August 26, 2016
The Rio Olympics gave us some amazing stories of how individual talent and preparation can lead to gold on the world’s biggest stage. A favorite athlete of mine is Usain Bolt, who cemented his status as the fastest man in the world by winning the gold in the 100m, 200m and 4×100 relay for the 3rd Olympics straight. Of all the events, the relay is my favorite to watch. This is where athletes put their “world-class” status into the hands of others, relying on cooperation and execution to beat out the competition. Fortunately for Usain Bolt, his teammates were up to the task.
So what does this have to do with supply chain? A lot, actually. Dependency, reliability and trust in your suppliers is a major part of what defines a gold medal supply chain. And, it’s what many of the executives we talk to name as the most stressful part of running a business – putting your destiny in the hands of others.
“Pharmaceutical manufacturers encounter an ever-growing list of pressures in the face of an increasingly complex global supply chain,” Pharmaceutical Manufacturing contributor, Terrance Holbrook, wrote in May. “Chief among the challenges is managing the operational difficulties of working with any number of specialized suppliers contributing critical ingredients and components to drug production. Add to this the need to meet strict quality and compliance requirements set by various regulatory agencies throughout the world, and it’s clear that the supply chain creates an environment that is difficult for pharma manufacturers to manage and control.”
Many of the supply issues that pop up come from forces that we can’t predict or act on – natural disasters, geopolitics and economic uncertainty are some of the top supply chain risk drivers. But, many supply reliability problems that arise can be monitored in real-time and even prevented. Information about supplier viability, part quality, delivery performance, compliance and other factors is stored in ERP and other systems.
So if some of the most common supply reliability issues can be prevented, why aren’t they spotted before they crop up? One of the reasons may be due to a lack of consistent metrics between you and your third parties. Analyst firm, Supply Chain Insights, found that businesses have an average of 3.6 core metrics that they use to rate and judge their suppliers; but those measures can vary – sometimes significantly. Between a lack of oversight, having not enough coordination and the natural issues that invariably crop up, it’s no wonder that supply reliability issues haven’t been solved.
Tapping Data for Better intelligence and Smarter Metrics
With FusionOps, decision makers can monitor supplier issues in and see the impact on the rest of their supply chain, including customer service level and inventory. Key metrics like Supplier OTIF, Part Quality, Lead Time Variability, and Forecasted Demand can be shared with suppliers and other partners so everyone is on the same page.
When it comes to your value chain, ensuring your suppliers are as reliable as Usain Bolt’s teammates, Yohan Blake and Asafa Powell, is essential. With supply chain intelligence from FusionOps in place you have the ability to monitor and collaborate on key metrics with your suppliers so you can achieve and sustain a gold medal-worthy supply chain.