By John Bermudez, Vice President Product Marketing
APT-SCIM dashboards provide real-time visibility into issues across the multienterprise network, enabling you to quickly assign an issue to right subject matter experts based on criticality and financial impact.
Supply chain issues, whether it is a small issue like a material shortage at a second tier supplier, or a major issue such as a container shipment stuck on a giant container ship that has run aground, can disrupt your supply chain. If the “small” issue is a result of the integrated circuit (IC) chip shortage, resolution might be very complicated and could take months. The “major” supply chain issue, caused by a large container ship blocking one the world’s most important shipping lanes, might be addressed the same day by directing your 3PL to use air cargo for the next couple of shipments. In either case, it is important to have an efficient issue resolution process that enables teams to identify, prioritize, and resolve critical issues quickly.
Gain centralized visibility
You cannot quickly resolve an issue if you are not aware of it or if you receive notification too late to mitigate the supply chain disruption that results. Digitalization of your supply chain issue management process is a best practice that supply chain executives are pursuing to ensure earlier identification of all issues. TraceLink Agile Process Teams for Supply Chain Issue Management (APT-SCIM) is the only supply chain issue management solution designed to operate in a multienterprise network and enable supply chain partners to notify you of supply chain issues the moment they happen. “Multienterprise” means that you and your suppliers are on the same system, using the same data, and collaboratively executing steps in the same workflow-driven process.
APT-SCIM dashboards provide real-time visibility into issues across the multienterprise network, enabling you to quickly assign an issue to right subject matter experts based on criticality and financial impact. Once assigned, your team can engage partners immediately to begin the resolution process, make better business decisions with their input, and develop more complete corrective action plans. Supply chain management teams can easily track resolution processes that are falling behind and monitor underperforming internal processes and partners. Leadership teams have the visibility needed to apply additional resources when the situation demands it.
Use the right team
With APT-SCIM, you can create “process teams” digitally and dynamically to make sure issues are routed to the right team members and subject matter experts from inside your organization and at your supply chain partners. Rapidly engaging with the right subject matter experts leads to faster issue resolution times. The increased clarity on user roles ensures accountability and eliminates the confusion caused by email-based supply chain issue resolution, where everyone is copied on the email in the hope that the right person responds. In addition to the teams that are actively engaged in the resolution process, other users and executives can choose to follow an issue. For example, the director of engineering impacted by the IC chip shortage may decide to follow the issue to determine if a substitute component needs to be identified to prevent further disruptions.
Apply an efficient process
APT-SCIM is a multienterprise solution that manages the resolution process at your company and at your partners’ companies in a shared app with the same data. This enables you to replace inefficient, ad hoc processes used at most companies for supply chain issue management-based on emails, phone calls, and spreadsheets. Workflow-driven, multienterprise business processes ensure accountability with clear due dates and automated notifications. With APT-SCIM, everyone knows who is responsible for the next action. A unique aspect of its core multienterprise capabilities, APT-SCIM workflows and user experience can be uniquely tailored for each partner as well as for internal processes by adding data fields and changing user experiences based on responsibilities. Supported by the TraceLink Opus Platform, this unique capability enables you to create very efficient and streamlined processes for different categories of supply chain partners and internal use cases.
Add structure to traditionally unstructured processes
In addition to being inefficient, email-based supply chain issue resolution processes lack any structure in the issue reporting process. With email, incident reporters start with a blank page and are left on their own to figure out how to describe the issue. APT-SCIM provides purpose-built incident management processes to bring structure to issue reporting and ensure that more complete definitions of issues (supported by customizable drop-down lists) are captured, including data related to quantitative and qualitative impact, analysis of the issue, and collaborative identification of the root cause of the problem by cross-functional internal and external teams. Automated notifications keep the collaboration process moving to ensure follow up and prompt resolution.
A key feature of the additional structure that APT-SCIM brings to the supply chain issue management process is the ability to assign initial response due dates and final resolution due dates. These dates are visible to the partner and are displayed on both internal and partner dashboards. This capability will very quickly help you reduce resolution time as it puts all parties on notice when an issue needs to be resolved to avoid further supply chain disruption.
APT-SCIM supports five unique incident management processes as well as a process for managing change requests: Direct Material Supplier Incidents Indirect Material Supplier Incidents External Manufacturing Incidents Internal Manufacturing Incidents General Incidents Change Requests:
- Direct Material Supplier Incidents
- Indirect Material Supplier Incidents
- External Manufacturing Incidents
- Internal Manufacturing Incidents
- General Incidents Change Requests
Each of these processes is designed to be used as delivered but can also be tailored to the unique needs of a specific customer or partner relationship using our no-code Opus Solution Builder application. Opus Solution Builder enables business users to tailor specific issue management processes to keep pace with evolving digitalization requirements without the need to engage IT resources.
Reduce resolution time by 65%
APT-SCIM customers have deployed the best practice of logging all business processes and quality defects, no matter how small. APT-SCIM keeps a history of all issues, enabling supply chain managers to spot trends. For example, the IC chip shortage noted above did not happen overnight. Encouraging your contract manufacturers to report the first short shipment of IC chips even when they made up the difference from buffer stock can help you spot a troubling trend. While you cannot increase the global IC manufacturing capacity, you can put contingency plans in place to resolve this issue faster when it happens again.
The increased level of insight, end-to-end visibility, efficient processes, and structured issue reporting that APT-SCIM provides has enabled customers to reduce issue resolution time by 65%. This reduction in issue resolution time improves order fulfillment cycle time, supply chain agility, and ultimately on-time, in-full (OTIF), which is a topic that will be addressed in greater depth in another post.