Many businesses are now integrating their supply chain components with many benefits to such businesses. Actually, supply chain integration might soon become the new norm in any serious organization. This simply means that a company will have to repurpose its processes and ensure that all the activities are streamlined for seamless transactions and the overall running of the organization. The evolving ethical and political trends, different geographical localities of the supply chain parties, and the supply chain systems that are becoming increasingly complex now call for nothing but the integration of the supply chain processes. And it goes without a say that any organization that has integrated its supply chain faces benefits that the counter unintegrated supply chains may not be tasting. Some of the benefits include improved visibility within the supply chain, resource and cost-saving within the chain, added agility that makes the business resilient, and effective collaboration. Keep reading the write-up to be conversant with the benefits and start reworking your business feature an integrated supply chain system.
Heightened collaboration and visibility
One of the benefits that you will certainly enjoy when you integrate your company’s supply chain operations is the increased collaboration and visibility within the chain. This is possible because increased collaboration is actually at the backbone of the integration process. This, in turn, leads to increased visibility within the supply chain. For example, in an integrated supply chain, the need for intermediaries and silos is greatly reduced to benefit the supply chain. Although these are usually present as a sign of independence, they actually consume a lot of resources. They can sometimes be a hindrance to positive steps and potential progress. With the silos and intermediaries done away within an integrated supply chain, the departments within the chain learn to collaborate more. With the increased collaboration, processes are now more transparent, and the supply chain sets a centralized system that maintains such collaboration. As this happens, visibility is widened, and everything that happens at any point is visible to the entire chain in real-time.
The supply chain dynamics are fast-changing and call for an agile system to stay in the market. In other words, only agile systems make it today in the market since customer behavior, and other aspects of business are changing. One of the top benefits a business enjoys by integrating its supply chain is increased agility. How does this come about? Because of the widened visibility discussed in the preceding paragraph, a company achieves an eye for detail for every process within the supply chain. As the company works together with such visibility attained, it becomes more agile. This makes it stay ahead of others and gain a competitive advantage. When their opponents plan something that could work against the company’s advantage, the company has itself informed months in advance. Because of such prior knowledge, the company can readjust its processes and work against its opponents. Besides, an integrated supply chain works with predictive analytics as an application of science in the supply chain. These systems help the host business make accurate predictions about the future and effect the needed changes immediately. Without agility, a company cannot make such changes. But with an integrated supply chain, this is possible.
Another benefit that an integrated supply chain enjoys but an unintegrated chain may not even dream of is waste elimination. Wastes are part of supply chain processes that result when fragile goods break, customers return goods, or the demand rate becomes low, resulting in the raw materials expiring. Even in transporting goods to the point of delivery, some products break and contribute to the waste mass. Although they are part and parcel of a supply chain, integrating the supply chain enables the business to identify preventable sources of waste, mitigate them, and cut down on waste. For instance, ordering excess raw materials could be contributing to waste mass by taking up extra space in the warehouse and breakage of the overstaying materials. An integrated supply chain will rework its sales forecasting systems to come up with more accurate figures to predict the demand and limit the wastes created by such processes. An integrated supply chain can also repurpose its operations and task the same entity with several manageable roles to half the waste created. For instance, having a lorry deliver goods to the point-of-demand and carry raw materials to the manufacturing point on its return trip reduces the among of fossil waste released to the environment.
Saving on costs
The businesses that have already remodeled their supply chain to feature integrated systems are now counting on many elements of saving costs. With such avenues for saving costs, the business can channel the saved resources and costs to other projects, including expanding the business. In the example of tasking one lorry to deliver goods and still bring raw materials to the manufacturing point, the money spent on fuel is halved. Besides, the company saves on time by using the same lorry to handle two tasks. The need for manpower also goes down. Instead of needing two drivers, the company will need just one and probably a standby substitute for emergencies. Most integrated systems utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence systems to study customer behavior and run production in tandem with the resulting data. This saves on cost when goods and raw materials do not expire, and the saved money is channeled to other projects.
Improved overall benefits in the company and the ability to stay ahead of the rest
It takes an integrated supply chain to enjoy overall financial gains and stay ahead of its competitors. This is because each of the above-discussed benefits contributes to the financial advantage of the business in question. For instance, when courtesy of integrating a supply chain, the business achieves improved collaboration and widened visibility, the company will definitely realize financial gain because any back and forth is gotten rid of. Besides, when the business becomes agile, it can respond to any unexpected shock before it can hit the company and cause losses. Eliminating wastes frees resources in the chain, which leaves free finances to be channeled to other areas in the chain. With all this in place, an integrated supply chain stays ahead of the rest.
Many businesses are now integrating their supply chain processes with massive benefits. They can now enjoy a widened visibility and improved collaboration within the departments. Because wastes are eliminated, the business frees resources, saves on cost, and wins reputational advantages. All this contributes to the overall financial gain in the chain and makes it possible for the business to stay ahead of the rest.