Supply chain 4.0 – The next-gen digital supply chain:
McKinsey published an article about the next generation supply chain which highlights the importance and usage of cutting-edge technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things), Robotics, Big Data, Analytics. By leveraging the digital technologies that are available today (which are fast evolving), supply chain processes and execution can be faster, flexible, granular, accurate and efficient.
The article specifies collaboration as one of the value drivers. Collaboration must be part of every phase in the supply chain right from planning, order management, goods flow, optimization plans, delivery and maintenance.
What is collaboration?
“the act of working with another person or group of people to create or produce something” – Oxford Learning Dictionary
Why should we care about collaboration?
To answer this, look at some of the quotes from famous personalities on Collaboration:
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin
“Effectively, change is almost impossible without industry-wide collaboration, cooperation, and consensus.” – Simon Mainwaring
“Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs
What is collaboration for an organization:
No business transaction works with a single person/stakeholder. There is always more than one stakeholder involved in any business transaction, planning or a business decision. This clearly indicates the need to network/collaborate with various stakeholders at different levels to understand the problem better, discuss about the situation and to align their perspectives to achieve the best result. All stakeholders when collaborate effectively with each other in a network can benefit the organization in multiple ways some of which is discussed in detail in the blog .
- Supply chain is drastically changing due to the advancements in technology, better processes, availability of alternative resources, adoption of innovative business models, etc
- There are various stakeholders at different levels who are responsible for multiple tasks involving decision making too
- People from various business units and organizations who might not have similar working style and work environment are required to work together using various modern tools to accomplish a common goal with high accuracy and speed
- A critical perspective to Collaboration is – A network of relevant stakeholders and streamlined business processes to seamlessly deliver a smooth and efficient customer experience
- What enables easy flow of relevant information, allows decision making easier, govern the processes, make sure each of them knows their priorities and succeed together? – it is the Collaboration strategy
- Any company must adopt collaborative approach or strategy to best adapt to the modern supply chain era
How collaboration helps?
No business transaction works with a single person/stakeholder. There is always more than one stakeholder involved in any business transaction, planning or a business decision. This clearly indicates the need to network/collaborate with various stakeholders at different levels to understand the problem better, discuss about the situation and to align their perspectives to achieve the best result. All stakeholders when collaborate effectively with each other in a network can benefit the organization in multiple ways some of which are discussed in this blog series.
Enabling digital collaboration through networks:
Digitization is essential to make the supply chain faster, flexible, efficient and granular. What connects all the assets, people and processes that are involved in the supply chain? – The Networks.
Networks enable collaboration between various stakeholders and the digital assets involved in supply chain.
Supply chain networks:
There are various types of supply chain networks that are available today in order to enable collaboration, transparency and sharing of resources / data.
For instance, below are some of the supply chain related collaboration offerings from SAP.
- Supplier Network – Network of suppliers and buyers
- Asset Network – Asset Centric collaboration
- Manufacturing Network – Manufacturing made transparent and collaborative
- Logistics Network – Logistics collaboration in supply chain
Blogs in this series: