4 Important Ways Technology Can Bolster Your Supply Chain
It’s unsurprising that much of supply chain disruptions this year stemmed from coronavirus pandemic. The vulnerabilities exposed in our supply chains had businesses scrambling to re–strategise, particularly in terms of a rethink on how we view supply chain resiliency.
This pandemic has shown us that what businesses need is a reliable way to predict COVID-19 cases and create visibility and transparency across their supply chain. Like many other advice columns, a recent HBR article asserts that this can be achieved with the right technology and data.
The article lists 4 important ways that technology can bolster supply chains, with the first that it can drive comprehensive supply chain visibility.
According to the article, global supply chains are becoming increasingly complex, making it a challenge to examine the web of manufacturers, logistics professionals and distributors that make the final transaction possible.
Accurate, real-time data and transparency across the whole supply chain provides a solution to this. The article states that access to real-time data will help businesses accurately pinpoint where their demand and supply intersect, secure product more effectively and sustainability, as well as help determine any risks with suppliers.
The article also lists a second way technology boosts supply chain which is effectively managing a complex supplier network.
In a big multifaceted corporation, there are multiple vendors working across many sites and regions. For instance, the article claims that the master vendor list for an integrated health care system can reach up to 6,000 different organisations.
To effectively manage this, as well as reduce the risk associated with complex supplier network, the article says that solution lies in using a procurement platform that uses real-time data to accurately manage these contracts plus supply chain costs, automate invoicing and payments and also provide services verification in a single place.
The third important point the article makes is that the right tech can pinpoint and engage diverse supply chain partners.
Along with supply chain resiliency also came another word: diversification. The article states that recent surveys reveal that customers are now much more interested in supporting more local suppliers.
Diverse suppliers within the supply chain are important in that their size and agility enable them to “turn projects around with quick deadlines while also providing value-added services and products on a regular basis.” The article emphasises the importance of this aspect within the healthcare industry, as supplier diversity improves inclusiveness and equity, trust between patients and provides, and in turn, the overall health outcomes.
Although there is a certain challenge for companies to make the vital distinction between qualified diverse suppliers and diverse spend, this can be solved using third-part services’ optimisation tech that utilizes diversity analytics. Using this kind of platform will make improve purchasing transparency, speed up contracting with diverse suppliers and create fair and equal business practices.
Finally, the fourth but by no means least point the article makes is that supply chains can leverage technology as an early warning system
While demand for many products plummeted, it soared for others, such as toilet paper and hand sanitizers to work materials like laptops. In the health care industry, the demand was seen in PPEs and other medical supplies.
It is now essential that providers utilise technology that will inform them on how fast the virus is spreading as well as provide them information on their required supplies at any time. This will function as real-time surveillance, helping companies create better responses and allocate their resources correctly and more efficiently.
Bolster Your Supply Chain with Technology
A technology-led, data-driven supply chain is critical at this point. By using technology, organisations can enable more efficient operations, properly allocate and save resources and create benefits that extend across cross-industry supply chains.
Source: Harvard Business Review