage. Apparently, increasing supply chain agility is what can help executives strengthen their business and make it through a critical time.
To enable agility and calculated risk management, what supply chains really need is visibility at every level. How can it be reached? The answer is data centralization. Leveraging a centralized data infrastructure can significantly increase visibility at all stages of the global supply chain, cut down manual touches in operations, and mitigate risks due to human error.
How Data Centralization Can Make Supply Chains More Agile?
For supply chain leaders, a well-developed data infrastructure is becoming a core emphasis. Comprehensive supply chain data management is no longer optional, as stakeholders must now manage massive volumes of data due to improved connectivity and a plethora of diverse technology platforms. The necessity for data aggregation to deliver information analytics is being driven by the need for improved visibility. According to a Deloitte survey, 81% of respondents are planning to, or are currently harnessing new types of datasets to improve their capabilities.
According to Gartner, over 50% of the primary responsibility of data and analytics leaders will comprise data created, managed, and analyzed in edge environments by 2023. Also, a recent Kenco study found that 41% of supply chain executives said predictive data analytics was a priority for their company. But certainly, just piles of data don’t mean much to any company, and the key lies in data interpretation and analytics.
It is not easy to collect, consolidate, filter, and extract significant insights from huge amounts of historical and real-time data. Data management technologies help to detect certain patterns and gaps in a company’s supply chain, as well as the production of extremely precise projections for the business.
Supply chain agility is the main differentiator for businesses: companies with robust and well-thought risk management strategies in place survive better in the storm. Additionally, it makes even small changes like changing suppliers less painful for the entire ecosystem. However, for many executives trying to improve visibility and agility is equal to disrupting the usual supply chain flow. While any transformation can indeed be stressful, it doesn’t need to be abrupt and too pushy.
A challenge with building an agile supply chain is understanding that this shift is gradual and steady, and certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It is a careful yet effective approach, that involves slowly pulping the weak points in the supply chain, and steadily working towards preventing the possible risks.
Agile Supply Chain: Next Steps
Making the supply chain more agile through data centralization can help strengthen the business. Apart from robust data infrastructure, there are a few other useful practices to increase agility.
The first step in achieving supply chain agility is identifying possible hazards. Often, supply chain directors underestimate the number of ‘unpredicted’ risks that are simply lying on the surface and waiting to be addressed. Analyzing all previous disruptions in a supply chain might assist in identifying weak points and recurrent patterns.
By the way, massive and major disruptions aren’t the only ones from which organizations may learn. Small mistakes happen on a daily basis and must be addressed in order to establish an agile supply chain. However, if the supply chain lacks visibility, it is impossible to adequately predict risks and potential outcomes.
Trusted Supplier Relationships
Nurturing transparent and trusted relationships with your suppliers is a key factor in a successful risk management strategy, even if you have a small circle of highly credible vendors. Apparently, blind spots in vendor management often lead to an unprecedented amount of hidden costs. For example, inbound freight can increase the cost of transportation by 40% if it’s mismanaged by the supplier.
Thus, having complete visibility into your partnership with suppliers is vital for effective business and good relationships. Diversification of vendors can also help in terms of staying more flexible with the options. Usually, if a key supplier fails, it leads to a serious supply chain disruption. So, having more partners you can turn to greatly increases your supply chain agility.
Visibility Through Data Centralization
A sheer, well-integrated supply chain keeps you up to date on all current processes and allows you to identify trouble areas early on. Visibility and concurrent monitoring help to react faster to disruptive processes, hence minimizing the supply chain damage. As businesses strive to make their supply chains more agile and robust, the outcome is the demand for more complex and integrated data. Increased connectivity introduces numerous control concerns; yet, when combined with appropriately designed automation, this symbiotic relationship can result in the best possible supply chain visibility. Gathering more data from linked devices allows businesses to discover new trends and tendencies.
The most convenient way to achieve end-to-end supply chain visibility is by investing in visibility platform. Robust supply chain visibility software solution makes a supply chain a clear and connected space for all supply chain stakeholders and enables visibility into operations, transactions, and shipments. Additionally, it allows companies to grow margins while sustaining quality to maximize supply chain efficiency.
Reaching Supply Chain Agility with Agistix
Agistix can help you tackle all of your supply chain challenges through data centralization software. Our key advantage is a seamless integration that requires no change to your regular business flow. However, after implementation, you will see results as soon as 4 weeks:
- Reduced costs
- Automated operations
- End-to-end visibility into any transaction and shipment
- Improved order fulfillment and inventory
- Reduced labor costs
- A proactive approach to detecting supply chain gaps
We deeply understand the pain points of your supply chain. Our extensive business expertise lets us offer an easy-to-use software solution to have your supply chain in the palm of your hand. Agistix’s solutions support the requirements of today’s quickly evolving data interfaces and formats, enabling a non-disruptive and efficient change for businesses.
Learn more about Agistix’s sophisticated solutions here.