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Digitization of the supply chain was an elusive target within the previous five years–constantly on the horizon however slow to materialize. What’s a”digital supply chain”? When there are numerous variations of this definition based on who you’re speaking about, arguably it is most frequently called the following: Program of technologies to digitize and analyze information in a precise and quick manner to boost supply chain performance.

The path forward could be daunting: a steep learning curve, inner resistance to change, siloed decision making, multiple sources of data, and the lack of low-cost, customizable technology alternatives have left many businesses stuck at the experimentation and testing phases. The fantastic thing is that new technologies players are currently bringing technical applications to market that, in combination, encourage readily customizable options. Wider approval is bringing prices down. Cloud computing and artificial intelligence are creating the critical mass of information and analytics required to discover supply chain patterns and make actionable insights. And as the specialist knowledge base of best practices evolves, the Digital supply chain is turning into a more concrete reality.

Most firms struggle, nevertheless, with climbing digital supply chain capabilities to conduct their end-to-end small business. The trick to success will be to begin with the business challenges, and then specify the”nirvana state” business procedures and clearly articulate the anticipated financial benefits from attaining this nirvana state. This vision helps specify the important industry requirements for developing Digital supply chain capabilities.

Big change in little time

The digitization of this supply chain differs from the tech boom that occurred in the late 1990s and early 2000s due to one big reason: simple access to precise data and Digital technologies (for example, Internet of Things apparatus) that can capture and analyze this information. The adoption of Digital technologies has soared in just a few short decades, and tendencies point to a continuing stride moving forward. International cloud computing visitors grew eightfold from 2024 to 2023, to 8.6 zettabytes (ZB) yearly, and may more than twice by 2023. During precisely the exact same period, annual large data analytics visitors quadrupled to 1.2 ZB from 2023 and will be expected to more than triple from that point. Internet of Things (IoT) apparatus plummeted from 2024 to 2023 to 10 billion and are forecast to reach 27 billion in 2023.

These technologies are crucial for digitizing the supply chain and have the capability to make significant benefits across the whole plan-source-make-deliver spectrum. (See Figure 1) Data created via innovative analytics and empowered from the IoT, as an instance, can reduce networking capital prices in logistics and planning. In conjunction with augmented reality, wearables, and robotics, IoT apparatus can accelerate response times to possible supply disruptions or manufacturing deviations. On the factory floor, robotics can maximize materials use and reduce error rates, While 3D printing adds design and manufacturing flexibility. Structured collaboration applications and marketplaces (by way of instance, FourKites’ platform for asset monitoring ) can allow value chain partners (like suppliers, vendors, peer businesses, retailers, and customers) to operate their own infrastructures within an integrated manner. Crowdsourcing may add sourcing durability and flexibility into the supply chain whilst at the same time enhancing asset allocation and decreasing transportation costs.

Rather supply chain and tech teams frequently operate on Digital jobs on both sides, as well as their own daily duties. These jobs are perceived as creative jobs that don’t core to the mainstream enterprise. In reality, digital jobs are rarely connected to longer-term, the overarching company approaches, and they frequently aren’t connected to clear grade, support, and price developments.

Furthermore, companies have a tendency to get a portfolio of digital and nondigital jobs with minimum coordination among them. The nondigital jobs –for example streamlining the sales and operations planning (S&OP) procedure, improving transport sourcing, or implementing lean manufacturing initiatives–generally far outnumber the Digital, with approximately 70 percent being nondigital. What’s more, unlike the Digital jobs, the nondigital ones are frequently connected with a gain and loss statement objective. Because of this, nondigital jobs generally are entrusted over Digital ones for investments and scale-ups. In the stage that firms seek our aid with Digital supply chain conversion, we now discover that, in almost two-thirds of instances, their Digital projects have shown no quantifiable cost, productivity, or other physiological benefits.

To be prosperous, digital jobs will need to be tied into other small business endeavors that are connected to the corporate plan and also have a financial target related to them. By way of instance, within an attempt to boost the stock, a project group may explore new need planning tools. In the same way, a team may explore using state bidding and crowdsourcing tools to decrease freight costs. Or as part of a plant reliability initiative, a group can test the usage of IoT apparatus to assist prioritize maintenance jobs. This linkage ensures that digital projects are addressing the ideal small business issues. Additionally, it ensures that Digital jobs aren’t in battle or redundant with nondigital jobs. Rather the 2 sorts of jobs are now incorporated together. Finally, whenever there’s a financial business case connected to Digital projects, they’re more likely to get investments and also be scaled beyond a pilot project.

