Critical Use Cases and Data Links that Control Tower Supply Chain Systems Enable

In earlier blog posts on www.supplychainsunday.com and www.suuchi.com, I’ve made the case for horizontal platforms or control towers that provide a single source of truth and a digital thread across the entire length of the value chain.

Control tower systems enable data links that are critical to the successful functioning of supply chains. Does your software suite solve for the below use cases?

Tech Pack to BOM (Bill of Material) to Cost Sheet

Connected product suites allow data to flow and populate seamlessly. One of the useful outcomes of data links is reduced data entries. Tech packs or design specs are typically created and stored in PLMs. Once this information is effectively integrated, cost sheets can be automatically created and populated with both the individual materials and components that make up cost of goods sold, as well as individual quantities of each component required. 

Cost Sheet Data to Vendors for Bid Management 

When systems across tech stacks are not connected, cost sheets are typically fed to vendors over email or worse over WhatsApp or phone. Once cost sheets are created and target COGS added, linking to an interactive vendor portal allows read time issue of bid requests and real time comparison of bid submissions. 

Customer/Sales orders to Bid Requests to Purchase Orders

Getting competitive prices from vendors is also dependent on quantity ordered. Establishing a digital link from sales order quantity to vendor allows the feed of another important parameter into factory/supplier bid management. Once bids are algorithmically compared, the best bid is auto assigned a purchase order.  

Purchase Order Tracking to Invoice Reconciliation

Purchase orders are issued for a certain quantity but often product is completed in partials or delivered incompletely for various reasons. Invoice reconciliation can therefore be a huge bugbear for companies especially in the absence of a digital link. By tracking the progress of a purchase order, and digitally splitting shipments based on real time interaction from factories, invoice reconciliation can be painless and far less expensive. 

Sales Orders to Factory Capacity Based Assignments and vice versa 

Linking customer portals and sales order data further allows assignments to the right factories based on their category of specialization and real time availability of capacity. In reverse, availability of category specialization and capacity data gives sales teams the ability to provide information to customers on delivery date and empowers them to accept orders they know they can fulfill successfully.