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Apps accelerate processes in the supply chain

Marcel te Lindert | supply chain magazine | 15 october 2015

PA’s BI and analytics expert, Bas Rouhof, has been quoted in an article in Supply Chain Magazine on the use of apps in the supply chain.

The article explains how the introduction of digital apps in the supply chain could improve coordination, enhance processes and accelerate the supply chains themselves. The possibilities of using apps in the supply chain are almost endless, but the main advantage is the possibility to use several options a mobile device has to offer.

Bas draws on an app PA designed for global pharmaceutical, AstraZeneca, as an example: This app provides insight into the entire chain, such as lead times and stock levels at various links. It goes beyond just the tracking and tracing of a consignment. The app provides access to data from all AstraZeneca enterprise resource planning systems from external parties and it gives transparency throughout the chain in an intuitive and visual manner.

“The app also shows which production facilities supply to each other, what their stock levels are and what the potential consequences are of low stock levels for the next links in the chain.” 

Bas comments that the advantage of an app is the intuitive user interface: “The information we provide through this app should be used in every layer of the organisation, even on the production floor, which is exactly why the mobile aspect is so important. A supervisor on the production floor must be able to immediately consult the app when necessary. Team leaders use the app, for instance, at the start of the day to anticipate a delay in specific commodities.”

Bas says the app has resulted in significant reductions in lead times and inventory levels at AstraZeneca and because employees have a better insight they also take greater responsibility for issues that are identified.

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