Additionally, as companies pursue those jobs, we think they could benefit greatly from looking for fresh perspectives out of their own businesses –as well as their particular businesses. We’ve seen many top international manufacturers devote much less time and price to implementation due to the insights they have gained from other people. ExxonMobil, as an instance, sought out help in upgrading its own technology, maintenance, preparation, and monitoring system. In 2024 it moved out the energy business and kept Lockheed Martin as the lead system integrator because of its own next-generation procedure automation system. ExxonMobil thought it might gain from Lockheed’s experience in assisting U.S. military customers transition from rigid, costly legacy systems to more agile, safe, open ones.

Related: – What is the Ethical Supply Chain? Supply and Demand.

Steps toward successful transformation

It’s crucially important to comprehend that effective technology installation is a comparatively late-stage measure in a longer process of discovery and preparation that contributes to digitization. Rather a successful digital transformation journey starts by answering four Important questions:

What is the company’s digital ambition level, or end vision, for the transformation when it is complete?

How does the company’s current digital capabilities compare with that of the end vision?

What technologies and digital use cases are needed to close the gap between the two?

What would be the business impact of implementing those technologies and use cases on the organization?

One  effective method of answering these questions entails a workshop-driven app, normally lasting a few weeks, also called a”digital supply chain fast scan.” The app consists of the following four measures:

Evaluate digital consciousness and vision levels throughout the business to develop a”digital goal image,” or prospective vision.

Assess the digital capacities of important stakeholders at every stage in the supply chain, then measure the gap between the capacities necessary to see the target image.

Research technology choices, evaluate the value and effect of potential use cases and produce a suitable project brief list.

Prioritize steps and revise the digital object image according to findings to make a high-tech digital road map for moving with the conversion.

Step 1: Develop a digital target.

Step 2: Evaluate current capabilities.

After creating a target image, the company can begin running deep-dive interviews with agents from all core purposes to set a baseline of its present digital capacities. (See Figure 2.) This procedure gives a fantastic chance to make a list of ongoing and planned digital initiatives spanning the whole preparation, production, sourcing, and delivery value chain. For every digital component or capacity –if it be a data source, an analytical instrument, a reporting platform, or another tech –the organization needs to document its function over processes and functions; the encouraging technologies; and the effect it’s in terms of prices, support, and working capital. This shared baseline snapshot of present digital capacities and constraints creates the foundation for quantifying, and finally closure, the difference between a company’s existing capacity set along with the digital goal.

Step 3: Assess technology options and create a short list. 

The next step is to research different technology options to deal with specific present and future demands. Too many businesses, unfortunately, see this component of the procedure as merely comparison-shopping among alternatives based on comparative performance and cost, or as a binary choice between proprietary or off-the-shelf, highly personalized alternatives. These are certainly valid factors, but the crucial first decisions entail identifying and assigning desired digital capacities in the context of immediate demands, long-term strategic objectives, acquisition through the business, demanded investment in centre and labor updates for effective execution, along with other aspects. Figure 3, as an instance, shows how businesses can begin with identifying the important abilities they need and find which technologies may offer these skills.

Step 4: Prioritize potential projects and create a digital roadmap. 

According to this investigation, the company will prioritize digital jobs within the short, medium, long term, offering a clear, pragmatic roadmap to digital transformation.

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Success story

t shouldn’t be supposed that digital transformation necessarily involves a complete reengineering of the supply chain. Digital solutions may also be targeted to deal with certain issues within a company, as exemplified by a current digital transformation which A.T. Kearney was included in at an integrated oil and gas firm.

The organization had discovered that poor data flow, inadequate facilities and broken procedures were making it challenging for downstream refinery employees to monitor, inspect, and maintain field equipment. Nearly all the repair and maintenance work was responsive, direct times for approvals were extended, and a lot of the full procedure was paper-based. In addition to negatively impacting productivity, these struggles also made it challenging for the company to attract and keep new area operators, so many of these younger workers and individuals, in an already diminishing workforce.

