Imagine the 2030 Supply Chain
By Bill Benton, CEO of GAINSystems
GAINS remains focused on delivering innovative solutions that optimize and simplify supply chain complexity for large and midsize distribution-intensive businesses where inventory and service matter.
Here are a few themes from a recent discussion with Lora Cecere, founder of Supply Chain Insights.
Better use of data and increased automation
Today’s supply chain success is dependent on people, processes, technology, and data. Transforming data into insights will help supply chain decision-makers move forward faster. Data that has historically been difficult to acquire – particularly for mid-market companies with smaller IT teams — will become more accessible. Feeding enterprise and network data into algorithmic planning engines combined with AI and machine learning will lead to rapid response and a more automated planning environment. GAINS helps transform data to accelerate demand and supply sensing, drive new insights to accelerate supply chain response, boost service levels, and align inventory investments. With this foundation, our customers can evaluate multiple scenarios and move forward faster today. As data becomes increasingly available, we are prepared to harness it to automate planning and drive quicker insights for the “always-on” supply chain.
GAINS has developed innovative software solutions that have transformed some of the world’s largest and most complex supply chains. Our vision is to bring what has been used by the “big and the few” to be leveraged by the “midsize and the many.” Reliably harnessing enterprise, market, and trading partner data is an essential foundation to fuel automation and new insights.
Unification from design through execution
We see a future that unifies the entire supply chain planning process, starting with the design then moving through annual operating budgets (AOP), S&OP, on to tactical planning, and ending with execution. There needs to be a single canonical model. A single design extending to every aspect (and horizon) of the supply chain planning is used to synchronize all areas of the organization. This will reduce common errors in translating plans across departments and time horizons, resulting in a shared vocabulary of terms, goals, and milestones from strategic, tactical, and operational planning.
Typically, organizations think of supply chain design as an annual or bi-annual project rather than a continuous process. Some projects become epic multi-year undertakings requiring thousands of hours to complete. By the time they are finished, the business environment has changed, and the desired outcomes have evolved. We don’t think the traditional long-drawn-out implementation projects are a viable model in today’s fast-paced and highly dynamic global environment.
At GAINS, we envision a more continuous and agile planning process to drive incremental improvements and fuel greater agility. Helping customers move away from long project-based deployments, periodic network reviews, or even cadence-based models to more dynamic, event-driven, and continuous planning cycles.
For many businesses, the mission toward greater Network Liquidity has been stepped up over the past 24 months. Rather than a fixed network with annual or bi-annual contracts between suppliers and customers, we anticipate a much more significant form of liquidity for trading partners.
The ability to rapidly redesign your supply chain network along with the changing needs of your suppliers or customers will be mission-critical moving forward into 2030. This agility must be understood across the business to be successful, including impacts to service, budgets, margin contribution, S&OP, and daily execution. One of our goals is to access trading partner data for faster collaboration, increased visibility, and greater agility.