Untangling uncertainty in today’s supply chains

TTI’s senior director, supply chain and AIM services, Ben Lasoi

TTI’s senior director, supply chain and AIM services, Ben Lasoi, explores complex supply chains and how product access, process optimization and innovation are keys to success

In many ways, global supply chains are back on track following a tumultuous 2020/2021 as companies strive to keep projects going and revenue flowing. However, volatility and uncertainty remainchallenging realities.

Issues like global political unrest, worldwide inflation, customer unpredictability, increased expectations, labor shortages, extreme weather, increased technology demands and more are complicating the question buyers are asking: ‘where is my stuff?’.

While the pandemic tested supply chain resiliency, it also revealed kinks in the system that needed addressing. Now, 60 per cent of supply chain leaders are investing in customer experience metrics and data analytics to handle the enhanced speed, complexity and demand they’re facing.
The differentiator in how companies can thrive—and not just survive—with product supply issues is how they maximize these three critical factors.

Product access: When a typical project requires dozens of components— any of which could derail the entire system—the first step in optimizing the supply chain is securing a proven and reliable distributor with a broad and deep inventory of fully authorized parts, free of defects and counterfeits. Superior parts come first.

Quality distributors will have application programming interface technology that allows customers a real-time look at what’s in stock, making it possible to access inventory/pricing information and place orders without delay. In addition, bill-of-materials management analytics provides instant inventory assessment on current component availability. Effective supply chain management isn’t just about product availability but also the effective
use of component information, industry know-how and design/ integration expertise that a distributor can provide.

Process optimization:

Digitization, inventory optimization and control tower utilization (an integrated, personalized dashboard of key supply chain data, people, processes and technology for greater visibility, control and decision making) are becoming more useful operational tools in this age of immediate and immense data. Concepts like end-to- end visibility and system agility and flexibility are legitimate goals, and the new objective isn’t just securing parts but also optimizing inventory levels.

Top distributors will have advanced inventory management tools, tailored to ordering and delivery requirements that result in reduced procurement, logistics and shipping costs, thus lowering total cost of ownership. Other forecasting and performance management tools are available to help make visibility, flexibility and adaptability force multipliers for higher performance.

Progress innovation:

What will separate the survivors from the thrivers in supply chain management will be how companies use technology and innovation, areas we’re just starting to explore. With performance accelerators like the Internet of Things, predictive analytics and artificial intelligence/ machine learning and forecasting, companies will greatly improve overall supply chain visibility
and effectiveness.

TTI has mastered these product, process and progress necessities, with over 27 billion units shipped last year with an industry-leading delivery rate. That’s how TTI can offer tailored, flexible and dependable supply chain solutions for greater efficiency and performance with reduced costs and downtime regardless of whatever challenges our industry faces.