In a context where the performance of companies is constantly challenged by the demands of consumers, digital transformation opens up new perspectives. Ubiquitous at the heart of the Supply Chain, data is the daily concern for Supply Chain managers and IT managers alike. As true conductors of data management, these two stakeholders carry the digitization project and facilitate its implementation by ensuring the necessary coordination and collaboration between the different functions of the company.
Mastering the supply chain for a better management of the company's activity
The supply chain is the set of ways and means, tools and resources necessary for the creation of a product until its commercialization, from the raw material until it is made available to the final consumer. . Purchasing, supplies, inventory management, transportation... it is a series of operational processes that allow to respond to customer demand, based on a defined level of satisfaction, while constituting a lever for the commercial development of the company's activity and in a logic of cost optimization. In order for all the parties and workings of the Supply Chain to work optimally, it is essential that the internal and external stakeholders are solicited and involved in the project. Present at the operational level as well as at the strategic level, the Supply Chain is involved in all the spheres of the company.
Controlling the supply chain necessarily involves defining clear objectives. Depending on the companies and their maturity, we can cite for example: to minimize stocks, to avoid product shortages, to optimize the use of the means of production, to improve flexibility, to better manage the risks... The goal is to articulate these objectives to achieve the best balance around customer service, inventory level and operating costs. An action plan must be established to determine the ranking of the key operational priorities.
Collaboration : a key factor of success in carrying out your project
The digitalization of the supply chain gives rise to new challenges that profoundly transform the way companies operate. Among these challenges, we find of course the responsiveness and agility, which are vital in an increasingly fierce competitive environment. Then, improving decision-making through the exploitation of available data. Finally, digitalization opens up new possibilities for services for both manufacturers and the end-consumers.
In order to make the most out of digital, it is essential to establish a dialogue with all employees. Their contribution is a prerequisite for the success of the project and must satisfy these 3 points:
Link the Supply Chain back to the General Management
An optimized supply chain is able to provide a clear view over the long term thanks to the data that passes through its workings. This is why it must be attached to the General Management. The life of a company naturally brings its various services to specialize to gain efficiency. But it is clear that on the ground, the interests of R & D, purchasing, production and sales are often discordant. In order to break this compartmentalized system and work transversally without conflicts, it is relevant to set up an autonomous Supply Chain service attached to the General Management function.
Adopt an S & OP process
To increase the performance of a company, it is essential to harmonize and share the data. Collaboration between the different services must be a priority and the objectives necessarily common. This is where the Sales and Operations Planning (S & OP) comes in: keystone to move from strategy to operational. This collaborative process aims to establish a consensus between the objectives of the departments of the company. The S & OP provides a clear, common vision and action plan for achieving business objectives, while identifying potential bottlenecks and actions to be taken to overcome them.
Mobilize the different poles of the company
A high level of performance can only be achieved if employees are aware of the impact of their activity on the supply chain. To do this, it is essential to integrate them in the different phases of the digitization project. Meetings and trainings make it possible, among other things, to inform all the concerned clusters by integrating times of exchange on current and future evolutions.
Digitalization is no longer just an added value; it is also nowadays a key component to ensure the sustainability of companies. Well conducted, the digitalization of the Supply Chain offers many advantages but requires, because of its impacts, to be prepared on the organizational level as well as at the human level.