Supply chains are so fragmented that the product is tending to travel along more quickly than the information supporting it. Oracle released research last week announcing that £1.2bn a year is being lost through missed sales opportunities, due to such fragmentation.
There is a lack of automated information flow for 76% of companies, and supply chain executives ‘waste’ almost half of their time going through emails, spreadsheets and databases. IT can be used to create a good flow and integrate the data, but many companies have not utilised this aspect of technology.
“Information needs to be organised by an overarching organising system, but this often requires significant investment,” said Keith Edwards, supply chain manager at dairy food company Dairycrest.
Andrew Spence, supply chain business development director at Oracle, explained about Electronic Point of Sales (EPoS), which monitors demand and feeds information back on a daily basis. Using business intelligence this can then be managed in such a way that the information is collated and farmed out as it should be – and the recipient would be notified via the technology.
People processes and technology have to be integrated, and Spence also believes once the demand aspect of the work is understood the information can be fed through the chain. “This is very true, but it must be remembered that a company must not build a process around a system – the technology must support what you already do,” added Edwards.
Investing in such technological organisation can not only save money – but also save employees from the frustrating job of manually searching through spreadsheets, emails and databases. A healthier budget and a happier, more efficient workforce – two things every company should have.