Today’s companies continue to expand to reach global markets, but this has made control of supply chains more and more complex. Companies recognize that developing and executing successful supply chain strategies can be key to gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. A key to managing a global supply chain is having strong visibility. This has in turn prompted companies to use technologies such as ERP/MRP systems, warehouse management systems and transportation management systems. Additionally, companies are utilizing hardware technologies, hand-held scanners, GPS, tracking devices, cameras, microphones, RFID readers, wireless networks and automated warehouse systems (AGVs, Robots). Adoption of these technological tools allows more visibility than ever before. But having the data, alone is not enough; managers now have millions and billions of bits of data to decipher and sort through. Having piles of data is not enough, supply chain managers are now faced with how to best use the data to obtain the right information to track performance, diagnose bottlenecks and uncover opportunities for continuous improvement.
Even if you live in a cave, chances are you haven’t missed the noise around ‘Supply Chain Visibility.’ The terms are many: “Control Tower”, “Operational Intelligence”, “Situation Room”, “Supply Chain Cockpit”, “Predictive ETA”, and so on. From software vendors to analysts to users, each group has coined its own terminology.
OpsVeda today announced the release of version 6.0 of its cloud based Business Execution Platform. This is a generally available version and incorporates a holistically redesigned user interface, improved performance and new business content.
Over the last 2-3 years, a lot has been written about data growing faster than hardware capabilities. Computing power has largely progressed along what Gordon Moore had predicted half a century back, and that was enough to handle the increase in data volumes. But, with the advent of Internet of Things (IoT) that has changed. The numerous clicks, touches and sensors on pretty much every "thing" has been pumping out data at a pace that puts Moore's law to notice. Frequently cited examples include size of Facebook's daily log (~60 TB), data generated by a transatlantic flight (~ 650 TB) etc.
Apparel Footwear and Retail Companies execute in the backdrop of a fragmented supply chain, volatile demand patterns, and shifts to shorter seasons. These trends together with traditional operational challenges of SKU combinations (style-color-size), large order volumes, and customer specific shipping requirements have made day to day operations incredibly cumbersome. Complex, time critical, business decisions are still being made on stale spreadsheets.
In recent times, Port Gridlocks have become a common issue in the country. There has been significant disruptions over the past months. See “Retailers’ frustration with West Coast gridlock hits the boiling point”. The Pacific Maritime Association, is still in contract talks and negotiation with International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Such negotiations have reduced the speed of five largest ports on the West Coast. It is reported that the productivity had dropped by 30% to 50%, in recent times. Every industry is affected by this complete gridlock of West Coast Ports, especially the automotive and the retail sector. A recent blog on Asian supply lines hit by U.S West Coast ports explains about the impact of this gridlock on the automotive sector. Companies started complaining that they do not have sufficient supply to run the production lines. While we are now headed towards an apparent settlement, it is not clear how long the settlement will last. Many believe that it is just a Matter of Time Before West Coast Port Labor Issues Recur.