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This is Post II of an ACSIS Content Series on Supply Chain Visibility in an Outsourced World. Read the first post here.

So-called “hub” manufacturers – those who own the production of goods for customers – are increasingly relying on third-party suppliers to support the “make-to-ship” process. These supply chain partners execute everything from co-manufacturing, specialty production and finishing, to packaging and logistics.

When we recently sponsored a Supply Chain Digest survey, we discovered that 42% of manufacturers are increasing their level of outsourcing and 26% have already largely outsourced activities to outside suppliers. However, most are dissatisfied with the quality of information they receive from the partners in their supply chain networks, citing concerns about accuracy, timeliness and detail.

customer satisfaction with outsourcing of the supply chain network

The reason behind the disconnect

Only a small percentage of manufacturers’ supply chain partners have direct integration. The rest are using a mix of manual, outdated communication methods, leading to challenges. For example, 80% rely on email as their means of information reporting with supply chain partners – largely through spreadsheets – and 32% still use faxes!

While each of these methods offers some level of visibility into downstream supply chain processes, what’s missing is the tactical, real-time information that essentially allows manufacturers to improve or correct those processes. And while you could connect a limited number of partners directly to your ERP systems, the majority do not have the resources for the extensive onboarding and learning curve required. Plus, allowing partners to directly access your ERP system puts your internal systems and security at risk.

ACSIS automates the partner information exchange with a variety of preconfigured options – so you can connect with partners regardless of the technology they have in place. Imagine having the same level of visibility with all of your partners that you do with your EDI partners. Contact us to find out more.

Stay tuned for next week’s post on Partner Integration Barriers & Workarounds >>