Extended Supply Chain Systems – the need of the hour
Supply Chain Systems today have become powerful with the advent and increase in use of the internet. Back in the 80’s the systems data usage and analytics was restricted and disparate in nature. Systems were in silos and not connected to each other. For example the manufacturer, supplier, and the retailer/end customer data was restricted to its network.
Today the data available for analysis at the manufacturer end can benefit the supplier or the customer or vice versa. Such data can be shared using standard communication formats using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Web Services, Partner Portals and the like.
Extended supply chains have become critical success factors in various industry sectors. Let us examine a few sectors to get an idea of how business scenarios and challenges can be addressed by an all-encompassing supply chain setup.
Large retailers today, share sales data, by location, with their suppliers resulting in competition amongst the suppliers to offer better prices, quality and timely delivery of goods to the retailer, which ultimately benefits the end customer.
Large Distribution centres extend their system to their stockists for them to get a visibility of inventory availability and place orders real time. Stock allocation happens accurately resulting in timely supply of goods to the stockists. The stockists also have visibility of quantity and expected receipts. Extending the stock allocation functionality to the stockist helps the distributor define his saleable and non-saleable inventory clearly.