Manufacturing Supply Chain Visibility Is Key To Success In Any Vertical

Oct 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM

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Integration can help optimize business systems to work more efficiently. Integration can help simplify processes in the manufacturing supply chain. Integration can help meet business objectives.

But unless it’s focused on improving visibility, integration will not help with any of the items above, regardless of your vertical.

For all the talk and buzz over integration, especially the integration of Enterprise Resource Planning (ER) and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), I feel the real crux of these conversations needs to focus more on one of the ultimate benefits of integration – rather than the process itself.  And in a word, visibility defines this benefit.

A good piece on the importance of manufacturing supply chain visibility can be found in an article published earlier this month on EBN.com.  In the article, author Lalit Wadhwa writes:

“In an environment of high demand volatility, rapid obsolescence cycles, and shifting raw material lead times, visibility into the extended supply network becomes critical for anticipating supply disruptions and responding to demand fluctuations.”

In citing the importance of manufacturing supply chain visibility, Wadhwa goes on to list some key challenges:

  • Real-time visibility must be provided into every part of the supply chain, including: plan, source, make and deliver

  • Many manufacturing organizations compound visibility challenges through the use of multiple ERP solutions

  • Many solutions designed to improve visibility lack scalability and depth

So how can these challenges best be addressed?

Circling back to our theme, the answer lies in integration:
  • Access to information on the fly – As Wadhwa writes, many integrated solutions include on-demand access, which provide an immediate view into things like supplier performance, component lifecycle management and even on-time performance aggregated across multiple sites.

  • Simplification of complex information – Integrated solutions can help manage the complexity of information. Many integrated platforms, in fact, are built from the ground up to manage the complexities of manufacturing.

  • Easier planning for variability – More visibility into the chain makes it easier for you to plan things out and expect the unexpected. This helps in all areas such as controlling and tracking inventory and keeping financial data in-sync with expectations on and off the manufacturing floor.

The advice I offer for those focused on integration is this – know exactly why you are focused on integration.  This will help you know exactly what to expect – and better yet – know exactly what questions to ask of any potential vendor.

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Contact To-Increase for more information on the benefits of PLM / ERP integration, or more insight regarding how to improve supply chain visibility.

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About Author
Luciano Cunha

Luciano Cunha

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) For Luciano, being responsible for To-Increase’s global sales and marketing means unleashing the company’s insight, innovation, and creativity to tell our story and help customers achieve their goals. On the road much of the time, he travels the world to meet with customers, understand their challenges and ambitions, and find the most effective ways to help them advance. Luciano develops and mentors our marketing and sales team, and creates strategies to help the To-Increase worldwide partner channel thrive and grow.
Making Customer Needs the Main Business Driver Luciano and his team have daily conversations with the To-Increase research and development organization to bring customers’ requirements and concerns into the road maps and design of our solutions. Luciano brings his insight to the marketing group to make sure the company’s communications resonate with customers and speak directly to their experience.
“I’m awed by customers’ innovative spirit in taking business management technology past its limits and by their generosity in letting us participate and empower them. I hope to transform our organization to become even more customer-centric than we are today. That means making more resources available to spend productive time with both our customers and partners, so we can ensure that we place into customer businesses effective solutions that fit the evolutionary stage of their operation and the way their people and processes work.”
Empowering a Global Channel
Because To-Increase only sells through partners, readying the channel to be successful in helping customers is a business-critical effort. Luciano aims to meet partners where their interests are. Partners who consider the relationship with To-Increase strategic can rely on our industry specialists to work with them as they plan their growth and serve customers. If partners prefer a less collaborative relationship, they still receive the rich To-Increase expertise and resources to ensure they win the business, perform a successful deployment, and retain a satisfied customer. In working with partners and their customers, Luciano brings to bear his experience of many years of creating successful, customer-focused business development and marketing strategies in many of the world’s countries and regions.
Enabling Customer Success in Challenging Business Environments
Looking into the near future, Luciano expects that customers will continue to expect To-Increase to help them make business sense of unfolding trends and technologies. For example, the internet of things (IoT) will thoroughly revolutionize manufacturing, engineering, and supply chains. Big data will be meaningful and valuable when decision-makers can use technology solutions to transform it into actionable business intelligence that supports key roles and business processes. Mobility will help companies become digital enterprises and move business processes forward from any location, at any time. Team To-Increase harnesses innovation to help customers translate the promise of these technologies into business results.
Before his current role, Luciano for several years was one of To-Increase’s global industry directors, responsible for our industry solutions. His experience also spans more than 17 years in IT and manufacturing management roles. These positions took him into various areas at IBM Brazil, serving as product manager for several software development companies, and included working in senior management at a manufacturing organization in the U.S.
Luciano is married with two young children. Away from work, he enjoys participating in a soccer class together with his son and daughter as well as taking relaxing walks in natural environments with his family.

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