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Modern Manufacturing

The Future of Supply Chains is Zero Latency

John Klinke
Director, Oracle Industry Strategy Group

Guest Author: Swapan Ghosh, Director, Industry Strategy Group, Oracle.

Today’s supply chain networks are complex. They span across multiple ecosystem partners, spread across multiple geographies, and are managed by multiple stakeholders. Supply chain managers often do not have full visibility into their extended supply chain as most of them lack real-time information about their supply chain events across the entire network. This information latency makes the supply network less responsive to recent events, leading to poor, less effective decision making.

Information latency can be classified into three main classes: capture latency, analysis latency and decision latency. Capture and analysis latency is caused by technical delays in collecting, transferring, storing and processing the information, whereas the decision latency (cognitive latency) is caused by delays in decision making which can be attributed to perception, evaluation and response delays by managers. By significantly reducing information latency, we can create a living and breathing supply chain network which can more proactively respond and mitigate supply chain events throughout the network. We call this the Zero Latency Supply Chain.

We define Zero Latency Supply Chain (ZLSC) as an end-to-end (E2E) supply chain network that maximizes the value of and minimizes risks across supply chain processes by sensing and orchestrating supply chain events on a near zero latency basis across multiple stakeholders and trading partners. A ZLSC solution has 3 core components:

  1. A real-time collaboration framework to receive and process supply chain events
  2. A supply chain orchestration engine to orchestrate supply chain events with ecosystem partners
  3. Predictive insights to make business decisions and mitigate risks. 

For better transparency and visibility, a ZLSC solution can also incorporate a blockchain-based distributed ledger to log all events. As a best practice, a ZLSC solution should also offer 3 key functionalities: identify and resolve, simplify and automate, and track and trace real-time supply chain events:

Identify and resolve supply chain events

  • Provide better coordination and collaboration with E2E ecosystem partners for real-time decision making.
  • Identify supply chain exceptions proactively and allow supply chain managers to take necessary actions.
  • Facilitate in monitoring and managing product quality across the supply network.

Simplify and automate supply chain processes:

  • Automate supply chain processes for better efficiency.
  • Manage supply chain process exceptions proactively and help supply chain managers to resolve exceptions expeditiously.
  • Streamline problem resolution processes by predefined workflows, business rules and mitigation strategies.

Ensure compliance through comprehensive track and trace:

  • Ensure transparency and visibility across the E2E supply chain transactions.
  • Automate compliance and regulatory requirements for multiple geographies.
  • Reduce custom clearance time drastically and improve supply chain efficiency.

Despite the complexity of modern day supply chains, ZLSC provides a framework for you to quickly detect supply chain disruptions, so you can promptly respond to unplanned events, streamline and automate supply chain processes, and optimize your supply chain to meet the needs of your customers. 

Oracle is a leader in providing modern, cloud-based supply chain solutions to manufacturers around the world. We encourage you to learn more about our Zero Latency Supply Chain solution as you think about modernizing and improving the management of your end-to-end supply chain.