Friday, February 06, 2009

Command and Control: Driving Global Commerce Management Excellence, part 1

The global commerce landscape is markedly different than it was only 2 to 3 years ago. Available solutions provide global trade management, visibility, track and trace, compliance and landed cost either as a SaaS, hosted or traditional licensed model. Yet, companies still struggle to fully command and control their global commerce environment to drive the exceptional values promised.
The next wave of global commerce solutions will enable the shipper or logistics’ provider to drive exceptional competitive advantage by leveraging a true command and control capability over the organization’s extended global commerce network.
Command and control is a military phrase. While command and control often connotes a top-down hierarchy for decision-making and action to achieve a defined military objective, it’s more broadly understood to be the marshalling of resources for information collection, situational clarification, decision support and action.
In true global commerce management, command and control gives seamless integration to an organization’s resources to be able to view, orient, decide and act with timely and rapid organizational effectiveness. A command and control capability enables the streamlining and synchronization of the organization’s people, processes and technology -- with analytics and visibility in a highly developed collaborative environment. The results are an organization that is highly flexible and adaptable in a rapidly and ever-changing global environment.
Four fundamentals must converge for an organization to truly command and control its global business environment and achieve the values promised. Systems must:
1. capture and present the underlying information required by operations and management. This requires clean data that supports multiple user-defined views of an organization’s business in an on-demand, right-time environment.
2. provide standardized contextualization of information through analysis and visualization so that individuals responsible for task execution or decision-making can orient themselves quickly to the issues requiring resolution.
3, support on-demand collaboratiion with internal and external partners based on shared information that is contextualized across diverse partners.
4. streamline decision processes and enable timely, decisive action. Acting decisively requires the ability to collaborate with all affected partners so that full transparency and traceability exists on the final command and follow up actions.
Management of global supply networks requires three tightly integrated capabilities -– visualization, collaboration, and execution -- in order to support the four basic competencies of command and control: view, orient, decide and act. While each capability is important, the real promise in delivering optimal value from the global supply network happens when a company can execute comprehensive command and control over all participants, activities and costs across its entire global business environment.

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