Why the modern supply chain must ditch siloed working

Aug 30, 2022
Supply Chain
Credit: Getty

The global supply chain isn’t just bending, it’s on the verge of breaking.

Pent-up demand from the lifting of lockdowns, geopolitical instability, war, problems in China, inflation and energy costs are all factors in creating an unprecedented level of supply chain instability – which pose an existential threat to companies the world over.

Known as ‘black swan events’, such major disruptions to supply chains were once relatively rare but are now the norm.

Companies have responded – understandably – by shifting to crisis mode. Taking action such as trying to diversify their supply chains as best they can. But this has created new problems.

Crisis response

For decades, companies around the world have been able to rely on a certain level of predictability in their supply chains. Globalization was the watchword, China played a pivotal role in manufacturing affordable goods and prices were stable. Those days are gone.

The new world requires a multi-faceted approach to supply chain planning with road, sea and air. Regional supply chains as well as global ones have to be employed, backup providers need to be on call, routes and suppliers have to be switched at the drop of a hat to keep things moving. The supply chain is now a sprawling network, where each department has to make constant quick-fire decisions, often unaware of what other parts of the network are doing.

The need for oversight

What’s missing is a view of the whole picture. Immutable data that can inform strategic decision making and allow users to see what works best, and what doesn’t.

This new level of oversight could take many forms. It could be overseen by a new department head, or simply someone with regular access to the right information. But data is vital if any new approach is to be successful.

To this end, companies will increasingly turn to solutions to create a dynamic supply chain such as Teradata’s Transportation and Logistics Data Model (TLDM).  It gathers and analyzes data in real time, allowing companies to monitor things such as ambient data, like weather and road conditions – which provide insights into possible deviations from the expected delivery lead time. GPS data captured via sensors located on a carrier, along with driver break schedules and speed changes en route, provide insights into delays.

Predictive analytics help to anticipate consumption patterns, while a combination of predictive demand modeling and real time assessment provides clear visibility into the supply chain – enabling actions to be taken such as rerouting, reprioritization of production/shipping schedules and changes in inventory levels.

Having this level of insight provides a two-pronged advantage. Real-time data allows for quick decisions to be made to keep things flowing, while analytics allows for more strategic planning and for more problems to be avoided before they even happen.

Supply chain of the future

It’s clear that with uncertainty and instability at its core, the modern supply chain will rely on immutable, actionable data that provides oversight of all aspects of supply chain operations. This ought to help bring an end to siloed working and allow for a responsive and agile way of working fit for the future.

For more information on Teradata’s dynamic supply chain solutions click here.