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Five ways to foster efficient supply chain relationships

Posted: 31 Oct 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:supply chain? cloud? OEM?

Supply-chain networks are indispensable to any electronics company. The rationale behind their essence is simple: without components, there will be no electronics products. This is why it is always an advantage to foster efficient, streamlined and collaborative relationships among all those involved.

[See also: Market smarts: How to guarantee a successful supply chain]

Long ago, there were factory-centric product companies with vertically integrated supply chains; design, manufacturing, and distribution were supervised and managed by a single organisation. Today, an increasing number of businesses are turning to third-party suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors around the globe to get their products to market faster and cost effectively. To establish and maintain a dynamic, reliable relationship with suppliers, agile and intelligent solutions are necessary.

Some of those solutions are high-tech cloud-based systems that leverage the connectivity, community, and insights of the network. Others are common-sensical approaches that are too often overlooked.

Tip No. 1: Use the Cloud

Today's OEM relies on an interdependent network of partners, each of which has a specific role to play in planning, sourcing, making, and delivering products to market. For this model to work properly, all the partners need the ability to see, share, and act on the best possible informationwithin the execution window, when outcomes can still be influenced.

Cloud networking

Mark Woodward, president and CEO of E2Open, told us one of the best-kept dirty little secrets of supply chain management: Though technologies have struggled to keep pace with the new manufacturing model, the products world has remained tenuously stitched together with spreadsheets and manual workarounds. 'Lessons learned from cloud-based CRM and procurement programmes, plus significant advances in communication standards and cloud security, have laid a solid foundation for the next generation of SCM,' he said. 'Cloud computing has the potential to create a wave of game-changing technology innovations for the supply chain, including the functionalities needed to generate and share a single source of truth; to bridge multiple tiers of information siloes and process gaps; and to monitor, recognise, and resolve disruptive events in the trading network.'

Tip No. 2: Get Connected

At this month's Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in London, Gartner research vice president Noha Tohamy said that the supply chain will become so interconnected that it will dictate a company's roadmap. "The digital business is going to make supply chain processes faster, better, more efficient, more profitable and sometimes autonomous." However, her sentiments about the supply chain's struggle to keep up with the latest and greatest technology echoed Woodward's comment about manual processes: For most companies, Tohamy said, "Excel remains the main software for managing supply chains."

Get connected


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