The importance of Supply Chain Management has been crucial these past 9 months. Covid-19 has challenged companies’ abilities to adapt quickly in a rapidly changing global supply chain. In the last decade companies have increasingly streamlined their supply chains, but with the uncertainty of Coronavirus, agility has become a big focus in materials management as well as supply chain management.
These past few months have shattered companies’ longer term integrated business plans. Because of this, more and more firms are opting for more granularity in their supply planning. Underlying systems used to manage supply chains are hard coded to perform and function according to the business needs of the time, making them very rigid and unreliable. Along with the degradation of these systems comes the deterioration of performance metrics used for continuous improvement and root cause analysis. As a result, multiple bolt-on systems are used to manage production and supply needs. These bolt-ons can range from manual spreadsheets to business intelligence tools to fully blown IT solutions that can take months to implement. This means that in order to manage their inventory, turns, and shipments, a production facility can be using up to 20 different systems.
Materials and Supply Chain managers these days, however, are opting for more cloud-based Command Center platforms to stay ahead of changes. The advantage of these cloud-based platforms is visibility, accountability, cross-company communication and automation. A product like StrataFlows, for example, consolidates and integrates existing systems into an Incident Command Center. StrataFlows allows users to have end-to-end real-time visibility when a part goes missing or a supplier is late. Because the StrataFlows platform is cloud-based, changes in production processes or supply chain can be quickly reflected in the various systems. Along with flexibility comes the ability to automate processes, freeing up Materials Managers to make decisions rather than repeating monotonous keystrokes and chasing down issues manually. StrataFlows is a complete Incident Command Center solution for creating more visibility in tracking materials.