6 Strategies for Better Supply Chain Management
Think, Plan and Act
In a perpetually volatile world, businesses must rethink how they do sales and operational planning. Aligning plans with customer demand will continue to make sense, but to stay nimble in the face of rapid change, companies will need to update forecasts and strategies almost continuously. This will call for a deeper level of insight and collaboration among trading partners and suppliers – as well as among company planners themselves.
Drawing from a single set of enterprise data in the cloud, companies now have the ability to continuously plan, forecast, close the books, and adjust course with unprecedented speed and precision. Planners are harnessing new technologies to meet potential disruptions head-on. With AI, machine learning, and predictive intelligence, companies can intelligently anticipate and plan for what comes next.
Predictions from machine learning can help guide the planning process, providing recommendations and “guided resolutions” for optimizing supply chains. Oracle’s Planning Advisor relies on predictive and cognitive technologies to take the guesswork out of planning decisions and save planners the burden of manually culling data and spotting patterns. These and other advanced technologies like digital assistants are making humans smarter and the planning and decision-making process faster and more efficient.
Optimize Product Designs and Management to Accelerate Profitable Innovation
Innovation is a must for being a step ahead of your competition, but unfortunately, innovation does not exist in a vacuum. In order to be successful, products need to be manufactured at the correct cost, place, and time.These decisions made in the early cycles of product development may make or break the product.Designs need to be optimized for supply, manufacturability, and supply chain operations.All true costs must be captured and analyzed to maintain balance across your overall supply chain
Ensure a reliable and predictable supply.
Without reliable supply to customer-facing stakeholders to meet agreed-upon service levels, a manufacturer will tend to hold inventory buffers to ensure meeting customer service levels. This costs the business and, even worse, may mean the wrong products are at the wrong place at the wrong time, resulting in supply shortfalls.
Working on continuous improvement and operational excellence strategies is a foundation for successful end-to-end supply chain operations. That's why you need to know the infrastructure, analytics, and application processes to support the digital manufacturing thread across the end-to-end supply chain, which ensures that manufacturing operations are synchronized, connected, and integrated with customer- and demand-facing and planning processes.
Aligning Your Supply Chain with Business Goals
One of the strategies that stood out was the strategy that aligned the supply chain through sales and operations integrated with corporate business planning. While sales and operations planning processes provide coordination among sales, manufacturing, and distribution, there are still gaps among finance and operations in various companies.One of the ways to fill in these gaps is through integrated business planning that involves people, process, and technology elements of a business.This process will ultimately integrate financial strategic budgeting and forecasting systems with operations planning.
Adopt a demand-driven planning and business operating model based on real-time demand insights and demand shaping.
The right prediction and contingency planning tools will ensure a complete view and an effective response to risks such as suppliers going out of business, political upheaval, and natural calamities affecting manufacturing. Companies then can adjust pricing and promotions strategies to shape demand, move additional product quickly, drive revenue growth, or further expand margins for a high-demand product with limited market supply.
The key is to have the foresight to leverage opportunities and mitigate challenging events so that your business not only survives but succeeds. With the new supply chain technologies, businesses now have the ability to see exactly where all of their inventory is—in real time—from the store shelf back to the manufacturer. An agile demand-driven supply chain requires end-to-end visibility across the business from buyers and the market to supply.
Build an adaptive and agile supply chain with rapid planning and integrated execution.
Once executives are able to better understand and shape demand and risk, they need to adapt their supply chains to changing market opportunities and events. Companies must deploy dynamic planning capabilities and continually fine-tune operations to ensure responsive agility to meet changing demand.
The old model was to wait until the end of the month or quarter to shift production and supply based on shipments and sales. The new model calls for more continuous, dynamic supply chain adjustments to rapidly respond to market changes.
This can minimize or even eliminate shocks across the supply network. The results include better visibility; enhanced collaboration across the value chain, including reliable and predictable sourcing and supply, manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, and distribution; and accelerated decision-making with better analytics and support.