Outsourcing Creates Supply Chain Visibility Challenges
Most manufacturers today outsource some aspects of their manufacturing operations to third-party specialists. And, to realize cost advantages and open new markets, manufacturers have increasingly outsourced on a global basis. Over the last several years, most manufacturers have built very sophisticated, multi-tier and multi-enterprise supply networks consisting of distribution centers, 3PLs, contract manufacturers, suppliers and the like.
While the advantages have benefited manufacturers, it hasn't been without its complications. Extended supply networks create substantial obstacles in terms of supply chain visibility and coordination. The role of the brand owner has shifted dramatically from directly controlling all aspects of operations performance to having to coordinate demand planning, supply chain planning and response to unplanned events across multiple sites and partners. This coordination absolutely requires visibility into the globally distributed supply chain to understand the manufacturing commitments and capabilities of the network.
- “I think the use of Kinaxis is a very strong evolution in terms of being able to solve the gap that exists between contract manufacturers and OEMs. Prior to the use of RapidResponse, that gap has been bridged with Excel spreadsheets and Outlook. And we feel in the use of RapidResponse we have absolutely bridged that gap.”
Jeff Range, VP Global Operations, March Networks
Going Beyond Supply Chain Visibility to Rapid Response
While the need for supply chain visibility is clear, it is not enough. Coordinating the activities of a virtual supply network is not a passive responsibility. Demand managers and customer service representatives, manufacturing and supply chain staff and financial analysts must be actively engaged in the process, working side-by-side with their partners to develop plans and course correct around unplanned events that threaten the achievement of operations performance objectives. While the brand owner may be able to outsource operational responsibilities, they still remain accountable for their brand, quality, customer satisfaction and answering to their stakeholders. Active coordination is the only way to achieve this in today's heavily outsourced environment.
Kinaxis® RapidResponse® is meeting the needs of today's manufacturers by helping them regain supply chain visibility across their extended supply networks.
- Building on years of experience at some of the world's leading manufacturers, an ERP system can be integrated into RapidResponse within weeks. Having integrated with over forty different ERP systems, Kinaxis delivers a robust and proven methodology and toolset to quickly bring onboard new sites and integrate their critical supply chain data into RapidResponse.
- RapidResponse is often integrated with multiple, disparate ERP systems from throughout the global supply chain.
- In addition, since supply chain data is often in a variety of disparate systems, RapidResponse also supports data integration from spreadsheets, EDI transactions, demand planning systems, point-of-sale (POS) systems and many others.
Easy Information Access:
- Supply chain data brought into RapidResponse is made accessible to supply chain professionals via a browser-based spreadsheet interface, making a single version of the truth available to all stakeholders.
- Users get access to role-based information, protecting data security while targeting data to users based on their specific responsibilities.
- Beyond visibility, RapidResponse users are armed with powerful tools to put that supply chain visibility to work. RapidResponse provides collaborative and integrated demand-supply planning, monitoring and response capabilities to ensure that manufacturers are able to leverage visibility to successfully coordinate actions across the supply chain.