Enable a Modern Supply-Chain Agility with B2B Integration By Sampa Choudhuri May 22, 2019 When most company leaders think about their data warehouse and the systems connected to it, they typically think about their internal IT systems. For companies with outsourced supply chains, real time integration with their suppliers’ systems and data warehouse can enable better insights, better security and more supply-chain agility. Very few companies today are vertically integrated to manage their end-to-end supply chain internally. Instead, companies identify their best activities (and those that can add the most value) and leverage an ecosystem of suppliers to provide the upstream and downstream activities needed to complete the supply chain and deliver finished goods and services to consumers. Supply-chain networks enable greater levels of specialization, economies of scale and flexibility to make changes quickly; however, managing your company’s virtual supply chain can be difficult. B2B integration with suppliers and the controlled flow of data through the supply-chain network is essential to ensure timely workflows, optimized inventory and controlled costs. Having the right set of data management tools to manage your supply-chain agility can make these activities much easier. Orchestrating the flow of data Data and signals transmitted back and forth among trading partners drive modern digital supply chains. These include demand forecasts, transaction requests, inventory levels, fulfillment status, quality issues, disruptions and many other data points. Orchestrating the flow of these signals in an organized way is essential to ensure consistent performance of your end-to-end supply chain. Ambiguity, latency and manual data entry, custom coding can all lead to misunderstandings, longer cycle times and product quality issues that your company must avoid. Implementing a consistent set of B2B integrations with suppliers ensures consistency of data flow and that each party has the timely information they need to make decisions and take actions to support your company’s goals. Supply-chain agility enabled through improved data-integration capabilities is truly a win-win for both you and your partners. Controlling authorized use Because data is so critical in modern supply chains, it also poses a significant risk of being misused. The same signals that alert your suppliers to changes in demand or information about supply disruptions can also be used by your competitors to harm your company. Controlling the authorized use of your supply-chain data is often achieved using the same set of capabilities that enable supply-chain performance. Structured B2B integrations between IT systems support secure and controlled transmission of data only to the intended recipients. It also enables you to monitor who is accessing your data to identify abnormal behavior before it escalates into a high-impact data breach. Enabling real-time analytics As supply chains become more complex, the potential for disruption increases. B2B integration of supplier data enables your company to analyze your operational activities in real-time to identify quality issues, fulfillment delays and cost issues that could impact your entire supply chain. These insights can enable you to act quickly to increase or decrease the speed of the flow of goods and services, switch to secondary suppliers or other actions to keep your supply chain running smoothly. Managing change in your supplier network If you want your manufacturing operations to be agile when responding to opportunities and threats in your supply chain, then you need the flexibility to make changes in your supplier network without bringing the entire workflow to a stop. By managing the flow of data among your suppliers through B2B integrations and leveraging your data warehouse, you can add and remove suppliers easily without disrupting the data shared with others in your supply-chain network. Your Business to business integration platform is a powerful tool that is essential to enabling your modern supply chain. Actian DataConnect provides the tools you need to connect external partners’ systems to your data warehouse and facilitate the controlled sharing of data throughout your supply network. To learn more, visit www.actian.com/dataconnect. About Sampa Choudhuri Sampa is the Director of Product Marketing for Actian focusing on messaging, sales enablement and go-to market activities for Data Integration product line. She comes from an enterprise technology background, having worked in software, hardware, networking and security for companies like Cisco, Sun Microsystems and Symantec. Her experience ranges from product and partner marketing to market analysis and sales enablement. She has a keen interest in new technologies in the space. With an MBA from Santa Clara University, she brings a balanced acumen of technical and marketing skills to understand and position solutions to better help customers in today’s ever-changing complex IT landscape. When she is not working, she enjoys traveling, hiking, photography and spending time with her family.