Following this inspection process, the business decided on the next digital endeavors: 1) set up an onsite personal network for mobiles, tablet computers, and programs to boost field communications; two ) launch pilots to utilizing detectors and other infrastructure to track the status of nonvital gear and predictive analytics to set optimum frequency and timing of maintenance for critical equipment and procedures; and 3) adapt offices for new methods of working, transform associated labor practices, and reassign functions and obligations.

Field operators today create caution warnings, not only episode reports, which help produce a sense of urgency around fixing the matter. Field operators can also be stored in the loop regarding the standing of warnings after the truth, circulating more precise info and cutting reaction time. A brand new transparent shift scheduling procedure enables increased flexibility in schedule-change asks, as area operators and supervisors share updated data in real time. Plant-procedure master checklists are developed and handled digitally rather than being paper-based. Because of this, they provide greater precision and permit common processes to be available to all and reused by numerous plants. The ePermit to perform a procedure, which arouses plant accessibility for area operators, has been streamlined by digitizing authorization utilizing mobile devices and digital signatures.

It is essential to mention that the transformation campaign didn’t only concentrate on implementing new technologies. Additionally, it involved changes to procedures, culture, and office environment. By way of instance, workspaces such as area operators are established, relocated, merged, or redesigned to enhance participation, cooperation, and ease of working. In all, over a hundred people engaged in the work area and ethnic co-creation effort.

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One step at a time

Long seen as a cost centre and also an afterthought, the supply chain is currently regarded as central to firms’ push for support differentiation and competitive edge. At precisely the exact same time, the previous five decades have seen a quantum jump in digital supply chain engineering that promises to aid with the growing complexities of information flows, sourcing and supply logistics, and inventory management. In production, and especially in heritage businesses, digital supply chain conversion has emerged as a dividing line between future expansion and slow reduction.

Businesses starting that transformation may gain from the rising accessibility of customizable, off-the-shelf technologies alternatives. Meanwhile business success stories and best practices have grown across many verticals demonstrating the concrete benefits digital transformation may provide. Now’s the time for organizations to proceed, or danger spending weeks or years fighting to catch up after. Yes, the technology is complicated, the procedure will be tumultuous, and also the proliferation of service, product, and strategy choices can be perplexing. But as the old saying goes, each thousand-mile journey begins with a single step. A very clear plan which ties to the organization’s overall plan and generates acquisition from stakeholders can supply that initial step.

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Benefits Of Supply Chain Management Software

Supply chain management software is an invaluable tool for product managers, providing them with the insights and data they need to make informed decisions about their supply chain. It helps companies keep track of production costs and inventory levels, as well as monitor supplier performance and supply chain trends. The benefits of using this software range from cost savings to improved customer service. In this blog post, we explore eight key benefits that product managers can gain by leveraging supply chain management software development.

1. Cost Savings Opportunities

Supply chain management software helps product managers save time and money on their operations. By automating tedious tasks, SCM software can help reduce manual labor costs, streamline processes, and improve the overall efficiency of the supply chain. Additionally, with efficient tracking of inventory levels and supplier performance, companies can avoid costly delays or stock-outs due to insufficient supply.

2. Improved Efficiency

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3. Increased Visibility & Transparency

Supply chain management tools offer increased visibility into the entire supply chain process – from production to delivery – giving product managers greater control over their operations. It also enhances communication across different stakeholders – suppliers, customers, etc., as well as provides a more transparent view of operations. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to deliveries and other aspects of the supply chain process.

4. Streamlined Collaboration & Project Management

5 . Automated Compliance Requirements

Leveraging SCM software for compliance requirements ensures that companies stay in line with industry regulations regarding safety standards for products as well as shipping protocols for deliveries. This allows product managers to stay on top of compliance matters without having to manually check each shipment or take up extra resources from other teams.

6 . Data-Driven Decision Making

By leveraging data gathered through SCM systems, product managers have improved visibility into trends within their supply chains. This allows them to make more informed decisions about what products should be produced, how much should be produced, where orders should be sent, etc. By utilizing predictive analytics, they can even forecast future demand based on previous patterns.

7 . Scalability and Flexibility

8 Conclusion

Supply chain management software is essential for all organizations looking to optimize their operations and maximize benefits from their supply chains – whether it’s cost savings opportunities, improved efficiency, increased visibility & transparency, streamlined collaboration & project management, automated compliance requirements, data-driven decision making or scalability & flexibility. As a product manager, you should use these best practices in order to achieve maximum benefits from your organization’s investments in this technology.

