Aligning Finance and the Supply Chain in the Extended Enterprise with a Supply Chain Control Tower for CFOs

The Modern Enterprise: A Complex, Connected Ecosystem

Today, an enterprise is much more than its four walls. The modern organization comprises a complex ecosystem of customers, partners, employees, and connected devices that extends well beyond its global footprint. In fact, most of the value and data a company needs to function effectively lies outside its four walls.

As a result of that expansion in scope, the traditional, centralized enterprise decision-making paradigm is losing hold. Successful companies today take a horizontal approach that breaks down traditional silos, streamlines processes, and enables efficient, customer-driven collaboration across the entire system.

In this environment, the role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has broadened and changed.

While data from connections in the extended enterprise may be readily available, using it to free up capital, make smart investment decisions, and improve the accuracy of budget and cash flow forecasts remains challenging.

Today’s finance leaders require more detailed visibility into the supply chain at an earlier stage. Increasing volatility in supply chain markets affects overall financial and market performance. In addition, brands face increased media scrutiny and regulatory criteria as supply chains become global and consumers more informed. CFOs must balance conflicting demands as they make reinvestment decisions that facilitate ethical, sustainable growth while maintaining a disciplined drive for operational efficiency and short-term shareholder value.

The Failure of ERP in the Supply Chain

To meet these challenges, many finance leaders turn to enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, which promise visibility into the supply chain, but are limited to the four walls of the enterprise. They get reports from business unit leaders that include extended guess-work in forecasts and planning; and they rely on supply chain leaders for information about what’s happening in the extended enterprise, but often that information is outdated. Those systems and processes lack real-time visibility into the supply chain and the kind of fresh, verifiable data that a CFO needs to maintain a tight grip on costs and working capital. Centered as they are on the enterprise, ERP systems fail to achieve the goal of comprehensive and accurate views into the supply chain and the extended business.

A Shift to a Network Perspective

One Network’s Real Time Value Network is not an enterprise solution, it’s a digital commerce network. It naturally and natively syncs all departments and trading partners to a real-time, single version of the truth. Multiple end-to-end business flows can take place over the network at every stage of the value chain, without limitation.

Because it stands on a network, with access to data from all companies in the extended supply chain, a One Network control tower delivers a timely, accurate and complete view of the enterprise supply chain.

With a One Network control tower, CFOs can isolate cash flow in real time, along with inventory levels and turnover, and see how that affects working capital and the cost of working capital. They can compare current data to prior annual data, to capture improvements over time. The One Network platform allows business leaders (internal and external) to work together seamlessly, orchestrating continuously optimized planning decisions across the extended enterprise as business happens.

A lot underlies One Network’s patented supply chain network platform that enables it to deliver dramatic improvements in customer service levels, while reducing operating costs. For example, a patented permissions framework, intelligent autonomous agents that autonomously optimize and execute processes and self-correct to continuously match supply to demand. It also embraces legacy systems to get the most from your existing IT investments, while empowering the enterprise with powerful new technologies like machine learning and blockchain. This means your company is always at the forefront of innovation and gaining the maximum leverage from your technology.

Benefits for the CFO

Intelligent risk management. By combining network visibility, smart technology, and consistent, comprehensive data, One Network helps finance departments and supply chain managers work together to understand where pockets of risk reside. When you can see clearly where fluctuating demand or volatile raw material prices affect the business, you can manage and respond quickly and intelligently.

Reduced working capital requirements and a leaner supply chain. Financial planners in retail distribution and manufacturing have a large portion of their capital tied up in inventory. With clear view of the entire supply chain, they can free up capital when inventory builds up or when sales fall below anticipated projections.

Clear investment strategy indicators. One Network’s control tower delivers real-time operational data and clear insight into the supply chain. Armed with that information, the CFO can more easily understand where to direct the company’s investment strategy and how to optimize it to free up working capital.

Broad, accurate views of the enterprise. Finance leaders are charged with aligning measurement tools and KPIs with company direction, to make sure they drive appropriate behaviors throughout the organization. That task is made much more effective when the CFO has clear insight into the complex workings of the extended enterprise.

A unified organization. Just as One Network connects external trading partners to align them toward a unified goal, it can also help connect and align divisions within the enterprise itself. In this way, the entire organization can work together to grow revenue, improve margins, address risk, and deliver exceptional customer service.

Cost and resource advantages. Gaining insight into supply chain issues and operational efficiency allows CFOs to create more shareholder value by identifying opportunities for cost reduction and prioritizing them. This significantly reduces operating costs and boosts shareholder value. In addition, traditional ERP solutions require extended implementation timelines and significant IT resources. One Network’s cloud platform offers fast implementation, ongoing upgrades and support, which meansmuch more value for your dollar.

Immediate value, wherever you start. In today’s data-driven world, the company leaders who can see, understand, and respond to constantly changing market conditions quickly and effectively, win. Are you ready to start winning?