The start of every new year is typically when people look for a “fresh start” and a golden opportunity to make changes to bad habits, altering lifestyles, or focusing on areas that need improvement. It is odd that people look for the milestone date before making the commitment; when in reality it could happen any time of the year. Still, according to most polls (and the number of folks in the gym during the month of January) the #1 personal resolution is losing weight; it only makes sense that as a supply chain leader, you should consider your #1 business resolution to be to trim down the complexity within your supply chain.
Ironically, weight loss has been facilitated over the past several years by technology through various apps, similar to the impact technology has had on supply chain processes. As executives enter the New Year, they reflect on 2014, assess their vulnerabilities, and reevaluate their supply chain processes. There’s a lot of difficulty in discovering what changes need to be made, so we’ve decided to meet you half way and created a list of trending resolutions sought out by supply chain executives as you embark on the New Year - 2015.
The definition of collaboration as it pertains to supply chain management is often confused; at ecVision we feel that collaboration is integral and the foundation of building and maintaining strong supply chain relationships. Collaboration tools open the lines of communication across a typically complex ecosystem to harness the greater value of interaction across party lines. When used strategically, trading partners are able to capitalize on the strengths of one another, in turn increasing the overall value of the supply chain. Brands need to begin utilizing collaborative tools for their benefit, and in the end will understand how to reduce cost and mitigate risk by streamlining the overall process.
Basically seen as supply chain nirvana, many in the industry feel that visibility is well out of reach and will most likely be on this resolution list for 2016. However, it is still the most valuable objective to aim for since the importance of visibility and transparency from an executive’s perspective can streamline the entire work flow of a supply chain by giving them the ability to capture information at an item level and improve the overall business processes supporting the supply chain because of it; track, trace, manage, and confirm the authenticity and quality of the product; enhanced when supply chain visibility is referenced at an item level detail. Having supply chain visibility also makes your company more reliable and responsive, which in turn will increase your customer satisfaction.
Emerging Markets and Expansion
Supplier diversification has become an important factor when considering expansion into market areas. This makes it very difficult for brands to forecast which markets will be more valuable than the other. Industry-wide, we see China still dominates manufacturing across all verticals, yet with factories adding to the dangerous levels of pollution that has led to a severe environmental crisis, companies are beginning to realize it is affecting their brand image, causing the slow downfall of their market year-after-year. Instead other markets in the as Asia Pacific region (Vietnam) and Latin America have been the holders of primary growth for manufacturing and logistics. While moving away from large markets may present a challenge now, they will be beneficial in the future as regions like China pose an even larger threat with the economic and environmental downfall.
Real-Time Performance Management
Effectively managing supplier performance data and leveraging this information to identify and mitigate potential breaks in the supply chain, creates an enhanced system for improvement. While requirements differ based on each company’s policy, every brand expect KPIs with correlated scorecards to be implemented for each supplier. Implementation is the first step; afterwards supply chain managers must begin to follow-up on these reports to get a better understanding of where their goods are being produced, how well they’re being manufactured, and if they will arrive in the stores in time. With an increased level of transparency, supplier performance management tools allow brands to make the changes necessary to ensure the supply chain process is completed in an efficient manner from start to finish.
What’s the next step?
If they haven’t already done so, brands need to begin streamlining the supply chain process by utilizing the proper technology. ecVision Suite® offers the tools and framework needed to reduce cost, increase speed and mitigate risk. From design to delivery, ecVision customers utilize a single collaborative platform that optimizes the product lifecycle and supply chain processes. With increased visibility and workflow management, users can improve their reaction time to damage changes.So we encourage you to take a closer look at what ecVision has to offer by visiting our website www.ecvision.com and take the first step towards an improved supply chain for 2015. How about jumping on the treadmill while you peruse and download some of our e-books? Who knows, you might find that you have burned some calories while coming up with a new strategy to tackle those “last year” supply chain obstacles.