In today’s fast-moving world, more companies are making the decision to move non-core processes out from under their control, and they are utilizing outsourced manufacturing and distribution partners to build, package and move their products while they focus on the marketing, design and activities related to managing the brand. In this new mode of operations, companies are now asking questions like “What is important to running our global enterprise?” and “How do I maintain control in this new de-centralized world?”
Other major questions being addressed as companies make the transition from a linear supply chain model to a more network-based supply model are how to manage product quality, how to measure product velocity through the supply chain and how to incorporate anti-counterfeiting, anti-diversion and other brand protection initiatives into this new network model. The solutions that worked for the old supply chain model no longer work for today’s new supply network. As the number of partners participating in just one company’s extended supply network rise, the need for end-to-end supply chain visibility and control also needs to be integrated into the systems that manage these processes.
The shift to a network view rather than a linear view of the supply chain does not eliminate the need for a central point of control. A centralized ERP system, therefore, is a critical component in order for companies to be able to provide one version of the truth across the supply network. Unfortunately, most ERP systems are not equipped to manage the different connection points across multiple technologies. A new approach is required to gather all of the data being produced in the dynamic supply networks of today from both their internal and external manufacturing and distribution processes.
As we look toward the future state of supply networks, we identify the technologies available to support this multi-level, network-based view. By incorporating private, cloud-based hubs for data exchange as well as web-based integration of your partners, companies can provide real-time connectivity across their network as well as securely integrate transactions processed at third parties into their central ERP system. In addition, this data can be turned into dashboards with actionable analytics that will not only give companies the ability to see what is happening in their supply networks but take corrective action in the event of an adverse supply network event.
With the growth of mobile technology, the advent of the Internet of Everything as well as advances in machine to machine (M2M) connectivity, the volume of data transferred across the network will continue to increase. Today, companies need solutions that provide a gateway to their ERP in order to allow this very granular information to be captured and transformed into business events that can be integrated into their ERP systems.
It is clear that the future of manufacturing is a network of partners connected to a brand owner through a private cloud-based data and process management hub that provides robust connectivity, actionable analytics and an application layer that can be customized to the need of the company.
To see how our cloud-based software solution can help you, watch this brief ACSIS Corporate Overview video. We’ll explain what kind of solution you need to adapt to the complex modern supply network.