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Supply Chain Monitoring
with the
Connected Chain Manager (CCM)

Supply Chain Monitoring with the Connected Chain Manager

In a globalized world, companies are confronted with a continuously increasing number of customers, suppliers and product variants. As a result, the complexity and requirements posed to supply chain management (SCM) are increasing. As an innovative, web-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, valantic’s Connected Chain Manager (CCM) builds bridges by easily connecting all partners within the entire supply chain and connects the often heterogeneously structured system landscapes. In doing so, a multitude of relevant information is exchanged, which offers advantages to all parties involved both in critical situations and in regular operations: improved early detection of bottlenecks, fast and aligned coordination in case of a crisis as well as improved planning reliability and efficiency gains ultimately increase the competitiveness of the entire supply chain. Learn more about modern supply chain monitoring with the Connected Chain Manager from valantic.

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Challenges in Supply Chain Monitoring

Table of contents

Challenges in Supply Chain Monitoring

In a globalized world, companies are confronted with a continuously increasing number of customers, suppliers and product variants. As a result, the complexity and requirements posed to supply chain management (SCM) are increasing. To maintain competitiveness and profitability, companies are highly dependent on a holistic SCM and the mastery of the associated complexity – internally, across company boundaries and along entire value chains.

If, for example, a supply bottleneck occurs somewhere in the world, the entire supply chain can temporarily come to a standstill or even collapse. Even many minor incidents can bring sand into the gears of supply chains: a traffic jam on the highway, a communication error between plants or a lengthy machine breakdown. Wherever companies are heavily dependent on the smooth running of all processes, there is even the threat of production downtimes and losses of millions in the event of an emergency. IT-supported transparency within the company, let alone across company boundaries to upstream stages of the supply chain, is often inadequate.

As an innovative, web-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform, valantic’s Connected Chain Manager (CCM) builds bridges by easily connecting all partners within the entire supply chain and connects the often heterogeneously structured system landscapes. In doing so, a multitude of relevant information is exchanged, which offers advantages to all parties involved both in critical situations and in regular operations: improved early detection of bottlenecks, fast and aligned coordination in case of a crisis as well as improved planning reliability and efficiency gains ultimately increase the competitiveness of the entire supply chain.

Advantages for supply chain managers at a glance

Instantly ready for takeoff

No software installation: For the application of the Connected Chain Manager an Internet connection and browser are sufficient.

Multi-Level Transparency

The integrated user role concept allows tracking of materials on the supplier level (n-tier).

Data protection

All planning data is saved according to strict data protection directives in Europe.

Easy usability

Plain processes and clear visualizations make the operation of the Connected Chain Managers easy.

Attractive pricing model

You only pay what you are actually using: The payment of the Connected Chain Manager is a pure pay-per-use concept.

Flexible reporting

User-definable reports make the Connected Chain Manager adaptable to your specific needs.

Globalization requires overview in supply chain management

Globalization and ever-increasing customer requirements put pressure on companies to deliver faster and faster while reducing costs for logistics, storage and transport. The resulting increased complexity in one’s own company and along entire supply chains not only leads to growing intransparency, but also entails coordination efforts and loss of control. This contradicts core objectives of Supply Chain Management (SCM), which aims for supply chains being more efficient, flexible and reactive, while at the same time both costs and efforts should be made transparent and systematically reduced.

In order to achieve these goals nevertheless, innovative and tailor-made IT solutions are required to bring together all relevant information. These solutions must not only focus on the own organization, but on the entire supply chain including all stakeholders – and if possible in real time. Not least for these reasons, the trend is moving more and more towards cloud solutions or web-based Software-as-a-Service platforms such as valantic’s Connected Chain Manager (CCM).

Immediate reaction in exceptional situations

Many heterogeneous, monolithic IT systems, including SCM and ERP systems, are usually in use along the value chains. In exceptional cases, such as machine failures, immediate notifications and a clear flow of information are essential. This is the only way to quickly analyze and evaluate the existing situation in order to initiate and coordinate suitable countermeasures. What happens if the affected companies and their systems do not communicate with each other at all or only in a very delayed manner?

In such cases, the affected stages of the supply chain are often notified about a potentially critical situation far too late. As a result, attempts are hectically made, usually bilaterally, to obtain the most necessary information by telephone and e-mail in order to initiate emergency measures and to identify a responsible contact person. Unfortunately, a coordinated, efficient counter-reaction usually falls by the wayside.

How to achieve
supply chain transparency

Direct questions: Do you know your entire supply chain and all the neuralgic processes? Can you easily identify where capacity bottlenecks are imminent and where relevant stocks are kept? Do you know at which points potentials and efficiency gains could be realized?

The first challenge in creating transparency along the value chain is to consolidate all processes, data and figures within your own company in a clear and always up-to-date picture with the help of suitable IT systems. In a second step, especially against the background of increasingly interlinked and globally positioned supply chains, information should be provided, shared and analyzed with all relevant partners using suitable systems – only in this way a holistic view can be guaranteed.

