Connected Supply Chain

Customer-Centric Supply Chain Management

Moving from Product-Centric Supply Chains to Customer-Centric Supply Chains requires an organisational, process, solution and cultural paradigm shift. Being able to provide a real-time view of inventory to customers with full access to the global product catalogue, optimising stock levels at each node in the Supply Chain (including 3rd party locations) to maximise service levels whilst minimising waste, ensuring order fulfilment meets all SLAs with proactive updates & actions throughout, and injecting the voice of the customer into the product design lifecycle – all these are achievable within the Customer-Centric Supply Chain.

It starts by ensuring that the Supply Chain is modelled in it is entirety, with constraints & risks being identified and mitigated, processes optimised, and technology solutions deployed to improve visibility & efficiency whilst eliminating silos.

Then, by looking at the customer journeys and expectations and the end-to-end processes across the extended value chain that will deliver those, a blueprint is created, that is used to form the target solution with the necessary integration points, data flows and security model.

InspireXT’s Connected Supply Chain Management offering builds from a Common Process Model, that brings together both the front-office demand channels and the back-office supply channels. It takes it a step further by leveraging advanced technologies such as Cloud, AI (including Generative AI), automation and IoT to create a fully integrated, transparent, efficient and responsive supply chain ecosystem.

Challenges of Connected Supply Chain Management

Implementing Connected Supply Chain management presents several challenges that businesses must overcome to realise the benefits of a Customer-Centric Supply Chain.

Fragmented & Silo-ed Supply Chain

As Supply Chains evolve over time, with new channels or sources being added, either organically, through partnerships or through acquisitions, the complexity increases. Those additions often have their own processes & systems, as well as their own inventory holding.

Furthermore, those sales channels can have their own inventory pool, creating duplication & excess working capital – for example, within multi-channel organisations, many e-commerce sites will have their own fulfilment centre set up for small order quantity picking & distribution, as opposed to the bulk picking required for a depot network, leading to customer frustration at differing stock availabilities by channel. Alternatively, an acquisition or partnership will bring its own product catalogue with the associated hierarchies, that will need harmonising with the existing in order to present a single view to customers.

Data Integration

One of the biggest challenges in implementing Connected Supply Chain Management is integrating data from various sources and systems because different systems adopt distinct protocols, resulting in a lack of standardisation in data in business processes. This requires a significant investment in technology and resources to ensure that data can be collected and analysed in a meaningful way.

Integration with Legacy Systems

Many organisations have legacy systems that are not compatible with the latest technologies used in Connected Supply Chain Management. Integrating these systems with new technologies can be a time-consuming and expensive process. This is especially true within manufacturing plants, where some equipment predated the advent of digital communications.

Data Security

The implementation of Customer-Centric Supply Chain Management requires the sharing of sensitive data across multiple stakeholders, as well as a proliferation of endpoints via the rise of IoT. The risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks is high, and there is a need for robust security measures to protect the data and ensure its integrity.

Organisational Alignment

Implementing Connected Supply Chain Management requires collaboration and alignment across various departments and stakeholders within a business. This can be challenging as different teams may have different priorities and goals, often with delegated responsibility to a local GM or Operations team. This is further compounded where the value chain extends across 3rd party organisations, that need to be aligned to deliver the right customer outcome.

Change Management

Implementing Connected Supply Chain Management often requires significant changes to existing processes and systems. This can be difficult for businesses to manage, particularly if they have a large and complex Supply Chain.

Connected Supply Chain management framework

Our Connected Supply Chain Management solution starts with understanding (or establishing when required) your end-to-end architecture and putting in place meaningful building blocks.

The expert teams at InspireXT utilise the common process model by collaborating with your business champions to craft a tailored guideline that suits your business operation. It then becomes a blueprint and a basis for the successful implementation of a Connected Supply Chain.

Our approach

Process review & design, including internal and external stakeholders.

Leading practices supported by enabling technology​.

Outline configurable and flexible solutions that can respond to changing business needs​.

Enhance capabilities – adding new ones or improving existing ones – based on robust solution architecture​.

Pragmatic implementation approach from concept through to deployment with phasing options

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