​​Rising above persistent disruption by enhancing supply chain visibility capabilities - A Gartner Webcast

Gartner experts agree that supply chain visibility isn’t enabled by collecting data. In a recent webcast, they focused on how to handle data.

October 1, 2021

In a  recent webcast, “End to End Supply Chain Visibility: A Look at Essential Tools for Survival in Times of Disruption,” Gartner experts agree that supply chain visibility isn’t enabled by simply collecting data. They zeroed in on a major underlying success factor – how you handle data. Decision-making can only be empowered when data is organized and presented to the end-user in a way that allows them to make sense of it. Data needs to be transparent, accurate, timely, complete and compliant, according to Gartner’s Bart De Muncyk. Additionally, it must be collected and consumed beyond the organization’s four walls, so to speak. 

Gartner analyzed various market alternatives for achieving visibility and what those alternatives entail. Out of the many solutions analyzed, Tada was placed as a build leader in end to end supply chain visibility among companies such as AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Background

Lack of visibility remains a major roadblock to achieving supply chain goals and objectives. More than 500 supply chain professionals surveyed by Gartner recently named it as one of their top three roadblocks – sitting squarely between high costs and limited access to talent. 


Think of supply chain visibility akin to the way we actually see, De Muncyk offered as an analogy on the Supply Chain Brain webcast. Our retina provides the link between collecting information and ferrying it to the brain to process that information – allowing us to make decisions and take actions. Supply chain visibility platforms act like the retina – providing the critical link between collecting data and organizing it in a way that allows it to be processed, analyzed and acted upon. 

That analogy gets to the heart of two of the top challenges we see – and Gartner also identified in its survey of more than 500 supply chain professionals – to actually achieve supply chain visibility. You need to connect the data in a way that allows anyone to consume and absorb it, and in a way that allows different functions to speak a common language so that they don’t make decisions or take actions in siloes. 

At Tada, we couldn’t agree more that visibility is crucial to effectively manage a supply network at all times. It becomes even more important when organizations are preparing for and weathering challenging times. Decision-makers need a clear grasp of the layers that make up their supply network and use up-to-date data to prepare for any scenario and make solid choices in the face of changing conditions.

Requirements from Supply Chain Platforms

Lots of supply chain visibility platform vendors can collect data – but not everyone can enable vision. To gain end-to-end visibility, the business needs to connect multiple touchpoints, from transportation, to planning, to ordering, to purchasing and more, according to Gartner’s Carly West, who also offered her expertise on the webcast.

To that end, platform and technology providers need key capabilities, including:

  • Multi-enterprise scenario planning: Today’s supply chain environment requires that businesses evaluate outcomes from multiple scenarios at the same time. You must formulate plans to execute against the ones that are most likely to play out while remaining agile enough to shift course if they don’t. You’ll need to build new demand sensing models for scenario planning that take into account variables not only affecting you and your distribution channels, but your partners and customers.
  • Technology to build a data fabric: Mature semantic data hub modeling and technologies allows us to actually build a Digital Duplicate™ of the entire ecosystem to play out these scenarios. Replacing data lakes and data warehouses, a semantic data hub organizes data into a network of connections, rather than rigid x and y axes. This allows you to easily connect previously siloed pieces of information and see things you couldn’t before. At the same time, it reduces complexity and data latency and allows you to handle more information and make the type of rapid shifts required in this environment. 
  • Supply chain control towers: Next-gen supply chain control towers allow you to consume information via persona-based interfaces, anywhere, at any time, to facilitate science and fact-based assessments and actions.

Market Solutions for Supply Chain Visibility

Gartner highlighted three types of the tools it’s seeing in the market that are capable of addressing these challenges

  • Buy/Subscribe type supply chain visibility platforms
  • Build type supply chain visibility platforms using DIY platforms
  • Build type supply chain visibility platforms using next gen supply chain platforms

Buy/Subscribe type supply chain visibility platforms

Gartner identified many solutions in this category as shown in the accompanying figure. These can be great solutions for some companies. However, to gain 360 degree view that encompasses many more systems and utmost flexibility to make changes, these systems fall short as they are siloed systems and don’t make it easy to integrate data across many other systems. Also their implementation time can be as long as 6-12 months similar to the ERP systems. 

Build type supply chain visibility platforms using DIY platforms

Microsoft and AWS are great platforms that can be used to build cloud based supply chain visibility platforms. In order to build these solutions, despite many tools available from Amazon and Microsoft, companies need a lot of technical skills and resources not only to just get started but to maintain and grow the systems. 

Build type supply chain visibility platforms using next gen supply chain platforms

To get real-time 360 degree visibility into the supply chain, a new generation of supply chain platforms are evolving that are based on many new technologies such as digital twin of the organization (DTO), digital fabric and AI/Machine learning. Besides offering visibility, some platforms like Tada offer orchestration and collaboration capabilities. 

As mentioned before, Tada’s solution was included in this category – amongst much larger players, including AWS and Microsoft Azure. To us, this is a great validation by analysts who know the market intimately. Our team has long believed that a complete view of the supply network was the secret for an organization to become a top performer in supply network management.

Tada is proud to be among the leaders in this powerful way to look at and benefit from data. 

Check out the full webcast here.