Single Version of the Truth


The accurate and timely sharing of strategy, planning, and execution information across the end-to-end supply chain has become critical. The elimination of trade barriers, and the move to massive outsourcing, especially to low-cost labor countries, has created globally dispersed “virtual corporations,” often with hundreds of intertwined companies involved in bringing each product to market. To survive and thrive, it appears that enterprises will have no choice but to “open the vault” and begin standardizing and sharing data. The new business reality requires synchronizing on a “single version of the truth” (SVoT) across multiple enterprises.


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To find out about current attitudes, plans, and actual sharing of data across multiple tiers of the supply chain, ChainLink Research surveyed 218 companies and interviewed senior supply chain executives from 30 firms across a diverse range of industries including manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and service providers (e.g. 3PLs). Learn how different technologies support different aspects of SVoT: ERP/EAI, EDI, CPFR, Project Collaboration Systems, Exchanges and Networked Applications, GDS, RFID and the EPCglobal Network.

Our findings include:

  • The trend to higher velocity and precision drives a need for SVoT — All industries are driving to tighter synchronization with trading partners, smaller safety stocks, and narrowing delivery windows. All of this requires more accurate, timely, synchronized sharing of information.
  • The trend from vertical integration to many tiers drives a need for SVoT — As supply chains continue to be fragmented into more and more specialized pieces, it becomes even more critical to get multiple companies aligned to deliver for the ultimate end customer.
  • Business Events, not just transactions, are critical — More universal adoption of RFID is creating a groundswell of interest in capturing the events on the ground that happen between the transactions, and sharing these across the supply chain. This enables a “physical-reality-based” SVoT to be shared.
  • SVoT means different things to different companies — The concept of sharing a Single Version of the Truth is almost cosmic in proportion. We found that companies zeroed in on those aspects of SVoT that were core to their business.
  • The desire for SVoT is high, but there are many barriers — We found a universal, strong desire for SVoT, but little actual adoption.

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