5 Key Features of Supply Chain Collaboration Softwares
Supply chain collaboration must be built around real-time data. By prioritizing the use of accurate, relevant data, teams and stakeholders can make informed decisions and take proactive measures to optimize the supply chain.
In today's quickly changing environments, supply chain collaboration has become an essential part of ensuring a successful supply chain. Streamlined and efficient collaboration between different teams and stakeholders can ensure the flow of goods and services, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.
However, effective collaboration is often hindered by the lack of reliable data and tools that can help teams make data-driven decisions. This is where supply chain collaboration software comes into play. Supply chain collaboration softwares are designed to centralize data from different sources, providing a single source of truth for all teams involved in the supply chain.
The benefits of supply chain collaboration software extend far beyond just data centralization. These tools come equipped with a range of features that can help teams collaborate more efficiently, reducing the risk of errors, delays, and miscommunications. In the following sections, we will explore five key features of supply chain collaboration software that are essential for achieving streamlined and efficient collaboration in the supply chain.
5 Key Features of Supply Chain Collaboration Softwares
Effective supply chain collaboration starts with data. In many cases, supply chain management failures occur because teams and stakeholders lack access to timely and accurate data, such as parts shortages, machine downtime, and quality problems. This can result in delayed corrective actions, unsatisfied customers, and ultimately, lost revenue.
To address these challenges, supply chain collaboration must be built around real-time data. By prioritizing the use of accurate, relevant data, stakeholders can make informed decisions and take proactive measures to optimize the supply chain. A data-centric approach not only enhances collaboration but also ensures that decisions are based on scientific evidence, leading to optimal results.
Furthermore, it is not just about data, but also about making process data-centric. While real-time data is fundamental, it's only one piece of the puzzle. Advanced supply chain collaboration software features mentioned below such as in-context messaging, simulation of alternative plans, and integration into existing processes are all designed to facilitate efficient and effective collaboration and communication. The magic of data lies in not only its quantity and quality but also how it is used for collaboration.
Access to real-time data
Real-time disruptions require real-time responses, but many companies lack access to data from real-time feeds. This can lead to decisions based on outdated information or the loudest voice in the room. To increase agility in resolving issues and build resilience to disruptions, it's crucial to connect all data generated by all points in the supply chain in real-time.
However, it's important to note that we're not just talking about any data; the instantaneity of the data is crucial. Traditional business intelligence tools rely on extracts from ERPs that often contain poor data quality and rapidly expire in a volatile factory environment. What really matters in supply chain collaboration is real-time tracking of work orders, purchase orders, customer orders, machines, suppliers, and more. Additionally, much of the interesting data in operations management is stored in shared Excel files, post-it notes of plant operators, or emails. A well-designed supply chain collaboration software must have a 360-degree view of these data and store the history of issues and solutions on the object to leverage accumulated knowledge instantly.
By leveraging such solutions, a production controller can instantly identify the next critical parts to source for an order, which suppliers to contact, who is dealing with them internally, and which customers are at risk. They can also determine which customer orders to potentially delay. More advanced supply chain collaboration softwares can enrich the data model with configuration tables from users, providing additional contextual data about suppliers, equipment, machines, BOMs, or customers.
In summary, to effectively respond to real-time disruptions, companies need access to real-time data from all points in the supply chain. This requires a well-designed supply chain collaboration software that can handle the instantaneity of data and provide a 360-degree view of all relevant information. By leveraging these solutions, companies can quickly resolve issues and build resilience to disruptions, ultimately improving the efficiency and effectiveness of their supply chain.
Effective supply chain collaboration involves more than just communicating with different teams and stakeholders. However, this doesn't diminish the importance of good communication. To manage complex supply chains successfully, it's crucial to have an in-context messaging feature that allows partners to seamlessly share and comment on critical issues and escalation tickets. This feature should be intuitive and eliminate the need to switch between systems, thereby speeding up communication.
A well-designed in-context messaging function can provide a complete history of comments on an escalation ticket, issue, or specific object. This helps to align everyone on the best course of action. It should also be optimized to shorten the feedback loop between teams with a comments module and notification alerts for specific users. With just one click, critical issues can be instantly escalated to management or suppliers.
In summary, effective supply chain collaboration requires more than just communication. An in-context messaging feature is essential to facilitate seamless communication and ensure everyone is on the same page. With this feature, partners can share and comment on critical issues and escalation tickets without any delays or disruptions, resulting in a more efficient and optimized supply chain.
Integration into existing process and systems
Currently, many companies manage their supply chain collaboration using a mix of Excel, email, Teams, and various ERPs, with many useful data sources stored in these tools and systems. It's important to note that supply chain collaboration software should not be viewed as a replacement for these tools, but rather as a complementary solution that works in tandem with existing systems. This is where composable supply chain collaboration software comes into play, as it's designed to seamlessly integrate with existing systems, tools, and data sources. By doing so, it facilitates vertical collaboration and makes it easier for organizations to optimize their supply chain operations.
In summary, an effective supply chain collaboration software should not disrupt existing workflows, but rather enhance them by providing a centralized platform that integrates with existing systems and tools to streamline processes and maximize efficiency.
Simulation of alternative plans
An effective supply chain collaboration software offers the benefit of simulating alternative plans to better take proactive actions. For example, with on-the-fly supply simulation, including pull-ins, push outs, and partial deliveries, the supply chain collaboration softwares can enable a more agile and flexible decision-making process.
To better compare different alternative plans, the impact of these simulations should be computed, giving visibility on key performance indicators and status changes across all plants. Next best actions can then be taken based on the simulated plan, along with a collective critical path to implement the new production plan. This facilitates short-term production allocation optimization, including machine, work order operations, workers, and skills, with real-time alerts provided for potential risks.
Additionally, the outcomes of simulations can be shared with other teams allows for iteration towards an optimal operations plan. Overall, the ability to simulate alternative plans is a critical feature of supply chain collaboration software, as it enables more efficient and solution-driven supply chain collaboration management.
Effective and efficient supply chain collaboration is essential for organizations to maintain a successful supply chain in today's rapidly changing environments. Supply chain collaboration software provides a range of features that help teams collaborate more efficiently, reducing the risk of errors, delays, and miscommunications. Five key features of such software have been discussed in this article, including access to real-time data, in-context messaging, integration with existing processes and systems, simulation of alternative plans, and data-centric collaboration. By leveraging these features, organizations can streamline their supply chain operations, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.