Business these days needs to quickly respond to changes, which is where the concept of supply chain agility comes in. A company’s supply chain needs to be more than efficient – it needs to quickly respond to sudden changes in business conditions, and adapt accordingly. While the traditional concepts in agility have been focusing on “velocity” only, this is no longer enough.
It is definitely important to reduce the distance between different operation points in a supply chain, as it increases the velocity and reduces the manufacturing and processing time required. However, in order to be truly agile, a supply chain must also be flexible enough to factor in customer satisfaction and business conditions. This means the business should be prepared to change its core processes at a moment’s notice.
The first step in achieving agility is to be driven by the market. This means most of the effort and resources should go into product research, while the overall workflow should be redesigned so as to reduce development and introduction time. Ultimately, this involves taking the supply chain beyond the physical parts, and into the data acquisition and decision making processes.
Within the factory domain, an agile supply chain looks to reduce those parts that are not adding value, and couples together the related parts. This eliminates bottlenecks that were introducing delay in the process. Same goes for the decision making process, as organizations look to reduce layers and redefine hierarchies to enable faster response and rapid decision making.
Ramco Systems empowers businesses to become more agile with its On-Demand ERP solutions for faster information-gathering and better decision making.