Untangling Technological Challenges

To accelerate the digital transformation of your Service Supply Chain and effectively connect planning with execution

Talk of digital transformation has pervaded our industry for over two decades. It’s a key value driver that helps organizations improve efficiency, drive visibility, lower execution costs, and proactively manage supply chain operations. No more firefighting! However, digital transformation and consolidation is still a target that leaders struggle to mark as complete and that makes IT professionals shudder. This comes as no surprise, given the scope and intricacies of undergoing an impactful digital transformation.

Enabling a fully digitized supply chain rests on several critical prerequisites. While pivotal, let’s set aside strategy, investment, and adoption to just look at the technological challenges.

Infrastructure Complexity Driving Incompatibility

Enterprise applications need to support complex supply chains, large-scale business operations, and unique process specifics. One-size-fits-all is not a viable model. Because of that, configurability of applications becomes a must. But while configurable applications help solve the challenge of adaptability, they create a new issue around cross-system integration, especially when you look at applications from different software providers. It no longer suffices to talk about connecting a warehouse management system to a particular ERP because the same ERP implementation for one business will broadly differ from another. Scaling cross-system integrations and aligning data models is an in-house nightmare IT project in its own right, but can you avoid it? An adaptable integration platform that can be configured to accommodate those specifics and complexities is necessary to move you closer to unified data handling.

Data Alignment Critical for Digital Transformation

However, system integration means heavy lifting when data models don’t match up. Customized, heterogeneous data models require a lot of work and transformations to align, but that alignment is critical to support digital transformation and the demands it brings for data collection, distribution, and speed. Those transformations are normally handled through traditional integration platforms that put the burden on in-house IT or external integration services. The key to enabling successful data synchronization across disparate systems is through a real-time message brokerage platform. Most importantly, one that supports the same level of configurability as the upstream systems. While it’s still an additional layer in an IT infrastructure, the implementation burden decreases when it supports non-invasive data pulls or flows and configurable transformations to translate between third-party systems. In a sense, you’re looking for a data Rosetta stone. Once in place, all applications in your ecosystem speak the same language.

A Single Source of Truth Is Possible

Today, the status quo across most businesses is that a single source of truth is still a future target. Based on the two key challenges outlined above that drive complexity and complications, many businesses still lack cross-system communications. As a result, when operations professionals check for the current state of an order, they get different versions of that status, depending on the system they check. Transportation partner updates may still be absent and show the shipment status as “in transit”; warehouse management may have a confirmation of receipt, while accounting still would not have the parts booked in the ledger. It could be that some delays are driven by a dependency on a third-party data push or even a manual, swivel-chair process for data transfers between systems. Where human input is required, there are frequent delays that are normally recognized post-mortem once the process flow has been completed in all systems. Delays on “same state across the board” can range from days to months depending on the size and complexity of the ecosystem.

That prolonged mismatch provides little insight into the state of inventory and cost distribution, and limits the business’s ability to manage issues proactively. A move to a proactive stance in inventory management and execution management is only possible with timely, reliable data.

Removing these technological barriers to progressing the digital transformation for your Service Supply Chain is possible. Here at Baxter Planning, we’ve been working to create a solution to each of the problems highlighted above: a way for your team to save countless hours trying to align and synchronize data models, monitor partner updates, manage customer escalations, and more.

Digital Transformation for the Service Supply Chain

LynX by Baxter Planning untangles the technological challenges that all organizations struggle with, giving you end-to-end visibility on your Service Supply Chain operations. LynX is a configurable platform that adapts to your IT infrastructure needs, datapoint availability, and processes. Using message queues and API-based, cross-system communication, LynX allows instantaneous data exchange, ensuring that the same order status is reflected throughout. This gives you the actual state of your supply chain and removes ambiguity from information mismatches, which allows you to focus on proactive process management rather than manual-effort, reactive firefighting.

Digital transformation helps move supply chains from reactive to predictive, saving time and money for the organization while keeping customers satisfied and the world running.

Milena Arsova

Milena Arsova
Director of Product Management

Milena has more than ten years of experience in IT roles. She has worked in banking, data science consulting, and service delivery. In the latest leg of her career journey, Milena led the transformation of service delivery teams. She created an organization that develops and deploys tech innovation both internally as well as for the clients of the support business of a Fortune 500 company.

At Baxter Planning, Milena is the product leader for LynX – the platform that helps you accelerate your digital transformation and move from planning to execution. She is also helping expand our product portfolio roadmap and build new capabilities.

Milena is part of our Barcelona office in Spain, but lives in Sofia, Bulgaria, with her Maine Coon Eris. She enjoys all things that make life beautiful – interior design, fashion, art, good wine, and shared experiences with friends.