Skip to main content

Integration & IT Modernization

APIs Optimize Your Supply Chain

I recently sat down with Ruth Minj, General Manager, Supply Chain Industry Solutions, to discuss API Management and its applications to supply chain management. Read on to learn how excellence relies on API Management for execution of the omnichannel to deliver great customer experience.

supply chain image

What business challenges does Supply Chain face?

There are 3 core issues supply chain faces: 1.) Planning 2.) Execution 3.) Visibility

Planning and execution have a lot of mature systems, for instance JDE and SAP; but with visibility, the challenge of data exchange still remains. The nature of operations in any supply chain is dealing with multiple departments, partners, and third parties, where companies have to stitch together information from disparate enterprise and custom systems that don’t talk to each other. Simply put, there is no one platform to manage all these moving parts.

What technology can provide better visibility to the supply chain?

Mobile and portal solutions have made information more accessible for stakeholders to be proactive in handling exceptions and corrective actions relating to transaction management, inventory, and replenishment. APIs are also a central part of digital transformation working behind the scenes integrating information from various systems internally and externally. Trying to get answers on where a container shipment is, tracking where the snowstorm is coming from, finding out where a truck broke down, or capturing a proof of delivery (POD) on a mobile device and sending them to an accounts payable department to process invoices faster. These operations are all opportunities that having an API program in place would help resolve these lingering supply chain issues.

Uber and Amazon have been leading with these digital technologies to solve their logistics and supply chain challenges and consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed and loyal to these companies because this visibility ultimately is tied to customer experience, service, and satisfaction.

What is the overall impact of API Management for the supply chain?

Companies should be looking at the management of APIs as a holistic practice and putting into place a strategy to service both internal and external stakeholders. Employing API management will be critical to meeting the needs of suppliers and end users to stay competitive.

APIs allow greater access to information, increased visibility for better planning, and better execution

APIs are one piece to a much bigger data system and solution. For instance, they are the gateway to predictive analytics, where for instance information can be gathered to predict when a truck is going to break down before it happens. There is a lot of room for innovation and creativity in this space and for solving business problems. With added visibility, companies can come closer to a global consistency of standard, which is exactly what API Management aims to do.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.