Capgemini is a consulting firm that has implemented supply chain visibility software to perform its functions (Capgemini, 2012). The functional layer includes 6 variables such as sourcing & procurenent, planning & forecasting, global trade management, workflow management, intelligence and cost control. It has rolled out the maturity framework to compare the systems and impose a better focus on the internal and external operations. It strongly insists that the needs vary from one sector to the other. Within the FMCG market, companies are likely to benefit from inventory location functionalities, to enable improved inventory visibility in their supply chain. Companies within the high-tech and/ or automotive sector have to comply with strict quality and safety guidelines for their products. Quality/safety management functionalities (e.g. real-time status reports on quality/safety issues) could therefore be required.
The visibility structure follows horizontal collaboration between competitors and supply chain partners. Consequently, there is a vertical collaboration between suppliers and customers (Capgemini, 2012). The internal collaboration is supposed to integrate all the 4 aspects. The visibility software allows the firm to use portals to collaborate and establish interface with rest of the systems. In today’s scenario, Capgemini observes that collaboration supports sharing of operational information. With high collaboration, it has a possibility to achieve collaboration focus at all levels. The future of visibility software is found to add value to collaboration at operational and tactical stages.
The results of the report established by Capgemini Consulting indicate the following trends:
– Visibility has an ability to take the company beyond its boundaries
– Supply chain requires better information sharing and high collaboration
– Firms are less likely to conduct what – if – analysis in the future, as they shift towards agile planning tools (Capgemini, 2012)
– Companies are open to third party support as long as the supply chain is consistent.
Firms are exposed to unprecedented challenges that affect the business climate and list a number of uncertainties. It is essential to accelerate the firms to achieve visibility through various ways such as software, updated transportation and service management. As soon as the visibility is achieved, it paves way for service excellence. This maximizes the returns to the customers and the firm. The result of these two steps is the achievement of operational flexibility. The operational flexibility promotes better performance and continuous development with thorough understanding of needs. (Blanchard, 2010)