How Synchronizing Supply Chains with Business Goals Addresses Risk, Overcomes Unexpected Vulnerability

The white paper outlines eight best practices to increase total value across the supply chain, highlighting how in today’s climate, synchronization is even more important as the global pandemic continues to disrupt.

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Maine Pointe is the sponsor of a white paper published by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Global Supply Chain Institute (GSCI), titled “End-to-End Supply Chain Synchronization: Orchestrating a Winning Strategy.” The white paper outlines eight best practices to increase total value across the supply chain, highlighting how in today’s climate, synchronization is even more important as the global pandemic continues to disrupt, bring out hidden vulnerabilities and expose new risks.

Part of a series of influential papers, “End-to-End Supply Chain Synchronization: Orchestrating a Winning Strategy” is essential for CxOs and supply chain leaders anxious to unlock value and transform their supply chain into a competitive weapon. The paper’s authors interviewed 13 leading companies across seven industries to examine how benchmark companies are gaining clarity on their core business drivers and linking the supply chain and associated processes to those drivers. The paper concludes that when this strategy is executed, it can drive a sustained competitive advantage.

Now is the time for a new look at the supply chain

“Gaining an advantage during what is the biggest business disruption in decades calls for a renewed look at the supply chain,” said Steven Bowen, CEO of Maine Pointe. “We’re seeing new issues come to light that must be addressed. The first step in responding is stabilization, followed by recovery and a new rebalancing of the supply chain. A fully integrated and synchronized supply chain, driven by Total Value Optimization (TVO)™, can be one of the greatest value drivers in the organization.”

Strategy for pandemic response is stabilize, recover, rebalance

The paper is especially relevant for companies looking for a strategy to stabilize, recover, and rebalance as a response to the pandemic-driven disruption. According to the paper, many supply chain leaders are still out of sync with the goals of the business, and supply chain leaders are sometimes relegated to a supporting role. Leading organizations however, are achieving sustained levels of success by synchronizing supply chain operations and their core business drivers, thereby unlocking the full potential of the supply chain as a competitive advantage.

Synchronization is the next step

“End-to-end integration, collaboration, platform management, digitization – all are tools to achieve an end: Increasing total value across the supply chain,” said GSCI Fellow and co-author, Michael Burnette. “Synchronization is the next step. Going through the synchronization process allows companies to create a value chain for long-term organizational success.”

The white paper reveals real-life case studies of how companies defined core business drivers and improved their end-to-end supply chains with sustainable value. In one case study illustrated in the paper, an omnichannel retailer facing a shrinking market was able to decrease working capital by 25 percent and reduce logistics spend by 7 to 12 percent, saving tens of millions of dollars. An alternative energy provider facing tariff challenges and a dynamic market shift optimized distribution networks, drove value through strategic procurement strategies and redesigned products to improve EBITDA by 13.5 percent. Also, a high-tech provider of systems and solutions to multiple markets overcame the high cost of domestic manufacturing by creating a centralized global procurement strategy to reduce global spend by 10.5 percent.

The authors of the white paper, through their survey, have analyzed over 100 separate synchronization practices to find the eight best practices used to drive lasting value:

  • Multifunctional strategy leadership/ownership
  • Aligned core business driver
  • Solid supply chain foundation (E2E, dependable)
  • Skills and capabilities to enable synchronization
  • Value stream mapping and flow charting
  • Segmentation to create focus
  • Supply chain agility to enable synchronization
  • E2E supply chain visibility and optimization (digital)

The “End-to-End Supply Chain Synchronization: Orchestrating a Winning Strategy” paper, which features a number of Maine Pointe case studies, is the fifth in GSCI’s Supply Chain Strategy series. It is authored by Mike Burnette, Dan Pellathy, PhD, and Scott Meline, with contributing editor Ted Stank, PhD. Other papers published in collaboration with Maine Pointe include “End-to-end supply chain collaboration practices,” “Supply chain integration strategy: Best practices,” and “Driving shareholder value with your supply chain.”