How Can We Increase Visibility into the Supply Chain?

Robert Bobby Ball at 2018 CII Conference

Atlas RFID Solutions’ COO, Robert Ball, speaks at the 2018 CII Annual Conference.

Integrating the Supply Chain into Materials Planning & Work Packaging

How can we increase visibility into the supply chain? At the 2018 CII Annual Conference, Atlas RFID Solutions’ Chief Operating Officer, Bobby Ball, and his counterparts on CII Research Team 344 focused on identifying how to increase visibility into the extended resource and materials supply chain to improve project certainty and success. Their goal was to improve the integration of the supply chain in materials planning and work packaging.

How Does Material Readiness Impact the Project Schedule?

Depending on the project, 40–50% of the project’s cost is attributable to materials, and materials impact or control 80% of the project schedule! Siloed stakeholders impede visibility of the complete supply chain, and disparate systems and asymmetric data – coupled with misaligned incentives – further compound that visibility.

Figure: Percentage of All Stakeholders Rating Visibility as Less than Adequate by Supply Chain Stage (n=170)

Results of the Research

The team discovered that visibility decreases significantly the further the observer is from the source of the supply node within the supply chain. This lack of visibility creates uncertainty, which is calculated and treated as risk. The end result is that projects create large buffers in order to avoid material and resource waiting times. The team also identified 10 key supply chain activities that project teams require for effective and timely decision making, and 76 items of visibility that enable the project team to make those key decisions.

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