Supply Chain Management (SCM) is the management and oversight of materials, information, and finances as they travel through the supply chain from supplier to manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, and customer.
There are functions, activities, transactions, and people interconnected in an integral value chain through which products or services — whether physical or virtual — constantly flow back and forth from supplier and manufacturer to distributor and, finally, to consumers. Integrating and coordinating these flows, as well as overseeing all related elements such as materials, information, and finances is what supply chain management (SCM) is all about.
In the Internet of Things (IoT) era, supply chain management is no longer limited to electronic data interchange (EDI) and business-to-business integration solutions. Today’s real-time, data-dependent economy requires supply chains to obtain greater accountability, governance, and visibility by leveraging a data-centric approach to SCM.
This data-centric approach enables businesses to collaborate seamlessly and handle data efficiently, and is characterized by the following advancements:
Seamless Integration of Business Elements
A recent IDC report suggests that supply chains should close the loop through an integrated approach to supply chain management. That is, all applications, business units, and data in the cloud must be integrated for better flow of information, which results in a better flow of goods and services. The integration of different business elements minimizes the risks of obtaining bad data and avoids delays, data duplication, and error. Also, an aligned approach to supply chain planning and supply chain execution helps supply chains to increase speed and eliminate process complexities.
Schema-on-Read Approach to Data Management
Leveraging Big Data technologies that are based on an on-demand, scalable architecture helps supply chains manage data and support data modeling at the time of consumption – whenever and wherever the business needs it. This gives the business massive flexibility over how it consumes its business data and enables data storing for reference and consumption years into the future. Managing data this way also enables organizations to persist all data exchanges and utilization, thus helping ensure accuracy and security.
Real-Time Data Transparency
Obtaining data integrity and visibility can help solve supply chain instability. Transparency into raw data and data flow lineage can be achieved through reliable Big Data technologies with easy-to-use, customizable system interfaces. The concept of data transparency enables organizations to better collaborate across all functions in their supply chain, thereby eliminating departmental information silos and improving efficiency.