The Ultimate Guide To Running A Live Supply Chain

Richard Howells

The digital economy is radically transforming supply chains. Technological innovations are leading to more complex products. Individualization and accelerated delivery schedules are leading to rising customer expectations.

Today’s supply chain organizations must respond to these challenges by gaining greater agility, visibility, and scalability. The key to achieving this hinges on transforming your traditional supply chain into a digitized, extended supply chain.

Realize the benefits of a live supply chain

A “live” supply chain is one that enables your business to sense, respond, learn, adapt, and predict to Run Simple and create value in the moment. By running live – with a digitized, extended supply chain – you can better operate in environments of growing demand and complexity. This is critical in today’s dynamic digital economy.

But how can you turn running a live, digitized, extended supply chain from a pipe dream to reality?

Here are four tips to help you get started:

  1. Focus on customer-centricity. Consumers today are more informed, better connected, and less patient than ever before. They’re also changing the manner in which they buy things, opting more and more for customized products over mass-produced goods. With buyer expectations rising through the roof, supply chain organizations must raise the bar, providing greater flexibility and reacting with greater speed. In essence, businesses need to put today’s increasingly demanding customers at the forefront of their operations.
  1. Gain demand awareness. Supply chain organizations can benefit considerably from greater visibility of customer demand. By gaining additional insight into buyer needs and expectations, companies can provide better service. Gaining demand awareness can also help businesses to better predict what customers may want next, enabling organizations to innovate ahead of demand.
  1. Become more data-driven. IBM estimates that people are creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily. Today’s supply chain organizations need to turn the data at their disposal into timely insight, capitalizing on this information to improve their companies as well as the customer experiences they provide. Accessing and analyzing data can enable businesses to run their supply chains more intelligently, transforming a variety of company operations – from product design to manufacturing to delivery.
  1. Drive transformation with innovation. Supply chain organizations can achieve all of these things – focusing on customer-centricity, gaining demand awareness, and becoming more data-driven – by embracing the latest technology. The world has gone digital. Your supply needs to, as well, whether that means adopting modern document management processes, mobile tools, demand signal repositories, the Internet of Things, or 3D printing.

Thrive today and innovate for tomorrow with a digitized, extended supply chain

The evolution from traditional supply chain to digitized, extended supply chain won’t be easy. But the transformation is necessary to succeed in today’s complex digital landscape.

With a live supply chain in place, your organization will be able to respond quickly and accurately to your customers and their ever-evolving expectations. You’ll be able to see across your entire network in real time, enabling you to simplify and optimize your operations, from product concept to delivery.

Learn more about how running a live supply chain can help you thrive today and innovate for tomorrow. Download The Extended Supply Chain, a free report courtesy of IDC Manufacturing Insights.

This story originally appeared on Supply Chain World Magazine.


About Richard Howells

Richard Howells is a Vice President at SAP responsible for the positioning, messaging, AR , PR and go-to market activities for the SAP Supply Chain solutions.