Will the Supply Chain Ever Go Back to ‘Normal’?
As if the massive shifts in consumer behavior and dramatic changes in work and travel resulting from the global pandemic were not enough, a giant ship got stuck in the Suez canal.
Compay Name: UCBOS, Inc.
Bio: UCBOS, Inc. is an Atlanta based global technology firm with the mission to provide the world’s first “No-Code Enterprise Application Platform” and revolutionize the notion of the composable enterprise. Its vision is to simplify Automation and AI/ML technologies and make them practical for business, operations, and IT to adapt and transcend coding, industry, and business limitations.
Serving as an instant meme generator to describe every problem, the Ever Given was a literal embodiment of supply chain disruption. Hundreds of thousands of orders, millions of items were suddenly, very visibly, stuck. By some estimates, more than 10% of the world’s economy was impacted and the reverberations will be felt for months. Is this the new supply chain normal?
The Deloitte 2021 Retail Outlook report, published before the Ever Given ran around, takes a look at this new world of disruption and what it could mean for the very volatile retail segment. In a survey of 50 retail executives, they found that digital acceleration and supply chain resiliency were their top priorities. And they also pondered the question ‘will the pandemic’s digital adoption be the new baseline?’
The report found that the massive shifts in consumer behaviors were only the start of the challenges. Only 30% of the executives said they had ‘mature capabilities within digital’, and nearly half said they needed to ‘use better analytics’ after the wild market shifts showed their current models to be inflexible.
To address some of this, the report highlights that supply chain resiliency requires ‘end-to-end integration’ and that 80% of the executives planned to make major supply chain investments in 2021. Order fulfillment including last-mile delivery and warehouse management are the top two areas of focus.
To get the most from this investment, the Deloitte report suggests the supply chain, inventory management, and digital experience ‘can no longer operate in separate silos’ and that even focusing on one area, improving inventory management, meant integrating the systems ‘from production to last-mile delivery’.
End-to-End Visibility with UCBOS
Retailers face a number of challenges in delivering this end-to-end integration. The first is that, across the different components of the supply chain, there are at least two and likely many more ERP and supply chain management solutions. These systems, from vendors like Oracle, Manhattan Associates, SAP, Infor, and more, are tailored for their specific functional area and are not designed to work well together.
Trying to consolidate these systems often results in even more complexity, and customizing them to work together or creating bespoke solutions can take months or years to complete and often have to be redone as things change.
Instead of consolidating, UCBOS takes a different approach to deliver the end-to-end vision of the Deloitte report. UCBOS was built to overcome the difficulties caused by having separate silo’d systems across the supply chain with a new approach. Instead of trying to consolidate systems, UCBOS creates solutions by connecting and orchestrating actions across across these systems. This integration approach is combined with no-code that speeds time to solution and makes it possible to to adapt quickly as the environments change.
To show this in action, we’ve created a demo that, in just under 10 minutes, shows how you can use UCBOS to create an automation and orchestration solution in a multi-vendor ecosystem. The demo highlights a prominent supply chain use case, “vendor quality audit”, and shows how a retailer can more efficiently respond to supply chain processes that are either planned or unplanned. In this example, a retailer can use the UCBOS solution to create the end-to-end visibility and orchestration that the Deloitte team highlighted as critical for retailers to adopt their new normal.
If, as the Deloitte report suggests, the supply chain is not going to go back to normal, it’s important that retailers and others adapt to a newer platform and technology that aids them with end-to-end visibility. Just like the effects of the Ever Given that will be felt for months, the way retailers respond to the challenges of digitization and how they create supply chain resiliency will have a lasting effect on their ability to serve customers for a long time to come.
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About UCBOS, Inc.
UCBOS, Inc. is an Atlanta based global technology firm with the mission to provide the world’s first “No-Code Enterprise Application Platform” and revolutionize the notion of the composable enterprise. Its vision is to simplify Automation and AI/ML technologies and make them practical for business, operations, and IT to adapt and transcend coding, industry, and business limitations.
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