Supply Chain Management Models In Modern Business

Organizational efficiency and staying one step ahead of the competition are made possible through supply chain management. It is now an essential component of providing high-quality items at reasonable pricing for modern enterprises.

Supply chain management is a subject taught in colleges of business and universities today. The management and optimization of a company’s supply chain may be the responsibility of whole departments in large organizations.

However, small and medium-sized businesses often have fewer resources and expertise available to them for improving the effectiveness of their supply chains. Therefore, the purpose of this book is to assist companies who want to learn more about supply chain management and make use of some of the more widely available tools, processes, and technology.

Supply Chain Management

The flow of goods and services from raw materials to the final consumer is managed by interconnected organizations and systems through the application of supply chain management. Many distinct businesses may be a part of a supply chain, and supply chain management refers to how each business controls the movement of supplies to and from other businesses as well as its own internal performance.

The field of supply chain management encompasses a wide range of tasks including order management, inventory management, product lifecycle management, procurement, and more.

6 Reasons Supply Chain Management is Important for Business 1.Lowers Operating Expenses

Supply chain management that is effective identifies expensive operations that don’t add value to the finished product. This lowers operating costs for a business by allowing it to reduce or eliminate certain activities.

Less expensive production

Manufacturers rely on effective supply chains to get raw materials to assembly lines as cheaply and quickly as possible to prevent shortages that would cause production to slacken or stop.

Reduced holding expenses

To save inventory costs in their warehouses, retailers, distributors, and wholesalers rely on supply chains to deliver goods promptly. This is particularly true for goods with a limited shelf life, like fresh food, or goods that age quickly, like laptops or cell phones.

2.Increases Effectiveness

Waste is the enemy of operational efficiency, whether it be squandered time, effort, or raw materials. A sound supply chain management plan accounts for wastage and seeks to reduce it by putting an emphasis on operations that create value.

3. Boosts Revenue

Strong and effective supply networks typically result in higher revenue and profit levels. More competitive pricing, higher profit margins, and activities like marketing are all made possible by lower costs.

4. Enhances Material and Product Flow

The more quickly products are delivered to consumers, the more effectively the product flow operates. Bullwhip effects are less severe and there is less of a lag between demand and supply inefficient product flows, which makes accurate forecasting easier.

5. Enhances Information Flow

Information sharing along the entire supply chain is made possible by an effective supply chain. By doing this, bottlenecks are eliminated and organizations get a complete picture of the supply chain, enabling them to make wise decisions. Additionally, real-time data keeps all participants alert so they can react fast to changes.

6. Increases Client Satisfaction

Happy clients get what they want, when they want it, and for the lowest possible cost. An improved supply chain can increase consumer happiness and loyalty, which will result in more future purchases. Transparency in the supply chain is a topic that consumers value more and more.

Types of Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is a challenging task. What are small and expanding firms to do when large corporations can devote an entire team to supply chain optimization?

Managing supplier and customer connections on their own requires business managers in SMEs to multitask and perform supply chain management duties.

Positively, supply chains for smaller companies are less intricate. They can adapt to change considerably more quickly than huge corporations and can select the supply chain management strategy that best suits their needs.

Here are seven prevalent models for supply chain management. Selecting the approach that best suits your company can be aided by being aware of the variations between each model.

Efficiency-Focused Supply Chain Models

In highly competitive industries where demand is predictable, products are comparable, and consumers seek cheap prices, these supply chain model types perform effectively. Manufacturing of chemicals, paper, and other basic items are a few examples of such enterprises.

Model for Continuous Flow

One of the oldest supply chain strategies is the continuous flow model. It’s perfect for producers of commodity items, such as those who produce the same products frequently with little variation. In the continuous flow model, optimization is a result of close supply chain coordination and avoiding demand fluctuations.

The continuous flow approach is very well suited to just-in-time manufacturing.

Quick Chain Model

This flexible business model is ideal for companies who constantly change their product offerings and need to move inventory fast, as well as for makers of popular goods with short life cycles. Businesses should concentrate on promoting new products, which depends on three factors: rapid idea-to-market transition, precise forecasting of demand levels, and end-to-end efficiency to keep costs low.

