Extended Retail Supply Chain Collaboration

Martijn Graat
Martijn Graat

Supply Chain Threats

According to GT Nexus there are three main Supply Chain threats that need to be addressed:
  1. Supply Chain Disruptions
  2. The Global Financial Crisis
  3. Food and Raw Material Price Volatility
These threats can be countered by making sure your supply chain is agile. This supply chain agility is not a single company concept; it extends from one end of the supply chain to the other. As 80% of the information needed for a smooth running supply chain is outside the single company, you need supply chain collaboration with the sharing of information to attain supply chain agility.

Centralized Information

Information used to be much more decentralised: just look at your personal data management. Everybody had their own address book (if any) and when sending out cards saying you moved, you were dependent on them updating your information. Today that works much easier: you keep all your personal information on your Facebook or LinkedIn page (for example) and share that with your friends/contacts. As soon as you update your phone number, it’s there for all your friends to see.A network model of information sharing as described above is exactly what GT Nexus is advocating is the ideal tool to gain agility. They offer a cloud-based platform that… well, let me just paste in here what they say on their website:At GT Nexus we combined three critical and inter-locking technology components into a single unified Cloud platform to give companies supply chain collaboration on a global scale — at a fraction of the cost and risk of traditional software deployments:

  • First: a collection of functionally rich business-to-business software applications for automating global trade and logistics processes across business networks.

  • Second: a network controller for creating and administering the complex and highly dynamic business relationships, permissions and roles of multiple organizations working together in business communities.

  • Third: a global data grid to connect to the systems of thousands of partners and providers, and to standardize the data from the systems of those partners. Without a data strategy — and without standardized data transformed into useful supply chain information — no software application can deliver results. In global trade and logistics, information is king.

Cloud-Based Collaboration

Your forwarders can upload shipping documents, your suppliers can update information on inbound shipment, you can share data and information with any party in the supply chain you grant access to. And on top of that, the platform integrates with other systems.
Some examples of what this could improve: Increased visibility across the supply chain, improved cross-docking capabilities, virtual warehouse management through yard visibility and inbound pipeline visibility, or information control both upstream and downstream on shipment level.

In short: Cloud-based collaboration enables control and agility.

What’s your take on this?

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