Connected Chain Manager (CCM) sheds light on supply chains

There are only a few systems that, like valantic’s Connected Chain Manager (CCM), are able to systematically combine all relevant data. This can be done manually via upload (xlsx- or csv-format) or via an automated connection via web interfaces (REST-APIs). In both ways, the structures and material flow in supply chains can be made transparent and analyzed in real time.

As a web-based solution, the CCM can be implemented very quickly and provides a reliable analysis of the status quo. Therefore, the software is ideally suited to achieve coordination and solution finding in the value chain in critical supply situations. Joint measures include additional extra tours, temporary shortage management and the deliberate shifting of orders.

Also in regular operations, the CCM shows its strengths when it comes to transparency. Regardless of whether in your own company or along the supply chain, capacity bottlenecks, overstocks and demand fluctuations can be detected. Paired with suitable key figures and as a result of the continuous monitoring, early warnings of shortcomings and potentials for efficiency increases are identified. But which key figures are the right ones here?

Meaningful and up-to-date key figures in monitoring

After consolidating all data, the structured monitoring of your supply chains with the help of suitable key figures let you keep an overview at all times. In this way, bottlenecks, exceptions and risks can be identified at an early stage. Bad surprises and enormous costs (e.g. due to missing parts or extra tours) can thus be avoided. Especially in critical situations, but also during regular operation, communication is based on a common view and a single point of truth. Dashboards show the current situation in real time at a glance.

valantic’s Connected Chain Manager (CCM) offers the right key figures and reports for almost every application. Cross-tier stock ranges, capacitive utilization, supply bottlenecks and much more. You have the choice: meaningful standard reports? Or a maximum of flexibility? Whatever you decide on: The common data base of the supply chain partners enables real-time visualization and updating of all key figures and thus always a holistic view of the current situation, future developments and analyses of the past. In this way, you gradually increase the competitiveness and performance of your entire supply chain.

Exemplary use case: Monitoring of incoming supply streams

The availability of materials in the right quantities and on time is an absolute basic requirement for stable production and logistics processes. A special focus should be placed on external procurement, since here natural organizational, systemic and geographical barriers across company boundaries can impede a continuous flow of information and communication. Demand postponements, delivery failures and capacity bottlenecks often have a direct impact on operational production planning with very short warning times, disrupt processes and in turn jeopardize the fulfillment of customer orders.

With the Connected Chain Manager (CCM) it is easy to ‘invite’ direct suppliers and to map incoming material flows and supply streams in a monitoring down to material number level. Do the stock ranges of coverage fall below a defined threshold value? Is a transit not shipped on time and is its timely arrival therefore at risk? Does the supplier already keep sufficient stock to guarantee the delivery due in three days? All these questions can be answered quickly with the available key figures and, if required, displayed clearly on a dashboard. This increases the reliability of the material supply, makes any bottlenecks visible at an early stage and – not to be underestimated – improves communication and coordination through shared data statuses and views.

Planning and control lay the foundation for optimal decisions

The creation of cross-company transparency through effective and highly networked monitoring in the supply chain forms a necessary and resilient basis for integrated planning and thus for making optimal decisions. In this way, efficiency potentials can be raised jointly, and the performance of the entire supply chain can be increased step by step.

Integrated planning and control of your supply chain with the Connected Chain Manager (CCM) guarantees you smooth processes, on-time and on-budget fulfillment of customer requirements, greater efficiency and the potential to significantly reduce your costs. In this context, the CCM supports you both in the tactical/operational control of your production as well as in the strategic planning of contingents and capacities. Once customers and suppliers have been integrated, immediate insights into all relevant processes within the supply chain can be shared across all stages. In this way you protect yourself and your partners from wrong or suboptimal decisions and avoidable costs due to inadequate information flows. The definition, coordination and implementation of measures is supported by corresponding collaboration modules directly in the CCM.

FAQ: Your supply chain and the Connected Chain Manager (CCM)

Der Connected Chain Manager als effektive Lösung für das Supply Chain Monitoring hat Ihr Interesse geweckt? In unseren Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) erfahren Sie unter anderem, wie Sie mit dem CCM Ihre Supply-Chain-Management-Prozesse im Detail optimieren, Kosten und Aufwände senken und wie schnell die offene Service-Plattform einsetzbar ist.

What goals do we want to achieve with the Connected Chain Manager?

Basically, those responsible for supply chain management pursue two goals: On the one hand, they want to make their supply chain increasingly flexible, reactive, resilient and effective. On the other hand, they want to make costs and efforts as transparent as possible in order to systematically reduce them and make supply chains more efficient. Both goals depend on tailor-made, innovative IT solutions such as CCM, which focuses not only on the company’s own organization but on the entire supply chain.

How do I create transparency for customers, suppliers and the entire supply chain?

For a high level of transparency in the supply chain, users should be able to provide their systems and relevant information quickly and easily on a comprehensive platform. Notification and integration of customers and suppliers must also be very easy and should not involve high costs. As an innovative web platform, the CCM offers the necessary flexibility to enable partners to selectively release their data – thus, in addition to shared transparency, data security is guaranteed at all times.

