GTM Solutions Should Allow the Configuration of Specific Execution Rules for Each Distinct Supply Chain
Particularly among retailers with tens of thousands of SKUs and many hundreds of stores, there is a need for differentiated replenishment and logistics treatments across complex supply chains. For example, an organization may need supply chain processes that are specialized to goods with unpredictable demand, such as the latest fashion. The same organization may also provide goods with more predictable demand that require steady replenishment. Similarly, other goods may have higher import and export compliance requirements that must be carefully managed.
As organizations divide their product lines and SKUs into segments based on factors such as criticality, selling cycle and rate of sales, they are increasingly interested in global trade management (GTM) solutions that are flexible enough to support these segmentation strategies. GTM solutions must adapt to address the different needs of multiple supply chains within the same software system and shared network of suppliers, logistics providers and customers. In particular, systems must be able to:
- Extend processes to suppliers and logistics providers
- Manage logistics and compliance activities within one solution
- Tune or configure business processes to support the segments’ needs
- Provide one centralized view of the global supply chain across all segments
- Capture all associated data to support reporting and “predictive analytics”
Those organizations that are proving to be successful at supply chain segmentation are able to meet the demands of their different customer segments without excessively increasing costs. One method to achieve this is to use a common platform, such as a portal, to ensure that parties along the entire supply chain can share information and eliminate errors that could slow shipments.
Multiple supply chains across thousands of SKUs introduces a degree of compliance complexity that is impossible to manage without a centralized product database that ties regulatory controls to product classification. Additionally, a GTM solution will determine needed documents and even assist with pre-clearing Customs to keep goods moving. Finally, automated screening and re-screening of trading partners across hundreds of restricted party lists ensures that each supply chain segment remains compliant with global denied party regulations.
A GTM solution should allow the configuration of specific execution rules for each distinct supply chain. Sophisticated workflow and rules processing engines make it possible to structure different processes for each replenishment strategy. A cloud-based network will facilitate the collection and analysis of business intelligence in a centralized repository to give an overall view of supply chain performance across segments.
As you evaluate potential GTM solutions, ensure that the system can support a segmented supply chain strategy. Even the most sophisticated supply chain strategies won’t be an advantage if your goods and products can’t get across international borders.