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Three reasons a supply chain management platform is right for you

If you work on one of your company’s supply chain teams, you know expectations are higher – and resources fewer – than ever before.

Customers today expect high-quality products at affordable prices. But their expectations of quality have changed. To them, quality means a product is well-made, sourced responsibly, manufactured ethically (both towards the environment and the people who are making the product), and, of course, readily available when wanted.

This ‘expectation evolution’ is leading to changes in how companies, and their supply chain teams, need to manage their production chain. The production chain is the part of the supply chain focused on the sourcing and manufacturing of goods, and houses many of the risks companies face in their supply chain – including quality, production speed, compliance, and sourcing.

Obviously manual processes, spreadsheets and paper reports are already a thing of the past. But so too are siloed approaches to supply chain management. It simply doesn’t work anymore in this modern-day environment.

And so, here are three reasons a platform approach to supply chain management is becoming the new best practice.

Making an impact with artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is a powerful technology many companies are experimenting with. It gets its power by learning, which it does by analyzing data. This makes it crucial for AI to have access to strong, holistic supply chain data in order to be most effective.

Artificial intelligence is able to make connections humans would regularly miss in the data, in order to give next-level insights into risks and opportunities for improvement. However, its potential to achieve this is limited by how much of the production chain it has access to. Inspectorio is an example of a platform solution integrated with AI. As you connect more operations into our platform, the AI can complete ever more precise and complex analysis leading to powerful insights that drive meaningful impact for your business. The more data and processes it touches, the greater its impact – this is the power of a platform approach to supply chain management.

In fact, one of our clients reduced their defect rate by 40% using our AI tools, and as a result achieved over $11 million in savings in a single year.

Connecting processes and data gives stronger insights that reduce risk

Most companies today have several supply chain teams, each with their own systems looking at their own data to measure supplier performance. Suppliers can perform well in one area, and poorly in another. While this information will eventually make it between the teams, it’s a slow and manual process that introduces risk into the production chain. There is also the chance the discrepancy goes unnoticed altogether, which is even worse.

A platform approach connects various parts of the production chain into one system, providing holistic visibility into supplier performance across different operations.

This makes it easy to automate the creation of supplier scorecards used to immediately understand performance and gauge risk levels associated with each supplier, and the supply chain holistically. It provides the insights needed to make strong decisions about your suppliers, ensuring only the best performers across all areas of concern are involved in the manufacturing of your goods.

Customers today have an abundance of choice when it comes to goods, and little patience when products don’t meet expectations. Global brands simply cannot afford the risks associated with siloed supply chain management today.

Streamlining operations to move faster

A key metric for any supply chain team is how fast products or suppliers can get through their processes, so manufacturing begins or goods make it to shelves more quickly.

It’s counter-productive then that so many companies have several redundant touch points for suppliers when it comes to onboarding, surveys, audits, and more. In fact, suppliers may go through onboarding for different teams and answer the same questions each time, or submit to a quality audit only to share similar information to their customer for a compliance submission.

A platform like Inspectorio centralizes these processes, allowing teams to manage onboarding from a single system. It lets suppliers submit their information once, and makes that information available to whichever team needs it, at any time. This significantly reduces the number of touches a brand needs to have with its suppliers.

It has the added benefit of reducing supplier fatigue – a state of annoyance and disengagement suppliers feel when they’ve had to repeat a seemingly redundant task.

The more engaged your suppliers, the quicker their response times and stronger their performance. And if those responses are available to anyone who needs them, it further optimizes processes to accelerate onboarding times and speed to market.

Getting the most value out of your supply chain

As we explored at the beginning of this article, market expectations have changed. Quality is about more than the durability and functionality of a product, and requires a holistic view to meet customer expectations today. Siloed, department-focused supply chain management is a thing of the past. Today’s leading companies are connecting their supply chain teams to move faster, make better decisions, and maximize investment.

These companies have lower risk levels in both compliance and quality, can achieve greater revenue outcomes as a result, build stronger brands, and achieve their strategic supply chain and sustainability goals.

You can learn more about how a platform approach can benefit your company by visiting inspectorio.com/platform.

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