Efficient Chain Model

Businesses in highly competitive marketplaces and those aiming for end-to-end efficiency can benefit greatly from the efficient supply chain concept. Because production is based on anticipated sales and competition is based on pricing, commodity industries utilize this approach. With this strategy, companies put a priority on perfect order fulfillment, depend on accurate forecasting to ensure product availability, and maximize efficiency to cut costs.

Responsiveness-Focused Models

In industries where customer demand is unpredictable, businesses opt for a responsive model.

1. The agile model

Businesses that produce specialty orders are best suited for the agile style of supply chain management. Make-to-order manufacturers only produce an item after receiving a customer’s order. Businesses must be able to produce in excess and create products and manufacturing processes that can be produced in the smallest feasible batches if they want to be nimble.

2. The custom-configured model

The emphasis of the custom-configured model is on offering customized customizations, particularly during assembly and production. It is perfect for companies, like automakers, whose products come in a variety of configurations. Product configurations are often carried out during assembly when various product elements are put together in accordance with the requirements of the customer.

The continuous flow and agile approaches are combined in this model. The continuous flow model is used to manage the activities that come before product configuration, and the agile supply chain model is used to handle downstream processes and product configuration.

3. The flexible model

For firms that experience large demand peaks and protracted periods of low workload, the flexible model is most suited. This concept allows companies to satisfy unique client requests or find solutions to issues by reconfiguring internal manufacturing processes. Businesses need to concentrate on having additional key resource capacity, quick answers, strong technical ability in engineering and procedures, and a flexible process flow that is easily changeable.

4. SCOR model

The Supply Chain Council and 70 top industrial businesses worked together to build the SCOR model. This strategy aims to standardize procedures and produce a measurable method of monitoring outcomes. This entails evaluating procedures and objectives, quantifying performance, and contrasting business performance with benchmark information.

Closing Remarks!

The process by which firms identify, evaluate, and mitigate risks in their whole supply chain is known as supply chain risk management. Supply chain vulnerabilities and unforeseen disruptions can affect a company’s finances and reputation.

Supply chain risk management can range from straightforward, such as a brewer making sure they have a backup supply of hops in case one region’s crop fails, to sophisticated, such as a comprehensive examination of vulnerabilities by a multinational organization.

Is 2023 The Year Of Digital Transformation?

While all large and successful organizations have already gone through significant digital transformation, 2023 may be the year that small and medium-sized businesses dive in headfirst. Are you ready to join the fold by embracing the next iteration of the business world?

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation has been called a lot of things over the years. And while some would argue that it’s nothing more than a buzzword, those who are involved with it know that it’s more than conceptual. When executed with vision and precision, it can revolutionize a business from the inside out.

Greater efficiency. Think about the bottlenecks in your business – the things that slow down processes, frustrate employees, and prevent you from reaching your full potential. In many cases, technology is involved. And if we dig a layer deeper, we’ll find that these technologies are outdated and/or being improperly leveraged. The beauty of digital transformation is that it allows you to fight through these bottlenecks and speed up your business through greater efficiency and output.

Better decision-making. It’s not enough to have data. You need to know what to do with that data. Digital transformation ensures you’re collecting and interpreting data correctly, which allows you to improve decision-making and guide your company in a better direction.

Enhanced customer satisfaction. Research from Gartner shows that more than 81 percent of companies are competing primarily on customer experience. And as we said on the front end of this piece, digital transformation is ultimately about the customer. By enhancing customer satisfaction, businesses can cultivate loyalty and squash the competition.

Increased profitability. An impressive 56 percent of CEOs say digital improvements have helped them increase revenue in the past. And as we move forward into a world where digital transformation becomes even more integral to the health and well-being of organizations, we’ll see this number grow even more.

Superior company culture. While customers may be the focal point, digital transformation has a positive impact on employees as well. Over time, this emphasis on digital transformation fosters a superior company culture that reduces turnover by elevating retention.

6 Strategies for Seamless Digital Transformation

Digital transformation does not happen overnight. It takes years and months of appropriate planning and careful implementation. But, you may start experiencing positive results almost instantly. Here are a Couple of Pointers to Help you Do Precisely That:

1. Gain Top-Down Buy-In

There’s not any digital transformation with no comprehensive buy-in from most organizational stakeholders. And more especially, you have to start the procedure with buy in the C-suite.

