The obstacles for supply chains are many. In addition to traditional business interruptions, such as fluctuations in supply and demand, global manufacturers and distributors are also prone to less predictable challenges. Natural disasters, political unrest and governmental regulations can force a supply chain to make a change at a moment's notice.
Many partners within a company's supply chain can only be managed to the extent of contractual agreements and the strength of business relationships, according to Manufacturing Business Technology. Even the more direct connections of a company's operations may be difficult to observe if the supply chain is wide-reaching and encompasses a number of geographical locations and management systems.
Technology Links Up Different Parts of the Supply Chain
According to MBT, a collaborative business network creates a single source of information about the health of a company's supply chain. Technology that connects the warehouse floor to suppliers and the enterprise can help predict and compensate for sudden interruptions.
One form of technology that improves operations is advanced data collection. Automated and mobile collection of information related to supply chain operations provide a more clear picture of product flow through the company. These systems can improve inventory control, employee training, safety and supplier relations.