Importance of integrated supply chain

Establishing an integrated operation is a pre-requisite for successful strategic planning. Information sharing across stakeholders must be implemented to enable collaboration and visibility. Stakeholders include internal and external entities in your supply chain.

Unlike a functional structure where people working in silos, synchronized teams allow quality, speed, and flexibility in the supply chain because decisions are made cross-functionally and collaboratively.

External organizations such as your suppliers, service providers, and customers also need your data to make interactions between these entities reliable and faster. Not only that, involving external stakeholders will provide expertise during product development stage and market insights resulting in a reduced error and short time to market.

One of the companies in the U.S. I worked with took advantage of supply chain integration as a strategy for effective product development and cost savings. Teams from procurement, R&D, production, engineering, finance, marketing, and logistics come together to contribute ideas on product re-engineering and global demand planning.

Personnel from key suppliers were involved to ensure their capability to supply needed materials. Not only that, the company took advantage of suppliers’ expertise on specs optimization, product aesthetics, and functions. As a result, the company saved millions of dollars from cost avoidance and reduced time to market.

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