Natural disasters. Cybersecurity threats. Congested ports. The Great Resignation. COVID-19. For the last two years, these five major disruptors have thrust global supply chains into disarray and have done so in very short order. In fact, a recent Accenture report shows 94% of Fortune 1000 companies have seen supply chain disruptions from these five factors. Most of these companies have struggled to mitigate these ongoing challenges as they simultaneously try to identify productivity gaps and broken links in their supply chains. However, according to a recent EY study, the most successful ones are “investing in digital and analytics in order to increase the visibility across the end-to-end supply chain.”
But…what does that mean, exactly? How attainable is the goal of end-to-end visibility?
Let’s begin by looking to the past, before this massive influx of disruptors. Previously, supply chain experts optimized with silos across the supply chain. They worked with suppliers and inventory, and looked at their fulfillment network. It wasn’t perfect, but it got the job done. Then again, their disruptions were tame in comparison to today.
Now, companies want to be able to look across the end-to-end, so that when there is a major disruption or massive increase in demand, they know what the ripple effect across the entire supply chain is going to be. This clarity enables them to be more responsive, agile, and meet their consumer demands. To do so, however, companies need to leverage data and glean the proper insights – especially when one (or many) links in the chain are broken.
Resiliency in supply chain is vital, and this is where investing in digital and analytics comes in – specifically, the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI). Embedded AI capabilities provide real-time intelligence and actionable recommendations for companies. In turn, this helps them reduce disruption mitigation time from days to hours, and potentially, even minutes, all while providing transparency with customers, suppliers, and trading partners across the supply chain.
The right insights, driven by data, also uncover opportunities to increase efficiencies and reduce costs. Ultimately, end-to-end visibility is helping companies overcome missing or broken links in the chain, and increase operational productivity.
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