5 steps to an integrated and collaborative supply chain

The complexity of our supply chains, influenced by sudden changes in the market and by an enormous amount of information and variables to be processed, poses the problem for companies to effectively manage this flow of information that is necessary to make the most appropriate business decisions.

Hence the need to have a system capable of providing adequate, reliable and essential information for operations. The consequences of this information system fall on the proper functioning of the supply chain, becoming more and more a primary need.

What are the 5 steps to a collaborative supply chain?

To make the supply chain collaborative and integrated, there is no magic formula but paths that can often prove insidious. Below we want to report the 5 golden rules, which are the result of the collaboration of expert Cybertec consultants with some of the most important and performing manufacturing companies in Europe.

Step 1: Everyone must be aligned and share the same goal: Operations, sales, finance, technical office must have a common plan that guides day-to-day decisions.

Step 2: The plans must consider the different interests of the different functions: Often the needs of the aforementioned functions are at odds with each other. Usually, in fact, sales want to have all the products available, finance wants zero warehouses, production wants to produce efficiently. A shared plan is therefore the first step to ensure collaboration and establish a balance between the different needs.

Step 3: Visibility on the consequences and impacts of choices: if an order arrives for a certain date from a customer of primary interest, what are the consequences on the rest of the orders? How does the production and supply plan change? What is the impact on the order-intake and on the billing plan? What are the impacts on service level? These are just a few of the questions to answer instantly to stay aligned with business goals and support the balances between different functions.

Step 4: Have adequate processes in place to support plan changes: plans often change abruptly, and only through adequate processes can they be managed quickly, effectively and in a shared manner.

Step 5: Make sure decisions are made on reliable data and information: even the best processes fail if the information they convey presents errors at the source. Unfortunately, this is very common in production departments as the data is typically extracted from the management system and processed on dozens and dozens of Excel files. With the passage of time within the management system you will find outdated data, open orders despite dating back years, inaccurate warehouse stocks on which, however, also strategic decisions are made. Having tools integrated into the management system is therefore of fundamental importance to have up-to-date data and thus convey true information on which to make decisions.

Collaborative Supply Chain Tools

Equipping yourself with the most appropriate tools becomes a critical but simple point. There are already tools that can support supply chain performance by eliminating Excel and integrating into the management system. These tools are the APS (Advanced Planning & Scheduling software), tools that  allow you to make decisions on updated data, in a shared way to the various functions and having full visibility on the impacts.

CyberPlan is the European leader in innovative technologies and the only one available on the WEB platform, which increases the power of intra and extra-company sharing and collaboration.

Want to learn more about APS?

If you think that making your supply chain collaborative can help your company’s performance then you will be interested in learning more about the CyberPlan APS. For this reason, I provide you with the guide  to plan and schedule production in an advanced way necessary to achieve a collaborative and integrated supply chain. Download the guide for free at the following link.





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