Go ahead and look down on your desk. You will see a number of things like pens, pencils, notebooks and other stationary material that you might be using. And then there will be the digital items — the digital tools — like the mobile phone, desktop, laptop, or any other intelligent electronic device. The advent of the digital technology has left no aspect of life untouched and Supply chain management is no exception.
The digitization of the traditional supply chain is being driven by the changes in the external environment which is making it imperative for the function to adapt and move forward in the value chain. Let us look at some of these change drivers:
- Integrated View of the Entire Supply Chain
With increased complexities of supply, it is important for managers to be able to understand the integrated effects of the entire chain of events. However, this is easier said than done!
With the simultaneous or successive execution of various processes involved, it is a difficult job to track all the essential parameters in real time. The requirement for the SCM managers becomes tougher because most of the current ERP systems employed for data analytics do not allow for a single view and one has to constantly switch views in order to understand the whole performance of the chain.
- Flexibility of orders
With businesses, particularly online, adopting a flexible approach towards order customization, Supply Chain managers have their task cut out to ensure there is an adaptability in the function to accommodate the complexities arising from such an approach.
There is also the aspect of order cancellations as well as fast-changing nature of inventories representative of the fast-changing customer tastes. These aspects have to be a necessary part of the operational focus of businesses like online e-commerce players as well as retail stores. Thus, even though these cancellations happen towards the last stages of the supply chain, they can affect the performance of almost all the previous stages. In a retail store scenario, for example, retailers may get stuck with returned products occupying their storage space indefinitely.
- Demand-driven Planning
A more demand-driven approach is the need of the hour. It not only leads to a more customer focused mindset but also a decrease in the number of overstocked products and working capital efficiencies. This kind of an approach helps companies identify their best selling products while relying less only on the historical trends for deriving their inventory holding efficiencies.
However, to take up that demand-driven approach a huge amount of data needs to be analyzed and certain solutions need to be found. This is only possible with the help of a digitized supply chain management.
- Globalisation Led Changes In The Business Environment
Globalisation has not just increased the demands of various products but it has also increased the overall competition. This is manifest in increased expectation for higher customer service levels.
A company that wants to make profits in this competitive market has to work hard and smart at the same time. This means that they need to produce quality products at a reasonable price. On the supply chain front, a visibility to performance and cost saving opportunities is only effectively possible through a digitized supply chain management system. However, many companies still use the traditional supply chain analytical tools and methods in the belief that a change would require a large investment. This reluctance may eventually be holding the company back as a properly digitized supply chain can be the best investment towards a higher ROI of the function and not only for cutting down on the cost.
A digitized supply chain therefore has the potential to transform a company’s performance in the market as well as deliver higher productivity and cost effectiveness. A digitized supply chain in turn can increase its power many fold by feeding into a powerful Artificial Intelligence based solution like Verdis.
Verdis — the Artificially Intelligent Virtual Data Scientist
VERDIS is a solution that delivers the power of thousands of data scientists in an organization. This virtual data scientist collects and analyses a large amount of data to provide its valuable insights that can help in running the Supply Chain function efficiently — right time delivery of right products at minimum cost.
VERDIS works all hours of the day and on all days of the year.
- It provides its users with the complete single view of the supply chain from the one end (Supplier’s supplier) to the other end (Customer’s customer). It tracks parameters including costs, inventory, order fulfillment rate and lead time.
- The system enables SCM managers to dig deeper into identifying issues that can improve the efficiency and performance of the supply chain
- Businesses can choose to set alerts for various parameters. And VERDIS will automatically alert the customer whenever that set level is being crossed.
- Verdis does not wait for the SCM manager to ask it a question for highlighting a critical aspect of the function. The system pushes such information on its own so that timely action can be taken.
- Verdis works perfectly with any enterprise system or any other 3rd party decision support tools. It uses the data in those tools to hone its intelligence further and deliver more effective and efficient insights.
- Verdis can understand and reply back to speech as well as to email queries!