7 minute read

We’re continuing our Supply Chain 101 series this week to focus on an emerging concept in the supply chain industry: MESCBN, or Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain Business Networks.

In our previous Supply Chain 101 articles about the supply ecosystem, the essential role of external partners such as contract packagers/co-packers, and the need for real-time supply ecosystem visibility and dynamic partner collaboration, we defined the various partners within a brand manufacturer’s supply chain that work together to bring you the products you use every day.

In later blog posts, we stressed the importance of collaboration between brands and their upstream partners, as well as how faster and more accurate collaboration, enabled by real-time data visibility, can yield greater operational efficiency across a brand’s upstream supply ecosystem.

All of these previous discussions have laid the groundwork to further dive into the topic of multi-enterprise collaboration within supply ecosystem, and why MESCBN platforms are needed now more than ever.

Challenges to Supply Chain Collaboration

 

From our experience, we understand that enterprises face significant challenges in bringing products to market in today’s environment. We hear it everywhere: brand manufacturers face intense competition, growing demand variability, the need for inventory proliferation amid capacity constraints, greater compliance regulations, ever-changing customer expectations and more.

As more of these Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands rely on outsourced contract manufacturers and co-packer/contract packagers, and other supply ecosystem partners, for strategic fulfillment expertise and nimbler product innovation cycles, they are continually wrestling with what we’ve called the supply ecosystem “collaboration puzzle”—the need to manage these myriad challenges while consistently upholding high standards of product quality and delivery.

As we established in the previous article, the primary obstacle to enabling dynamic collaboration within a supply ecosystem is the lack of shared real-time data visibility between partners.

This lack of data visibility is the foremost challenge to establishing and maintaining true collaboration in a brand’s upstream supply ecosystem—that is, working together with its partners and suppliers using shared real-time data to collaborate dynamically.

At Nulogy, we believe that brands and their supply ecosystem partners can address and overcome this challenge by digitizing their supply ecosystem through a Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain Business Network (MESCBN) platform.

Defining MESCBN

 

When we introduce the topic of Multi-Enterprise Supply Chain Business Networks, we are looking at a fundamental shift in the way enterprises view themselves and their trading partners. Oftentimes, they continue to see their supply chain as a linear progression of product fulfillment, and their partners as successive steps along that path.

FMCG Supply Chain Hierarchy

The reality, however, is that every trading partner within an ecosystem is interconnected. With the exponential proliferation of complexity within manufacturing supply chains, an ecosystem can consist of layers upon layers of many different types of partners: a brand’s partner may have additional partners, a supplier can have its own suppliers, and so on.

This shift from “me to we” is at the heart of multi-enterprise collaboration: siloed data and processes are no longer sufficient to keep up with the speed of today’s market, including the challenges and opportunities it presents.

FMCG companies need to collaborate more effectively with their contract manufacturing and packaging suppliers to better withstand future demand and supply variability. According to recent Gartner research, “deeper collaborative relationships with key customers and suppliers’ was the top-ranked strategy to build resilience, with 77% currently investing and 18% planning to do so in the next two years.” (Gartner, The Journey to Effective Supplier Collaboration)

To ensure long-term sustainability and growth, it is imperative to adopt a more collaborative approach to managing the external supply chain.

To this end, Gartner defines multi-enterprise supply chain business networks as follows:

"MESCBNs support a community of trading partners that need to work and communicate/collaborate on business processes that extend across multiple enterprises, with an end-to-end/shared focus. Such networks are owned and managed by third-party software vendors, and provide their community of buyers, sellers and partners with multi-enterprise functionality, services and security.

"[They are] cohesive technology platforms that support a community of trading partners that need to coordinate and execute on business processes that extend across multiple enterprises.”

In other words, MESCBN platforms are purpose-built to support true “end-to-end” supply chain visibility.

Simply put, supply chain visibility and collaboration platform providers such as Nulogy offer FMCG brands and their community of supply partners with multi-enterprise functionality, services and security. The capabilities offered by a MESCBN platform support the shift from an organization’s enterprise-centric mindset to a multi-enterprise, outside-in approach to network collaboration.

Key capabilities of MESCBN Platforms include:

  • Near real-time data visibility
  • Plug & play network connectivity
  • Easy partner onboarding / offboarding
  • Multi-tier and multi-type partner ecosystem
  • Centralized information / data hub
  • Universal cross-domain apps
  • Core supply chain execution apps
  • Embedded intelligence (artificial intelligence)
  • Intelligent workflow / management by exception
  • In-app, dynamic collaboration
  • Collaborative analytics, reporting and performance

Nulogy’s Multi-Enterprise Platform

 

Nulogy was recently recognized in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for MESCBNs as one of only a dozen recommended vendors. In addition, Gartner recognized Nulogy as the only notable vendor for the contract manufacturing and co-packing Industry listed in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for MESCBNs. It’s a major win for Nulogy’s customers, as our CEO, Jason Tham, recently explained.

What qualifies Nulogy for these accolades?

The Nulogy purpose-built MESCBN platform gives brands, and their supply ecosystem partners such as co-packers, contract manufacturers, 3PL, raw materials and packaging suppliers the digital tools needed to enable seamless collaboration through real-time data visibility. By digitizing shop floor processes, Nulogy gives enterprises a window of data visibility beyond their four walls, allowing them to plan and collaborate more quickly and effectively through enhanced and collaborative order planning and execution, resulting in improved go-to-market timelines and quality, while minimizing waste and reducing costs.

Impact of an MESCBN Platform on Supply Ecosystems

The Nulogy Platform is deployed in more than two-thirds of the supply ecosystems for the fast moving consumer goods companies listed in the Gartner 2022 Top 25 Global Supply Chains, including four out of five Gartner Supply Chain Masters. With an MESCBN Platform, enterprises gain rich operational data, including order status, in-bound and on-hand material availability, production status and production capacity availability, which can be shared with trading partners.

The MESCBN platform delivers near real-time synchronized supply ecosystem data, including numeric and visual metrics, that lead to operational excellence and customer satisfaction.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for MESCBN

I hope you were able to gain some insight into the multi-enterprise approach to supply chain collaboration.

To learn more about the Nulogy MESCBN platform that is purpose built to light up the supply ecosystem, download the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multienterprise Supply Chain Business Networks.

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Written By
hank-canitz
PUBLISHED
Nov 30, 2022

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