Build a Resilient Supplier Network with Supply Chain Master Data Management

Posted on 
October 29, 2020
Matthew Wright
Founder & CEO, Specright

If there's ever a time to fix glaring inefficiencies in the supply chain, it’s now. To be fair, COVID-19 did not create the supply chain issues like slow global lead times, product shortages, geopolitical restrictions, and logistics disruptions that many industries are currently experiencing. Rather, it further exposed and amplified poor sourcing strategies and distribution weaknesses that have been lurking within many companies for years. The main difference is that today’s supply chain vulnerabilities have affected global populations on a widespread scale during a critical time. Now, it’s not just supply chain partners who are demanding for issues to be fixed, but also the end-users that benefit from a resilient network.Here’s how supply chain master data management can play a role in building resilience and avoiding world-sized catastrophes:

What Does Supply Chain Resilience Look Like?

Resilience is defined as the ability to recover quickly from challenges or disruptions. When applied to the supply chain, a few characteristics emerge:

  • Agility in sourcing materials or goods
  • Visibility into current inventory levels, lead times, shipments, and sales
  • Accurate forecasting in consumer demand

True resilience applies these factors to all of a company’s locations, as well as the possibility of opening up new locations. With the disruptions revealed by COVID, companies who aim to create resilience should consider abandoning the concept of the lean supply chain in favor of a diverse network.

The Role of Supply Chain Master Data Management

When it comes to exposing vulnerabilities and inefficiencies, visibility into your entire supply network is key. Companies must understand their entire supply chain network, how it functions, and how to best leverage existing relationships and whether there’s a need for new partners. This is the function of supply chain master data management — to gain a single source of truth into supply operations.Though many companies use tools like ERP and CRM to view operations and collect data, these disparate systems remain limited in effectiveness and scope in terms of building resilience. Disconnected data can create discrepancies and poor data quality, which in turn can lead to ill-informed decisions. Building resilience into the supply chain requires companies to make quick, impactful decisions with confidence. With master data management, companies can break down data silos that prevent agile decision-making. A bird’s eye view of things like shipping times, inventory availability, and lead times means providing a better experience to suppliers, manufacturers, partners, and consumers alike.

How to Create a Resilient Supply Chain Strategy Moving Forward

Recent Gartner research shows that just 21% of companies surveyed believe they have a resilient supplier network. The report also reveals that more companies recognize the growing need for resilience, with more than half of respondents stating they will achieve this goal within the next 2-3 years. To get there, implementing supply chain master data management can provide the visibility required to make rapid shifts at critical times. Download our ebook to learn more about how Specright empowers organizations to take control of data harmonization across the entire enterprise.


Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright is the founder & CEO of Specright, the first cloud-based platform for Specification Management. Specright has been recognized by Fast Company’s prestigious Most Innovative Companies list, named a Gartner Cool Vendor, and as one of the Top Places to Work by the OC Register and Built in LA. Wright is also a published author and his book, “The Evolution of Products and Packaging,”was named to the Amazon Hot New Release List for Industrial Relations Business and has a five star rating. 

Prior to founding Specright, Wright spent more than 25 years in the packaging industry, holding leadership positions at International Paper, Temple Inland, and rightPAQ — a packaging company he co-founded. He has also been involved in leading multiple M&A deals in the packaging industry, currently sits on the MSU School of Packaging and Industry Advisory Board and previously served on the Packaging Advisory Board at Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo.

Explore More Topics

Get Started

With Specright’s Solution Suite, you can digitize, centralize, and link your specification data to drive efficiencies, intelligence, traceability, and collaboration within your organization and across your supply chain network.
Get Started