Our supply chain is a complex and fast moving environment that is rife for disaster. There are so many moving parts and details that it’s easy to imagine that the smallest mismatch in a single data field, or delayed shipment would cause a ripple effect that could grow to the proportions of a tidal wave, taking with it multiple trading partners in a single afternoon. And yet that doesn’t seem to happen.
Last week I spoke with GXS VP Steve Scala about some of the company’s reasons for discontinuing the practice of daisychaining. Putting aside the rest of the arguments about why the company is taking this route, I agree with Steve that delivering visibility to the supply chain is one of the most important things an EDI transport provider can deliver. And he’s right that moving transactions across multiple connections without tracking individual items is a recipe for disaster.
The supply chain is a global entity... but you already know that. Being global it is a noticable entity among other global (or nearly global) entities, such as the United Nations. In February 2013 the UN Global Compact established an advisory group on Supply Chain Sustainability. A nice thing to do for sure. At the same time, the organization also created the "Anti-Corruption Task Force of the Advisory Group on Supply Chain Sustainability" - a long title for something that desperately needs to be taken under advisement.
"Just part of the cost of doing business." That's how the supply chain is perceived in the least progressive of businesses. Gartner's observations on the importance of the supply chain among different businesses is a sobering reminder of how supply chain participants can be observed. Being a 'cost of doing business' means being an expense that should be reduced... definitely not a position in which any participant in the supply chain wants to find itself.