Supply Chain Fragility or Agility? 3 Ways to Build Resilience During Disruption

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Global supply chain disruptions continue to plague enterprises around the world. Based on projections by the World Bank, the US National Intelligence Council, and McKinsey, the disruptions we’ve seen, like shortages, delays, and logistic breakdowns, will continue and grow more volatile. However, not all companies are struggling—some are turning their supply chain fragility into competitive agility. 

Organizations that lead in using data-driven, AI-infused intelligence are finding new approaches that yield better resilience and competitive advantage. Seem too good to be true? Read on to learn three best practices you can do to transform your enterprise’s supply chain.

3 Best Supply Chain Practices for Today

Every enterprise has its own unique supply chain challenges, but there are key moves you can make to find the best path forward:

  1. Grow and Empower a Network of Supply Chain Excellence 

The best way to turn supply chain fragility into agility is first to enable a network of knowledge-sharing among key players in your supply chain. Whether through workgroups or a Supply Chain Center of Excellence (COE), it takes human alignment to set the focus for advanced technology. 

For example, a COE can help define requirements for AI-infused processes such as automated route optimization, anomaly detection for manufacturing (whether traditional or additive), or prescriptive demand planning. A COE with executive sponsorship helps business stakeholders and technical experts collaborate, prioritize, and balance supply chain risks. A COE can provide the coherence and communication needed to move from reactivity to proactivity—supporting supply chain innovation. 

  1. Reimagine Data Management with Trading Partners 

The modern supply chain is much more than a web of processes ensuring the timely delivery of supplies needed by an enterprise. Increasingly, it’s the nervous system by which an enterprise can sense and respond to early signs of change in its world. As enterprise offerings grow more complex, process flows and subcomponent production are often delegated to suppliers, which means collaboration must be automated and scalable. Without that, trading partner compliance with quality standards and regulatory needs cannot be managed. 

Enabling this requires optimized data-sharing processes. An enterprise may need to access and analyze its suppliers’ bill of materials, process conditions, product test results, and shipping situation. To speed access, enterprises are increasingly using an agile data fabric, encompassing data virtualization, enhanced master data management, and governance processes that support data quality.

  1. Assess and Improve Supply Chain Maturity 

One of the first tasks to bring to your Supply Chain COE should be assessing where you are in the three facets of supply chain maturity:

  • Real-time Operational Analytics and Simulation
  • Dynamic Learning, Data Curation, and Automation
  • Scalability and the Diffusion of Innovation

Key to improving supply chain agility is a phased approach that delivers near-term value using existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) infrastructure and solutions, prioritizes what’s next, and builds from there. Virtualized data and APIs enable faster access to trading partner data, while real-time visibility builds the basis for automation and supply chain maturity.

Brembo Accelerates to Improved Processes with Analytics

Brembo SpA (the Brembo Group) is a world leader and innovator of disc brake technology for automotive vehicles. Brembo currently operates in 15 countries on three different continents, with 29 production and business sites, and a supply chain encompassing more than 6,700 businesses. To advance its smart factory Industry 4.0 landmark initiative, it focused on improving analytics for big data, evolving its analytics infrastructure to serve the company’s goals for improving performance and user-friendliness. 

This evolution toward self-service analytics insights lays the groundwork for insights that support supply chain agility. As noted in the Brembo Supply Chain Report, “For Brembo, supply chain management is a priority…Brembo activated the use of a platform dedicated to the analysis of online information to monitor potential risks inherent in the supply chain. Through the use of AI, Brembo is able to receive real-time alerts from the web that notify the presence of an event or a risk situation impacting its supply base….”

Hamburg Süd Seizes Global Supply Chain Opportunities

Hamburg Süd offers custom logistics and shipping solutions through its 250 locations in over 100 countries. Looking to take advantage of the growth in global shipping, the company sought to standardize its product offerings and consolidate redundant processes.

The company turned to TIBCO partner, Lufthansa Industry Solutions, to help centralize its data and automate services. “Regardless of how large or small our customers are, and no matter their industry, they all face the same critical challenge: how to structure IT along the value chain in such a way that it reduces costs and simultaneously increases revenues and efficiency,” said Kevin T. Cao, head of enterprise integration, Lufthansa Industry Solutions.

Since deploying TIBCO solutions, the company has reduced the cost of operations, improved customer service, and launched new product offerings. And it’s now easier to partner with other providers in the global logistics ecosystem to fulfill all the shipping needs of its customers.

Supply Chain Agility with TIBCO

Are you ready to revamp for agility like Brembo and Hamburg Süd? Just like other market leaders, your enterprise can transform supply chain fragility into a competitive advantage. Put our best practices to work for your enterprise, and explore TIBCO’s supply chain resources to get started: