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How to Achieve Faster Speed to Market with your SCM Platform

How to Achieve Faster Speed to Market with your SCM Platform

October 14, 2015

Part 2 of 2:

Last week, in part one of this blog series, we established that, due to overwhelming customer demand, fashion brands, retailers and consumer goods companies are looking for ways to improve speed to market.

In the NGC white paper, 8 Steps for Faster Speed to Market: Improving Supply Chain Speed and Agility, we detailed how to use your SCM enterprise platform during the pre-PO and post-PO stages to achieve these goals and continue to deliver excellent goods and services to your customers:

Better compliance with calendars and deadlines. Calendar and deadline compliance can be improved with the Workflow Calendars and Exception Reporting found in today’s enterprise systems for SCM. Calendars are role-based and instantly accessible via the web; users can see the status of milestone dates for calendars and make sure product groups, collections and approvals are all on schedule, with alerts and color-coded dashboard to when deadlines aren’t met.

Improved WIP tracking. Manufacturers can easily update Work-In-Process (WIP) so users can track the production status of each order and instantly check progress. Alerts and color-coded dashboards can be customized to show the current status and can even predict if the item will run late due to unexpected delays. Collaboration and WIP tracking can also help companies speed up the replenishment of best-selling products and cut their losses on others.

More efficient line planning. Modern enterprise systems such as PLM include interactive planning tools that allow retailers, brands, and manufacturers to view and manage the line development processes with a number of automated features that improve line planning efficiency. With real-time visibility through an enterprise platform, merchandising, design and sourcing teams can be synchronized to ensure an on-time product launch.

Strategic positioning of raw materials. Using enterprise systems, companies can forecast raw material requirements, place commitments with multiple suppliers and draw down the commitments as POs are issued and the materials are consumed. This reduces the risk of holding too much or too little inventory to meet downstream demand or holding unused inventory for unacceptable lengths of time – and it plays a huge role in improving cycle time.

Improved sourcing relationships, better vendor management. Some SCM systems include features that streamline vendor onboarding and management, allowing companies to continually monitor vendor performance, create vendor scorecards, identify areas for improvement and strengthen relationships with their most strategic suppliers. Dual-sourcing strategies are increasingly playing a role, too.

Streamlined testing and compliance. Product safety regulations are increasing at a rapid pace, and there is no slowdown in sight. New solutions have emerged, however, to streamline and automate compliance with today’s new laws and regulations. These solutions can help ensure compliance with product safety and social compliance regulations by managing the formal testing process for finished products and materials and electronically managing, updating and delivering the requirement documentation.

Improved quality management. Integrating quality management into the core supply chain platform can help companies make huge strides in improving quality, by performing inspections and solving problems before products ship. With quality management systems and tablet computers, companies can schedule inspections, inspect partial PO quantities, attach photos and comments to inspection records, electronically approve the inspection reports and send and store documentation in an enterprise system.

Omnichannel inventory visibility and fulfillment. Enterprise systems provide unified visibility to the available inventory in each channel, providing the ability to easily move products to the channel generating the greatest demand. Omnichannel transfers allow companies to redirect shipments to the proper Distribution Centers for stores or e-commerce or ship inventory from one DC to another.

As you can see, by bringing together supply chain activities, along with product design and other critical capabilities, companies can make vast improvements in speed to market. However, to achieve success, companies need to concentrate on all design and manufacturing activities—orchestrating all the information, processes, systems, departments and geographies within the enterprise.