2. Assign a Point Person

Do not be tricked into believing you could roll out a whole digital transformation approach using a hodgepodge group of men and women who have their hands in a dozen additional duties and obligations. If you would like to be effective with your strategy, you ought to find somebody who can guide the way. This may seem like employing a new man for your occupation or reassigning a person. In any situation, make certain to practice discernment.

There are a couple of important features to search for, such as an extensive comprehension of the digital market, in addition to a character that is conducive to building rapport and transferring others to action.

“They need to comprehend the effects of a brand new business model.

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3. Establish Clear Vision

Your”point person” will be responsible for helping to explain and communicate the vision to your electronic transformation strategy. It is more important your eyesight is comprehensive than tricky. It ought to be a holistic however specific notion that believes every part of the business.

Branding

Marketing

Sales

Tech stack

Performance

HR

Budget and operational costs

Expected Outcomes

Stakeholder impact

Etc.

Your eyesight basically amounts to an electronic roadmap for your future. It clarifies where you are going and which elements of your company the plan will touch. (Which ought to wind up being each section, component, and strength.)

4. Evaluate Current Gaps

Have a look at your present tech stack/processes and contrast this within which you wish to be in six months, annually, or 3 years from today. Consider where you will find chances to pivot and enhance, in addition to where you are coming up short. These are your own gaps.

Technological and process-based openings are where the chances for important digital transformation exist. You have to rethink your strategy to specific regions of your plan — such as sales and marketing — and envision what these regions could seem like in a perfect universe.

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5. Set the Appropriate KPIs

Setting KPIs starts with figuring out what you would like to quantify and then building out there. If by way of instance, you’re trying to assess the achievement of a new program that you are presenting to a user base, very good KPIs would comprise daily busy customers, the ratio of replicate to new customers, conversion prices, abandon rates, and average time spent on an app.

Is your wish to rate customer experience according to a brand new onboarding process or customer loyalty program? Metrics like client satisfaction (CSAT), client attempt score (CES), client loyalty index (CLI), and opinion analytics are enlightening.

User participation is really a fun one to monitor. You’ve got choices like net promoter score (NPS), traffic resources, client satisfaction indicator, bounce rate, and departure speed.

Other large-scale KPIs that touch different facets include worker performance, innovation, operational functionality, and financial performance.

6. Beware of the Shine

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Where is Your Focus?

Every digital transformation strategy will have a unique flavor. And while it’ll look a bit different in execution and application, many of the same underlying principles are present across the board. For best results, study what others are doing and view their approaches through the lens of your customer and your business. Your roadmap lies somewhere inside these lines.

Coronavirus Outbreak Puts Focus On Supply Chain Risk

The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), which was mainly concentrated in China’s highly industrialized city of Wuhan, has opened up the fragility of the global supply chain. For many years manufacturers that built complex supply chains around the world had begun to focus on supply chain risk or face severe long-term consequences.

The best price of this COVID-19 outbreak was human, with over 79,000 reported instances along with 2,623 deaths as of February 24, the huge majority in China, according to the World Health Organization. The COVID-19 virus has spread to 32 countries and the WHO Risk Assessment for China is”very large ”

The costs to the world economy are still being tallied, and the worldwide supply chain has endured consequences as firms have needed to shutter production operations and as provides are languishing invents.

A fragile supply chain

This shows that the fragility of the international supply chain, said Rosemary Coates, president and founder of Blue Silk Consulting, a management consulting company that concentrates on global supply chains and is based in Los Gatos, Calif…

The concentration of numerous providers in one field elevates the supply chain risk for producers, Coates said.

“Most of the large automakers have manufacturing plants in the region, and also to provide parts for them, all of the providers are clustered about those makers,” she explained. “They not only provide parts to manufacturing but also international fix components. So another thing that we will likely see after manufacturing plants across the world closed down… is that we are not likely to have the ability to fix cars since they won’t have the ability to have parts to fix anything.”

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Many potential supply chain risks

“Should you consider disruptions — whether it is another disease issue, the following war, further transaction conflicts, climate change-related weather disruptions — that the palette of likely disturbance for the supply chain appears to be wider and deeper and broader and more extreme,” Ellis explained. “The coronavirus is the symptom; the disorder is a deficiency of resiliency, that supply chains are rigid.”

