Business Continuity and Mobility on the Cloud as a Risk Mitigation Strategy
You are getting ready to place an order when your boss stops by and asks “where are the goods for xyz”. You quickly think of displaying the data in your ERP system, but more than likely the data in this system does not show where the goods are physically. It is a representation of where they should be based on an order plan and receiving/inspection taking action and recording when the goods arrive by acknowledging them in the system.
Your boss is concerned with a flood in the location where inventory is stored and that the ordered goods could be in route. The last time you spoke with supplier, they had a backlog. Did they ship the goods?
If you are properly trained and yet have concerns on how to answer his/her question, then you may not have a robust business continuity plan built into your processes and system(s). This reactive mode could have financial and customer service commitment repercussion.
Assess Your Business Continuity Risk Level
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery planning require risk mitigation strategies. Here are three points to consider when evaluating your risk mitigation strategy.
- Describe Work in a Process Map. Use Process Mapping to define your current state. Start at a high level (30K view) process map, then drill down to a 500-foot level. The objective is for all the key persons involved in the processes to describe and map the process, then later identify the pain points or gaps.
Here are just a few issues to consider when developing a process map of the workflows.
- Supplier late shipment
- Cargo theft
- Natural disaster
- Man-made disruption (war)
- Political disruption (i.e. embargoed goods)
- Supplier Communication. How do you obtain information on the goods from your supplier
- Follow up with a phone call when they ship?
- Send emails back and forth until they answer with a ship date?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you are at higher level of Business Continuity risk. The ideal state is your suppliers “actions” transactions are integrated with your system, in a secure manner. By having real time visibility you can ensure where the goods are in the delivery process.
- Data Accessibility. Once disaster strikes the accuracy of the data becomes a concern. Standalone servers are a higher risk if not properly backed up. Businesses are now realizing the optimum solution is to store your data on a secure cloud-based server. Many companies are migrating to the cloud to ensure data security, reduce IT resource costs and infrastructure costs.
When a business has to ask “Where are the Goods”, it demonstrates lack of an efficient methodology to quickly take action and resolve customer concerns. The traditional approach to these problems used to require substantial infrastructure and IT investments, in addition to large-scale change management, further compounded by long implementation cycles with uncertain ROI. In today’s cloud / mobile-driven era, however, these challenges are relatively easily addressed.
Connixt’s cloud-driven pre-built apps, for example, address the core problem of real-time awareness of the current status of goods in the supply chain. Connixt iMarq™ – the Field Services app – collects asset information and provides geo-mapping data providing real-time view of assets.
Connixt’s Supply Chain industry app – iPrime™ – provides visibility of the inventory process and can integrate to your supplier’s transactions. This Connixt integration to your ERP system and supplier transactions provides 24/7 visibility.
Authored by: Connie Gunther