Home' MHD Supply Chain Solutions : MHD Spt-Oct 2014 Contents 38
he global marketplace is transforming the
way Australian manufacturers and dis-
tributors need to operate to remain viable
in today’s volatile, fast-changing markets. It
certainly isn’t easy to thrive in this current envi-
ronment, but supply chain performance is the
linchpin for how successfully they can compete.
The reality in recent years, primarily due
to the strong Australian dollar, globalisation,
international competition – particularly with Asia
competing so fiercely for manufacturing oppor-
tunities –, changing consumer behaviour and
massive growth in online trading, organisations
in Australia are being pressured to rethink their
supply chain processes and systems.
In response, supply chains have matured
over the years to become faster and more
interconnected, but they’ve also grown more
complex. More suppliers mean more points of
integration across supply chain infrastructures.
It’s also not uncommon for a distributor to have
to manage orders and payments in different cur-
rencies, tax rates and government regulations,
as well as fulfil and ship products across inter-
national borders. The development of lean man-
ufacturing and complex global supply chains
have left businesses increasingly exposed to
disruption, while adding cost and risk.
To meet these requirements, businesses
are often forced to piece together multiple
systems and processes that, unfortunately,
obscure visibility and insight, such as separate
systems for order management, CRM, inventory
management, accounting, shipping and more.
They conflict with objectives to increase agility,
reduce cost and risk in the supply chain and
drive innovation through collaboration internally
and with external partners.
Manufacturers and distributors desperately
need to integrate and automate all of the
business processes and data to support
expansion, and to ensure cost-effective and
Sydney-based BioPak is a great example of
a company that has recognised this and has
made some critical changes to its business
systems to support future growth. The company
designs, produces and distributes plant-based,
environmentally friendly packaging solutions
across Australia and New Zealand, shipping
out 25 to 30 million total items per month.
BioPak’s 176% year-on-year growth for the past
four years led to a FY2012 turnover of $11.2
million, and a ranking as the eighth-fastest
growing company in the BRW Fast 100 in 2012.
This rapid growth strained BioPak’s multiple
on-premise software systems and Excel spread-
sheets used to run its business, which limited
visibility into company financial performance
and led to high levels of manual processing. It
needed to evolve to support its future expansion
plans both regionally and globally.
It’s time for manufacturers and distributors to
think in terms of an integrated, demand-driven
environment that makes possible new levels of
flexibility and transparency on a global scale.
This is an environment that extends across
all processes and stakeholders, both internal
and external, utilising a unified data set that
improves demand sensing and responsiveness,
while minimising guesswork.
Cloud changes the equation
Cloud-based business management software
is a key distinguishing characteristic of an
integrated, demand-driven environment. By
transitioning people, processes and partners to
the cloud, manufacturers and distributors are
achieving the key objectives of a modern supply
chain, rather than facing the disparate data,
high costs and rigidity of traditional software and
servers. Businesses gain:
Greater visibility. Limited visibility is a key
foil in efforts to increase supply chain efficiency,
assess supplier performance, rationalise spend
and ensure optimal inventory levels across
channels. By modernising systems around a
more unified architecture that makes on-demand
visibility into real-time data possible, manufactur-
ers and distributors are better positioned to sense
and respond to customer demands and synchro-
nise operations with a global supplier base.
THE LINCHPIN FOR COMPETING IN TODAY’S VOLATILE MARKET
MHD SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS — SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER 2014
MHD Sep-Oct 2014 34-55.indd 38
5/09/2014 3:16 pm
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