Achieving End-to-End Visibility in Your Outsourced Supply Chain
To run today’s supply chains requires a new paradigm, one that extends what ERP has done for the company within its four walls to the new reality of the multi-enterprise supply chain. This new paradigm is called a Supply Chain Operating Network.
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Companies are increasingly relying on a global network of suppliers, contract manufacturers, logistics providers, and other partners to design, assemble, ship, sell, and repair their products. The trend to outsource activities that used to be performed in-house started in the high tech industry a few decades ago. Dell is probably the most well-known example of this transformation. Other industries followed suit, attracted by both the ability to focus on their core competencies and the cost benefits of using specialized outsourcing partners. Today, for example, most semiconductor companies are fabless, i.e., they design and market their chips but the manufacturing is performed in billion dollar “fabs” located in Asia. The same happened in the consumer goods industry: rand owners rely on co-packers, not only for small series where building dedicated plants is not cost-effective, but increasingly for mainstream packaging and other manufacturing operations. It is a similar story in other industries as well. There is hardly a large company today that is not leveraging the benefits of outsourcing to some degree for manufacturing, assembly, logistics, or other operations.
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