Integration Technology Plays Key Role in Visibility


At one time, supply chains solely relied on integration technology to share information between trading partners. Now, they are taking it a step further by using integration technology to break down invisible barriers between their trading partners in an effort to make the entire supply chain more visible and functional. When done correctly, this helps trading partners become more efficient and profitable.

Changing the Way You Look at Data

One of the biggest barriers trading partners face is the way data is gathered and analyzed. Companies typically use standard monthly reports. While those reports might help an individual business, they do little to increase profits or efficiency across the supply chain. Standard monthly reports need to be replaced with a uniformed system for data capturing and dynamic analytics. Certain rules need to be put in place for data capturing and analytics to ensure that they provide relevant information for all trading partners, not just the business where the data originated.

Moving Past Standard Reports

Supply chains can use several systems to replace standard reports. Dashboards with drill down capabilities allow trading partners to examine detailed data about businesses in their supply chain. They can use this data to make informed decisions regarding supply, demand, and forecasting.

Integrated planning and forecasting applications allow trading partners to share data and come up with forecasts based on the complete picture. In order to get the entire picture, supply chains must also implement driver-based analysis since it allows them to identify key business drivers across companies and measure statistics appropriately.

Trading partners can also use scenario and predictive models and other options to gather, collect, analyze, and store data. The more options trading partners use, the more complete their data will be.

Companies cannot use the old methods for gathering all of this data. They need integration technology that can adapt to the changing marketplace. The easiest way to do this is to get a cloud-based program that works with different types of systems. This allows companies to avoid costly technological upgrades while still benefiting from the greatest technology available. IN addition, cloud-based systems are not disruptive to the work environment, even during the installation process.

Those who leverage integration technology will gain an edge against their competitors. They will be able to see the future in ways that people using the old technology cannot. They will also improve relationships with trading partners and solidify their businesses for the long term.

Charlie Alsmiller

Throughout his career, Charlie Alsmiller has focused on customer problems in difficult industries such as Energy and Telecommunications. Prior to starting Appterra in 2005, Alsmiller was VP of Global Operations for Allegro Development, a leading provider of software for the energy sector. He has also served as president of OmniSpace Technologies, a leading SaaS provider that he founded in 1999. He spent over 10 years in the consulting world with Price Waterhouse and Deloitte Consulting, where he participated in a wide variety of projects for very high profile clients. Mr. Alsmiller holds a BBA from Baylor University in Management and Information Systems and a MBA from the University of Dallas in International Business. Specialties: Technology ventures, Enterprise Software, Contract Negotiation, International Operations, Private Equity, Product Management, Strategic Alliances, Software Implementation, Software Development

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