- By John Delligatti
- February 01, 2023
Ensuring precise data about all parts, materials and components at every link in the supply chain provides an early-warning system and puts actionable information where it can be mobilized.
The global nature of business, geopolitical upheaval, impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic, increasing extreme weather events, and more factors are placing ever-greater strains on complex and interdependent supply chains. Ensuring precise data about all parts, materials and components at every link in the supply chain provides an early-warning system and puts actionable information where it can be mobilized.
Real-time data transparency is a must-have as organizations progress through their digital transformation and work to mitigate supply chain disruption in both maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) process and their finished goods inventories.
Clear benefits of supply chain data transparency
Transparency creates partnerships and shared responsibility among suppliers, manufacturers, and end customers. The bonds of trust forged through full visibility of products in various stages of manufacture and delivery simplifies access and the ability to work with data, no matter where it is located. Disclosing this information to supply chain partners makes components and supplies traceable from source to destination and at every stop in between. This allows all supply chain members to accurately attribute costs to their inventory and production strategies. Unlike direct costs, indirect supply chain expenses may be spread among several orders, deliveries, and customers and contained within diverse applications and silos. Tantamount to treating each supply chain partner as a division in a larger enterprise, real-time data visibility captures economies of scale and reduces administrative costs.
Real-time data transparency helps companies realize improvements in several areas including:
- Operations: Sharing data between suppliers and buyers shortens the time from requisition to purchase order to delivery. Data transparency lends insights into vendor performance and compliance, rogue purchasing, and more.
- Delivery: As more manufacturers and retailers turn to just-in-time ordering to reduce inventory costs, on-time delivery becomes crucial. Full data sets highlight supply chain disruption caused by raw material shortages, excessive lead times, incorrect reorder points, and supplier bottlenecks.
- Fill rate: Internal, cross-functional data transparency helps track the causes if the percentage of shipments fulfilled upon order completion falls below service level agreements. It could be a result of large, unexpected orders depleting inventory. This, in turn could point out deficiencies in staffing or improper safety stock levels.
- Cycle counts: Taking inventory frequently ensures there are no surprises or additional costs incurred by the need for rush delivery on critical spare parts of PPE supplies. But only if the results of each cycle count are accessible by decision makers and not only by facility managers. The data can alert executives to incorrect supply tracking, excessive use, shrinkage, etc.
- Price changes: Automating data transparency processes allows businesses to set up notifications when prices rise significantly. Vendors can cite supply chain disruptions and their anticipated effect on costs, so customers are forewarned and forearmed. They can launch investigations into emergency supply sources, search for alternative products, and re-evaluate their demand and preferred safety stock levels.
As part of manufacturing companies’ digital transformation solutions, data transparency reinforces business continuity, maximizes production uptime, and assures product quality. But implementing the data handling and reporting processes that mitigate supply chain shortages requires collaboration and trust among all upstream and downstream partners. This can become a sticking point in today’s uber-competitive environment. Learn more about how organizations are using data in their digital supply chain transformations.
SDI enables data transparency
To alleviate concerns over sharing proprietary data, companies can leverage a third-party supply chain management vendor’s the technologies and expertise. SDI’s ZEUS, for example, facilitates a connected digital approach to parts management that illuminates the supply chain from end to end for more accurate forecasting and demand management. With ZEUS, supply chain disruption becomes a thing of the past. It simplifies maintenance schedules and facilitates supplier consolidation and diversity, laying the groundwork for companies’ digital transition strategies.
To see how SDI and ZEUS can help your organization realize the full benefit of real-time data transparency, fill out our contact form or schedule a free ZEUS demo so our team can show you the impact our system can make for your business, first hand.
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