How Market Intelligence Empowers Supply Chain Decision-Making

Graham Scott
Graham Scott

Navigating a vast network of over 36,000 suppliers and managing more than 700,000 unique SKUs offers my team a unique perspective into the dynamic landscape of global procurement, especially when supply chain organizations face the types of disruptions we’ve seen in the last few years.

The challenges were already mounting prior to the pandemic for companies who source electronic components. They grappled with recurring shortages, escalating prices, and extended lead times. The situation was further exacerbated by a significant upswing in demand on one side, while a critical shortage of materials and parts opened on the other side. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the biggest sourcing hurdle has been semiconductors. The global chip deficit that we’re still climbing out of set itself apart from past shortages due to the wide range of product families that felt the pinch from the misalignment of supply and demand.

This year, supply chain teams are facing a different set of imbalances. While some customers, particularly in the automotive sector, are still dealing with constrained supply, many original equipment manufacturers (OEM) have finally recovered their backlogs — just in time for consumer demand to plummet. Now, we’re seeing mixed issues in component inventory levels. On the one hand, there’s excess supply throughout the supply chain, but on the other, there are still plenty of shortages.

Market Intelligence: Greater Visibility, Lower Risk

The potential for risk remains high throughout the supply chain. But increasing your visibility through data-driven market intelligence can serve as a vital strategy to ease uncertainties, make informed sourcing decisions, and mitigate potential disruptions.

Jabil’s market intelligence provides qualitative predictive assessments and quantitative guidance on a vast array of components and categories. From raw materials and component availability to regional and global logistics dynamics and geopolitical and economic factors, the data enables procurement and supply chain teams to foresee market fluctuations, shifts in demand patterns, and other changes earlier and more accurately. By anticipating shifts in the supply chain landscape, organizations can proactively align their operations to respond instead of adapting reactively. 

With access to actionable insights, organizations can also monitor and quantify complex risks posed by suppliers, products, and pricing. This visibility can help companies preemptively address potential bottlenecks and maintain supply chain continuity in the event of a crisis. As more organizations evaluate their manufacturing presence in China, procurement and logistics data will be critical factors in where they decide to move their production and supply chains.

To that end, Jabil’s market intelligence provides subscribers with a comprehensive view of a broad range of commodities and suppliers, along with lead time trends and other market dynamics. This knowledge is key to increasing flexibility, reducing risk, and diversifying your supply chain. Gaining a holistic understanding of the market landscape enables businesses to make strategic decisions that enhance operational resilience, agility, and competitiveness.

While market intelligence can help companies plan for future financial impacts on their supply chains, it also offers them the opportunity to explore their environmental impact. As sustainability becomes an increasingly important factor in supply chain management, leveraging market intelligence to identify materials and suppliers that align with your organization’s overall environmental goals can contribute to long-term business resilience and success.

At Jabil, our supply chain teams across the globe gather millions of data points on component availability and pricing, supplier lead times, logistics conditions, and other critical intelligence every day. As active procurement and supply chain practitioners, our insights come from decades of experience — not observation. Now, we’ve combined that data and analysis with Jabil’s global reach and extensive end-market, manufacturing, and technical expertise into a portfolio of market intelligence subscriptions. 

Jabil’s commodity, category, and end-market intelligence leverage real-world, actionable insights into every link of the supply chain. This data enables our teams to do our jobs every day — so we like to think of these reports as “by practitioners, for practitioners.” Our goal is to help other businesses better understand market trends, navigate complexities, and make more informed supply chain decisions.

A data-driven approach to market intelligence is just one tool supply chain teams can add to their resiliency toolbox. By working proactively, organizations can better adapt to disruptions and make strategic choices that drive success in today’s evolving supply chain environment.

Author Bio

Graham Scott is Vice President, Global Procurement at Jabil. He leads an enterprise-wide organization located in the Americas, Europe, and Asia that is responsible for Jabil’s global commodity management, quoting, and supplier relationship management. Graham’s team delivers value and enables growth for Jabil’s customers by analyzing commodity market trends, pricing, capacity, and supply/demand models. Under his leadership, the Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) program focuses on the long-term vision and partnership growth with Jabil’s key strategic supply base. Graham joined Jabil in 2004 and has amassed over 25 years of experience in the EMS industry across various procurement, supply chain, and commodity management positions. Graham has lived and held leadership roles in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. over the course of his career.

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