As an advisor, my ears shot up when I tuned in to the TV a few weeks ago to hear our new president in the US, President Biden, talking about supply chain. His address marked the signing of an ambitious executive order on supply chains, calling for nationwide cooperation to make America’s supply chains more resilient.
Supply chain leaders will confirm that much of what President Biden said sounded very familiar:
The global pandemic already made supply chains the talk of the town. With this executive order, President Biden is clearly putting out a challenge and giving encouragement to supply chain leaders.
Analysts already commented that it will take time to thoroughly examine the supply chain complexities in many industries. Some supply chains may indeed be vulnerable in areas that are barely visible, such as those in the highly specialized lower tiers. That’s why I believe improved visibility is part of the solution.
Better visibility allows companies to build smarter networks with in-built redundancies, making the company more agile. Scenario planning means they can quantify and qualify the risks, anticipate events, and align inventory policies. A holistic perspective on a supply chain reduces the risks.
Biden also stated that “there’s nothing, nothing, nothing we’ve ever failed to achieve if we work together.” Although he was talking about Republicans and Democrats working together, the message is equally valid for teams and individuals working in critical supply chains. A well-functioning supply chain organization is based on collaboration: the better supply chain professionals work together, sharing information and making decisions in unison, the better the results.
That’s why planning solutions should solve planning challenges the holistic way, by integrating strategic, tactical, and operational planning horizons, and by connecting every stage of the process, from supply to demand. Advanced technologies like AI and ML can help make the complexity manageable, but people are just as important. The best planning solutions make people across the supply chain work more closely together, even beyond the company orbit. This, I believe, was definitely part of Biden’s message.
With more than ten years in supply chain management, Bryan has built in-depth experience in digital supply chain planning transformation across a number of industries. As part of OMP’s Advisory team, he helps companies worldwide to understand the bigger picture, identify value areas, and gain insights to improve their planning processes.