Supply Chain Networks: Help Us Help You Untangle the Hairball

Supply chains are neural networks interconnecting a multitude of players and provide value to customers through products and services. Supply chain networks can be formal or informal, simple or complex, and interconnected by a wide variety of technologies. 

Supply chain durability and resilience determines the success of a supply chain throughout time.  Unforeseen market, infrastructure, political, regulatory and/or environmental situations can and will interrupt the smooth flow of information and products across a supply chain. The interruption will almost always result in reduced revenue, working capital and economic profit.

The New Supply Chain Agenda, a recent book by supply chain experts Reuben Slone, Paul Dittmann and John Mentzer, describes the positive impacts to the bottom line of simplifying and streamlining a supply chain. According to the authors, three of the five steps for driving real value in a supply chain are to:

  • Select and apply the right technologies, from forecasting systems to carbon footprint management
  • Eliminate crippling cross-functional disconnects such as SKU proliferation and obsolete inventory
  • Collaborate with external suppliers and customers.

A key challenge with automating your supply chain network is determining how much sophistication to design into it to increase efficiency, while at the same time keeping the linkages and processes simple enough for all players to understand and execute. The worst thing that can happen is for you to end up with a hairball of tangled data, transaction and communication linkages.

As the leading provider of cloud-based business management solutions, NetSuite helps its customers manage their extended supply chains through features that provide an in-depth, real-time view into key customer demand, and supplier inventory and procurement indicators. NetSuite’s self-service capabilities for partners, vendors and customers allow you to share supply, demand and order information—improving collaboration throughout the entire supply chain. With NetSuite, you can manage product availability, inventory levels and costs—and better meet fulfillment expectations and delight your customers.

NetSuite is in the process of expanding our supply chain features and wants to know what enhancements our customers need to drive real value in their supply chains. If you’ve mastered your supply chain and it’s running smoothly, or if it’s difficult to coordinate and you’re struggling to improve its effectiveness, we want to hear from you. Our intent is to provide effective tools to support your supply chain so that it contributes an increased bottom line.

Please participate in our 5- to 10-minute NetSuite 2011 Supply Chain Features Survey. We appreciate your time and thoughtful feedback, and wish you success with your supply chain network.

Thad Johnson, Senior Product Manager, WD & Manufacturing Verticals

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