Coronavirus supply chain disruption: How APIs can help

Wuhan province is the largest industrial material component sourcing region in the world. It’s what Detroit was 50 years ago—where everything is made. When Coronavirus halts the center of the world’s parts manufacturing, companies are left scrambling to keep their factories running. But how do you address a major supply chain disruption without losing the flow of materials and components to keep your business online? Enter APIs.

Contingency plans

Let’s say you are an industrial OEM in North America or Europe. You build cars, tractors, bicycles, lawnmowers, snowblowers or earthmoving machinery. All that may be assembled in North America, Europe, Australia Japan or Korea, but most of the parts and components are likely made in China. So, when Wuhan gets locked down, workers can’t go to the plants and truck drivers won’t go into manufacturing facilities to pick up the parts, your supply chain is disrupted.

All of a sudden you have to pivot your sourcing to another location—most companies have backup sourcing contingency plans (for example in Canada or Mexico.) Let’s say you pivot and get your components from a supplier in Mexico City. Now you have to share design documents with them, quickly create a reliable and secure interface to exchange demand planning forecast information, purchase order information, establish and execute against an open purchase order against those parts that you’ve been getting from a supplier in China for the last 10 years.

APIs addressing supply chain disruption

If you could go to that company and say hey, with our API Management platform, we can quickly create a self-service where you and your suppliers can quickly build a fast and reliable API. That’s where Axway comes in. We can provide oversight management on your API to make sure it’s compliant and that there are no failures. Read what it means to be a Leader in the 2019 Magic Quadrant for API Full Life Cycle Management.

And you can quickly build and open up APIs to these new suppliers so that you can communicate with them. And you can start to get that source of components through the supplier in Mexico that you were getting from China. That’s a big deal!

That’s what we do. We quickly enable supply-side collaboration with new trading partners, to address an emergency in your supply chain.

It’s not just Coronavirus affecting global supply chains

This is not the first or the last time a pandemic has affected supply chains. But it’s also not the only potential global disruption. Here are a few more scenarios that can affect your global supply chain.

Political unrest:  What if you are sourcing out of a country that is politically volatile?

Tariffs: What if a president inflicts 30% tariffs on a country that you are supplying from?

Weather: What happens if a Tsunami knocks out 20% of your supply base for the next 60-90 days? What do you do?

Axway is there for you

We don’t manage supplier relationships, but when your business has a contingency and you go to IT and say, “Wuhan is down, we need to start buying from ABC components in Mexico City starting next week. We have to have all the transactions to be able to execute against a purchase order and a commercial invoice. How are we going to do that, we have to get a bunch of EDI mappers?”

No, you go to APIs… you do it right away. Count on Axway’s API solution. Axway can even come in and help us manage it. We can bring in professional resources to write the APIs in a couple of days or less, and boom we are online with your new supplier in Mexico City. It’s that simple.

Learn more about Axway API Management.

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