The pandemic has highlighted the importance of having end to end visibility into supply chains. At the height of the pandemic, importers had to contend with supply disruption, inaccurate demand sensing and loss of control over inventory. Over the past few decades as importers have increasingly decentralized their supply chain and experimented with alternate procurement strategies some visible kinks have arisen leading to inefficiency. These include lack of :
- Real-time communication
- Coordination among various stakeholders in the supply chain
- Clarity on roles and responsibilities of diverse entities in the supply chain
External communication errors
Today, a pressing problem faced by most importers is the absence of real-time communication. Consider this scenario: As the holiday season draws near you anticipate a surge in demand for traditional toys, and place orders from your suppliers in Croatia, China, and Channapatna in India. Now one of your suppliers is unable to process your order due to unexpectedly high demand but fails to inform you, while another has moved your cargo, but it is stuck in a congested port and you are unaware of this development. You plan your holiday inventory complacent that your supplier network is moving things along as planned. The ensuing story is so obvious with bad customer experience and poor sales.
All of this could have been avoided if there had been real-time information communicated to each entity within this supply chain which would have directly resulted in better coordination among the stakeholders.
Internal communication errors
Poor communications is not the bane of external stakeholder coordination alone but makes for inefficient coordination even within internal teams. Most often, supply chain executives are unaware of decisions taken at higher echelons of management. For instance, the management may have decided to involve multiple logistics partners to reduce costs. But lack of information may lead to poor planning and misinformation about accurate time of delivery on an execution level.
The other cause for such miscalculations occur due to the myriad parties involved internally such as procurement teams, vendor management teams, supply chain executives, logistics teams, manufacturing subunit heads and so on. When there is no proper channel of communications established between these entities you have a surefire recipe for disaster. In such scenarios, you need systems that track cargo in real-time, communication channels that enables employees to share real time information in an open and structured manner and importantly, ensure that every entity has access to crucial documents about the same type of information in the same format.
Global tech-driven power houses such as Amazon have taken things to another level. In a novel move, the company tried to gamify the entire warehouse for better instructions and communications. The company developed a game to guide the workers about the item in the warehouse, but the idea was withdrawn when it didn’t find favour with employees.
Leveraging real time information to streamline your supply chain
Importers are no longer reliant on single source of supply. Their network is truly global with decentralized inventory and operating with different stakeholders across different time zones. And what this calls for is network-based communication for real-time collaboration. Here’s where a global integrated logistics provider such as Maersk steps in with its Destination Supply Chain Management (DSCM) solution. DSCM is designed to provide importers with real time information that translates into end-to-end visibility. From the time of booking an order with the supplier to follow ups on status of delivery; from planning and tracking cargo to providing status in transit; from exception management to pre-arrival alerts and actual delivery DSCM provides unmatched visibility to an importer.
The DSCM solution ensures that all stakeholders in the supply chain are provided real time information to enable efficient coordination and better collaboration. To know more about how you can optimize your supply chain with real time information click here.