As the Coronavirus continues to spread, there are increased concerns over the impact it is having on Chinese manufacturing and the global supply chain.
Last week, I saw Gartner offering advice for supply chain managers on the subject, acknowledging the potential impact on today’s hyper-complex supply chain – one that is far more intricate than during the 2003 SARS epidemic.
In multiple conversations I have had, there are also private concerns about overall supply chain resilience. In my mind, all supply chains can be traced back to China (no one has disagreed with me yet!). Already we have seen Fiat Chrysler acknowledge the potential impact on its production lines. I believe this to be the thin end of the wedge. A casual comment from a retail supply chain professional I spoke to summed it up perfectly: “It only has to be the smallest part, but if it is not available we are going to face huge issues downstream.”
This takes me back to the advice from Gartner. Its medium- and long-term actions were focused avoiding similar potential disruptions in the future. I would suggest that we will see increased interest in the topics of supply chain resilience and risk in the coming months.
Short-term recommendations were very much focused on minimizing the impact - but central to this is visibility and transparency. Gartner advises that companies start building on a program for transparency to get the full picture of their possible vulnerabilities.
Transparency and silos
Beyond this they advised to “make sure all inventory is within reach and outside impacted areas and logistical hubs.” This requires transparency and visibility. In today’s intricate and inter-meshed supply chain, full transparency still remains elusive. Inventory and components sit in different locations, with different suppliers and ecosystem partners, each with its own siloed view of its inventory and logistics data.
These silos (which I have written about before) don’t just impact the ability to react and delay decision making, they also limit innovation and overall response to such issues.
We hear a lot about autonomous and self-healing supply chains, as well as supply chain “control towers” - but none of these can happen while data silos exist – and as ecosystems become more complex the silos just keep growing.
But what if there was a way to create the transparency and visibility you need to control and manage your supply chain? If you could be a truly connected enterprise where silos are just a memory?
You could make rapid decisions and be free to innovate by harnessing data internally and across your ecosystem partners and benefit from insights across the organization. This is how you empower an organization to not only respond to a crisis - but be ready for the next one. A healthy supply chain is dynamic, agile and responsive, it embraces your environment and is inclusive of your partners and customers and systems.
Find out how Software AG is helping the world’s most progressive enterprises become truly connected, making it easy for you to make the most of living connections in your supply chain.