Supply chains have become bloated over the years with inefficient tools and materials. Chris Durken, blogging for SAP, knows what it takes to get things moving again. In his article titled “Stop Wishing And Start Optimizing Supply Chain Performance,” Durken shows how to cut down on processes that aren’t vital and replacing them with what works. On the Durken diet, you don’t need the calories. All you need is balance and perspective.

Problems in supply chains are often the result of old hardware or services slowing down the speed of the chain. Getting products from one side of the globe to the other can run into some serious snags if systems (both physical and electronic) are not properly aligned and maintained. Durken writes, “for consumer product companies, demand volatility far exceeds supply volatility, so they experience the greatest cadence mismatch between the demand and supply sides of their supply chains. The mismatch is too substantial for approaches like inventory buffering to compensate – at least not well.” And he’s right: there’s often demand coming in that is too varied, too large, and too fast for any supply chain to compensate. This is especially problematic if orders are being submitted across multiple, sometimes competing, systems.

Mobility has already energized the demand side. Mobile traffic is huge for shopping, and brick-and-mortar stores are finding their shelves full while online stores make the profits. So the best plan, then, is to use mobility to energize the supply side as well.

Durken explains what he calls a “resilient” supply chain: “IDC defines a resilient supply chain as one capable of ensuring and preserving continuous, consistent product supply in order to meet product delivery and customer service obligations despite short- or long-term disruption.” He believes that resilient supply chains are the key to ensuring products get where they need to be. The backbone of that resilience lies in mobility and cloud computing strategies.

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