Supply Chain Awareness
Real-time visibility of the state of your extended supply chain reveals opportunities, and provides advance awareness of risks. The following stories illustrate how Lichen empowers managers to take into account the whole production process even when it involves multiple autonomous companies external to their own, including direct and indirect suppliers, manufacturers, labour, shipping agents, and so on.
Upstream and Downstream from the Farm
When ready, Lichen could be used manage supply chain risk.
François and Hélène operate a farm that specializes in fresh greens for regional restaurants. They always have an eye out for early knowledge of market changes that help them position themselves for opportunities, and to mitigate supply chain risk. The recent availability of an Internet of Rules gave them access to the Xalgorithms “Reciprocal Data Bartering Contract”, and even more interesting for their purposes, the Optional Clause for Reciprocal Supply Chain Data. They subscribed last year because of the practical value of obtaining downsteam demand-pull notifications about inceases or decreases in orders several transactions away. For example, this past summer the data showed a significant increase in bookings for major downtown conferences the following spring. Statistical patterns suggest they can reasonably expected this to result in higher demands for their produce amongst hotels and restaurants in the region. Therefore they can plan well ahead for a probable increase in demand when deciding what seeds to order and to start in the greenhouses in late winter. Without this downstream information, they may well have missed out on the additional market opportunity.
On the upstream side, Xalgo4SupplyChainData also alerted François and Hélène to a relatively low level of enrollment in agricultural skills training throughout the region, a service sector that is statistically connected to them. This information could be interpreted either as a saturated labour market, or as an indicator of at least some shortage of properly-trained farm labour in the area, which in practice could require paying higher base wages for people with insufficient specialized knowledge. So they called Andrew, the manager of a regional skills training company. He said they could expect a shortage this year. But the explained they are expecting an increased requirement, therefore building on their advice he put together a 4-week skills training program for job-seekers interested in farm work. It focused on the health, safety and quality management regulations, and productivity optimization involved in the production of high value fresh greens. So this past spring they hired six of Andrew’s ten trainees, which enabled François and Hélène to increase their overall production quality as well as volume, and they were able to afford worker bonuses linked to outcomes.