The attempts that firms have made about JIT and lean manufacturing principles are a huge contributor to the issue, Ellis said.

“If employed imperfectly, lean ends up meaning fragile, and when all of a sudden the stock provide stops, you do not have weeks of pay, you’ve times or sometimes even hours of pay,” he explained. “Supply chains have done it to reduce prices, to decrease consumer cost gains, but that comes at a price. When there’s structural disturbance you don’t expect, you are going to feel the pain with that disruption considerably faster than you may have years back when maybe there were bigger reservoirs of stock.”

Diversify the supply chain

So the question that all manufacturers need to answer is what strategy they should adopt to reduce the supply chain risk of disintegration.

Manufacturing in China has received a lot of attention recently regarding supply chain disruptions due to issues such as the coronavirus outbreak as well as trade and tariff wars. One of the measures is to diversify operations in China and not, according to Coats.

That may be easier said than done.

China’s so intensely industrialized, and at times there are parts that are just accessible from China, with the goal that’s one of those shortcomings,” Coates said. “We’ve been urging organizations to begin creating elective hotspots for some time since the levies became effective, and now with the [COVID-19] infection, it just amplifies the dire need to do that, to have elective plans and sources far and wide.”

Ellis said returning to a more seasoned pre-JIT procedure and expanding stock stocks might be a pointless overcompensation. Bringing greater adaptability into products and not having providers topographically focused bodes well

“Either the products you make must be progressively flexible with the goal that you can in any case make them if a specific part isn’t accessible, or you have basic segments,” he said. “[Also,] ensure you broaden supply out of one specific area.”

It’s always better to have a variety of suppliers and not simply rely on the lowest cost alternatives, said Dana Gardner, president and principal analyst at InterArbor Solutions LLC.

“It’s always been the case that you don’t want to concentrate all of your eggs in one basket, but it’s difficult to predict where issues can crop up. Now it just happens to be a contagious disease risk, but there are all sorts of other forms of supply chain risk,” Gardner said. “This is a reminder, and it’s not specific to any geography or any particular kind of risk, but it’s better to invest in diversity than it is to go to the lowest cost suppliers because, in the end, the risks could be higher.”

Technology helpful but limited

Technology can also play a risk mitigation role. There are platforms and applications that help organizations assess and manage supply chain risk including Blue Yonder (formerly JDA Software), Infor Nexus, Llamasoft, Resilink and SAP Ariba.

These applications can be useful in providing a degree of supply chain visibility and can serve as early warning systems, but organizations have to decide if they want to carry the costs of running a system that may only be needed if something goes wrong, Ellis said.

“On the off chance that you have a portion of these applications and make a hierarchical responsibility to be a strong supply chain, you most likely can outflank your rivals if something turns out badly,” he said. “Be that as it may, constantly nothing turns out badly, you’re likely conveying somewhat higher basic expenses since you’ve fabricated this fair on the off chance that capacity.”

Supply chain chance evaluation applications can be helpful, Gardner stated, yet just in the event that they are joined with on-the-ground human information and connections. The innovation will be unable to completely foresee a hazard to the supply chain, however it might be valuable in helping associations react to an occasion and return to ordinary after an interruption.

“It will be fascinating to check whether associations that have put resources into shrewd stages and put resources into information and flexibility can ricochet back quicker than associations that don’t,” he said.

Surely, the greatest bit of leeway supply chain chance applications offer is a capacity for an association to respond quicker than contenders to a troublesome occasion, Ellis said.

“On the off chance that you can see an issue before it shows itself and be proactive, or see it so rapidly that you can respond quicker than every other person, you have a superior possibility of exploiting the providers that are accessible,” he said. “On the off chance that there are six providers on the planet and five of them get overwhelmed, that 6th provider will get a great deal of calls, and they are going to take the business from the principal couple that call, so being quick to the options is a major piece of supply chain strength.”

Supply chain chance appraisal applications that have progressed investigation and AI innovation can assist associations with deciding shaky areas in the supply chain and regularly propose activities to moderate the issues, Coates said. In any case, they are a long way from being generally embraced in assembling.

