Two men are standing in a factory building checking something on a laptop that one of the men is holding in his arms.

The end of the classic supply chain

Supply Chain 4.0 is the goal for companies

Paths out of insecurity

The figures from the Hermes Barometer 2018 were surprising after all: about a year ago, the authors of the study asked 200 logistics decision-makers in Germany about trends in Supply Chain Management (SCM). Only eight percent said they had already digitalized their supply chain. A further 19 percent had at least started the transformation process. At the same time, over 80 percent of the logistics experts emphasized how important the right SCM is for cost reduction and lean management. The survey also revealed uncertainty as to which technology would be useful for their company and how digitalization should be implemented at all. 

It is well known that many companies hesitate to put their hands on their supply chain management. For example, because production processes seem difficult to change or the technical integration into the corporate IT is considered too complex. There are already solutions available that promise a major competitive advantage and increase efficiency. T-Systems helps its customers with its expertise and optimized, networked, and customized products for the entire supply chain. Delaying the transformation or the adoption of new technologies or digitalization could turn out to be one thing above all else: a costly mistake

From the value chain to the value network

Businessman with tablet in hand stands looking over machine

Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT) have a massive impact on companies in terms of organization, cooperation, and product manufacturing. IT is changing classic supply chains as a driver and fixed component of goods and commodities. This is where the right supply chain management is needed, or rather: making the change to digital. If the processes in production and logistics are completely digitalized, the value chain will very quickly change into a value network in all processes. Self-regulating production environments, automated logistics processes, direct user communication, and active customer loyalty are the processes that can be initiated with a new SCM and can be decisive in standing against the competition. 

More than just data exchange

Car worker in production

As a rule, no supply chain is the same as any other across all companies. But once they work together, companies can rely on IT platforms. And there is often more at stake here than just the exchange of data and information. An example from the automotive industry: manufacturers and suppliers want to optimize their processes jointly and comprehensively in such a way that the new technologies provide the necessary transparency to control production networked and in real time. The reason for this is often the worldwide distribution of production sites which must be coordinated with each other. T-Systems has supported many such projects with its supply chain management specialists and knows what companies need: to align production with customer requirements flexibly and efficiently. 

Intelligent integration, rapid establishment

What is the goal of every supply chain manager? It is certain to include safeguarding global production in material supply, reducing inventories, and on-time delivery all over the world. If the aim is to change the traditional and "well-established" structures in the supply chain, the demands are also relatively clear: the new processes must be established quickly and integrated intelligently – with the lowest possible error rate. Mistakes cost money, especially in supply chain management. T-Systems has therefore developed a model that meets the needs of its customers: the rollout-capable template covers 80 to 90 percent of all relevant processes immediately and thus reduces the sources of error in the exchange of information between existing supply networks. For example, T-Systems is using the Digital Navigator from Detecon for the transformation in the direction of integrated SCM. It supports managers and experts in developing their supply chain design strategy. If you follow this compass, you are always up to date regarding the digitalization of your company. In addition, the Business Connect Services (BCS) integration platform from T-Systems enables the rapid exchange of company data with business partners – standardized, quickly, and securely. The whole process is fully automatic, happens in real time, and is independent of the message format. Manual interventions are also not planned. The use of the BCS platform offers immense advantages for companies as they do not have to invest heavily in hardware or software. The entire data exchange runs centrally via an interface and also reduces the complexity of the supply chain. All this ultimately saves time and operating costs. In addition, this T-Systems service is available to your company all year round and around the clock, including customer support. These solutions for realigning supply chain management will be critical to the success of your business.

Let’s get in touch

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Smart SCM: your advantages

There are three things on your to-do list for transformed value creation:

1. Focus on customers and products

The weighting in supply chain management is shifting noticeably. Therefore, make sure you adjust product development and production engineering accordingly.

2. Identify trends and make decisions more quickly

Lot Size One is just one example of the trends that have emerged. When such developments emerge, strategic decisions must be made promptly as to how and whether the company could benefit from them. 

3. Integrate and standardize

In order to intervene in the production chain sustainably and efficiently, optimum integration into existing structures is required. T-Systems can help. 

Open doors

A hand types in a PIN on a smartphone

Just one example for the optimization of Supply Chain Management (SCM) in a company: part of the supply chain has always been the delivery or collection of goods from the warehouse. The truck comes, unloads, reloads, and drives off again. But there are a lot of steps in between: access to the warehouse must be secured at arrival times and, of course, it should be clear what is arriving or to be taken. The whole process consumes time and manpower. But what if this could be optimized? A key could digitally open doors. For example, suppliers receive a "key" on their smartphone that gives them access to the necessary rooms in the warehouse or company. Advantage: no staff is required on the part of the company to be present in the warehouse and to facilitate access. Delivery times can also be reduced in this way and are more flexible, for example at night. This saves costs and meets the fast demands of the competition. In order to prevent misuse, every movement in the warehouse is also electronically recorded and transparently made available. Especially handy: almost every normal door can be equipped with the digital key system. And T-Systems has plenty of these options for optimizing SCM so that your company can adjust exactly the link in the supply chain that will bring the greatest benefit. 

How it works in practice

Let the flowers do the talking: the new supply chain management in the gardening business. Read more in T-Systems’ BEST PRACTICE magazine