Engaged supply chains

social_side_of_supply_chain_exhibit2During Dreamforce 2014 I had the opportunity to get a better understanding of the dynamics on the customer side. The one thing that really matters to outperform your competitors is speed. Coca Cola phrased this as ‘Size is no longer important, it is speed that matters’. Taking this as a starting point, what does this mean for supply chains?

To be able to decrease your lead times in responding to customers you will need to have access to real time information anytime, anywhere. Not only on the latest sales information, but also on the parts that make up the end product. And on latest billing information. On factory closures. Or on hurricanes imposing a threat to your deliveries.

Keeping your suppliers at arms lenght might not be the best strategy here. In today’s world this slows down the way companies do business. In our view the alternative is to build ‘engaged supply chains’. What does an engaged supply chain look like?

Here’s how we see it. Think of stretching your Lean programme to the outside world, raising the bar with your suppliers. Where a line operator uses chat to involve suppliers to resolve a line issue straight away. Thus delivering KPI data to procurement professionals on supplier performance.

Or think of a procurement professional with real time dashboards on supplier performance. Based on 2-way evaluations from both sides. Applying net promoter score methodologies to boost the N.

Do you have other examples to add? Please add them to this discussion. And if you see a use case in your organisation, let us know. We are more than happy to think with you on how to speed up your supply chain!

Further reading:

Socially engaged supply chains

The internet of things and your supply chain

The social side of supply chains

Connect your suppliers in a whole new way