“Those types of devices are coming of age, but the world is filled with lots of small and medium businesses – even in automotive and aerospace – and these small companies don’t have the luxury of buying a big AI system, “He said. “So risk should be evaluated in different ways, either by personally placing someone on an airplane and going around to see suppliers and assess risk, or some other process like that. ”

Ultimately, the global supply chain may fall victim to its own success.

“The problem with the global supply chain is that you’ve got a bit of your supply chain everywhere,” Ellis said. “So if there is a big problem in one part of the world, chances are it is going to affect you because part of your supply chain is there – because part of your supply chain is everywhere.

Driving Enterprise Digital Transformation: Mdm Is The Answer

The internet, information technology and smart devices tiptoed into diverse industries- from logistics to healthcare, education to finance, and have very quickly taken over the responsibility to completely rehaul the way these industries operated. The much-needed revamp of replacing conventional processes and methodologies has been in the making for almost a decade and IT had a LOT to do with it.

What started initially as a way to optimize cumbersome processes later became a norm of operation, especially as the world became more and more connected, and more and more digital devices took a prime space in day-to-day life.

A decade of digital devices

It goes without saying that modern businesses had already implemented digital transformation in the past decade. Early on in the 2010s, most paper-pen-based transactions were a thing of the past, and from payments to record-keeping, everything was already digitalized. The influx of smartphones at work and in our personal lives further drove the digital revolution in the workplace.

Employees checking work emails on the phone? Why not!

It worked out, and how! More and more businesses were prompted to bring in the digital ecosystem. Digitalisation and enterprise mobility existed but was not full-fledged. Certain processes and systems were still operating conventionally, although not with papers and punch cards but with desktops and physical boundaries.

However, several small and mid-size enterprises still heavily relied on data, device and network security implemented within a conventional ‘office space’. Barring the exception of logistics and last-mile delivery, most of the frontline workforce was yet to undergo a massive digital transformation.

The push of the pandemic

If there could be a singular catastrophic event that made the world realize the importance of a digital ecosystem (and a well-maintained one, at that) was the pandemic. When everything suddenly went fully remote, there was no option but to get ahead with the digital transformation that could sustain the ever-changing global rules, lockdowns and restrictions. For businesses to stay afloat, embracing technology that could help and boost remote operations was imperative.

According to a survey, only 6% of the employed worked primarily from home and about three-quarters of workers had never worked from home before the pandemic. These numbers changed to over one-third of the employed working from home by May 2023.

IT teams of organizations of any size could no longer physically provision devices, everything needed to be available on devices that were geographically distributed, security measures couldn’t be applied on devices operating within a particular network, moreso, employees could no longer be restricted to work from a particular device – it was a now or never situation and it was safe to say that digital transformation had fully arrived.

The concerns around digital transformation

Nonetheless, the encumbrances that prevented enterprises from going completely digital first were still present and had to be dealt with on an SOS basis. Ensuring data security, enabling a digital ecosystem to streamline access to corporate information and business resources and facilitating collaboration outside of corporate network boundaries was critical, and so was BYOD. There was no time to stop and have a change management team drive this, it had to be done now.

For enterprises with limited IT resources, this was a testing time. Moving to fully remote operations was not easy.

MDM to the rescue

 MDM has always been considered an essential part of digital transformation. Enterprises can effortlessly create custom usage policies, apply security measures, set compliances and attest to device and OS performance to maintain security, using an MDM. But the importance of MDM was highlighted when the IT teams had to operate remotely. Enterprises that did not invest in an MDM needed to do so, to support the demands of fully-remote operations.

With mobile device management, provisioning devices straight out-of-the-box was facilitated, enforcing VPN to access work apps could be streamlined, taking control of OS versions, identifying security vulnerabilities and applying patches was possible. Moreso, MDM enables organizations to eliminate the security risks associated with employees working remotely, and connecting to unknown, shared or public networks.

A survey suggests that 61% of Gen Y workers believe the tech tools they use in their personal lives are more effective and productive than those used in their work life. More than 60% use or want to use their personal device for work. To accommodate this critical need of enabling employees to work on the devices they love, organizations have to embrace MDM, no matter where they are in their digital transformation journey.

Closing lines

Mobile device management has quintessentially made remote working possible, and this kick-started the enterprise mobility journey for several organizations- big and small. Of course with the era of ‘remote everything’, there’s no looking back and there’s no question about whether or not to invest in an MDM solution, but only the question of how soon.

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