Three years after the shutdown of the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chains around the globe still have not leveled out to pre-pandemic reliability. Many experts, including logistics managers and government officials, believe we will not see supply chains return to normal until 2024 or even later. A new supply chain survey reported that respondents are still placing orders 6 months in advance and some are reporting a 400% increase in warehouse pricing as spaces shrinks. When we are still seeing 3,000 Covid cases each week and empty shelves, it makes one wonder if the world will ever get back to normal. But what is normal?
A New Normal
Our new normal means being ready to adapt to the erratic ebbs and flows of the supply chain. That old saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know,” is no longer a valid excuse when we now have supply chain visibility and access to more data than ever before. The above-mentioned article quotes, “Hard data is the backbone of effective supply chain management, especially amidst the uncertainty shown in this survey,” says Karen Kenney, chair of CONECT. In spite of this, Zippia.com reports that only 6% of companies report having full visibility into their supply chain and nearly 40% of small businesses in the US experienced supply chain delays as a result of the pandemic. How can you access this data and take control of your supply chain?
Supply Chain Visibility
We were touting the magnificent attributes of Syncrofy for Supply Chain long before the pandemic and it is even more relevant today. With this single platform, you can:
- Reconcile invoices against orders, shipment documentation and receipts
- Analyze trends on fill rates, lead times, errors and delays
- Reduce fines and fees by up to 30%
- Save time spent on tedious research by up to 53%
- Create a data-driven culture by solving problems collaboratively
How Do Users Actually Leverage Syncrofy for Supply Chain?
Okay, we get it – it sounds great, but what’s it like in a real-world example? A few meaningful use cases come to mind like that of our client Retractable Technologies. Retractable’s business exploded when the pandemic started because of their clever retractable needle syringes. This was a game changer in the medical world because health care professionals could now administer life saving vaccines without fear of accidental needle sticks. Many of Retractable’s trading partners did not include addresses on their EDI documents, so they found it necessary to find them in their ERP system using the EDI allocation codes that they were provided. It was not an efficient process. Occasionally, Retractable would receive a code from a customer that was unidentifiable. They would then find it necessary to contact their EDI service provider and ask for the flat file from their archives. That became a burdensome and time-consuming process that slowed down their overall EDI operation. Retractable finds Syncrofy’s search capabilities especially useful for tracking down old transactions and archived files. They also find the “Timeline” feature to be crucial for the day-to-day visibility into their orders. “Timeline is perfect for confirming the sent and received documents, especially invoices,” says Robert Moore, their Oracle Applications System Admin, “It’s also great for knowing when a purchase order acknowledgment comes through and when we need to split an order.”
Another use case that comes to mind is a little company called Barnes and Noble. With approximately 70% of their college business being transacted via EDI, it became necessary to deploy a platform for data mining in order to stop investing significant resources to manually extracting information from those transactions. According to Joe Gavin, EDI Manager at Barnes & Noble College, “We needed a way to improve transparency in the Ordering, Shipping, Inventory, and Invoice processes that would allow all our colleagues to view specific supply chain data in context with the other business units.” Syncrofy’s ease-of-use also helped the EDI team on-board new departments throughout the company into the app to enable self-service queries for its business users. This reduction in time spent searching for data has also helped Barnes & Noble College further enhance vendor relations while improving visibility at all levels of its business. Now, both external partners and internal team members across disciplines (whether it is EDI, Accounts Payable, General Merchandising, or others) can find the exact information they need when they need it.
When Can I See It?
Today. You can see it today. Not only do we have a short video available to watch on our website, you can also contact us to view a 7 minute, no obligation demo. You have to see to believe it. It’s like having your own supply chain advisor right by your side— anytime, anywhere.
Related reading for owning your supply chain: