Supply chain platforms – how they enhance business performance


Supply chain platforms are designed to unite all aspects of the chain to create a seamless flow of information creating an integrated and intelligent supply chain. An effective supply chain will help a business gain competitive advantage. Here our business solutions director Will Robinson explores…

1.  Visibility: how technology platforms allow a wider view of the supply chain

“The key thing about technology providing visibility of a supply chain is that it allows you to predict any disruption or potential issues. Visibility of data alone isn’t enough – there’s too much of it – information needs to be presented in a way which is useful. Technology should provide a clear view of the handover links in a supply chain – whether that’s cargo landing at a port or an item arriving into a specific store. It will also identify blockages straight away so that you’re able to learn lessons quickly and act. Effective technology helps an organisation to anticipate any issues and ultimately to ensure goods are in the right place at the right time.”

2. Streamlined bureaucracy: paperwork such as invoicing takes place within the platform, making it faster, easier, and cheaper. 

“Any cost or overhead within a supply chain process that isn’t adding value to your end customer needs to be removed. If it can be automated or integrated with technology while remaining compliant, this should be considered. We developed our Vector technology solution so that it could integrated into existing processes to streamline any costly bureaucracy.”

3. Expand overseas: doing business via a platform makes it easier to trade in new regions, as the methods of trading familiar – as the platform is the same across the globe. 

“Having a technology platform certainly helps as a starting point but the technology itself has to remain agile. A platform cannot be developed, deployed and then not updated as it will cease to be as effective especially as it is rolled out across new regions. There are idiosyncrasies in different countries and sites so technology must adapt to cater for these. If this investment and innovation is constantly input, the platform can be expanded and make it much easier to trade in new regions or set up a site much faster. For the most effective results, the technology is surrounded by a level of consultancy and adapted so it is bespoke to an organisation’s supply chain.” 

a) Brief overview of Vector.

 “Vector provides real-time end-to-end visibility by providing the building blocks which are needed to match and organisation’s unique operational structure. With more than a decade of development, we continue to innovate as the platform is set up to continue to capture data and information at every point of every customer’s supply chain. This makes it truly global and ever-evolving. 

“Now with 7,000 users globally, Vector is an entirely adaptable tool to make supply chains faster, cheaper and more effective. 

“Supply chain is what connects an organisation with its customers and we’re seeing this increasingly make or break brands, manufacturers and retailers. This trend will deepen and an effective supply chain will provide a competitive advantage.”

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