IMPORTANCE OF SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY DURING THE PANDEMIC TIMES

IMPORTANCE OF SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY DURING THE PANDEMIC TIMES

With the Global Pandemic situation, the procurement teams are struggling to cope up with their current conditions. They have been trying to keep up with the situation, working diligently to secure the material and resources to protect their Supply chain lines. Organizations are emphasizing on creating employee safety measures as well as new operating procedures to ensure that the business runs smoothly in Pandemic situations and that the supply chain is not disrupted.

End-to-end supply chain Visibility has become tougher to achieve with the times, especially due to pandemic situations. Supply chain visibility solutions have become the most popular technology acquisitions over the last few years.

In the early stages of a pandemic, there are nationwide lockdowns, which led to a steep increase in the demand for groceries and required essentials while the manufacturing plants have begun to shut down. Hence due to such unprecedented demand and growth in the volume of the sale, it becomes more critical to have oversight and visibility over the supply chain network to emerge successfully.

When suppliers are in the pressure to deliver over the normal demand levels, they are very much overburdened with the work levels and the Pandemic. This can be by introducing health and safety measures, asking the staff to work for long hours due to the lack of capacity and other resources, and utilizing more fuel energy and water. Besides the operational, financial, and Goodwill that is impacted, Global Sustainability and progress are also at the risk. 

In the few days of the crisis, as a response, it is important to utilize the digital technologies to manage the supply chains efficiently and quickly deploy resources to support the changing business needs. These applications provide useful insights for working with the data and real-time analytics to tackle the situations.

For the early stages, businesses need to be very clear on the areas of its operations that need to be prioritized, which includes replenishing the raw materials, re-deployment of resources to support the fluctuating environment as the shutdown has taken place.

For doing this properly, research teams need to plug into the wider arena of the business to understand its challenges and the opportunities available. This allows for proper systems to be designed employing the right analysis and insights for managing the re-deployment of resources.

The change adaptation can be done successfully only when the new system is not complex and doesn’t ask the employees for prior knowledge of a certain level. Not all people have the same level of IT knowledge this necessitates that the rules and data be defined in simple layman terms so that they are understandable and acceptable by all kinds of employees from different backgrounds.

It is also required that there is an integration of the geographical mapping into the system, which can help simplify the complexity of the data output. The developers must look into the end-user perspective at every stage of the design process while bringing out a new tool to ensure that it fits the purpose.

While such tools are being built and developed, there are additional levels of data that can be accommodated to the specific needs of the business unit. The Predictive analysis can also be developed in the future to accommodate the data. Hence, the long-term value of the data is huge and can only be increased if it is properly managed by the team looking into the future needs of the end-users and strive for continuous improvements in its functionality. Any new model has to be responsive and relevant to the end-user needs which will ensure its success. 

Here are some tips on how we can achieve Visibility across the entire value chain:

Digitalization of the Processes:

Supply chain processes have to start getting digitalized based on the technology being developed, as paper-based processes and operations cost more and don’t bring the required efficiency and security to the work being done. 

It is important to make the data available digitally, which can ensure less failure in the Supply chain network and the value chain. The countries and organizations with greater digital infrastructure can overcome the supply chain disruptions due to enabling regulations of e-signature and e-transaction laws, and handle them much better than the countries without the digital platforms and regulations.

Leveraging of the Digital Platforms for ensuring Data Privacy and Visibility:

The organizations need to control the end-user of the data output and verify the controls for commercial advantage. When the data is distributed amongst the traditional supply chain systems that are more de-centralized, the independent and auditable access controls cannot be given for each party of the network.

Blockchain technologies that are enabling the supply chain Digitalization will provide data distribution on a real-time basis. It creates a decentralized system that enables the data to be shared back and forth, with a high-level of security between the two parties in the supply chain system, without point-to-point integration that centralized systems do. This provides the level of security and privacy that sellers require and gives the buyers the level of visibility anticipated.

Proactive Decision-Making during Disruptions:

There are disruptions in the global trade and the supply chain network due to a pandemic situation that has erupted almost suddenly across the world. There are tremendous challenges for both the buyers and suppliers to keep the supply chain network alive and the flow of goods and services normal in the period of lockdown and shut down of the businesses.

It is vital at this point for the organizations to maintain visibility in the supply chain, to share and communicate with the data effectively. Using the Supply chain technologies ensures the organization’s significant role in the re-building of the trade and supply chain system, making the supply chain more visible and resilient in the period of any disruptions.

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