Many companies and organisations struggle with a multitude of internal and external systems that provide bits and pieces of information on their supply chain performance. Often Excel is used to glue all data together and to make sense of the information available. Although this solution might work for the short term, it is prone to data errors and duplications, plus it takes a lot of time to maintain and operate.
The strategic goals of companies are shifting more and more towards taking responsibility of their supply chain from procurement of raw materials, all the way down to consumers. Controlling supply chains one-up / one-down is no longer sufficient to reduce risks and prevent brand damage. When companies strive to improve their supply chain, for example for quality and sustainability reasons, all stakeholders in the supply chain need to be included, which means collecting a lot of data. It’s about registering, measuring, analysing, benchmarking, sharing and improving on a continuous basis.
Reasons for improving a supply chain’s control can be:
- Increasing yield, quality, safety and sustainability
- Reducing costs and risks
- Securing the supply of the right quality and sustainable products
- Compliance with business rules, local law, and int. legislation
- Monitoring of products and their derivatives throughout the entire supply chain to ensure product authenticity
- Collecting chain data to calculate KPI’s for better management of supply chain performance
- Brand protection / Avoidance of claims
- As a strategic driver for consumer confidence
Challenges of managing & controlling supply chains
When working on the aforementioned goals, you will encounter challenges in the gathering, analysing and sharing of supply chain data. These challenges can occur anywhere in the supply chain, both upstream and downstream. For example:
- Connecting with upstream stakeholders in rural areas with limited internet infrastructure.
- Integration of existing systems / databases and IT infrastructure, connecting multiple data sources in one system.
- Ensuring consistent data quality.
- Efficient & timely communication with employees, suppliers and customers.
- Secure data- and relationship management.
- Turning data into management information.
- Sharing information with the right persons / partners.
- Management of processes & informing persons automatically
- Management of alerts when exceptions occur.
- Management of audit planning and execution, non-conformities and certification.
- Connecting with Tier-X suppliers upstream.
Full supply chain monitoring & traceability platform
Many of these challenges can result in a growing administrative burden and increased cost due to the large quantity of data needed for quality, risk and sustainability purposes. It is therefore very important that companies choose a long-term strategy in coping with ever-increasing amounts of data. A specialist supply chain software platform such as ChainPoint can be a solution that offers the best possible flexibility needed to deal with fast-changing requirements.
Using ChainPoint supply chain collaboration software offers a number of unique advantages and possibilities:
- Focussed; less interference with the interests of other IT-systems in the value chain . It’s a specialized solution, specifically configured for supply chain visibility and integration.
- Connectivity; all data silos across the value chain are connected using cloud technology and mobile solutions.
- Scalable; managing multiple value chains in one system efficiently and effectively with advanced authorisation.
- Communication; making collaboration, sharing of information and benchmarking with all stakeholders in the supply chain actors possible and easy to manage.
- Relationships; strengthen the relationships with suppliers, partners and customers in one system.
- Scalability; the option to start with a local prototype and scale up to a global solution. Less risk of failure
- Technology; robust configurable cloud solution, based on proven technology.
- Configurability; meeting future demands and wishes through continuous development of the system.
- Accessibility; share information with appropriate and authorised users.
- Analysis; options for analysing, reporting, benchmarking with integrated flexible self-service capabilities across the entire supply chain.
- Costs; cost effective solution when compared to traditional ERP-system with supply chain options.
Some might argue that these functions are also present in existing ERP-systems, but our experience has shown that integrating data from multiple sources, specifically tailored to the needs of supply chain performance and sustainability, can be very costly and time-consuming when selecting an existing ERP-system. ChainPoint leaves existing data silo’s intact and offers a faster and more cost-efficient solution. Besides this, most ERP-systems are also not equipped to handle full supply chain traceability from farm to fork, which is an important part of improving supply chain performance and visibility.
Solution Paper: Sustainability Impact Assessment
In our whitepaper Sustainability Impact Assessment, we have highlighted four steps to get insight into your sustainability impact.
- Define what you want to measure; less is more
- Find data that is already available in your supply chain
- How to harvest data from the supply chain
- How to analyse data and transform it into information