What are the benefits of a fully transparent supply chain?

In a transparent supply chain, exceptions and problems can be identified and evaluated immediately using suitable key figures. As soon as, for example, a transit fails to arrive or a machine breaks down at a certain point in the supply chain, the resulting effects can be made visible. Through early, joint definition and coordination of countermeasures (e.g. rescheduling of orders or production lots), serious consequences for the supply situation can in many cases even be completely avoided.

How do I improve existing processes in my supply chain?

In order to improve the procedures and processes in the supply chain, these must first be known in detail. This also includes the interlinkages and dependencies across company boundaries. This transparency can be achieved through structured data exchange at all levels. Using suitable key figures, joint measures and planning approaches, potentials can then be identified and raised step by step.

How do I reduce the costs and efforts in my supply chain?

End-to-end transparency and a holistic view of the supply chain are the key to reduce expenses at various points. A number of cost drivers can be quantified in this way: Overstocks and shortfalls, avoidable extra tours and incorrect deliveries, capacity reserves and bottlenecks. The special feature of using the Connected Chain Manager (CCM) is that the focus does not have to be solely on your company. In many cases, savings potential can only be identified by taking a holistic view of the supply chain, even across company boundaries.

Which key figures are suitable for an effective monitoring of my supply chain?

The key figures best suited for effective supply chain monitoring always depend on the focus and the respective application case. The key figures that have proven to be effective for monitoring the supply chain as a whole and its individual parts include stock range (cumulated across the supply chain), upper/lower stock limits, and corridors for capacities. This allows both bottlenecks and efficiency potential to be reliably identified.

For which central fields of application is the Connected Chain Manager (CCM) a suitable solution?

The Connected Chain Manager can be used in many different ways and addresses three core application fields:

  1. Complete supply chain transparency with intuitive workflows and easy integration of all partners in the supply chain.
  2. Monitoring of supply chains with flexible reporting modules: both you as well as your suppliers and customers have an overview of all relevant key figures, evaluations are available in tabular and graphical form.
  3. The integrated planning functionalities enable not only the control of the entire supply chain but also the internal planning taking into account all available resources.

How quickly can the Connected Chain Manager (CCM) be set up and what support do you receive?

The Connected Chain Manager (CCM) uses all the advantages of a cloud and web-based application. A central advantage is the fast setup: It usually takes only a few hours from independent online registration to filling the system with your own data, from integrating the first customers and suppliers to creating initial analyses. Our support team will assist you with technical problems. If required, we will also prepare an individual offer for comprehensive support from our supply chain experts.

Is there the possibility of an automated connection of my ERP or other systems?

The Connected Chain Monitor (CCM) offers the possibility to connect your systems via open WebAPIs. Of course, this also applies to your customers and suppliers: Here too, data can be integrated automatically. If required, our experts will be happy to provide support and help you set up initial interfaces and data transfer as well as setting up dashboards.

I already have many IT systems in use. Why should I additionally use the Connected Chain Manager (CCM)?

With our CCM you and your partners link all relevant supply chains, processes and material flows. The CCM does not replace your existing systems, but can communicate with them via WebAPIs if required and offers a valuable addition: a common view of the entire supply chain. This can also generate added value within your company: Information can be communicated, processes visualized and meaningful reports created.

Where is my data stored and what security standards are met?

Your data and that of your partners is stored exclusively in the Microsoft Azure Cloud on European servers in compliance with the highest security standards. Data protection is a top priority for Microsoft Cloud Services. In addition, all communications are encrypted using SSL (SHA-2 with 2048-bit RSA).

What are the system requirements for the use of CCM?

As a web-based solution, our Connected Chain Manager is largely independent of the hardware you use. All you need is your PC or notebook with a common, up-to-date browser. For the automated connection of data from your ERP system, an appropriate software module can be installed (for SAP R/3 or S/4HANA, for example, a Remote Function Call (RFC) module).

Six steps lead to a successful go-live

The Connected Chain Manager (CCM) can be set up independently online within a short time. This allows you to immediately integrate first supply chain partners, upload initial data and create quick reports.

Online registration

Create your own account with your organization in a few minutes online and free of charge to a certain extent.

Create structures

Create initial supply chain structures (sites, materials, customers, suppliers, supply relations) quickly and graphically supported.

Integrate partners

Your customers and suppliers can be invited and integrated very easily via the graphical interface.

Upload transactional data

Mass-upload data (e.g., demands, stocks) or integrate them automatically via WebAPI in a next step.

Select key figures

From a number of key figures and reports, you select those that are suitable for your application field.

Monitoring and planning

Use the CCM as a SaaS solution for your monitoring and planning needs in the supply chain and benefit from flexible scaling and pricing.

Test the Connected Chain Manager for your Supply Chain Monitoring

We would like to introduce the Connected Chain Manager to you personally.

Image of Markus Schedel, Product Manager at valantic

Markus Schedel

Markus Schedel
Product Manager, valantic Supply Chain Excellence