Smaller quantities of many essentials: Building Materials. Coffee. Electric Motors. Metals. Polymers. Semiconductors. The writing is on the wall. Supply chain shortages have been, and are, a major issue.
Over 1% of the world’s container ships are today idling off major ports, with unloading times doubled and costs tripled. Warehouses are overflowing, mostly with the wrong things, and this is playing havoc with the timing of forty million shipping containers around the world. The effect on supply chains is unparalleled. Conventional approaches have proved to be inadequate. And putting this horde of challenges right is going to take years.
Let’s throw some more light on this situation. Importers are trying to push 30 percent more through a system that is running at 70 percent throughput against the old level. So the world is really at 40 percent of the throughput needed. With zero backup!
So there exists an infrastructure and shipping network problem. But insufficient remuneration to interest truckers, longshoremen, and so on. The urgent need of the hour is visibility, but this is the puzzle that organisations implementing many projects cannot seem to solve. And why? Everyone in the know today is talking about a visibility solution, but visibility is still not happening. The solution is insubstantial.
There are several variants of the state of things, yet most solutions try to approach the issue with a generic visibility approach. That’s why most solutions are not clear in scope, with the implementation of visibility as a “functional extension to existing process” lacking a holistic outside-in strategy to perceive and respond.
What, really, is “Visibility”?
Visibility means many different things to different people. In spite of huge investments, the fissures still loom large. Slow progress is being made on transportation visibility, but not supplier visibility. Far too few organisations adopt a holistic approach to embrace the design, create, source and deliver together.
The problem with supplier visibility is entangled in procurement processes that have been going backwards not forward over the past ten years. Procurement processes, burdened by a focus on paperless processing, RFPs/ RFQs and efficient procurement, do not adopt the potentials and needs of direct material sourcing. A secondary problem is the absence of definition of process requirements and a buying team that does not look past simple MRP/ MRP II/ DDMRP requirements. There exist no network solutions in the market to holistically ensure plan, source, make and deliver visibility. All are looking out for themselves, hence operating as islands lacking interoperability with other network solutions.
Are there real solutions?
The goal for everyone would be to start with a concise definition of the term “visibility” and the process definition of what capabilities are required to drive business success. Organisations should stop employing “visibility solutions” for “visibility’s sake”, and design an inclusive plan.
- Implement Authoritative Identifiers:Cars have VIN numbers. Wallets have an Aadhaar number. These are authoritative identifiers. Today, there are no authoritative identifiers to track and trace containers, warehouse locations, trucks or manufacturing plants. This gap needs to be closed, completely. Actively adopt GS-1 and ISO-8000 standards and move assertively on building authoritative identifiers into visibility programmes.
- Use Existing Trading Partner Solutions:Survey existing suppliers, third-party logistics providers and customers. Build a map of required interoperability requirements. Moving forward, educate the team on the differences between integration and interoperability. Use NoSQL to build a unified data model across disparate data systems, employing a rules-based structure. And to accomplish this, partner with the right organisations.
- Welcome Disparate Data:Identify the cracks in performance and all of the potential data that can help close them. Create solutions to embrace unstructured, streaming and image data.
- Design a Digital Twin using Planning Master Data:Drive plans based on actual lead times, conversion rates and cycle times. Constantly adjust and evolve the design based on network shifts.
- Design an Over-arching Strategy: Don’t assume that the definition and requirements of visibility are known. Create a multi-year visibility strategy, and utilise it to continually educate your organisation.
Employ a cross-functional team; set up a multi-year holistic plan to drive strategy to close the organisational gaps for organization.
Discover how your organisation can enjoy crystal-clear, end-to-end supply chain visibility. Call +91 8861778187 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org / www.arteriatech.com.