Mastering Communication Along the Supply Chain
Successful manufacturing companies network with their value creation partners in a meaningful way. This results in entirely new forms of multilateral cooperation. In order to achieve such horizontal integration, executives must address various challenges: In particular, they have to identify suitable technologies to be applied, define departmental and employee roles, foster an adequate corporate culture. and master complex implementation projects. User companies are thus able to exploit manifold potentials: efficient processes at customer and supplier interfaces, transparency of cost sources, including those outside the company, and improved reactivity.
The use of new technologies empowers companies to cooperate multilaterally
Solution providers often struggle with the diversity of demands placed on the offering by different industrial users. When technology solutions for entire corporate networks are sought, individuality increases through further degrees of freedom. Influencing factors are, in particular, sector-specific factors, use cases envisaged by the client (traceability, stock transparency, order automation), and the structure of the network.
The Supply Chain Management unit advises on and investigates existing and developing technologies and technology combinations with regard to their suitability for the horizontal interconnection of IT systems. Data sources – such as IoT devices, sensors, ERP systems – and data storage systems (Blockchain and cloud solutions, industrial data space, singular ERP systems) are considered in order to achieve cross-company data availability.
Redefinition of departmental and employee roles ensures communication between companies
Humans as decision-makers and bearers of knowledge will remain the most important factor influencing the development of a corporate organization. Horizontal networking between companies, however, requires adjustments to the company’s organizational structure. The new or at least increasingly important task of inter-organizational cooperation will have a significant influence on already existing job functions – in future, for example, a quality manager will obviously take the quality inspection results of upstream value creation stages into account in his own quality inspections. On the other hand, such new patterns of collaboration will also create new roles and functions in the company. Possible here are roles for the organization of collaboration or roles that economically exploit the added value of networking in the interests of the company.
The Supply Chain Management unit at FIR explores and advises on which strategic, tactical and operative supply chain management tasks are affected by the increasing interconnection within and between companies and how roles and functions are changing in this process.