Even in the most forward-thinking organization, there's always room for improvement in the supply chain. Especially in the electronics sector, this incremental added value may be the difference between winning and losing.
"We are at a major inflection point for product manufacturing," said Arun Samuga, vice president of research and development at Elemica, a supply chain operating network provider which allows companies to buy/sell from each other, collaborate on business processes, find logistics capacity, and manage inventory. "The electronics industry, in particular, is high on the dynamic scale. What that means, if we look ahead, is that today's supply chain planning is not adequate to meet the challenges of the future."
Lessons learned last year can be applied to create a better 2015, according to Samuga. Elmica identified a group of "e-lessons learned," culled from customer experiences, industry analysts, and its own experience. Supply chain pros can apply these to achieve continuous improvement.
Ecosystem: Supply chain is no longer an island unto itself, but rather is part of a larger ecosystem in order to allow better accountability, visibility and agility. Organizations need to be aware of the interconnectedness of manufactures and customers and plan accordingly. " Demand sensing, supply risk, disaster planning, real supply chain planning: Only when you tackle these collectively can you address them," said Samuga.
Experience: Customers, both individuals and companies, are demanding high levels of focused service. Organizations need to keep service levels high without adding astronomical cost to the organization. "People have gotten used to visibility and performance," said Samuga. "There are three broad buckets around collaboration with customers: letting them know what's happening with processes; providing visibility across the entire network; and, as an emerging trend, the ability to achieve predictive demand sensing."
Extend: Forward thinking supply chains think of the end customer first. This approach manages cross-functional processes that integrate and synchronize product, demand, and supply networks to optimize joint value.
Expectation: Too often, companies try to force trading partners to adopt a single standard across the board. The best processes allow the breadth of partners work together while allowing them to maintain their existing processes and standards.
End-to-End: End-to-end visibility allows organizations to respond quickly to changing demand and business climate, and to proactively capture new opportunities.
Exponential: Organizations should focus on building a network effect, created by rapid on boarding and mass adoption of processes by business partners and other participants.
Engage: Business-to-business (B2B) social media allows for dynamic interactions that can lead to keen insights. For example, allow for collaboration that translates into the capture of customer recommendations for improvement or the building of key performance indicators (KPIs) for suppliers and logistics providers.
Ease: Business Networks help companies find common ground with customers. Buyers demand ease of doing business and go to organizations that simplify doing business.
Expose: Concentrate on uncovering areas in the supply chain that bring risk or variability to processes. By capturing intelligence around real-time business issues using predictive and prescriptive analytics, organizations can address problems proactively.
Envision: Master Data Management (MDM) of supply chain information, gathered from disparate systems, offers the best chance at clean, actionable information.
Let us know in the comments section below where you drive value in your supply chain.
We sat down with IDC's Simon Ellis to talk about the biggest supply chain trends, and especially how they might affect electronics original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contract manufacturers, and other industry players.
EBN Dialogue enables you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Open to the entire EBN community of electronics supply chain experts, these conversations see ideas shared, comments made, and questions asked and answered in real time. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats. Stay tuned and join in!