Let’s explore Adapting IT to the Supply Chain Evolution for small and large companies alike.
1. Larger companies have had an information advantage to gain benefit from the IT evolution that has benefitted the supply chain function to streamline the flow and visibility of information in a company to increase the rate of informed decision making, mitigate administrative time, reduce redundant data inputs, etc.
2. Smaller companies have been at a disadvantage due to the lack of critical mass large enough to gain the economic advantages associated with these IT improvements due to hardware , application and implementation cost
1. The evolution of the internet has been a conduit to SaaS (software as a solution) based applications making it both readily available , and affordable for small companies to take advantage of the same benefits as larger companies without the need to add internal network and organization overhead.
1. Individual companies being able to readily define their own business processes so that they can be digitized into repeatable processes for automation
2. The time and effort to adapt more automated processes into the current day to day operations
3. Providing data base management to install structure on current information that provides the benefit to automate through applications and integration between them.
Supply chain challenges arise as companies make the leap from a regional supply chain to a national supply chain and eventually to a global supply chain.
The national supply chain represents a close, company coupled, vertically integrated supply chain, direct control of material and supply chain services.
The global supply chain represents Off shore outsourcing, horizontal integrated supply chain, indirect control of supply chain material and service purchases
The national supply chain shows cost of manufacture decreased primarily due to lower labor costs, less capital investment required.
The global supply chain sees length of supply chain became longer, more complex passing ownership and information between multiple vendors, high premium on information exchanges.
Resulting in longer lead times, higher inventory levels, greater chance of material obsolescence
The national supply chain sees the cost of manufacturers starts to level based on based on combined productivity gains and limited domestic wage growth, energy benefits and capital investment. This causes globalization of the supply chain to be more advantageous.
The global supply chain makes Investment in IT technology that better integrates the information exchange between supply point transfers coupled with a closer geographic proximity to the end customer offsets the cost of labor offshore. This leads to a demand for returning the global suplly chain to a nationalized model.
1. Job force readiness to accept and adapt to new technologies
2. Company willingness to invest in integrated IT performance to streamline hand offs between supply points