5 minute read

I grew up in the 1970s during the heyday of muscle cars. The ‘60s and ‘70s produced an arms race of sorts between automobile manufacturers who tried to keep up with customer demand for more power and tire smoking torque. The number of new models introduced included the iconic Dodge Charger, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda, and Pontiac Firebird—to name a few. Just the thought of getting behind the wheel of one of these powerful machines not only drove demand but also influenced everything from music to engineering.

In fact, my love for muscle cars and interest in working on them influenced my decision to pursue an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. I also decided to pursue an MBA in Supply Chain Management from Michigan State University partially to be close to the automotive industry. So, it is no accident that I am a fan of muscle cars.

One way to significantly increase the horsepower of a car engine is through a supercharger. By compressing air that is fed directly into an engine’s combustion chamber, a supercharger can turn an otherwise mundane vehicle into a speed demon. Muscle cars like the Canadian-built Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger have supercharged models sitting at the very top of their performance lineups. These vehicles produce close to 800 horsepower and over 700 lb.-ft. of torque which propels the 4,000-lb. vehicle from 0 to 60 in 2.1 seconds, eating up a ¼-mile in 9.54 seconds and topping out at a speed over 200 mph. Imagine the whiplash!

Supply chain practitioners, like auto enthusiasts, are always looking for opportunities to increase the power and speed of their operations. In fact, I believe that speed is the biggest growth opportunity for supply chains today. Significantly increasing the speed of sensing, analyzing, and responding to supply chain disruptions and opportunities may be the best way to gain a strategic advantage in today’s hyper-paced business world. Speed is literally a game changer: Speed Wins The Race.

Unfortunately, multi-company supply chains are still largely disconnected and use manually intensive methods like email, phone calls, and spreadsheets to collaborate and share information. Consider that it still takes, on average, more than 120 days to bring a new product to market. That’s roughly a four-month cycle for every new product. Responding to disruptions or opportunities through disconnected multi-company supply chains usually results in a slow and painstaking “fire drill” due to lack of near real-time collaboration and data. Failing to compress your “time to market” and/or “time to respond” likely means a business will be displaced or replaced by a competitor who is faster and more agile.

Based on our experience at Nulogy, your C-suite is looking to its supply chain leaders for increased speed and agility to meet customer demands. Several weeks ago during a Zoom call, a COO from a leading CPG manufacturing company repeatedly stated how his business is focused on sensing and quickly responding to supply chain changes. Another recent call with a leader from a global food brand focused on the need for collaboration, visibility, and rapid response from their contract manufacturing partners. Based on everything that has happened over the past year, it is not hard to understand this focus. Leaders have found out the hard way that disconnected supply chains lead to failure. You need near real-time communication and data to feed an extended digital twin. Monthly, weekly, or even daily updates will not support the speed of business today,when the norm is instant access to everything and two-hour delivery windows by drones.

Weren’t the previous investments in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) solutions supposed to provide end-to-end visibility and digital twin capabilities? What supply chain leaders are realizing is that although these previous investments have laid the groundwork, they fall short in enabling the growing reliance on outsourced manufacturing and packaging. Because of the multi-company nature of many CPG supply chains, these single-company ERP and APS solutions are unable to provide the capabilities needed to efficiently and effectively run a network of external contract suppliers.

What’s needed now is a platform that has been designed and built for the multi-company contract supplier supply chain. What’s needed is a platform that can enable near real-time collaboration and visibility to external network operational data and eliminate manual processes and streamline multi-company decision making. What’s needed is a contract supplier platform that ensures every ecosystem partner has access to all the supply chain information they need.

Enter Nulogy. Nulogy accelerates supply chain response by enabling deep collaboration and two-way visibility between a CPG company and its external packagers and manufacturers. Like an automobile supercharger, the Nulogy platform supercharges the contract supplier supply chain by enabling the two-way flow of near real-time demand, inventory, capacity, production planning, quality and purchase information. This information builds on capabilities provided by ERP and APS solutions by extending visibility outside of the CPG’s operations and into their contract suppliers’ facilities. Access to this near real-time information extends a CPG’s digital twin modeling capabilities so that an external facility can be treated the same way as an internal facility. CPGs are able to not only promise delivery based on available finished goods and what’s on order but also based on raw material and production capabilities allocated to them by their outsourced suppliers.

A recent study by PwC shows that enhanced supply chain visibility can lead to increased revenues of 8% and decreased costs of 7%. Nulogy has found that near real-time collaboration and data visibility can help reduce total spend within an external supply chain network by 4-5% while also increasing On-Time In-Full (OTIF) performance and increasing revenue.

In addition, a recent study by Bain Research shows that there is no time like the present to invest in supply chain collaboration and visibility enhancements. Using data from the last recession, Bain was able to show that the highest performing companies both during and long after the recession had made improvement investments during the recession. They didn’t wait for the economy to get better before making improvements. The time is now.

Nulogy has been laser focused on improving the relationship between consumer brands and the contract packaging and manufacturing supply chain for almost two decades. Nulogy is the only solution provider that provides value to both sides of the contract supplier supply chain.

Contact us to learn how we can help you supercharge your supply chain.

Hank Canitz
Written By
Apr 08, 2021

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