In the days where supply chain analytics were left to handwritten tallies or Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, the supply chain was hindered by lack of information. Today, however, technology tools, especially cloud-based tools, are bringing some major boons to the supply chain.
“On the electronics industry side, with the advent of technology and platform, there are powerful things we can do for the supply chain ecosystem,” Jigish Avalani, president and COO of Tradeshift, which makes a cloud-based supply chain platform, told EBN in an interview.
The growth of this market has been exceedingly strong. With 10.8% annual growth, supply chain management (SCM) and procurement applications outpaced most software markets to total $9.9 billion in 2014, according to market research firm Gartner. Cloud-based solutions had the strongest growth of all reaching 17% annually, the analyst said.
Avalani outlined three clear benefits that these platforms are delivering to electronics OEMs:
- Better collaboration. “Better collaboration really is a foundation for the ability to communicate and to transact and understand the inventory with the entire supply chain on a dynamic basis,” said Avalani. Technology allows OEMs to see product availability, inventory levels and more at the supplier—and to smooth out potential problems before they occur.
- Easier supplier management. Supply chain technology platforms allow OEMs to on-board new suppliers more quickly and with fewer mistakes. Further, these systems make it possible to monitor the health of the relationship, understand potential risks, track compliance information, and spot performance degredation and other delays. “Start with the idea that no one has inll intent, and all suppliers are trust worthy, rather than applying strange and arcane rules in triplicate,” said Avalani. “Technology will let you start with an environment that is productive, and then controls risk and compliance through the compliance itself.”
- The ability to deliver on the full capability of the ecosystem. “ No single entity or department is able to focus on every single nuance of the business, nor should they,” said Avalani. By choosing the right platform and applications, organizations can bring together an end-to-end platform that can generate value across the organization.
- Better compliance. “The trends of increased digitization and globalization are putting pressure on every company in the world to rethink fundamentals such as go-to-market, production, distribution and internal processes,” siaid Avalani. “For supply chain management it means the imperative is on agility/adaptability and real-time insight to managing change, rather than purely on cost, efficiency and stability. Mastering compliance in such a context is a fundamental requirement which poses challenges for suppliers and buyers alike.”
Let us know how your organization is using SCM applications in the comments section below. What are the biggest benefits that you've seen?