Why Supply Chain Visibility is Making the New Ford F-150 EV Affordable

Posted on 
August 5, 2021
Laura Foti
CMO, Specright

The market for electric vehicles (EV) has rapidly expanded over the last decade, making it an opportunity for many car companies. But despite the ever-increasing popularization of electric vehicles, retail prices remain high.

That is until Ford’s new electric F-150 truck.Ford has established a new strategy to tackle cost, while still providing premium, battery-powered personal and commercial vehicles. With affordable price points and models, the goal is to make these vehicles available to a wider audience. And Ford knows this audience well. Aside from an ideal price point Ford has also noted other appealing features of the car such as its ability to travel 230 miles on full charge and also tow up to 10,000 pounds - important features for most truck owners.

But how did they do it? I’d hate to believe that it’s just because other electric vehicle companies are massively ripping off their customers. The secret is supply chain visibility.

Read on to learn how Ford put their supply chain tech stack to work, cutting major costs, increasing affordability and customer satisfaction.

How Supply Chain Visibility Can Benefit Your Business and Increase Functionality

Ford committed to making affordable EV vehicles, a decision driven (no pun intended) completely by their supply chain data.Ford’s EV truck is a game changer, and it wouldn't have been possible without real time, data-backed decisions that enable both innovation and meet customer demands. But how do companies track critical cost accruing activities like inventory levels and sourcing? And how can companies ensure they are constantly optimizing decision making?

The answer is data connectivity and visibility within supply chain networks.

What is Supply Chain Visibility?

Companies lacking supply chain visibility are bound to face inefficiencies. Supply chain visibility gives teams the ability to see their entire supply chain ecosystem and create strategic optimizations based on that real-time data. Connecting these insights makes finding gaps in supply chains clear and easy to address.

For example, without visibility into the supply chain, it would be impossible to accurately predict the ROI of a product. You need data from packaging, manufacturing, product development, sales, and more for that level of forecasting. With a digitized supply chain, all of the data needed to do that is available at the touch of a button. Other companies are using supply chain visibility for initiatives metrics and reporting, sustainability, procurement, better supply chain planning, and traceability, to name a few.

Supply chain visibility requires stakeholders to centralize data, and, especially in Ford’s case, doing so ultimately benefits the end customer.

The Role of Master Data Management in Supply Chain Visibility

Supply chain visibility is the first step to cutting costs and driving efficiencies.

Data then must be centralized to initiate true supply chain management and put the newly acquired visibility to good use. This is where the magic happens.

This is what we call master data management, i.e, you have supply chain visibility, that data is organized into master data, then master data is used to manage and optimize the supply chain, end-to-end.

And that’s exactly what Ford did. Ford leveraged supply chain visibility by noticing that they were ordering some of the exact same parts for many different models, including the new F-150 EV. They then employed their master data set by creating a bulk order for these parts, enabling major discounts, more sustainable and consolidated shipping, and ultimately, the ability to slash the end product’s price. Simply carrying out supply chain operations alone is no longer enough — companies must understand the data moving through their entire supply chain to improve the product journey, from supplier to customer.

Master data is the heart of global supply chains and when it is collected and analyzed right it can leverage company growth. Take it from Ford — making the shift away from outdated supply chain management to real-time visibility and advanced analytics is the only way to beat competitors.

How Specright is Helping Businesses Rethink Their Approach to Supply Chain Visibility

Linear supply chains are long gone. With hundreds of different companies competing to take up market share, supply chains have graduated to supply networks. And this increased complexity can be overwhelming.

Supply chain ecosystems thrive due to their connectivity; connectivity that can be easily crushed if businesses don’t know how to manage it. Companies that still rely on their ERP or PLM for supply chain visibility are losing their competitive edge. They need a purpose built platform, designed specifically to manage specs, increase collaboration, and handle supply chain disruptions.

Companies need Specification Data Management (SDM).

Spec management is the control tower for all things supply chain. Digitize & manage all your specification data – from raw materials, ingredients, and formulas, to packaging and finished goods – and collaborate across teams and suppliers with Specright’s SDM platform.To learn more about how to utilize Specright’s SDM software to improve supply chain visibility, collaboration, and meet customer demand, download our ebook today.


Laura Foti

Laura leads marketing and investor relations at Specright. Prior to Specright, she led advertising and analytics at GE Digital, GE’s Industrial Internet software business. Before that, she was a consultant at Deloitte Digital working in enterprise digital transformation, where she helped clients design and deploy eCommerce experiences, develop revenue-driving mobile apps, and reimagine their global digital marketing strategy. Laura was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for marketing and advertising and Brand Innovators 40 Under 40 and 100 Women to Watch lists. She graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She resides in Newport Beach, CA.

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