Supplier Collaboration

What is Continuity of Supply, and Why Do I Need it?

It’s a brave new future, where supply chain disruptions are common, unexpected, and sometimes debilitating. Ultimately, uncertainty causes much of the friction and stress for supply chain teams. When will parts arrive? Is the shipment late? Is it partial? Did the primary supplier run into a snag? Are there backup suppliers who can step in and take over? How does all of this affect the flow of your supply?

These are valuable questions to ask. Eliminating uncertainty means you can make agile adjustments based on new information. But first you need the information. That’s where automation comes in. PO and invoice automation put all the needed data at your fingertips so you know exactly what’s going on with every line item and correspondence with suppliers. This level of visibility lets you build accountability with both buyers and suppliers through real-time collaboration. 

Speaking of suppliers, they are critical to ensuring continuity of supply. Many companies invest most of their time and effort into a small handful of primary suppliers, and in the past this strategy has been effective. But in today’s brave new future of constant threats of disruption, you must diversify your supplier base. It’s only a matter of time before your primaries experience a delay or disruption. Start investing time and energy into secondary suppliers now so you eliminate single points of failure in your systems. You might pay a slightly higher price for materials, but in the long run you will be protected against bottlenecks.

Continuity of supply is a huge part of building a resilient supply chain. Relying on long, tedious processes for POs and invoices can easily lead to delays as buyers and suppliers scramble to find emails, update spreadsheets, and enter data into the ERP. Automation and collaboration software eliminates all of this clerical work, reducing buyers’ workloads significantly (as much ast 25% for one company). You won’t beat the competition and deliver on time consistently if your buyers and suppliers are overwhelmed. Give them the tools they need to build resiliency and ensure you have all the supply you need, exactly when you need it.