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big data brainAs a manufacturer (or supplier), the historical position is to be reactive to the needs of the buyer. Of course forward thinking manufacturers also have significant marketing and development efforts that provide products and innovation to their customers in a more proactive way. Being truly reactive can come with some benefits that may be better than being fully proactive.

Automation of the supply chain can provide advantages in easing the flow of orders and data. And a tightly connected supply chain is able to provide seamless connections between trading partners at many levels. When the connections become brittle and loose their elasticity, issues can appear that wouldn't normally be issues when connections are more forgiving. So is there a point at which less integration might be better than direct and continuous updates?

That depends on the level of overall integration.  According to a post in Oxford Consulting Group's blog, "Increased visibility can bring agility and the ability to react to problems as they arise, minimizing the potential damage from any business mishaps." Reacting in the proper time is a real advantage that visibility into issues and problems can bring to bear.

The same blog talks about bringing innovation as a byproduct of the data exchange, "A survey by KPMG found that manufacturing organizations are integrating data with their peers not only to become agile and react to overriding issues in their sector but also to create innovative new processes." I'm interested in just what those new processes might be. I'm not doubting that they exist... certainly there are plenty of opportunities for creativity. But what have you put into place as a consequence of tight and visible supply chain connectivity? Last modified on Thursday, 07 November 2013
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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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