Supply Chain
Business Network

Achieve Deep Visibility into B2B Transaction
Lifecycles and Partner Performance

Connectivity to automate B2B document exchanges and AI-powered visibility into B2B transaction lifecycles

The Supply Chain Visibility Imperative

Visibility has become a top priority of supply chain leaders across every industry and geography. There are many good reasons for this:

  • Supply chains have become more global and outsourced
  • Customers and business partners want and need more real-time visibility
  • Regulations require traceability
  • Urgent need to better manage risk
  • Taking advantage of new opportunities through emerging technologies
  • Opportunities to drive business advantages and competitive differentiation

Visibility is the foundation for value generation in supply chains.  It enables improved issue resolution, collaboration, simulation, scenario planning, as well as the application of artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive and advanced analytics solutions within the enterprise and across the supply chain.

But many companies face barriers to achieving visibility across their supply chains, including technology limitations, aging infrastructure, siloed applications, lack of connectivity and integration with partners, and data quality issues.

Because supply chain transactions are complex—often involving many data exchanges across various internal and external systems—lack of visibility can be costly on many levels.  Tracking down transaction status, finding information, and answering questions for business users, partners, and customers often require a substantial amount of time, effort, and specialized skill.  When there is a problem with a transaction along the way, the issue may not be recognized until it is too late: orders are missed, shipments are late, and customers are lost.

How IBM Watson Supply Chain Solutions Can Help

Our partner, IBM, has invested heavily in developing technology to help customers improve visibility across their supply chains, from a high-level KPI view of the business down to the detailed transaction level.

Their Watson Supply Chain solutions enable customers to develop a more intelligent, demand-sensitive and customer-centric supply chain. Solutions include:

About the IBM Supply Chain Business Network

The Supply Chain Business Network (SCBN) provides a business partner network that:

  • Provides visibility and intelligence across the transaction lifecycle, in real-time and in context
  • Enables frictionless connectivity and interoperability with partners, suppliers, and customers
  • Enables technical and business users to search and track transactions throughout the order-to-cash or procure-to-pay cycle, and drill down to the underlying granular order, shipment and receipt details
  • Empowers business users to monitor transactions against KPIs and benchmarks, alerting them to potential issues
  • Monitors and analyzes partner and supplier and performance

In addition, with Supply Chain Business Network’s Blockchain capabilities, organizations can provide shared visibility to multiple parties around key business transactions. This enables partners to work together to resolve issues and potential disputes.

IBM Supply Chain Business Network Capabilities

  • Improve Connectivity Across Your Supply Chain
    • Establish connections with suppliers and customers to automate and digitize all B2B documents. SCBN offers over 365,000 pre-connected trading partners to speed connections, small partner automation services for quick connections to non-EDI suppliers, rapid partner onboarding through self-service with community management, and support for industry and government mandates such as PEPPOL.
  • Visibility into your B2B transactions—Augmented with Watson AI
    • Monitors and tracks incoming and outgoing B2B transactions while alerting users to failures and unexpected events.
    • Helps users find critical B2B information quickly, saving substantial time and effort
    • Watson finds, correlates and organizes information relevant to the search, and presents those business transactions in context
    • Users can easily see the numerous documents that are involved in each transaction, navigate through them, and drill down to the information they need

IBM Supply Chain Business Network

  • Expert Guidance from Watson
    • Helps users find answers to complicated questions around supply chain transactions, in their natural language
    • Can join users in conversations for assistance, and remembers each search, question, and answer
    • Learns and becomes smarter, becoming better and better over time
  • Dashboard to Define and Monitor KPIs
    • Shows how B2B electronic exchanges are impacting the business
    • Shows KPIs like the number of customers, average number of POs and invoices per day, document count, and more
    • Enables users to gain insight into operational performance, financials, and customer satisfaction
    • Monitors volume of transactions flowing throughout various stages
    • Monitors partner activity and performance
    • Tracks and monitors SLAs, indicating whether they are met, in jeopardy, or violated
    • Helps to identify process improvement opportunities among customers, vendors, and suppliers

IBM Supply Chain Business Network SLA Performance

  • Powered by the Cloud
    • Scale and adapt quickly to changing business needs without compromising security, privacy or risk levels
    • Single, secure, cloud-based global network delivering always-on availability with industry-leading uptime

Supply Chain Business Network Benefits

The benefits of Supply Chain Business Network significant, including:

  • Reduced stockouts and material shortages
  • Increase in perfect orders and on-time delivery
  • Reduced transportation and distribution costs
  • Increased productivity and responsiveness
  • Faster cycle times
  • Reduced errors and costs
  • Improved visibility for technical and business users
  • Improved insights for better decision making
  • Improved agility
  • Increased customer satisfaction

Let’s Get Started

Interested in learning more or getting started with Watson Supply Chain Business Network? Contact us to discuss your needs and learn how Lightwell and IBM can help you achieve your goals.