Digital supply chain transformation is reaching its adolescence and, as parents of teenagers often counsel younger parents struggling with mischievous toddlers, “small children may pose small problems, but just wait; bigger children create bigger problems!”  For complex and increasingly automated supply chain management operations, the burgeoning volume of mission-critical data siloed in disparate systems (often across multiple legacy ERPs) is growing into a “big problem” as supply chain digitization reaches maturity.  How can such complex supply chains like those of the Aerospace & Defense industry manage it all while simultaneously shrinking cycle time, achieving just-in-time delivery and protecting profitability?

The answer lies in breaking down the barriers between pools of ERP and other supply chain data, and effectively uniting segmented data to a common standard across the entire organization.  For vertically-integrated industries with acute supply chain and product complexities like those typified by the A&D industry, there is enormous pressure to keep up with the compressed supply chain management practices driven by advanced demand & supply planning.  Saddled with a patchwork of aging ERPs and other technologies, A&D supply chain leaders are acutely aware of the challenges they face in effectively managing large scale data requirements.  Yet, many are still slow to act.

According to a recent Forbes magazine article, better than 9 in 10 supply chain leaders polled as part of a Hackett Group study identified digital transformation as a critical success factor, yet only 4 in 10 report having a strategy for achieving the goal.  Conversely, only 44% are actively enhancing their ERP systems’ functionality and integration to achieve greater visibility across their supply chains, while 94% say collaboration platforms are their highest priority technology initiative over the next 2 to 3 years.

In the meantime, lagging adopters of supply chain digitization risk strained commercial relationships with both suppliers and customers whose expectations are moving in tandem with the pace of innovation in this area.

Techcrunch zeroes in on one of the most promising paths forward for A&D organizations and others with complex supply chains seeking to effectively achieve supply chain digitization.  In a recent article titled, “The Next Integration Evolution — Blockchain”, Techcrunch’s Bilgin Ibryam characterizes the impediments to achieving best practices for data integration.   He correctly identifies the outmoded mechanisms for information access across different systems with the following two primary examples:

  • The common database approach in use for system integration within organizations
  • File sharing methods for cross-organization data exchange using universal protocols like FTP and file sharing for the exchange of application data running across machines and operating systems

Ibryam rightly concludes, “both approaches are non-real-time, batch-based integrations with limitations around scalability and reliability.”  In short, the impact of fragmented data management is reflected in hampered visibility into critical supply chain metrics for inventory management, on-time delivery and is a drag on the velocity of throughput across the entire supply chain.  Unifying the data reliably and securely across complex operations is a daunting task!

This is why organizations in Aerospace & Defense and other industries with complex supply chain challenges are engaging experts like Authenticiti.  A trust engine uniting ERP data to a common standard, Authenticiti leverages blockchain technology to achieve real-time visibility, increased efficiency and faster payment for aerospace manufacturers. Find out how Authenticiti helps boost forecast accuracy, identify demand patterns, enhance product tracking traceability, transportation performance and analysis across the entire enterprise.

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