IT in Manufacturing


End-to-end supply chain visibility and analytics now a reality

February 2020 IT in Manufacturing

Line of sight is a challenge for many supply chain aspects, from the manufacturer to the wholesaler, distributor and the reseller, and even the end consumer. This lack of visibility and control results in a number of issues, from stock losses to pricing inflation, uncertain availability and increased time to market. Forecasting and trend reporting are also all but impossible, since a complete view of the supply chain cannot be obtained. The ultimate goal for maximum efficiency and visibility is an integrated value chain where all systems communicate seamlessly. This delivers end-to-end insight and finally makes predictive analytics on the supply chain a reality.

Paper-based processes cause delays

Delays are arguably one of the biggest supply chain challenges. Paper-based processes are a significant component of this issue. When orders, delivery notes and invoices are generated, due to lack of visibility into stock levels available, what is ordered and what is actually delivered may differ. This means that the invoice then needs to be amended on delivery. Credit notes must be passed, or new invoices generated, creating additional timelines and complexities. This can also lead to inaccurate billing, loss of stock, loss of income and other financial effects. A live view of stock levels and the ability to generate an accurate invoice on delivery will mitigate these challenges, minimise delays and improve the accuracy of orders, billing and payments received.

The inefficiency of processes and the reliance on paper-based processes means players in the supply chain cannot manage what is actually being ordered and paid for. It is impossible to collect the correct payment on orders if there is no visibility into what orders have been placed and actually delivered. This could, and often does, lead to significant loss. In addition, FMCG goods are easily stolen and readily convertible to cash. Without visibility into orders placed and delivered it is impossible to know if stock is being stolen. All of these issues are difficult to identify and quantify without live or real-time information and insight.

Governance challenges

The lack of visibility into stock levels leads to governance challenges, since there is no transparency in the process. The ability to manage stock levels, receipts issued and cash collected is key, and players in the supply chain need a full view of stock in, stock out, payments collected, invoices issued and more. Governance across all of these touchpoints is critical for a profitable business, which requires integrated systems and line of sight across the entire supply chain from start to finish.

A further challenge for parties in the supply chain is the inability to influence consumer behaviour. To ensure maximum success and profitability it is necessary to engage retailers and consumers using loyalty, rewards programmes and incentives. This requires an end-to-end ecosystem to link the manufacturer to the consumer and the consumer back to the manufacturer. This last mile is essential to fully deliver a transparent supply chain.

End-to-end visibility from manufacturer to consumer

Addressing these challenges requires an integrated, mobility and cloud-based system that delivers the required visibility across the supply chain. An ecosystem that delivers a direct ordering platform between the distributor and the manufacturer, with real-time stock levels and online ordering capability, can dramatically increase efficiency at the first stage. Distributors can better manage their stock levels, warehousing and personnel, and stock can be tracked at any point no matter where in its journey it is.

Distributors are empowered to generate clean invoices on delivery and deliver accurate orders to retailers because they have visibility into manufacturers. Retailers have visibility and only need to pay for what they ordered and actually received. The need for credit notes to be passed is all but eliminated. Debtors and creditors can be incorporated into the ecosystem for enhanced financial management. In addition, the loop can be closed to include loyalty programmes and activations, giving full line of sight.

Armed with this data, manufacturers, distributors and retailers will be able to make use of intelligent dashboards to interpret data against key performance indicators and deliver real-time actionable insight. Structured reports can be pulled at any time, and automatic alerts can be configured if any exceptions occur. This enables real-time business management. Digital transformation of the supply chain will also enable data to be utilised for predictive analytics, enabling more agile and effective decision-making across the board.




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Bringing brownfield plants back to life
Schneider Electric South Africa IT in Manufacturing
Today’s brownfield plants are typically characterised by outdated equipment and processes, and face challenges ranging from inefficient operations to safety hazards. However, all is not lost, as these plants stand to gain a lot from digitalisation and automation.

Read more...
Siemens delivers innovations in immersive engineering
Siemens South Africa IT in Manufacturing
Siemens has unveiled innovations that are combining the real world and the digital worlds, to redefine reality.

Read more...
Taking mine hoist performance to the next level
ABB South Africa IT in Manufacturing
ABB is launching a new digital suite of applications for hoist monitoring and optimisation, which opens it up for further integration to other cloud solutions and extended offerings that significantly increase the operational performance and reliability of mine hoists.

Read more...
Cyber resilience in 2024 – protect, defend, recover
IT in Manufacturing
Data has become a core business asset, and protecting this asset from data loss is a strategic priority, especially as new threats are constantly emerging.

Read more...
Cutting-edge AI and IoT solutions for the digital age
IT in Manufacturing
Convergence Partners company, inq. has announced a value proposition involving extensive edge artificial intelligence, IoT, together with the Edgedock data insights, to transform business operations across a wide range of sectors.

Read more...
Seven ways to reduce production downtime
IT in Manufacturing
Production downtime is one of the biggest risks in the manufacturing industry. Follow these seven tips to reduce machine downtime in your production line.

Read more...
Siemens Xcelerator for development of hydrogen compressors
Siemens South Africa IT in Manufacturing
REJOOL, a startup focused on hydrogen compression devices, has adopted the Siemens Xcelerator as a service portfolio of industry software to help bring its PIONYR hydrogen compression technology to market.

Read more...
RS Group chooses Siemens simulation technology for DesignSpark
Siemens South Africa IT in Manufacturing
Siemens Digital Industries Software announced that the RS Group has selected Siemens as its strategic electronic design automation provider for its new, cloud native, DesignSpark Circuit Simulator tool, which empowers users to streamline the design process.

Read more...
Future-proofing industrial operations
ABB South Africa IT in Manufacturing
ABB Ability Field Information Manager (FIM 3.0) has been upgraded to offer system engineers and maintenance teams increased connectivity and extended reach across the latest communication protocols.

Read more...
The sustainable future is here
IT in Manufacturing
Today, you would be hard pressed to find a major global brand that does not discuss sustainability. This whitepaper provides an overview of the latest technology intelligence originating from these research areas.

Read more...