Integration technology can improve the resilience and sustainability of supply chain management

The supply chain obstacles induced by the pandemic represent a restart opportunity for companies. Here, we examine how companies can take advantage of modern integration technology to both improve supply chain performance and adopt sustainable supply chain management practices.

Without a doubt, global supply chains have been put to the test over the past 18 months as market demand and the availability of supplies have become unpredictable thanks to the disruptions of COVID-19. When planning investments and upgrades to meet these supply chain challenges, we typically focus on addressing shortages in consumer goods – backlogs of raw materials to make pharmaceuticals, for example; or the severe shortage of semiconductors which is hampering the production of cars and electronics.

We take the opportunity less often to rethink how these investments might also contribute to climate change and conservation through the adoption of more sustainable supply chain management systems and practices. In truth, the supply chain hurdles induced by the pandemic represent an opportunity for a restart on both fronts. Let’s examine how businesses can take advantage of modern integration technology to both improve supply chain performance and adopt sustainable supply chain management practices.

Digital transformation to meet both performance and environmental objectives

As the pandemic continues, we’ve seen digital transformation efforts accelerate as businesses scramble to adapt to wild supply chain disruptions. In addition to the challenge, consumers’ high expectations for service and convenience have become even more demanding as people conduct more transactions and activities online.

The digital transformation of the supply chain is therefore seen as a way to meet these ever-high customer expectations by having more resilient systems behind the scenes to quickly adapt to changes in component availability, transportation logistics and delivery. ‘other supply chain variables. When implementing these transformations, managers typically focus on increasing revenue and taking control over delivering a better customer experience.

But this model also has an additional advantage: it is arguably better for the environment. Indeed, as organizations strategize for their digital investments in the supply chain, they can produce more efficient and profitable operating models that will improve both resilience in the face of changing markets and will create a more sustainable and energy efficient operation.

For example, in the logistics and transport sector, the same modernization efforts to ensure resilience have also become an area of ​​growing interest for innovative ‘green’ initiatives led by consumers, investors and business partners to freight carriers to reduce emissions and help build vehicles and deliver “cleaner” chains.

Design the right solution

To be both effective and sustainable, supply chain managers need to make integration technology a central focus as they roll up their sleeves to implement digital transformation. This is because much of what makes a successful sustainable supply chain management strategy happen at the fundamental level of integration technology.

Integration technology helps provide visibility and control over the entire supply chain ecosystem to make real-time, data-driven decisions about everything from inventory status to downtime from manufacturing and supply shortages to logistics, transportation, delivery schedules, price changes and more.

Your technological approach to integration will likely involve Electronic data exchange (EDI) – consumer integration software that has been around for years. A mainstay for countless manufacturers, retailers, suppliers, carriers and shippers to move orders through the supply chain, EDI is much simpler, faster and more accurate – and therefore more sustainable than making paper invoices or purchase orders manually.

Beyond that, with the advent of complex and hybrid cloud environments, we now live in a Application programming interface (API) -first universe. Thus, to improve resilience and sustainability, organizations must seamlessly adapt to API and EDI integration workflows. This should ideally be done by combining these capabilities on a single platform which allows simultaneous management of both.

Integration is the backbone

These are just a few of the key factors for approaching integration technology. And while each organization will need to customize their approach somewhat to meet their unique business needs, it is clear that integration technology can be the backbone of a good modern, cloud-based integration platform. designed for today’s B2B businesses to maintain both sustainability and profitability. of spirit.

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