With changing customer expectations and extraordinary demands on our physical resources in today’s global economy, supply chains are becoming more complex. Businesses are being forced to rethink resource optimization and reinvent the supply chain.
In our last interview in the Future of Resources series, James Marland explained how the growing network of suppliers and partners and the“sharing economy” are transforming the supply chain.
Customers are demanding faster and more personalized products and services? In this context, how can enterprises address the resource optimization challenges that emerge as a result of that?
The constant shift in customer dynamics has and will continue to play a critical role on resource accessibility and utilization. Enterprises that choose to address these changes by only leveraging processes and expertise of the past have often found themselves hard pressed in striking the right balance in managing cost, quality and agility. In the networked economy era that we are in today, organizations are better placed that ever to address such challenges. Be it through new supply source discovery at the click of a button, seamless collaboration across all participants and processes, and elimination of manual processes, business networks have enabled enterprises to access new resources as well as optimize the usage of the existing one’s in their quest to remain nimble to the changing market environment.
How would timely and accurate insight impact resource utilization across the entire supply chain from initial design and demand to delivery?
There goes a saying that you can’t fight what you can’t see. Right utilization of resources begins with good visibility in to the supply chain. The impact is huge and across the board too. Proactive identification and mitigation of supplier risks, material and inventory cost containment, accurate sourcing decisions enablement, supplier performance management, working capital optimization are just a few examples of how enterprises have gained with timely and accurate insights on their supply chains. However visibility on enterprise data in its native form would provide limited insights because of the inherent inaccuracies and inconsistencies. Its only when enterprise wide data is well aggregated, classified, enriched and analyzed does the big picture begin to emerge. Also by taking business commerce beyond the four walls of the enterprises and by providing an ever greater transparency on transactions and the ecosystem, Business Networks have created a paradigm shift on resource visibility and utilization across the supply chain.
The idea of sustainability remains mostly an idea. What things need to happen in order for it to become more of a reality in supply chains?
Sustainability today is no longer a buzzword, it’s a business imperative. Time and again we have witnessed enterprises on the wrong side of the sustainability equation facing the squeeze from competitors, clients and governments alike. While enterprises, to some extent, have managed to bring about the sustainability change internally, it is the task managing it across their supply chains that remains a challenge. Poor visibility on the supplier base and lack of accurate information are often the culprits to blame to here. Using supplier data enrichment and supplier performance solutions, organizations today stand to know exactly how green, sustainable and diverse their supply chain is. Empowered with this ability to track and validate supplier initiatives, organizations are able to place the importance of sustainability practices to their supplier base and thus set off a cascading effect across the ecosystem.
Keertan Rai handles product marketing for Ariba’s Spend Visibility solution. He has over 7 years of experience across multiple B2B marketing disciplines in the IT products and services industry. Prior to Ariba, he was with Microland Limited and HCL Technologies in corporate and solutions marketing roles. Keertan holds an engineering degree in Computer Science from Visvesvaraya Technological University, India and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from Amity Business School, India.Comments