Facilitating Industry Supply Chain Mobilization

Over the last ten years the technology required to build future state integrated supply chain networks has emerged and matured to the current position of readiness. So why haven’t these networks emerged en masse and with greater effect? The answer seems to lie in the need for mobilizing entire industries and the trading partners within them to make the step change we envision.

Mobilizing an entire industry does sound like a bit of a daunting task but given the right contacts, significant persistence and finding industry champions willing to stand up and assist in the process there is no doubt such achievements can and will be made.

The most important additional ingredient to the above is strong facilitiation to provide thought leadership to the group and ensure all required tasks are moving forward.

So what is the first step in mobilizing an industry supply chain?

The first is to connect with and establish a significant group of industry players and secure their commitment to support the effort both financially and with the significant resource support needed to make the effort a success.

This can be done company by company but is often successfully accelerated by aliging the effort with a relevant industry association which can ultimately take on some of the ongoing responsibility and management requirements of carrying through with the program on an ongoing basis.

The second step once the group has been formed is to lay the product data catalogue foundation for the industry or if one already exists, ensure it contains accurate data and also that both retailer and supplier trading partners are using in an automated fashion to maintain the data accuracy. See Building a Foundation for Your SCN for more details on this critical task in the creation of a successful industrywide supply chain network.

Next week we will discuss the additional steps required to effectively mobilize the supply chain network of an entire industry.

Jeff Ashcroft

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