Organizations with lagging supply chain maturity are at a disadvantage. They lack digitization – and therefore have more manual work. Plus, there’s little visibility into their operations, often resulting in poor planning and collaboration.
An enterprise can’t help but be inefficient and operate with low resilience and little agility in this environment. Inevitably, the organization will face higher costs, more risk, and deliver subpar services to other enterprises and customers. Moreover, in today’s highly disruptive and competitive environment, competitors will easily surpass them.
To improve both efficiency and resiliency in the supply chain, companies must pay attention and address the gaps and misalignment throughout their supply chains.
The best way to accomplish that, and increase supply chain maturity, is with supply chain convergence. This approach involves aligning systems, data, and processes from across an organization so all departments can successfully collaborate and seamlessly share data.
Yet, supply-chain convergence can seem overwhelming for enterprises with lower supply-chain maturity. Luckily, today’s technology can help companies leap their maturity, and there are specific steps to take to get started.
Six steps enterprises with lower supply-chain maturity can take right now toward supply-chain convergence include:
- Understand the silos, gaps, and misalignment in your supply chain. Then, take a thorough inventory and include company leaders and managers from across departments to get a complete picture of the gaps across your organization.
- Prioritize what gaps need to be reduced. After compiling a thorough list of the gaps and misalignments, choose one or two to address first. Then, consider the ones that, by correcting, would result in the biggest impact on customer service and the bottom line.
- Simplify processes. Set a goal to eliminate any outdated, redundant systems you might have as well as elaborate processes. Simplification is an important strategic process to keep businesses lean and agile. Find technology and a platform that can make your supply chain more seamless.
- Outsource non-core functions when feasible. Find an external service provider to help with non-core functions. This is an important step in the simplification process and will allow you to focus on core and competitive functions.
- Build alignment and synchronization. Encourage alignment across the end-to-end supply chain. Having the right technology in place will help foster synchronization and collaboration.
- Continue to expand visibility and collaboration throughout the supply chain. Building up your supply chain maturity is a process that takes time. Continue to assess your operations and set achievable goals as you go.
Companies that bolster supply chain maturity through supply chain convergence should expect improvement in several areas, including supplier collaboration, cost management, and new product development.
Strong supplier collaboration helps build supply chain efficiency, resiliency, and sustainability. In addition, strong cost management is a powerful tool to create a competitive advantage jointly with suppliers.
Often, new product development is run inefficiently because of silos in the organization, which impacts time-to-market and business opportunities. However, the business can derive significant value when good collaborative processes and alignment are established between procurement, supply chain, engineering and suppliers.
While, at first, supply-chain convergence might seem daunting for organizations just getting started, by committing to specific steps, you’ll be well on your way to building a resilient, sustainable, and profitable supply chain.
At GEP, we help companies with transformative, holistic supply chain solutions so they can become more agile and resilient. Our end-to-end comprehensive, unified solutions harness technology to change organizations for the better. To find out more, visit GEP.
Read More from This Article: 6 Steps to Building a Resilient, Sustainable, and Profitable Supply Chain