End-to-end visibility and real-time responsiveness: these are the top two requirements for creating a successful supply chain according to a recent EY survey of 500 senior-level executives from companies across the Americas with more than US$1 billion in revenue.
A new white paper from EY and Kinaxis captures these and other survey findings, while exploring the challenges posed by today’s sequential supply chains and highlighting the many benefits to companies that make the transition to a concurrent planning model. The white paper also examines how reimagining the supply chain has the added benefit of transforming the critical role of a supply chain planner.
Today’s supply chains are ill-equipped to succeed in a very challenging business environment. Sequential supply chains, in which information and materials move in sequence from one supply chain partner to the next, lack the end-to-end visibility and real-time responsiveness to meet rapidly evolving customer demands. The combination of outdated technologies, a reliance on disparate, disconnected systems, siloed structures and processes, and the misalignment of key performance indicators (KPIs) also prevents companies from meeting customer demands and achieving their business goals.
While these challenges can have a negative impact on the bottom line, they also have impacts on the business that can further hinder results. Take the supply chain planner role, for example. Forced to work within a sequential supply chain model, planners must deal with increased complexity and a growing workload. Given the dynamics, it’s not surprising that many planners experience frustration with their chosen career path and that the role has a high turnover rate.
One of the added benefits for companies that make the transition to a concurrent supply chain planning model is the opportunity it provides to transform the supply chain planner role itself. With concurrent planning, a single software platform handles all planning functions, and the company’s supply chain is always in-sync. For planners, it means they have access to the information, people and processes they need in real time through interconnected, networked systems. Silos are eliminated, repetitive tasks are automated and KPIs are aligned.
Ernst & Young LLP has identified a framework of four future personas for supply chain professionals, each of which is described in more detail in the white paper:
- The technologist will work to design, configure, implement and maintain emerging technologies, such as robotics, AI and machine learning tools.
- The orchestrator unlocks opportunities for improvement and drives internal and external collaboration from a holistic view of the ecosystem.
- The analyst drives data-led modeling and scenario planning to assess their impact on the supply chain.
- The innovator drives new opportunities and sales and brings a commercial lens to the business.
While these personas do not map one-to-one to a single supply chain role, the ideal network planner will possess a mix of these personas and as such will be equipped to succeed in a role that will continue to be both challenging and fulfilling.
If you want to ensure you equip your company with the visibility and real-time responsiveness to meet your customers’ needs, while setting up your network planners for success, it may just be time to consider rethinking your supply chain platform. You can get the full details in the white paper.
The views reflected in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ernst & Young LLP or other members of the global EY organization.