Supply chain is defined as “the sequence of processes involved in the production and distribution of a commodity”. Seems straightforward at first, and to be fair there are some businesses and manufacturers that do have a rather simple ‘womb to tomb’ supply chain. Smaller enterprises with uncomplicated payroll, no massive catalog of products, and simple direct to consumer delivery of services and goods are to be envied for their simplicity. The fact is, simplicity is a good thing. But how does a medium to large size company achieve operational simplicity in an organization that has many moving parts and different departments that need to share data across multiple systems. The answer is to reimagine what a “supply chain” is and more importantly what it can do.
The term supply chain is quickly becoming outdated, and if we take a minute to break it down the reason becomes glaringly clear. At its base level a chain is a series of metal links welded together. Some chains are bigger than others, some are stronger, all of them need to be flexible. Supply chains are similar in that they are an amalgamation of moving parts and pieces “fused” together to create a consistent flow of information that drives process and operation forward. The flexibility of a supply chain is what determines its performance over time, and a break in the chain is usually catastrophic. Much like a physical chain, a supply chain can have weak links and stress points. If two systems need to communicate a new chain is forged and spot welded into place, creating a new stress point. The chain flexes (software update) and the spot weld fails, costing time and money to reattach it. Business and technology move so fast now, that those chain breaks happen more and more frequently. Let’s be honest - the chain is getting old, rusty, and obsolete.
It’s time to rethink the process. Instead of a supply chain, what about a supply web? A huge, interconnected network of data pathways with a hub right in the middle where you control it all. This is the new supply chain, and it is accomplished with system integration and complete data control through intuitive user portals and dashboards. The question becomes, how does your enterprise achieve the optimal supply web? By now, most in the technology or manufacturing sectors have heard about iPaaS and iSaaS solutions. At the Gartner AADI Summit, industry analysts outlined two types of cloud integration platforms - Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) and Integration Software as a Service (iSaaS). iPaaS is a cloud-based integration platform supporting the construction of complex and highly customized integrations from scratch. Essentially, iPaaS is an actual interfaced platform that allows integration development, building and deployment between cloud and on-premises applications. The effective use of an iPaaS requires knowledgeable developers on staff at an organization to build, deploy, and maintain the connectivity between all your enterprise systems. Additionally, due to the highly customizable nature of the platform and resource skill requirements for usage, this solution is often out of reach for most small to mid-size businesses.
In contrast to this high tier integration solution, iSaaS is a cloud-based application (rather than a platform) that enables a DIY approach by citizen integrators (average users). Citizen integrators build new data flows by plugging in and turning on pre-built integrations rather than building them from scratch. This self-service approach is getting quite popular as the entire manufacturing industry, companies big and small, are being pushed toward greater data visibility both internally and customer facing. The drawback to this solution, although more cost effective than the platform option, is the LACK of flexibility and customization.
So, what’s the solution? How do you choose between the cost-effective and simple features of iSaaS or the flexibility and customization capabilities of iPaaS? Maybe you don’t have to. Meet Lumino, the iSaas+ solution. Combining the Plug and Play simplicity of an iSaaS solution with the flexibility and customization potential of an iPaaS platform.
Lumino allows for seamless scalability for any size organization or supply chain complexity. It allows users to build their own custom data modification rules like an iPaaS, while offering the ease and accessibility of prewritten plug and play connectors to industry leading software. In addition, it provides the central hub to your supply web, by pulling all the data from your various systems, portals, and locations into one central repository, for data analysis dashboard reports, and smart alerts.
Lumino optimizes supply chain execution by making the two most important aspects of supply chain management, information and communication, easier and more efficient. Do you foresee a break in your supply chain? Would it be helpful to have real time information shared across all systems? Lumino alerts you to red flags and gives you the information you need to reroute products, reassign employees, change workstations, increase, or decrease supplier orders or take any other agile action without a costly break in the chain. Our first of its kind iSaaS+ solution allows users to create custom data rules, transforming your entire chain into a network of productivity - allowing complete visibility, ultra-clear communication, and informed decision making.
Our team at Ariox has studied and seen firsthand the effects of a dysfunctional supply chain, and we decided to do something about it. Lumino, our innovative iSaaS+ solution could be the answer to your rusty supply chain. For more information on how our solution can help take your enterprise to the next level, check out our Lumino Product page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.