The past few years have made it clear how vulnerable supply chains are. Businesses have seen the fallout of supply chain disruption. At the same time, it’s extraordinary how well many businesses were able to adapt and respond to unprecedented strain. Supply chain resilience has subsequently become a major priority for business growth.
Supply chains are more complex than ever. Modern businesses work with many partners that use different communication platforms and methods. When supply chains bend or break, businesses have more difficulty cutting through the noise. Proactively reacting thus becomes harder.
There’s a lot on the line here: customer service, inventory costs, operational expenses. So, it’s critical to know how to beef up the resiliency of your supply chain. As Raghav Jandhyala, Head of Products at Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management highlighted in a recent webinar, it comes down to a few key factors.
Raghav Jandhyala joined me and Santosh Raja Malladi, Sr. Manager, Enterprise Systems at Lattice Semiconductor, along with Jamie Berkoff, VP of Sales Engineering North America at Axway, for a roundtable panel on the topic recently. Here are three important elements of supply chain resiliency that we discussed together.
#1: Gain real-time visibility into B2B integration processes
For most businesses, the supply chain visibility forecast includes fog. In a 2022 Deloitte report, only 13% of procurement professionals had a fully mapped supply chain network.
The report shows that many enterprises lack basic visibility, which is key to supply chain success. They need a command center that offers a connected, cross-functional view of their value stream and business partners. It’s the kind of visibility that you’ll find with Axway’s B2B Integration Platform.
Consider how Equinor, the second-largest gas supplier in Europe, needs to keep an optimal volume of gas flowing across its network, communicating with more than 80 counterparties 24 hours per day. With faster and faster decision-making cycles, real-time visibility is essential.
“One of our most important goals is to balance the flow of gas across key areas of the network. Being imbalanced in one hub in the network — even for just an hour — can drive our operational costs significantly.
“As a result, it is crucial that we can always communicate with every part of the supply chain: from our offshore gas platforms and transport system operators to the clients we sell to across Europe.”
Consider this scenario: An event requires asset maintenance be scheduled for six weeks out. Without total visibility into your B2B infrastructure, you won’t know how this affects your production plans. The same is true of customer service.
#2: Leverage advanced analytics to drive action
B2B transaction data became especially critical for supply chains during the pandemic. That was the case for Lattice Semiconductor, a semiconductor manufacturing company.
Santosh Raja Malladi, Sr. Manager, Enterprise Systems at Lattice Semiconductor, explained during our webinar how Axway’s B2B Integration Platform offers a single view of all their partner transactions.
They can see all event data, from order placement to order fulfillment. During the supply crunch, this data helped Lattice know where to increase supplies.
The integration makes it easier to analyze data. It also helps businesses troubleshoot issues faster.
Say, for instance, you receive a purchase order that feeds into your ERP system. The middleware does its job, but, for some reason, the ERP system does not. B2Bi collects event data that helps you dig into the issue and efficiently find a resolution.
#3: Apply AI and forecasting techniques
By 2025, 38% of supply chain and manufacturing executives expect AI to play a critical role in their business. Compare this percentage to 11% in 2022.
Raghav Jandhyala, head of products at Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management, touched on AI in our recent webinar. As he notes, AI is shaping and redefining supply chains, evolving into a tool for decision support.
“What we have been seeing is a shift from a system of transaction to a system of reasoning,” Jandhyala noted.
Businesses are leaning on so-called “co-pilots” for proactive insights into their purchase orders.
Axway B2B Integration Platform command center supplies actionable data. Supply chain users can better understand customers and the direction of their business. This feeds into forecasting future supply-and-demand needs as well as controlling inventory.
Axway positions your business for supply chain resilience
Supply chain command centers have been a topic of discussion for years. But this single-pane-of-glass view has fallen short of delivering the visibility, data, and predictive capabilities that modern supply chain operations need today.
That’s where the Axway B2B Integration Platform enters the picture. Our platform consolidates supply chain communications. From a single pane of glass, you can access detailed event data for every network transaction. The data helps you troubleshoot issues today and proactively plan for tomorrow.
Co-op, the number one convenience food retailer in the UK with 2,500+ local, convenience, and medium-sized stores, uses Axway solutions to support retail activities, from inventory to route planning for the lorries.
The solution supports 500 individual flows and around 3000 end points, processing a million messages a day.
“B2Bi is critical for the Co-op, especially in its retail organization. If B2Bi went down or we turned it off tomorrow, we would have no businesses, it’s as simple as that.”
– Dave Barnett, Principal Solutions Architect – Integration at Co-op
Looking for more insights on empowering supply chain resilience? Tune into the full webinar below. Following this roundtable discussion, you’ll better understand how to navigate and get out in front of supply chain disruptions.