Gary Barraco, Director of Global Product Marketing at Amber Road, speaks with Adrian Gonzalez of Talking Logistics about several aspects of digitizing the global supply chain and the benefits it provides. Digitizing your supply chain empowers global trade professionals with a competitive edge by providing visibility across shipments, into costs, and ahead of potential risks – all netting significant cost savings. Gary and Adrian address several questions that culminate in building a business case to prove the value of a digital supply chain to your C-Suite.
A decade ago, supply chain visibility used to only be at the container or shipment level and that was acceptable. Today, it comprises a more complete and international level of visibility and even regional companies have raw materials coming from an international supplier. As companies are now further embracing software and its changes, what makes supply chain visibility more achievable today is the advancement of technology. The goal is full control tower visibility, bringing together the design, sourcing, manufacturing, compliance, and shipping functions in 1 central location, which helps to enhance communication both internally and externally. Companies are looking for one platform where they can see all aspects of the complete end-to-end process, enabling them to make more cost-effective and faster decisions.
How is technology helping companies gain more financial visibility into costs?
Almost all business decisions today come down to the bottom line. Over the last few years, Amber Road and other technology providers have much more frequently approached the CFO to sell software as most business decisions relate to cost and the true return on investment. The formula to define costs is very complex with many changings factors including fluctuating tariffs, shifting duties and free trade agreements, and rising transportation costs. Technology and automation helps to key all of these changing factors to fill in any missing gaps and provide further visibility in one platform.
How does digitization help companies better manage supply chain risks?
About a decade ago, there was a global shift in the manufacturing world to offshoring. With this shift, most companies have moved to global supply chains. This transition has added layers of complications and risks, including infrastructure for bigger trade ports, more and potentially new borders crossed, and increasing government regulations. As supply chains have expanded, so has the number of service providers and vendors and SLA’s. All these factors contributes to the necessity of a Risk & Quality Management tool and strategies to help navigate unplanned supply chain disruptions. A GTM tool, with digital supply chain in place, helps mitigate risk by facilitating better communication and providing full control tower visibility.
As supply chains have become more dynamic and complex, how can companies become more agile and what obstacles can agility help them overcome?
The concept of agility needs to be ingrained into the way that companies operate. In this uncertain and frequently changing business environment, supply chain agility has emerged as a competitive vehicle for companies using digitization to break down islands of information and consolidating data into a single platform. Effective supply chain agility helps companies overcome obstacles such as trade agreement turbulence, mergers and acquisitions, as well new regulations, duties, and tariffs. Agility has become a highly desirable supply chain trait, perhaps even the most important, empowering organizations to be flexible and quick to respond to any disruptions that come their way.
How can somebody write a business case for digitizing their supply chain to their CFO or CEO? What are the benefits they should highlight and how can they prove ROI?
As companies look to the future, they need to think about how to be successful and sustain their business over the next five to ten years, not just in the next year or two. They need a digital supply chain platform that they can grow with as they expand, not just to meet today’s challenges. A digital supply chain drives efficiency, risk management, visibility, agility, and the ability to control what’s going on and manage cross border processes. The ability to manage all these processes in a single platform eases collaboration, automates tasks to reduce manual work, and provides analytics that show where process improvements can be made. While we can’t directly say it generates revenue, a digital supply chain delivers a competitive edge to acquire new customers and provides huge savings to widen the profit margin.
To learn more about what your organization can gain from digitizing its supply chain, check out our video interview with Gary Barraco and Adrian Gonzalez.