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Supply Chain Software Technology Works…But Does it do the Work?

Last modified: May 27, 2015

With today’s advanced technology, supply chain visibility should be increasingly transparent with enhanced real-time visibility. Generally, the conventional supply chain  software technology provides data on input, process and output; however, logistics managers frequently encounter challenges to staying on top of shipments and their current, precise locations within the supply chain. Why this remains an issue represents a critical challenge that the era of big data and the Internet of Things can solve. When viewed as an opportunity rather than a tactical issue, the management of the data that drives supply chain visibility will produce the transparency, reliable shipments and higher profits necessary in today’s competitive marketplace.

Managing Critical Data in the Supply Chain thru Supply Chain Software

With the adoption of big data in the supply chain, businesses are shifting from minimizing supply chain costs to exploiting opportunities identified by big data analytics. The vertical approach to supply chain management is evolving to maximize end-to-end supply chains that optimize cross-functional KPIs, thus improving profitability while meeting volatile consumer demands. The benefits of these advancements include improvements in lead time, sustainability, on-time-in-full, gross margins and product availability on the shelf. These areas represent significant opportunities for mature companies to see considerable incremental improvements in operational efficiency.

Currently, many businesses continue to outsource processes that include movement of shipments between nodes in the supply chain and functional physical management. Moreover, they outsource the generation and securing of data connectivity across the global supply chain from production to consumption points. This results in the linkage of domestic and international supply chains as well as wholesale deliveries to retail markets. The value of data visibility increases exponentially with the holistic end-to-end supply chain software system.

To optimize the value of this end-to-end process requires an accountable team of experts, such as Flash Global that can manage shipments throughout the supply chain with precision, proactively reaching out to suppliers, vendors and carriers about status milestones and determining actionable alternatives to exceptions that may occur.

Designing Systems to Optimize Complexity

As an example, by utilizing inbound milestone events and purchase order data, a company can merge its supplier’s inbound shipments with its outbound domestic shipments.  This solution optimizes the physical infrastructure as well as the connectivity that aligns the two critical flows automatically. Flash Global uses its proactive account management team to facilitate the process and offer real-time status events that control the routes and exceptions in real-time.  Flash Global manages the system from end-to-end with enhanced visibility that results in reduced lead times.

Integrating Supply Chain Software Technology with Supply Chain Networks

The latest advancements in supply chain software technology allow the ability to provide supply chain services that span global end-to-end supply chain activities, including centralized origin hubs with dedicated personnel to manage the process. With continuous interaction with OEM/ODMs, suppliers and vendors to capture data for greater visibility, these teams work to identify and mitigate risks while exploiting opportunities quickly, thereby increasing the network efficiency. Shipment management comprises of monitoring goods in transit to global destinations and a destination team that handles high-velocity trans- load and cross-dock facilities in addition to truck delivery.

With reliable and verifiable supply chain data, companies can realize improvements across the entire global network. By meeting objectives to consolidate cross-country traffic through direct shipments to channel partners and subsidiaries utilizing full containers, companies can combine factory direct shipments that lack adequate volume to make full container shipments. Using customer demand and actual shipment data, a business can identify precisely which shipments can be shipped directly to global markets that satisfy actual end consumer demand. This precision can drill down to the SKU level and identify opportunities for product to be held at the centralized hub, thereby utilizing it as a distribution point that meets the demands of a volatile market.

Through extensive distribution and logistics analysis, supply chain software can identify which hub should be used versus any of the prior various hub distribution points. This flexibility can result in savings by decreasing lead times, frequently through late stage product differentiation after the placement of an order for a specific country rather than holding preconfigured inventory for all potential customers.

Thus, with supply chain software as a tool, such as FlashTrac, provided by a partner like Flash Global, businesses with mature networks can realize operational improvements by managing the reliable data from supply chain operations, using the analysis to improve business controls and react to volatile customer demand with agility. Flash Global offers optimized strategies for a global network, real-time escalation for event management, continuous solution design for added value, quick uptime and seamless integration with existing systems. Today’s supply networks face increasing volatility leading to greater risks. With Flash Global, those risks quickly become opportunities to exploit for greater revenue and reduced costs.

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