Supply chain risk management: how SaaS-based, collaborative platforms provide business continuity

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Global supply chain risk management continues to evolve and embodies a consideration of possibilities and outcomes by supply chain executives totalling in the millions.

Unfortunately, supply chain risks are inevitable as we’ve experienced with pandemics, weather-related disasters, corporate fallout, economic instability, and international trade regulations. As explained by Rick Brumett of Industry Week, these factors contribute to a growing sense of unrest, and then, beyond the planning and strategies around what happens in the supply chain from sourcing to delivery, there is always the risk of cybersecurity in the digital supply chain. It’s a never-ending maze of risks in varying levels of severity and maturity, and executives need a way to escape the maze and get a mechanism in place to know what is happening in the supply chain (transparency, i.e. visibility) and how to execute strategies that hedge risk with a collaborative, connected logistics platform—before those risks seal off the exit.

The challenges of supply chain risk management with disparate systems

Disparate, siloed supply chain systems refer to those systems or technology solutions that add some value, such as the automation of a process, but fall short of delivering maximum results. It’s the same argument for and against digitization and the how the proliferation of logistics technology may be causing more confusion than it is solving potential problems. Digitization—when applied to connect assets and share data—adds value, but digitization for the sake of digitization does little to streamline operations. That’s where the crossroads of a tech-driven approach to solving the challenges of supply chain risk management lie.

Companies have devoted countless resources to increasing internal operations and building brand value, yet overlook a key principle—the need to enhance supply chain risk management by working through both vertical and horizontal supply chains—sharing data along the way. But, the problem with not sharing data is best described as a series of examples of failures, which include:

  • Late, missed, or lost deliveries. 

  • The increased total cost of ownership of supply chain assets, including the use of EDI per transaction vs. per shipment. 

  • Limited visibility into truck condition, trucker availability, and more. 

  • Problems managing payments and hitting supply chain finance goals

  • Cancellations of orders deriving from limited scalability of system resources. 

  • Poor sharing of data that results in errors during rekeying and possible delays/misrouting or other errors. 

That’s only a portion of the possible challenges. Now, imagine the challenges that arise when trying to manage risks with disjointed systems. Your departments might know what’s going on, but your suppliers? They are probably left to their own devices and may not even consider asking what you think. Even worse, your suppliers might recognize your failure to plan and terminate your relationship altogether. It’s a double-edged sword, and the modern supply chain needs to overcome these problems with an innovative, scalable solution.

Saas-based, collaborative platforms help people work together despite location

The value of the cloud in the modern supply chain is undisputed. According to Supply Chain Management Review, “organizations move their IT to the cloud for one or more of the following reasons. On the internal side, they adopt the cloud to lower the cost of their IT infrastructure or to improve the ability to scale their business—often globally. On the external side, they may be forced to move to cloud services by software suppliers that are increasingly migrating their on-premise solutions to the Cloud.” Regardless, the move to the cloud is not just another standard process; it is an essential step for businesses and supply chains that need more collaboration. In fact, companies across the globe have moved their resources to the cloud for these reasons, but what good does any migration to a limitless, speed-data treasure trove do if it still leaves parts of the supply chain holding the bag?

Yes, even cloud-based SaaS alone might not be enough to finally achieve better collaboration in both horizontal and vertical supply chain operations. But what if it was truly unified through a collaborative logistics platform that connects everything?

That would be a game-changer, and that is what Turvo does differently. By bringing all systems, people, and data together, users can finally achieve end-to-end transparency and work together in real-time to do more with less, mitigate risks before they come to maturity, and better plan for future disruptions, maintaining business continuity along the way.

Tips for using a saas-based platform to improve supply chain risk management

Supply chain executives should follow the simple tips to apply a SaaS-based platform and improve supply chain risk management:

  1. Track the full order lifecycle from its origin through fulfillment to isolate and prevent risk. Remember that the grey market is a multi-billion industry that continues to undermine the value of all businesses. However, tracking everything from the manufacturer through delivery can go a long way in reducing supply chain management risks and increasing brand value. As noted by President of Global Supply Chain Solutions for Ryder, Steve Sensing, in explaining RyderShare, the collaborative logistics platform powered by Turvo, “We can solve in minutes what previously took hours, days, and weeks to course-correct. Now, more than ever, there is a greater sense of urgency for real-time visibility in the supply chain and the tools that enable all parties involved to work together to ensure the on-time delivery of the goods we rely on every day.”

  2. Apply insights to generate scenario plans for future risks, which as explained by Supply Chain Beyond, are critical to success. “Properly assessing this requires revisiting business continuity and disaster recovery plans[…] This effort will help organizations determine if they can support a greater number of remote workers, gain visibility into their supply chain resilience and gauge the short- and long-term effects.”

  3. Use established, trusted third-party software to connect your systems and improve cybersecurity. For example, Turvo uses advanced encryption protocols and conducts routine penetration testing.

  4. Gain real-time access to data regardless of shipment status—down to the driver level. As an additional example, the Turvo Drive App provides this level of visibility and joins it with a centralized document storage capability. Thus, documentation and real-time data access further maximize the value of your SaaS platform and help reduce risks.

  5. Create a multi-faceted recovery plan that considers the uniqueness of each supply chain partner or interaction. As explained by Kinaxis, this includes the creation of a recovery plan that applies industry, customer, product, supplier, and operations analyses to effectively plan for and overcome any disruption. Of course, it harkens back to the use of a collaborative infrastructure to gather that data and conduct such analyses instantaneously.

Reap the rewards of more collaboration and proactive risk management by unifying your systems

The right supply chain risk management strategy depends on timeliness, accuracy, and quality of data, as well as your ability to intervene and share information when things go awry. Know the risks inherent in disparate, siloed supply chain systems, and tap the value of SaaS-based systems by bringing your whole tech stack together with Turvo. Visit Turvo online to get started.

Adam Robinson is the Director of Product Marketing at Turvo.
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