One of the most discussed topics during the pandemic/post-pandemic era has been supply chains and the deleterious effect that lockdowns have placed on the interconnected common order of getting goods from here to there and back again, all at predictable costs and within expected timeframes. Lots of that remains disrupted and in ongoing flux. However, just as with the rapid advent of digital payments to supplant analog inertia, the same can be said of tech that serves the sourcing, procurement, shipment, and settlement of goods and services—in spite of the artificial impediments. In this piece from Supply Chain Brain by a senior at a supply chain consultancy, we get a tripartite approach to helping bypass some of these lingering issues.
We suppose this is all very logical (and have made similar points in member research), but putting one foot in front of another is usually how to get started. However, this basic competency can prove evasive. So let’s get organized with a good idea of where you want to go with supply chains. Then look at data and analytics. There is no shortage of high-competency analytics available to modern organizations who have the foresight to gather data and use it.
The high-level example given is that “supply chain analytics tools reveal crucial patterns and provide the knowledge that enables organizations to see risks before they arrive, avoid disruptions and save time and money…with real-time data analytics, companies can identify inefficiencies and introduce changes to move products more seamlessly, streamline routes, cut fuel use, improve warehouse flows, minimize delays and more.”
And the third prong is SCF (supply chain finance), a strategic reality, along with better sourcing. This is something we would endorse as a basic competency and working capital necessity, especially as one moves down the food chain to SMEs (although not limited to these organizations). We might argue that the availability of SCF is more easily accessed these days and that sourcing is still an art form, but all good pointers in the piece.
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group.