The Importance of a Connected Supply Chain

connected supply chain

The Importance of a Connected Supply Chain

Most companies rely on traditional processes to ensure the gap between demand and supply is as small as possible. These include forecasts and purchasing plans, which are used to order the necessary materials on time. To factor in some variation, companies may have a distribution plan in place, all of which come together to give the customer a precise delivery window. This entire process, however, is prone to delays and miscalculations, all of which could upset the balance between supply and demand.

Nevertheless, the entire process is improving as connected supply chains and services continue to revamp the manufacturing process to include end-to-end optimization and integrating external activities.

 

Components of a Connected Supply Chain

The modern connected supply chain is made primarily of 6 components: Planning and execution integrated across the supply chain, visibility across the logistics network, purchasing analytics with recommendations, connected warehousing, and spare parts management.

These components include almost 40+ unique processes under 5 main categories: plan, source, make, deliver, and enable. Planning, the largest category, primarily consists of: a supply chain visibility system, real-time supply chain monitoring and optimization, enterprise-level spend analysis, real-time scheduling, demand management, and a comprehensive control center with consignment inventory, inventory incentives, demand management, and supply network planning.

Sourcing mainly includes: a supply chain visibility system, received goods inspection, and a supplier quality management system. Making largely encompasses: Asset management, production flow monitoring, equipment downtime monitoring and tracking, and utility and energy optimization. The two components of delivery are transportation optimization, and cloud-based fleet manufacturing. Finally, enabling includes: bar-coding / RFID, quality analytics, mobile access to information, smart warehousing, optimization of transportation management, connected pallets and products, and search capability.

Any company that successfully manages to integrate these components and processes into a single, coherent system will reap massive benefits in efficiency, adaptability, and cost reduction.

 

Challenges with Implementation

So why isn’t every company in the world immediately adopting a connected supply chain? The problem lies in the fact that only bringing together the required technologies isn’t enough. To fully adopt an integrated supply chain, companies have to construct the required infrastructure, both internal and external, bring together experts with the needed skills, and manage both technological and organizational changes across the entire company. While this requires enormous effort across all parts of the organization, it results in sizeable improvements to profit and revenue.

 

TPSynergy’s Integrated Supply Chain

Rather than spending valuable time and money to establish a custom connected supply chain, TPSynergy provided a fully integrated supply chain, with inventory management and real time order processing. Implementing TPSynergy into your organization requires little to no upfront costs, and comes with a full suite of services to better integrate your supply chain. Contact us for a free demo to learn how TPSynergy can help you.