By Paul Cianciolo, Chief Operating Officer
Using APT’s Supply Chain Issue Management (APT-SCIM) solution, organizations can finally conquer the tens or hundreds of supply chain issues that occur each day among internal teams and external supply chain partners.
“In God we trust, all others must bring data.”
W. Edwards Deming, the well-known thought-leader in the field of continuous process improvement, is attributed with this famous statement about the necessity of using an analytical, data-driven approach for making decisions.
But imagine you are a business leader in Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Technical Operations, Procurement, or Logistics, and your ultimate responsibility is to effectively leverage your internal, cross-functional departments and external supply chain partners to deliver products on-time and in-full for your global customer base.
Is the data that Deming cited for making analytical supply chain decisions available to you?
Based on research assessments that TraceLink conducted over the past year among its customer base of over 1,300 global manufacturers, contract manufacturers, distributors, 3PLs, and retailers, a centralized source of structured data on supply chain issues was constantly cited as being unavailable, and the absence of that data was recognized as a critical threat which hindered overall supply chain performance.
As TraceLink dug in further to customer interviews, we learned that business leaders possessed common goals that they were trying to achieve from their supply chain operations, as well as a common set of supply chain issue management challenges limiting their performance.
Common Supply Chain Issue Management Goals
- Measurably improve delivery performance to customers and right-first-time order rates
- Reduce the count of overall manufacturing disruptions through better insight into internal and external supply chain issues
- Reduce repeat deviations in the supply chain processes
- Reduce defects per million (DPM) in supply chain processes
- Reduce the number of total open supply chain issues among internal sites and external supply chain partners
- Measurably reduce overall supply chain issue resolution time
Standing in the way of these goals, however:
Common Supply Chain Issue Management Challenges
- Management’s reliance on email, spreadsheets, phone calls, and video meetings to collaborate on supply chain issues, ultimately resulting in a lack of visibility to individual resolution processes and the absence of trend information across issue types
- Ad hoc issue resolution processes which prevent any retention of institutional knowledge gained for how to resolve supply chain issues in the future
- Lack of a structured process for issue resolution leading to 50-80% of management time being applied to “firefighting” meetings
- Absence of clarity on the team members and external partners are responsible for which issues leading to incidents being “over-escalated” or “under-escalated,” thereby causing confusion and leading to long resolution times
- Lengthy issue resolution that result from the absence of a central shared system to enable employees and partners to proactively report issues
- Inability to apply common workflows to issues resulting in poorly documented incidents, leading to even more meetings, phone calls, and spreadsheets
TraceLink Agile Process Teams (APT) was designed collaboratively with customers to directly address these challenges. Using APT’s Supply Chain Issue Management (APT-SCIM) solution, organizations can finally conquer the tens or hundreds of supply chain issues that occur each day among internal teams and external supply chain partners. The cloud-based functionality is simple for users and their partners to use, and it provides six key capabilities for faster issue resolution:
- Use of centralized management dashboards to gain full visibility to incidents, trends, and the overall resolution process
- Performance of root cause analysis (RCA) based on issue history to reduce the frequency and severity of future issues
- Application of an efficient, workflow-driven process to issue logging, notification, reminders, due dates, and alerts that contribute to faster issue resolution
- Rapid assembly of digital teams of users and partners to ensure that the right subject matter experts are working on the issues best suited for them
- Ability to gain early-warning notifications to incidents when they occur, and subscribe as a “follower” to ensure a continuous understanding of issue resolution progress
- Easy configuration of the solution to capture additional metadata and information that is unique to your organization to ensure structured, collaborative engagement
Getting started with APT-SCIM is quick and easy. Learn more today by viewing a product demo with one of TraceLink’s supply chain experts.