Is a Supply Chain Management Control Tower the only way to go? What issues are not yet solved with our current thoughts on SCM Control Towers? Are we looking at some type of a “Commercial Network” instead; or are looking at “SCM Control Tower 2?” In any event, there is a requirement for further automation of the process.
When we talk about having visibility into the supply chain, most of us think about being able to track the data about what orders are in what process of being delivered to their destination. When products are on the shelf, even though they may not yet be in the hands of the consumer, they have been delivered to the retailer, so the responsibility of delivering the product has been completed. But there are situations where the liability remains with someone other than the retailer, and it's possible to monitor the transport at a more granular level in some cases.
Is true happiness to be found within the supply chain? Of course that depends on your definition of happiness, and I would say that it is possible to find happiness in any pursuit, given the right circumstances and attitudes. But that philosophical question may be beyond what we are looking for in our everyday dealings with shipping, carriers, cartons, and warehouses. Still - if we define happiness as having a deeper understanding of our environment, then the answer is a resounding, "yes."
When is a commodity not a commodity? When each individual item is made to order. Not just made for the P.O. but to the specifics of the customer's requests. With traditional supply chain practices it's easy enough to get the order right for the specified number of items in the package. But when that package count is 1, there is literally no margin for error.
There’s plenty of data racing through our collective supply chain and there are lots of technology vendors bidding for your participation in their specific systems. According to Deloitte’s recent report there are a variety of factors for which timing is right for 2014 being the year the supply chain in general and procurement in particular gets beyond simply understanding that big data and analytics is important and begins to use the tools that have recently become available.