Blog: The Roots of Today’s Supply Chain Problems

Lora Cecere’s recent blog post You Should Be Worried. Supply Chains Are Not OK. Let’s Lock Arms to Drive Change was a wake-up call. Just when it feels like things might be finally settling into a new normal, we realize that 2022 will have as many – or more – supply chain challenges as the last two years of the pandemic.

Lora’s observation that “The health of the supply chain underpins our economy. When the supply chain is sick, all industries suffer,” certainly rings true. GAINS is proud to provide a supply chain planning platform that helps manufacturers, distributors, and retailers improve their performance and lead their respective industries with greater resilience.   

Finding the Root of the Problem

Let’s face it, supply chain disruption isn’t going away. That’s why supply chain executives must focus on the root cause, not just the symptoms. With GAINS, our customers can identify the underlying issues and benefit from better systemic planning and scenario analysis. And with better sensing of both demand and supply changes they can continuously optimize their plans, far surpassing the results of cadence based weekly or monthly planning.

So, what can we do NOW to help overcome these challenges?

  • Design for Variability

Companies are limited in their ability to react to changing demand and supply because they are dependent on Excel spreadsheets. But, as Lora points out, “variability modeling is not possible in Excel models.” Breaking the dependency on spreadsheets is the only way to improve resiliency.

  • Get Good at Inventory Management

Lora advises to “push past cursory analysis of safety stock and embrace the concepts of form and function of inventory.” At GAINS, we’ve seen the payoff of optimized inventory based on form, function, service goals and financial investment. Our customers have reduced inventory as much as 30% while improving service levels.

  • Move to Resilient Supply Chain Design

Lora encourages supply chain planners to “analyze the network–with a focus on locations of second and third-tier suppliers and focus on minimization of cross-border shipping.” GAINS customers use our SCO Network to onboard new partners faster, get better visibility across supply and demand, and ultimately accelerate decision-making.  

From supply shortages to factory shutdowns and port congestion, volatility and disruption are here to stay. At GAINS we help companies harness additional data sources to fuel AI and machine learning and find the “signal” in all the noise. It’s time to address data latency and move toward real time insights into demand & supply sensing and network performance. Contact us today and find out how to make sure your supply chain is okay!