Hmmm! We have a Supply Chain Control Tower, we see EVERYTHING. Yes, we made a list of every element in our supply chain. Now we find that not all the data feeds are Integrated!!!
It is not a monumental task to roam around a company and fill out a list of files available from existing systems to add to what is available in your Control Tower. The magic is to try and coordinate/integrate them! The technologies that create these files never seem to be the same and prove difficult to integrate. There might only be a similarity at a higher level. Sometimes many files are created and will require a lot of effort sorting through redundant data. These are sometimes termed “assemblies”.
Then you will find other data feeds that are created by related systems. Some of these systems are purchased and others have been created in-house. And yes, they depend on a higher-level integration effort of one kind or another. So why are they still not right and don’t fit into the perfect scheme of things?
- Different technologies
- Lots of redundant data
- Not cross-functional (obviously not because they were created in a “silo”)
The conclusion we are working towards is that every data element that we will be displaying in our control tower MUST be based on common definitions.
- Every component (business unit, warehouse, etc) in the supply chain has a unique identifier.
- Every data element (purchase order, invoice and on and on) has a unique definition all the way across the supply chain.