Global supply chains need a pendulum, right this second!

Post by 
Ram Radhakrishnan
May 23, 2020

The word "supply chain" is quite possibly the second most popular buzzword in the startup ecosystem today, coming right after blockchains. It has gotten so popular, prompting marriages of convenience between blockchains & supply chains and it feels like everyone at the wedding can’t stop talking about how they are so made for each other!. In our humble opinion (for which we fully expect to face the wrath of public opinion), we see it as the blind leading the blind!

Here’s why:

Eons ago, when humans learnt the concept of measuring time, they invented the sundial and then came various forms of rudimentary clocks.  The initial versions of such a clock had just a single arm, just the hour pointer! The margin of error was over 15 mins. With a tolerance that wide, the clock either showed you 1:00 PM or 1:30 PM and everything in between was open to interpretation. We’ve come quite a long way since, now the clocks can show you a fraction of a second. But, our global supply chains can barely tell us the status of a shipment that is the size of an average manhattan apartment! 

Westminster Abbey Clock, London

Over 70% of a product's journey within a global supply chain happens inside the four walls of a factory. On average, production lead times take between 60 and 90 days from sourcing raw materials to manufacturing to ship out. While, it takes between 10 and 30 days moving from the factory, into your customers hands. Any effort at improving #SupplyChainVisibility over the past decade has been around solving the 30% problem, from planes and ships to trucks and mopeds. The 70% problem of capturing production milestones from early on in the supply chain, can have massive consequential impact downstream. A single day delay inside the factory has the potential to alter the final delivery date, by up to 2 week!. 

70% of a product's journey within a supply chain happens inside a factory

Despite COVID, despite the global economic slowdowns and despite geo-political trade tensions, we at SKUteam are confident than ever before about the timing being perfect to solve the 70% problem. The world needs a solution now! From socks to sanitizers and soaps to scrubs, supply chains need to become predictable. There will be drastic shifts in supply patterns post COVID, but they will forever remain global. We hope to bring visibility into what’s happening inside your global supply chain, no matter where you are.

The invention that fundamentally enhanced our ability as humans to state the time accurately was the pendulum. It was the pendulum that swung at perfect intervals to denote one second. Adding seconds to minutes, and minutes to hours, was what changed our way of measuring efficiency, taking things to a whole new level. At SKUteam, we aspire to be that pendulum that swung at perfect intervals, as in, inspected the progress of your SKU’s production at regular intervals, right on your factory floor. That we believe, will change the way we perceive efficiency, or simply put, know exactly what time it is in our global supply chains, down to the second!

SKUteam's proprietary 5 step inspection process

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