Author : Tronserve | Thursday, 30 May 2019
Line of sight is the main struggle nearly all aspects of the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the wholesaler, from the provider to the reseller, and even the end consumer. This lack of visibility and resulting lack of control can make a number of problems, from stock losses to pricing inflation, uncertain availability and increased time to market. Forecasting and trend reporting are also all but difficult since a complete view of the supply chain cannot be received. The top goal for maximum efficiency and visibility is an integrated value chain where all systems communicate seamlessly. This brings end-to-end insight and finally makes predictive analytics on the supply chain a reality.
PAPER-BASED PROCESSES CAUSE DELAYS
Delays are arguably one of the biggest supply chain problems. Paper-based processes are a substantial component of this issue. When orders, paper delivery notes and invoices are produced, the result of lack of visibility into stock levels available, what is ordered and what is actually delivered may be different. This means that the invoice then needs to be changed on delivery. Credit notes must be passed, or new invoices generated, creating additional timelines and complications. This may also lead to inaccurate billing, loss of stock, loss of income and other financial effects. A live view of stock levels and the ability to generate an exact invoice on delivery will mitigate these challenges, minimize delays and improve the accuracy of orders, billing and payments received.
INEFFICIENCIES CAN COST MILLIONS
The ineffectiveness of processes and the reliance on paper-based processes indicates players in the supply chain cannot manage what is really being ordered and paid for. It is impossible to collect the correct payment on orders if there is no visibility into what orders have been placed and actually delivered. This could, and often does, lead to significant loss. In addition, FMCG goods are easily stolen and readily convertible to cash. Without visibility into orders placed and delivered it is impossible to know if stock is being stolen. Most of these obstacles are difficult to discover and quantify without live or real-time information and insight.
The lack of visibleness into stock levels brings to governance problems, since there is no visibility in the process. The ability to manage stock levels, receipts issued and cash collected is vital, and players in the supply chain need to have a full view of stock in, stock out, payments collected, invoices issued and more. Governance across all of these touchpoints is essential for a profitable business, which requires integrated systems and line of sight across the entire supply chain from start to finish.
CLOSING THE LOOP
A further challenge for parties in the supply chain is the lack of ability to influence consumer behaviour. To be certain of optimal success and profitability it is crucial to engage retailers and consumers using loyalty, rewards programs and incentives. This requires an end-to-end ecosystem to link the manufacturer to the consumer and the consumer back to the manufacturer. This last mile is important to fully deliver a transparent supply chain.
Handling these challenges requires an integrated mobility and cloud-based system that delivers the required visibility across the supply chain. An ecosystem that delivers a direct ordering platform between the distributor and the manufacturer, with real-time stock levels and online ordering capability, can noticeably increase proficiency at the first stage. Vendors can better handle their stock levels, warehousing and personnel, and stock can be tracked at any point no matter where in its journey it is.
Suppliers are empowered to build clean invoices on delivery and deliver accurate orders to suppliers because they have visibility into manufacturers. Outlets have visibility and only need to pay for what they ordered and actually received. The need for credit notes to be passed is all but eradicated. Debtors and creditors can be incorporated into the eco-system for enhanced financial management. On top of it, the loop can be closed to include loyalty programs and activations, providing full line of sight.
Prepared with this data, manufacturers, distributors and sellers will be able to make use of brilliant dashboards to interpret data against key performance indicators and deliver real-time actionable insight. Structured reports can be pulled at any time, and automatic warnings can be configured if any exceptions occur. This enables real-time business management. Digital transformation of the supply chain can also enable data to be utilised for predictive analytics, permitting more agile and effective decision-making across the board.
This article is originally posted on MANUFACTURING.NET