One of the greatest responsibilities the supply chain manager can have is selecting the right technology partner. The platitude that “we live in the information age” hides the fact that many companies still don’t understand the various architectural approaches and can select the appropriate technology for their needs.
The supply chain market is awash with tech companies and lots of market buzz. However, peering behind the curtain is tough and, frankly, requires a skilled eye. One can develop such an eye, but it requires spending time and exercising due diligence to make an informed choice.
In supply chain networks, not all players’ underlying architecture works the same. So although some companies have large asset bases (lots of software modules and lots of network members), it does not follow that your problem will be solved by their inventory of software.
That is why, at ChainLink, we do not arbitrarily rate providers. Rather, we provide our subscribers a differentiated view of what these players do and how they do it. Before you put a huge chunk of your capital—and, most importantly, your business success—in the hands of one of these players, take the time to understand the appropriate solution for your problem.
This is Part Two of a two-part report. In Part One, we defined some of the nuanced approaches of supply chain networks. There are many varieties of networks. And yes, they play some role in the supply chain, but there are huge differences between these networks, which we will describe later. The technology has evolved over the decades from EDI to the current cloud multi-function platform that also blends many of the emerging capabilities such as geospatial complex event processing, AI/Machine Learning, Blockchain, and IoT. These are discussed in the context of supply chain requirements.
In this Part Two we focus on highlighting some of the different functional and industry sectors and solutions and some of the major networks and multi-party supply-chain solutions. You may not have been exposed to many of these companies, but many play a vital role in your global chains. Your partners or service providers may be relying on them and thus, directly or indirectly, you are using the data they create. There is such a diversity in supply chain service providers that knowing the right network category or segment is quite important in making the shortlist for your consideration.