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5 Steps That Will Drive The Synchronization Of Your Supply Chain

what-is-supply-chain-synchronization

DEFINITION

Supply chain synchronization is an ecosystem of connected, collaborative data partners, whereby information gets collected, analyzed, and utilized in real time. All stakeholders within the critical path obtain accurate visibility, identify weaknesses, streamline processes, and mitigate risk.

 

FINDING THE WINNING EDGE

Let’s use an analogy to powerfully illustrate why the orchestration and digitization of the supply chain, enables the highly integrated and synchronized functionality required for dealing with the significant complexities and often dramatic fluctuations experienced throughout the global supply chain network. 

 

 

FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT!

As F1 teams need to finely tune their car performance characteristics to align with the requirements of the track getting raced, so must supply chain managers ensure that their supply chain gets aligned to the needs of the consumer-facing business.

Six-time world champion Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton, MBE HonFREng perhaps owes much of his success to the efficiency of the supply chain along with absolute precision, perfect synchronization, and real time decision making provided by the data analysts, as much as his incredible driving ability. 

f1-car-racing-data-infog

Both race circuit and car data must get analyzed in real time. Being able to visualize and turn data into actionable insights and strategies enables changes to be made to the configurations of the car and for the race team to evaluate what they need to do during practice, qualifying sessions, and on the all-important race day itself. 

Just as Formula 1 teams rely on the latest technologies and information getting delivered with split-second timing, so do modern-day supply chain strategies that operate based on “demand-pull” rather than the historical “supply-push” model. The need to define a strategy and implement it vigorously throughout the critical path is indisputable.

 

GET SET

f1-car-racing-starting-point

Digitizing the supply chain enables the opportunity for supply chain excellence to occur. The provision of significant quantities of data allows businesses to design and implement strategies that can simultaneously:

  • increase revenue opportunities
  • lower operational cost
  • improve efficiency and flexibility
  • enable complete visibility and transparency

Shifting from a linear supply chain to a fully orchestrated, agile, and flexible series of integrated functions mitigates risk, protect bottom-lines, and enhances overall operational excellence through a framework that includes the following elements:

  • Improved customer service levels
  • Overall cost-saving efficiency
  • The collaboration of all stakeholders
  • One version of the truth
  • Complete visibility and total transparency
  • Integrated supply chain and demand planning
  • Strategic sourcing opportunities
  • Reductions in complexity
  • Increased value add

 

TEAM WORK

The team working remotely during the F1 race monitors the vitals of the car and the driver in real time and makes decisions on critical areas like the pit stop. Fine-tuning and tightly coordinating processes by leveraging technology provide timely and accurate data that improves the speed and accuracy of decision-making with certainty and is a key enabler of the teams, as much as within the traditional supply chain’s success.

F1-car-racing-pit-lane

The supply chain race circuit of the future will be an exciting event, one that operates seamlessly and is built for speed and adaptability to enable businesses to work using proactive rather than reactive decision-making with certainty.

The race strategy is incredibly dynamic, and only those that digitize and leverage the power of technology can lead the race with an opportunity to become the ultimate winner. 

Those companies that move to digital build strong, robust supply chain capabilities by grasping the opportunities enabled by technology such as that provided by the Gravity platform to become real winners.

 

SYNCHRONIZATION

Supply chain synchronization requires for the collection, analysis, and use of information to take place in real time to enable the management of the critical path order lifecycle with pinpoint accuracy to mitigate risk so that: 

  • suppliers can organize raw materials and plan production around realistic and quantified lead times
  • logistics providers can determine shipping requirements with certainty 
  • distribution centers have visibility for receiving and planning, labor and stockholding optimization
  • shop floor optimizers get to understand when product is due to store
  • finance departments know with certainty when to trigger payments and hedge currencies, etc.

In essence, all participants in the supply chain must work together, knowing their contribution interconnects with others.

avoid-silo

We live in a world where perfect order fulfillment is expected, but this can only occur when all participants in the supply chain operate together in unison - the key is synchronization

 

A WINNING STRATEGY

While perfect order fulfillment is perhaps classed as the podium spot, the world of supply chains comes with as many variables as an F1 race circuit.

Enabling all the information you need in real time is the only way to plan your strategy proactively, and to get ahead of the competition by mitigating risks and minimizing potential damages when something unexpected arises. 

The best way to maintain synchronization is to establish a digitized supply chain system that provides end to end visibility. 

GIT-container-tracking-screenshot

There are five key steps to achieving this level of synchronization:

  1. Facilitate collaboration and engagement
  2. Establish complete visibility
  3. Collect and analyze real time and trusted data
  4. Monitor, manage and execute
  5. Measure, remodel, re-engineer

It’s not necessary to do everything at once. The best strategy is to proceed in incremental stages by rolling out the synchronization process in phases commencing with the least resistance parts of the supply chain. Similarly to during an F1 race, when pit stop scheduling isn’t rigid but gets changed according to the demand of the race, an agile supply chain needs to leverage the power of clear communication so that timing and synchronization reduce lead times.

agile-digitized-supply-chain-management-helps-mitigate-disruption-or-risk

Strategies are one of the essential components of both racing and supply chain. Both comprise a set of processes that must be monitored in near real time. Using vast information flows that can be used to develop, maintain, measure, and adjust parameters within the supply chain under changing conditions ensuring decision-making with certainty to take place.

Not only do champions win by having the best teams in place, but ultimately by leveraging their car’s reliability, their innate skills and judgment, and their ability to adapt to tactical changes during the race. Only the best can succeed!

If you’d like to learn more about how Gravity can help you synchronize your supply chain to enable a competitive advantage, get in touch here and one of our advisors will be in touch.

See other blog posts by me