Closer integration of the manufacturing supply chain, including collaboration between people and secure data sharing, now holds the key to customer retention. In support of this view, enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution provider K3 Syspro is providing real-life case studies to illustrate supply chain integration, for manufacturers looking to embrace Industry 4.0.
The company identifies supply chain integration (SCI) as probably the most critical factor in the success of a manufacturing-related business in the fourth industrial revolution. In a new ebook, K3 Syspro cites Dell's highly-regarded SCI strategy and explains how axle manufacturer BPW integrated its supply chain, assisted by business solutions SYSPRO ERP and K3 DataSwitch.
A useful first step towards closer SCI is to find out what matters most to the customer. Knowing where they perceive value provides a focal point for improving integration. Communication and data sharing can then be maximised where it counts. In a closely integrated supply chain trading becomes more cost effective, for the manufacturer, customer and everyone associated with that supply chain. Superfluous time consumption and order processing procedures can be stripped out, enabling margins to be preserved while overall prices are reduced.
The intended effect of closer SCI, argues K3 Syspro's managing director, Cathie Hall, is an increase in cost to the customer of switching to a different supplier:
"Customer retention is so vital in an increasingly competitive marketplace. When ordering systems, production, stock control and crucially, people, talk to each other throughout the supply chain, the links are strengthened. That leads to better and more secure business relationships, not just for an individual manufacturer but all down the line.
"The processes in the supply chain need to be geared up to use the shared data. In improving the processes, the right people need to interrelate across the supply chain. They must also be enabled to make local decisions for the benefit of the entire chain."
With the advent of Industry 4.0, the business recognised the potential to work closely with manufacturing and supply chain businesses through best-in-class technologies, to help businesses integrate the value chain, better understand customers, enhance automation, become more responsive, and facilitate a transformation to factories of the future. The business spent time developing its own tools to integrate SYSPRO and other applications to increase supply chain automation, adding systems integration and data manipulation tool DataSwitch, and HR solution Equator HR to its product portfolio.
These products put K3 Syspro in an exclusive market position to work closely with manufacturing and distribution businesses to create a truly connected manufacturing enterprise, with seamless integration of technologies across the supply chain.