Manufacturers embrace new supply chain management tactics


Every link in a company's restock processes has its own supply chain management challenges and opportunities, each distinct but connected. According to PCQuest contributor Maha Muzumdar, one of the issues affecting manufacturers is a pronounced need to remain aware of activity at every level of a company. Increased visibility can bring agility and the ability to react to problems as they arise, minimizing the potential damage from any business mishaps.

Reactive manufacturers

Muzumdar described an ideal, well-prepared manufacturing organization as one that can work closely with its suppliers and buyers through B2B integration. A heavily connected factory is different from its more closed-off peers in both its ability to create highly efficient joint strategies with its partners and to quickly change strategy and dodge the negative effects of trouble either higher or lower along the chain, from materials to the final sale.

Supply chain management, in Muzumdar's estimation, is highly dependent on technological solutions. In addition to integration solutions to ease collaboration, firms can boost performance by drilling deep into data in search of insight. Solutions that detect customer demand can work alongside applications that manage a transportation network. The connecting threads are high visibility and the sharing of important enterprise data.

Innovation and data exchange

A survey by KPMG found that manufacturing organizations are integrating data with their peers not only to become agile and react to overriding issues in their sector but also to create innovative new processes. The study highlighted firms focusing on relatively conservative forms of innovation, improving existing product lines rather than beginning from scratch. Long-term projects were placed on the back burner relative to steady boosts.

When moving forward with their development efforts, manufacturers loath to go it alone, KPMG found. The survey respondents revealed plans to work with suppliers, key customers and their partners along the supply chain. The research organization discerned companies in developed economies have been working together for more than 50 years but that recent theories about freedom of information have spurred the process considerably.

Integration as an answer

Modern B2B integration solutions can make collaboration and data sharing faster and easier than ever. By embracing the cloud, companies can have access to the same data as their partners and use it immediately. With worries about loss of speed and declining data quality laid to rest, joint work can proceed at its optimal speeds.