Technology Record - Issue 23: Winter 21/22

121 MANU FAC TUR I NG & R E SOUR C E S The supply chain is becoming a major challenge for every industry. If you order furniture, it can take six months to be delivered. If you need a car, it takes eight weeks to get it. We all believe that this is due to Covid-19, but the environment was becoming difficult before the pandemic. With the global expansion of the supply chain, the delay of a small chip provided by a single factory can now hold up the entire assembly line around the world. Post-Covid, many of these supply chains are backlogged, which means that many materials and components are not available for businesses to finish products and sell them to the market. Covid-19 has created a huge challenge, but the problem is not just going to go away. That’s why supply chain leaders must continue to focus and think about the larger solution blueprint, rather than just concentrating on resolving the current crisis. Even if some of the current supply chain challenges were to be solved, supply chains could easily be hit again with more obstacles soon. Factoring that into the production cycle is going to be very important for manufacturers. Organisations need to think about every different detail of where their supply is coming from. They need to make sure that they are not just committing based on what a vendor is saying, but instead putting in place an open data exchange mechanism where they know exactly what is being produced in a factory and how much of that is allocated to them. They can then plan production based on that information. The relevant information can then also be matched up with the real-time world events that might also affect production. The outbreak of a disease is one example, but many different scenarios can also have a direct or indirect impact on supply. It is time to have one integrated system that can help organisations to understand that impact, and this is what many of our customers are now looking into. Of course, implementing this plan requires cooperation across the supply chain. Thankfully, a lot of our customers have had a similar thought process, as has Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft recently launched Supply Chain Insight, which allows two trading partners to exchange data securely and allows them to overlay any world event that will impact supply. If those insights are already available, it will be much easier for manufacturers to factor them into their production planning. Quisitive has leveraged the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics and our platform to create a repeatable template for our manufacturing customers. We can help by providing pre-established data connectors for intelligent order management, so that if an organisation needs to exchange information, we are able to do that through our existing IP. That capability, combined with our years of experience with data and artificial intelligence, can help our clients to build their vision. Syed Fahad is vice president of industry solutions at Quisitive With the disruption of the pandemic exposing persistent issues in global supply chains, businesses need to be thinking about how their production processes can be made more resilient S Y ED FAHAD : QU I S I T I V E Planning an intelligent supply chain V I EWPO I NT