The importance of supply chain networks has made gains rapidly following the disruptions in supply chains in 2020. Companies have seen first-hand the significance of collaboration between the supplier, co-manufacturer, customer, carrier and distributor and what happens when it fails.
Companies have discovered that their legacy of enterprise-centred systems is no longer “good enough”. They are looking to modernise their supply chains with technology that allows multi-enterprise exposure and far greater collaboration based on real-time information on supply-demand.
Orders, shipments, plans, forecasts, inventories, ETAs, payments, prices, status and more are included. The challenge is to allow this change and address the need for all parties to work together at the lowest landed cost to serve the end-customer with the highest service levels.
Networks that connect all supply chain components are business-to-business (B2B) networks or multi-party networks. These networks are designed to manage the large scale, intricacy, and industry-specific needs of businesses. For this network to be multi-party, the supply chain network platforms are built from scratch and use a single data model, database, and user interface to be multi-party.
Over the last few years, multi-party supply chain management networks have been gaining momentum. Major organizations are adopting a new network strategy, including retailers, automotive manufacturers, consumer goods and even the U.S. Navy. Hence, the industry needs a technology that connects a real-time platform to all supply chain participants. It constitutes a single authoritative version of reality for all.
Most industrial processes involve collaboration with one or more business partners, execution, and planning. With the central objective of enabling processes and transactions across multiple companies, multi-party networks are constructed.
It also changes the nature of preparation and execution, allowing the company to plan and execute on the same platform. New network solutions such as global matching of supply-demand are possible as it will enable the organisation within supply lead times to match available supply to demand optimally.
The network allows multi-party visibility and network-wide collaboration for real-time forecasts, orders, shipments, ETAs and inventories, enhancing precision, reducing errors and inefficiencies. It supports the ultimate objective of working together with all trading partners to meet consumer demand at the lowest landing cost and improve their competitiveness.
This allows network solutions to more fully optimize the supply network and allow more efficient human and artificial intelligence (AI) resolution of issues as they arise, he writes. The strategy involves providing new and innovative multiparty-aware services and applications and the improvement of conventional processes and solutions. The pandemic exposed the oblivious and fragile structure of most supply chains. With a network, businesses connect to the network only once and can then virtually interact with any other business on the network. From supply chain configuration to operations, this built-in connectivity, efficiency and agility allow multi-party networks the foremost approach to managing global supply chains.