Event Management: React, Anticipate, Act

Analyst Insight: The supply chain has traditionally been managed from a holistic, top-down perspective. As such, events have historically been treated as occurring outside of the supply chain cycle. – Jorge Garcia, Senior Analyst, Technology Evaluation Centers

Event Management: React, Anticipate, Act

Today, business and IT pressures are forcing organizations to have a global, real-time view of the chain, taking not just a top-down but also a bottom-up approach, ensuring organizational alignment. Technological advances are enabling businesses to react opportunistically to particular facts and to prevent risks from becoming issues.

Reshaping the Supply Chain Through Event Management

As with other enterprise business software areas, several important trends such as collaboration, mobility and an increasing number of vertical industry approaches for software design are reshaping the supply chain space. But as supply and demand needs increase in complexity, and the chain is being forced to integrate tightly with the other business software systems within an organization—for customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), etc.—the effect that each event has on an organization can be crucial, if managed correctly, for increasing efficiency and performance, enabling anticipation, and, of course, accelerating action and adaptation.

As the virtualization of business via the cloud and ever larger amounts of data affect the supply chain and other sectors, the ability to effectively manage events that are happening in parallel, in real time, is more important than ever. Apart from considering major technological and business trends, new supply chain initiatives need to rely on powerful event management systems that will enable organizations to do the following:

React, by working from the bottom up to collect large amounts of data being generated by events occurring in parallel, in real time, and with different priorities and formats. Events must be managed accordingly and treated individually. This enables instantaneous reaction, either to directly improve customer and supplier management efficiency or for analysis to efficiently react to operational needs such as supply shortages and achieve instant visibility for orders, shipments, documents, and others.

Anticipate, to increase the efficiency of the supply chain. By integrating event management systems with initiatives for predicting, planning and forecasting to detect patterns, organizations can reduce inventories and fulfillment times to an optimal state and accurately forecast future scenarios.

Act, by gathering from various sources the necessary information for the right decision-making process at all levels: operational, tactical and strategic. An event management system should enable organizations to act upon specific unplanned events and collecting the necessary intelligence to act upon short-term tactical strategies, such as market demand changes, aligning them to the general strategy of an organization.  

These capabilities, along with collaboration and the incorporation of mobile and other technologies, can arm organizations with the tools to gain more visibility into the complete supply chain process, increase the ability of an organization to react to these events, and make the appropriate adjustments or plan and deploy improved processes, policies, tactics and strategies.

Improved customer service, execution and planning and reinforced collaboration are just some of the benefits of supply chain event management systems for an organization. 

The Outlook

In 2014, expect to see an increasing number of event management initiatives, at least in a very basic form or in initial stages, with the aim of broadening business visibility and increasing the ability of a supply chain to react to, anticipate, and act on the market. Along with collaboration and Big Data, supply event management systems will represent a logical solution for many companies in need of best-in-class supply chain models.