The increasing complexity of supply chains is a key industry issue, according to ProAct, a storage integrator and cloud services enabler.

Supply chain complexity is developing in a multitude of ways, including the increasing use of multi-modal supply chains, the need to deal with specifics, the use of different modes and service providers, personalisation of models, new technologies, and the demand from clients for unique or bespoke options. 

Manufacturers increasingly want to manage their supply chains in an integrated fashion, want more control over operations, have confidence in delivery dates, and be able to accurately predict costs across services. All this needs to be achieved in the most efficient way, with the least amount of damage to parts as possible. 

More specifically, according to ProAct, 3PLs – traditional and asset-based companies – have low margins and are looking for new ways to increase revenue, whereas 4PLs and LLPs have a higher value proposition, but are lacking in the way of supporting technology.  

Dealing with complexity
With the huge number of variations in the supply chain available, and the different goals and challenges highlighted by different company types, the ability to deal with increasing levels of complexity is key. ProAct, as a cloud services enabler, says it has the answer. With a strong focus on finished vehicle logistics and a strength in automotive supply chain management, the company has worked with most of the big OEMs, including GM, BMW, Ford, Chrysler, and VW, for the past 20 years. 

In terms of managing that key issue of complexity, ProAct’s product can predict capacity, manage effective collaboration, integrate multiple yard operations, balance push/pull, give users full control over prediction of cost, and across the entire chain, measure KPI efficiently, offer an accurate and reliable promise date, and continually re-evaluate chains, to see where improvements can be made.  

ProAct’s product, which is a single solution, covers everything from the supply chain process execution, to rating, billing, and invoicing, all accessed through a web browser. Users can define functionality, and have whatever level of control that they want.  

The issue surrounding cost is particularly important in emerging markets such as China and India, but Paul Nurse, chief executive and founding director at ProAct says that the company’s product is viable for all locations, as they offer a varied cost model suitable for anywhere. 

Nurse said it is important that everything works on a two-way exchange, between the company, and its clients, enabling everyone involved to stay ahead of the market.  If a customer wants to specify enhancements, they can drive the requirements into the system. 

The product originally started as an R&D project, and has grown considerably since. Supply chain processes are not enforced, and manufacturers input what they have, and what they want to achieve. The correct processes can be applied for individual vehicles, allowing for agility and flexibility within the supply chain.