In today’s fast-moving, digital-focused economy, the most successful organisations are transforming their supply chains to better reflect their business’ needs and optimise how their supply chains work. In any supply chain transformation, unarguably the most important step is the assessment.
Conducting a thorough, in-depth assessment of the supply chain enables businesses to identify the main areas of opportunity, as well as, the areas prohibiting growth where significant improvement is needed. In this post, we explore a number of the key areas in supply chain assessments. Ultimately, this will assist your company in identifying any current capability gaps that exist in your supply chain.
Every supply chain assessment should firstly begin with a detailed examination of the existing data practices. A successful digital supply chain transformation is heavily dependent on the organisation collecting and producing the most relevant data. In this so-called ‘Data Age’, where there is more data available than ever before, it’s critical that businesses don’t get lost in the sheer volume of data, and instead, focus on the data that really matters.
In order to achieve this, firms need to utilise the most suitable data collection tools and methods. Likewise, they also need to make sure that all of the data they collect is secured safely. Data must be easily accessible and usable, and so, data storage must be a priority. With supply chain digitisation, it’s no longer about physical warehousing, it’s all about high-tech data centres, data rooms and cloud computing.
Once you’ve collected and stored your data, the next thing you’ll want to do is analyse it. This requires your company to have the right analytical capabilities. Ultimately, it’s no good merely having data if you’re unable to extract the valuable insights needed from it.
Therefore, as part of your supply chain assessment, you should consider whether you have the analytical software and technology required. If this is an area where you notice a capability gap, then it’s imperative that you look to improve here. Leveraging data properly will allow you to gain helpful insights for your overall supply chain strategy.
Supply chain management teams are faced with a number of decisions on a daily basis. Certain situations arise – whether it’s a scheduling issue related to new customer orders or a change in material planning – and good decision making is required. Fortunately, such are the advances in modern technology, that companies can now utilise machine-learning systems to help with their decision making process.
Machine-learning can improve the way that supply chain managers handle the diverse range of situations that they encounter every day. These systems learn via human input and use their learning to inform future decisions. In practice, this means that machine-learning can give managers suggestions on how to act in a specific situation, so that the best outcome is achieved.
Moreover, it’s also worthwhile considering the possibilities of automation whilst carrying out your supply chain assessment. Quite simply, supply chain processes can be greatly streamlined with the introduction of automation. Automation – when successfully implemented – will mean that less time is spent doing simple, everyday tasks; instead, the most valuable work will receive the time it requires.
Digital supply chain technology can be harnessed to automatically process real-time information, so that zero manual effort is required. Overall, automating the least important processes will free up your professionals’ time, allowing them to concentrate on more high-priority tasks. Effective automation will give your company a competitive advantage in the long run.
Developing a Road Map
With all of these elements of supply chain assessment in mind, the last step is creating a road map. A road map is a strategic plan that comprises all the major steps or milestones needed to reach the defined business goals. Developing a road map will enable you to clearly visualise the direction in which your company intends to travel, with regards to its supply chain. Road maps are integral to long-term supply chain transformations.
Following the creation of the road map, it’s crucial that your company determines the level of priority that every area – automation, data, analytics and decision making – is given. Essentially, this means calculating the value that each of these areas provides.
How OCI Can Help
At OCI, we utilise advanced technology, commercial process solutions and our expansive network to optimise processes and free up working capital from global supply chains. With our expert assistance, your organisation will be able to streamline its entire supply chain operations and develop a more effective, long-term supply chain solution. We pride ourselves on enhancing the performance of large corporates and accelerating business growth with tailored solutions. We will act as an extension of your team, and we are committed to your success.
If you would like to find out more about OCI and how we can assist you with your supply chain, don’t hesitate to contact our team today. Simply complete the inquiry form on our website and we will get back to you as quickly as possible, answering any questions you may have.