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Toward Future Proof Supply Chain

Manufacturers are implementing diverse product sourcing and robust procurement strategies to future-proof their supply chains

In recent years, factors like resource shortages, geopolitical complexities, and natural calamities have intensified the unpredictability of supply and demand dynamics. The situation has many manufacturers rushing to future-proof their supply chain by enabling diverse product sourcing and robust procurement strategies.


Amazon Business serves as a linchpin for organizations seeking to create future-ready supply chains. It enhances visibility, resiliency, and predictability while connecting manufacturers with a vast network of suppliers and products. This enables them to source materials whenever needed. It also offers features to manage the supply chain effectively, including real-time inventory tracking, purchase order management, and supplier collaboration.


“We collaborate with manufacturers across various industries, serving as a procurement solution. Our goal is to create a resilient and agile supply chain that can adapt to potential disruptions,” says Brent Heller, head of U.S. manufacturing and industrial, Amazon Business. “Numerous organizations today use Amazon Business and its marketplace capabilities to access supplies at an exceptionally high level.”


The Procurement Maestro

Amazon Business integrates with over 150 key e-procurement platforms, making it an integral part of the data ecosystem within a manufacturing organization. This is crucial to automate procurement decisions and provide seamless workflows to accelerate and streamline recurring processes. As a result, manufacturers can reduce or eliminate the back-and-forth of many legacy procurement practices, requiring employees to manually submit items for approval, search for and order each item, and then eventually fill out an expense report to get reimbursed.


“We ensure our clients’ employees have the right systems and tools for timely procurement,” says Heller. “With access to a global supply chain at their fingertips through both the website and mobile app, individual employees gain the power to buy while benefiting from an extensive product selection.”


Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has also launched AWS Supply Chain. The application improves supply chain visibility and provides actionable insights to help businesses optimize supply chain processes and improve service levels.


AWS Supply Chain’s built-in connectors utilize pre-trained ML models based on Amazon.com's nearly three decades of supply chain experience to understand, extract, and aggregate data from ERP and supply chain management systems. This enables users to easily set up a unified supply chain data lake.


The next step is contextualizing the information in a real-time visual map highlighting the current inventory selection and quantity at each location. All the ML-generated insights are available for the inventory managers, demand planners, and supply chain leaders—the key to discovering potential inventory shortages or delays and creating watchlists to receive alerts to take action as risks appear.

We collaborate with manufacturers across various industries, serving as a procurement solution. Our goal is to create a resilient and agile supply chain that can adapt to potential disruptions

— Brent Heller, Head of U.S. Manufacturing and Industrial, Amazon Business

The Honeywell Case

The benefits of Amazon Business can be highlighted through the success story of Honeywell, a massive enterprise with a footprint across industries as diverse as aerospace, specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals, along with a large portfolio of technology services.


Honeywell successfully integrated Amazon Business into their e-procurement ecosystem, resulting in supplier consolidation and enhanced purchasing agility. Honeywell was equipped with robust reporting capabilities through Amazon Business Analytics and Spend Visibility (a paid Business Prime feature) dashboards.


What's particularly interesting about this collaboration is that Honeywell also is able to sell its products on Amazon. Together with Amazon Business, the company created Buy Honeywell, a program that drives its employees to Honeywell’s own products using Amazon’s Amazon’s Guided Buying (another Business Prime feature).


The tools provided by Amazon Business helped Honeywell move with agility at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in areas of safety. Face masks, safety glasses, thermometers, and other items were critical, and often hard to find, though the demand remained strong for more traditional head-to-toe safety equipment, like hard hats and gloves. Honeywell itself manufactures many of these products, which are available on Amazon Business. Using Guided Buying, Honeywell is able to steer purchasers inside the enterprise to preferred goods, as well as the wider range of Honeywell products.


This is just one of the many examples of Amazon Business emerging as the preferred partner to achieve supply chain resilience. It is continuously making strides to open up doors for users to become more agile and cost-efficient.


Originally published on Manufacturing Technology Insights.

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