Multi-tier supply chains are made up of several single-level collaborations, or several supplier-to-buyer interactions, all of which add visibility to the supply chain.
What this blog is about:
Multi-tier supply chains benefitting visibility
The importance of digitalization in the supply chain
8 digital technologies that can enhance the supply chain
While the supply chain itself connects producers, retailers, and end-customers, the multi-tier supply chain expands on this concept. The multi-tier supply chain includes more than one level of manufacturers to produce a product or service. Within a single supply chain, multiple relationships are occurring at the same time between buyers and suppliers. This process can sometimes involve hundreds of different companies, all of which play an important role in bringing a product to life.
Intelligent solutions based on modern technologies can assist in automating order flows using accessible data, as well as the supply chain’s potential and restrictions.
Digitalization ensures supply chain connectivity by allowing enterprises to engage and communicate more effectively, improving predictions, demand, inventory, and shipments. It increases customer satisfaction and product quality by speeding up the flow of information and order-to-delivery lead time and flexibility. Digitalization lowers the mismatch between supply and demand. Intelligent solutions based on modern technologies can assist in automating order flows using accessible data, as well as the supply chain’s potential and restrictions.
Setting up new technical advances requires a great deal of skill and time and is reliant on suppliers’ technical competence. If any stakeholder is unable to participate in the central multi-tier cooperation platform (N-tier platform), the entire supply chain suffers. It gives all stakeholders more visibility and control.
Pandemic and Supply Chain Visibility
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to show lasting impacts on global trade and consumption patterns.
In 2020, Ernst & Young LLP (EY US) conducted a survey of 200 top supply chain executives to know the pandemic’s impact on supply chains, goals for the next 3 years, and the path to digital supply chains. According to the survey, only 2% of organizations said that they were well prepared for the pandemic. 57% were impacted by major disruptions, 72% indicating a negative impact.
During the pandemic 92% of companies continued to invest in technology to cater to the disruptive forces and fluctuating supply and demand through a digital supply chain. 11% citing positive effects such as increased client demand (71%) and the introduction of new items to market (57%). These businesses were predominantly in the life sciences sector.
The pandemic has had a detrimental impact on the automobile and nearly all (97%) industrial products companies. Furthermore, 47% of all businesses saw their workforce disrupted. While many individuals were asked to work from home, others, particularly in manufacturing environments, had to adjust to new requirements.
Third Party Logistics (3PLs), Digitalization and Supply Chain Visibility
The 4 V’s: Volume, Volatility, Visibility, Velocity
The pandemic underlined the significance of visibility, resilience, and digitalization in supply chain management. To improve results across the value chain and drive innovation, supply chain experts have focused on the traditional criteria of 4Vs (Volume, Volatility, Visibility, and Velocity) while also being forced to employ digital technologies to reach higher levels of performance. The technologies are divided into eight categories.
8 Performance Enhancing Digital Technologies
integrated planning and execution
efficient spare parts management
smart supply chain enablers
autonomous and B2C logistics
prescriptive supply chain analytics
All of these components are intertwined and build on each other.
Enhanced analytics, machine learning, and automated options for pricing, booking, and documentation, among other capabilities lead to various advantages of working with a 3PL to Improve Supply Chain Visibility.
Multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO) is a supply chain management technique that allows companies to forecast stock levels across their various distribution and warehousing sites. MEIO’s goal is to ensure that the correct amount of merchandise is available at the right time and at the appropriate location.
The “Control Tower” is responsible for collecting and storing real-time data from the company. By integrating artificial intelligence technologies to execute real-time analytics, it provides a single point of contact for all data points, enhancing supply chain visibility.
Physical assets, systems, processes, and gadgets are digitally replicated as “Digital Twins”. Real-world data is sent into the twins, allowing them to recreate the physical device in real time and provide insights into performance and potential problems. It ensures better management of inventory control, distribution, and transportation goals.
Workforce visibility aids in managing seasonality, recognizing the peak of additional manpower required, and ongoing availability.
Supply chain visibility will be a crucial differentiator for leading organizations in the future, especially in the event of a disruption. While it’s vital to set high expectations, it’s equally critical to create flexibility so that those objectives can be reached and even exceeded.