Automotive-Supply-ChainIn designing Supply Chain Control Towers, we have been heavily concerned with visibility into outsourced and/or offshore finished products suppliers. But the Manufacturing function itself depends on it's own critical parts suppliers. We have to realize that success is more than just assuming Manufacturing's ERP/MRP will handle everything for us. Let's take a look at the automotive industry and what it takes to create an integrated manufacturing process.

data integrationAs the supply chain becomes more intricate, more demanding, and faster moving, margin for error decreases. The complexity of omnichannel retailing in itself means predicting the next order is impossible. It may come from a web catalog, from a retailer, or from a service like Amazon that integrates multiple processes. With the speed and complexity of product demand it's critical to record and automate each transaction when it happens. Because there's no time to go back and record it later.

thumb interconnects chartIt's fair to say that VANs were responsible for bringing EDI to current volume levels of transactions. It is also fair to say that interconnects between VANs were the path to their success. Traditional VANs and their interconnects built the market, now they are the market for newer technology (VAN2).

IntegrationIntegration is always a hot topic for the supply chain. It's a powerful tool to improve profitability by reducing costs. Like a lot of ideas, though, its effectiveness depends quite a bit on context. What works best for a small manufacturer may be considerably different than what does the trick for a large retailer. The pressure for profits may be the similar but there’s a huge difference in scale.

 

hub-spokeThe most noticeable difference between VAN1 (the “traditional” VAN from the 1980's) and VAN2 (today's technology) is the fact that a company can operate their own network instead of being a customer on somebody else's. Control the network according to your needs, Embed EDI Network functions within your code, and start creating completely unique EDI management functions that will overturn 20+ years of non-optimized EDI integration nightmares!