January 17, 2023

How Supply Chains Need to Evolve to Prepare for Future Disruption

Virtual Twins of the supply chain and product can be powerful tools to enable the next generation of companies resilient to disruption.
Adrian Wood

Ongoing disruption requires companies to make a fundamental shift in their supply chain strategy. Addressing industry and internal challenges requires a transformation of process and technology to reach new levels of agility and visibility across the entire value network.

Supply chain disruption management

What makes this transformation so difficult is that the scope of change required is extensive, involving many internal (and external) stakeholders, data and technology. This means that companies typically need an executive level decision to develop a plan to transform over time with careful consideration for the right end goal and steps to take.

Some industry analysts have developed frameworks that break down the potential evolution into meaningful phases that represent incremental gains in capability and maturity. These frameworks help determine the starting points of transformation and how to quantify and justify the benefits of applied effort and change.

Traditionally, Operations organizations will lead supply chain transformations but often they think too narrowly about the scope of involvement required to make a “step change” in the agility and visibility required to achieve a new level of resiliency. What recent disruption has shown is that the root cause of supply chain issues often lie in disconnected processes with Product Manufacturing and Engineering. In other words, integrating business planning across these different divisions should be a priority for companies in order to help them truly transform.

Think about the potential opportunities of planning the supply chain network concurrently with the product design: – evaluating engineering decisions rapidly against supplier capabilities could achieve faster time to market at lower cost. In reverse, evaluating the product design based upon sudden supply issues could mitigate potential lost revenue and customer service levels by being able to determine quickly whether alternate components in the design are possible.

Manufacturing can also plays a significant role in supply chain success. When developing innovative new products, manufacturing simulation shows how to scale production to meet aggressive forecasts for orders. In addition, experimenting with new technologies in the virtual world (such as additive manufacturing) can help mitigate constrained supply in times of disruption.

Virtual Twins of the supply chain and product, combined with manufacturing execution can be powerful tools to enable the next generation of companies that become resilient to disruption. There are many considerations to reach this end state though and technology alone is not the only factor.

To learn more about what the evolution and end vision could be for your company, watch the replay of the Supply Chain Management Review webinar to learn more.

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