At a time when organizations are experiencing fierce competition and tight cost margins, the road to transactional excellence can be fraught with obstacles. To excel, we must be more vigilant than ever in improving supply chain efficiencies, streamlining supplier processes and honoring our Available to Promise (ATP) commitments. Achieving these goals comes down to how well we do at demand management, but too many of us still believe that demand management excellence begins and ends on the shop floor.
That kind of thinking leads to interruptions in the line of sight, which spawns inefficiency. Too often, we make decisions in an environment in which some of the factor are obscured. If we don’t know what is truly going on up and down the supply chain, we risk a significant visibility gap, which impacts sourcing and production and increases the likelihood of disruptions at every turn. When that occurs, we lose sight of where the real value of what we do is actually created—the point in which an analysis of customer demand is made and fulfilled.
We must keep in mind that the supply chain is a horizontal process that flows from end-to-end. A supply chain works best when everyone knows their place within one system of record and are all working seamlessly from the same data. At that magical moment, a supply chain becomes not just resilient, but also agile—possessing the right data, processes and human capital to make small and rapid adjustments and course corrections to meet different outcomes.