Supply chain operators often get bogged down deciding why they should take action, leaving other parts of their decision neglected; namely, the when of supply chain operations. Supply chain executives must be able to track the chronological flow of inventory from the moment it enters the supply chain to the moment it arrives at the customer’s door.
Unfortunately, the modern, global outsourced supply chain is rife with complexity and has no system of tracking inventory across suppliers—leaving operators blind to the “when” of their inventory flows.
Simplifying Complex Supply Chains
Research performed by Aberdeen Group on supply chain visibility highlights the problems facing modern supply chains and the complexities therein:
“The top business pressures facing the discrete segment are the impact of increasing supply chain complexity (i.e., longer lead times and lead-time variability, or increasing numbers of suppliers, partners, carriers, customers, countries, and logistics channels), as well as rising supply chain management costs.”
To counter this complexity, Aberdeen surveyed companies to learn about the top strategic actions undertaken to gain better control over their operations:
Improve internal visibility and integration into transactions and costs (44 percent)
Streamline processes for easier monitoring, usability, and efficiency (40 percent)
Improve timelines and accuracy of data exchange about supply chain transactions (26 percent)
Yet, the traditional ERP system wasn’t designed for these goals. Fortunately, traditional ERPs are not the only solution available to businesses seeking better supply chain visibility.
While traditional legacy systems lack the functionality to meet the above goals, systems such as ChronosCloud work differently.
ChronosCloud brings every aspect of a multiparty supply chain’s data together in a single, easy to use interface. The platform builds on a business’s existing ERP system and expands its functionality to create targeted information exchanges between the business and each vendor touchpoint. This information is brought together in the cloud and normalized to give operators actionable insights about supply chain performance.
But aside from benchmarking supplier performance, ChronosCloud provides users with chronological timelines for order tracking by laying out each touchpoint in the supply chain from end-to-end. This perspective allows users to monitor each piece of inventory throughout its entire lifecycle, from the time it’s manufactured to final fulfillment. ChronosCloud accomplishes this by taking each of the unique reference numbers used by supply chain vendors and uniting them under a single tracking code. This code is used to track each SKU as it travels through each partner in the supply chain.
Returning to the above strategic actions as revealed by Aberdeen’s research, it’s clear how ChronosCloud’s functionality fits into these goals. ChronosCloud provides visibility; but beyond that, it provides a simple interface for process monitoring, timeline creation, and data exchange. The complexity of modern supply chains is increasing each day. Businesses must establish systems for integrating these functions into their supply chains if they want to understand the “when” of their inventory flows—and understand how to create more value from each supply chain operation.
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