For supply chain professionals, the challenges multiply with each passing day. Like everyone else, I see disruptive events such as natural disasters, security breaches, technology failures, political unrest and economic instability in the news 24/7, and these events are greatly affecting today's global supply chains.
Companies are increasingly driving better supply chain performance by leveraging innovations that empower partners and customers so the whole supply chain ends up on the nice list. As the year draws to a close, and our thoughts naturally wander to all things holiday-related, I can’t help but remember a child’s golden rules of Christmas, handed down from generation to generation.
Twenty-one products from 14 global software companies have been Drummond Certified™ in the AS2-3Q13 automated interoperability test event, announced today by Drummond Group, Inc., the trusted leader in interoperability software testing. New software applications from Axway, Cleo, Dell Boomi, E2open, Inc., EXTOL International Inc., GXS, Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM, Liaison Technologies, Microsoft Corporation, /n software, SAP AG, SEEBURGER AG and TIBCO Software Inc., participated in this vendor-neutral test event held across multiple time zones over the last several weeks.
The accelerating trends of supply chain globalization, and outsourced manufacturing and distribution have combined to increase clock speed, complexity and risk for brand owners. These trends have created a fundamental shift in the way companies’ source and distribute goods and services, leading to a more complex product and service delivery paradigm that increasingly relies on specialized, globally distributed trading partners to reduce costs, increase flexibility, and better serve markets at both local and global levels.
What are some of the primary ways globalization has impacted supply chain management – in terms of planning and execution? Globalization has created both the opportunity and challenge of creating and balancing global, regional and local demand. The resulting demand volatility of that complex mix has pushed forecasting accuracy to its effective limits; and, therefore, is forcing greater execution agility to make up for planning’s shortcomings. This challenge is exacerbated by the parallel of globalization which is the move by product companies to outsource more and more of their manufacturing and distribution.
In this years’ European Supply Chain Excellence awards sponsored by UK based Supply Chain Standard, the winners of the 2013 Supply Chain Operations category were Vodafone and E2open. The Supply Chain Operations award is aimed at finding excellence within the core processes within the supply chain, so the relatively high scores exhibited by the majority of the shortlisted companies were not entirely unexpected …
One of the largest and most recognizable direct marketing companies in the world, Guthy-Renker has discovered and developed dozens of high-quality beauty, skincare, entertainment and wellness consumer products. To optimize the way it produces and distributes products to 68 countries, the company has engaged in an overhaul of its supply chain operations over the past few years.
L’Oréal SA, the French maker of Maybelline lipstick, is rolling out a supply chain collaboration platform the company hopes will make its manufacturing more responsive to shifting customer tastes. The Web-based E2open software will allow L’Oréal to more quickly communicate shifts in consumer demand to its thousands of suppliers, Richard Markoff, L’Oréal’s director of supply chain standards, told CIO Journal. The company is trying to create a more agile manufacturing process, to help it achieve its goal of adding 1 billion new customers, mainly in emerging markets, over the next decade.
And last week E2open acquired icon-scm, a supply chain planning and collaboration solution provider headquartered in Germany, for approximately $34 million. I am not familiar with icon-scm’s solution, so I can’t comment on its strengths and weaknesses. But this acquisition points to a growing trend: the evolution of Supply Chain Operating Networks beyond collaborative execution into the realm of collaborative planning.
It’s no wonder that brand owners are losing billions of dollars each year due to poor supply chain visibility. You can’t manage—much less profitably manage—what you can’t see. And in today’s circuited and circuitous global marketplace, that boils down to a lot of blind spots, information gaps, and missed opportunities to keep your business ahead of the curve.