Daily Archives: November 9, 2008

A Good Supply Chain is Agile … and Powered by B2B 3.0!

Perfect Financial Storm Shutters Suppliers
Communistic Leader Closes Borders
Hurricane Hades Shutters East Coast Port
Toothpaste Terrorizes Teeth … Millions Tainted
Melamine Mauls Mutts … Thousands Dead
Spinach Salmonella Kills Hundreds

How many times have we seen these headlines in recent years? Too Many. How many times in the past year has a crises like this affected your average organization to some degree? At least onceif not twice! Supply chain risks are mounting at an alarming pace, and the average organization now experiences at least once significant supply disruption a year, if not two! And it looks like things are about to get worse. That’s why you need an Agile supply chain, powered by B2B 3.0, if you want to survive the next few years.

What is an Agile supply chain?

Agile has typically been used to refer to agile software development, which is a set of methodologies that promote a hands-on project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaption, a leadership philosophy that encourages close team work, self organization and accountability, engineering best practices that allow for rapid delivery of high quality software, and a business approach that aligns development with customer needs and goals. (Wikipedia) But the core principles are not restricted to software development … they are equally applicable to supply chain.

An agile supply chain is also:

  • hands-on
    No one in the organization is afraid to get down and dirty and participate in the tactical day-to-day execution to make sure the big-picture strategic plan is realized.
  • driven by cross-functional teamwork
    One person is not a supply chain — and neither is one department. A leading supply management department works closely with logistics, inventory management, operations, engineering, and legal, at a minimum.
  • self-organizing
    A good supply management department is capable of selecting the best strategy and process for each supply chain project.
  • results-driven and accountable
    Supply Management is more then just purchasing … it’s about getting results. The right part at the right price at the right place at the right time, in line with the goals, and contracts, of the department. A good supply management department follows an award from the time of allocation through the final shipment to insure that any identified cost savings and cost avoidance are realized and reported.
  • best-practice focussed
    A good supply management department employs best practices to get the best results it can.
  • quality-centric
    A good supply management department is focussed on quality … and avoiding safety risks that can bring down the company.
  • customer focussed
    A great supply management department is focussed on the perfect order.

Furthermore, an Agile supply chain is powered on B2B 3.0. Why?

  • It Gives You Visibility.
    B2B 3.0 gives you up to date status on every order and let’s you know where it is in the pipeline … allowing you to be hands on.
  • It is Collaborative.
    It allows you to come together with your colleagues in other departments and work as a team.
  • It organizes organizational knowledge.
    Helping your supply management organization to be self-organizing.
  • It tracks all of the relevant information.
    This helps you be results driven and accountable.
  • It’s built on best practices.
    All of your suppliers’ products and services in one easily-accessible and always up-to-date catalogue. Meta-search across your catalog, contracts, and project repository. Industry leading spend analysis for opportunity identification.
  • It’s about quality.
    Not about forcing a square process into a circular whole.
  • It’s about commerce.
    It enables suppliers and buyers, and that’s fundamentally what supply management is all about.