Step Four: Stage Five Supply Chain Planning System of Record (SCP SOR)

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Collaborative Management is Step Four to a Stage Five Supply Chain Planning System of Record (SCP SOR) Supply chain collaboration. What is it and why is it so important? Today there is a focus on supply chain analytics and the automation of decision making. However, this does not preclude the need for humans and collaboration. A quote from a Forbes article read ‘humans evolved to survive and collaborate to ensure survival’. In my first blog I wrote about talent management. The millennial generation thrives on working in a social collaborative manner. In supply chain they need to share plans, assumptions and recommendations with others.

The Cloud

The good news is that working in the cloud makes collaboration that much easier. It is estimated that the market for cloud-based supply chains is growing at a compound annual rate of 19%.

Why Collaborate?

Yesterday the emphasis was on vertical supply chains while today companies require horizontal supply chain excellence. Global companies require data and information to be shared and decisions made across the organization very quickly. Those of us raised in the traditional supply chain era where functional expertise was the #1 priority may think of collaboration as a very nebulous term. Today it is a necessity for timely communication and decision making from the customer to manufacturer to supplier. The emerging digital supply chain requires data and analytics AND social media functions.

How do you define collaboration?

Let me summarize in a few bullet points a definition of collaboration:

  • sharing of data across organizations, internally and externally
  • sharing of what-if scenarios
  • capturing everyone’s input and assumptions
  • capturing approvals and rejections of plans
  • identifying who has been impacted

Ultimately it is about…

  • creating, sharing and capturing information/insight (not just data) with speed and confidence

And it should be…

  • event-based, focused on sharing exceptions
  • results-based, sharing the result of a plan or decision
  • impact-based sharing the impact of a plan or decision on others

How does this relate to the SCP SOR?

The SCP SOR must be intelligent enough to help you connect with the right people and facilitate collaboration. Technology is an enabler to making the best decisions. People, and human judgment will always be required. When I am working with clients a common topic is ‘managing risk’. Knowing sooner and acting faster. People want to create and share scenarios across the organization and with their partners. It is the combination of technology and collaboration that addresses this need. The Internet of Things, the use of interconnected devices, is rising. Products and processes must be highly integrated and interconnected. The collaboration needs to be embedded in the process for the system to be most effective. Everyone’s input and analysis can be captured and tracked. It can all be based on events – coalescing around a particular issue to achieve a particular outcome. Annette Clayton, Head of Supply Chain for Schneider Electric SE, headquartered in Paris France says it best. In a recent article Annette described how digital tools have made it possible to preemptively prevent problems rather than reacting to disasters. I had the pleasure of working with Schneider Electric. They are a perfect example of a ‘Forward Thinker’, which happens to be the topic of the next blog. See you then. Looking for more information about Supply Chain Planning System of Record? Check out the rest of the series!

Additional Resources

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