Do you have a Sat Nav for your supply chain?

Have you established a fully transparent relationship with your Supply Chain?

Do you trust reports from your suppliers about the goods and services they provide to you?

Transparency, open book, single version of the truth

In a competitive world, is there real evidence that suppliers who have a valued and trusted relationship with their customer are rewarded?

Do you ever find yourself in a meeting with your supply chain where you do not share a common view as to the veracity of the data you are trying to base decisions upon or struggle to reach a mutually agreed level of trust in the reports shared? If all the above sounds familiar; you may need to wrestle back control, for two important reasons:

  • You don’t appear to own your data – how can you easily swap suppliers without it?
  • Most importantly, you are powerless to argue the case for improvement for your stakeholders.

Until now, the norm may have been for suppliers to attend monthly contract review meetings. Equipped with spreadsheet data extracted from their operational system and the inevitable PowerPoint presentation to present their performance over the previous period against KPIs.

This has provided the basis for performance monitoring. But it has only ever provided a rear window view, rather than allowing you and your customer to have sight of real-time performance and being able to at least look out the ‘side window’. Ideally, you need both rear and side view perspectives and then a ‘Sat Nav’ equivalent to guide you to where you need to go.
If data ownership is with the supplier, it can expose those trust fears and risks at the end of contracts, or when current contracts are re-negotiated.

Times are now shifting

Access to more data than ever before presents new opportunities to automate the consumption of supply chain data into an independent solution located on the customer’s side of the firewall (or at least in a secure cloud location).

Independent technology companies are using business intelligence tools and interactive dashboards to surface disparate data with real-time reporting and actionable insight, using everyday consumer technology. Users can now access predictive analytics on the move. So the satnav for your supply chain is already here.

Building trust

By consuming data from a supply chain, the customer gains control of their data, with full visibility of supply chain compliance. This changes the relationship and encourages greater transparency and trust between both parties, presents intelligent and actionable insight and helps mitigate future risks.

It also makes the supply chain (or at least their (your) data) a ‘plug in / out’ solution. The point about transparency and trust is made by James Wood Property & FM Consultant who talks about the importance of building trust to establish long-standing relationships.

Most importantly, your customers see evidence of service improvements out of the side window and can see that you have wrestled back control to continue to (ahem) ‘drive the car’.

Improving reporting

As a digital agency, many of our customers are seeking greater visibility and transparency of their supply chain data to improve the reporting process and manage risk. By using CDS’ strategic reporting application Asset Factory, you are able to gain full visibility of your supply chain compliance and mitigate risks of supplier self-reporting, whilst taking ownership of your supply chain data.

Authors: Jonathan Astin and Michael Stephens, Head of Asset Intelligence at CDS Digital

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