Material Supply Management


Manufacturing companies face significant challenges in meeting production demand due to uncertainty in the supply chain. The supply chain is a complex network of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers that work together to deliver products and services to customers. Any disruption or uncertainty in any part of the supply chain can cause delays, shortages, or increased costs that can impact manufacturing operations. A shortage of raw materials or components can delay production or force manufacturers to source materials from alternative suppliers at a higher cost.

In many cases, suppliers do not or cannot provide enough advance notice of changes in availability, pricing, or delivery times, making it difficult for manufacturers to respond proactively. This can be particularly problematic when manufacturers are working with just-in-time (JIT) inventory systems, where inventory levels are kept low, and supplies are replenished only as needed.

Without sufficient notice, manufacturers may be forced to make last-minute changes to their production schedules or scramble to find alternative sources of supply, which can be costly and time-consuming. In some cases, manufacturers may be forced to delay or cancel production runs, resulting in lost sales and revenue.

Key Features & Functionality

  • Automated supplier notifications to issue firm confirmation and order updates.
  • Supplier portal to give order status and input revisions.
  • Messaging and collaboration systems to move communication out of email.
  • Planner and manager dashboards for increased visibility of status and KPIs.
  • Planner tools for processing exceptions and responding to constraints.
  • AI recommendations for planner response to exceptions.
  • Visualization of production planning from source systems to guide decision making.
  • Optional pre-built integration with MuleSoft to connect to your ERP, like SAP

Benefits & Business Impact

Our accelerator for inbound supply constraint management plays a vital role in ensuring that production plans are not disrupted by unforeseen changes. With real-time visibility into the status of inbound materials, manufacturers can be proactive in their response to potential supply chain disruptions.

Suppliers are given a portal to issue firm order confirmations and are notified to update order status on a configurable schedule. This approach ensures that suppliers provide timely updates on their shipments and can give early notice of any changes. By standardizing the way this information is collected, the risk of losing conversations in email threads is completely eliminated, and conflict from language barriers can be drastically reduced. With a more streamlined and consistent communication process, manufacturers can ensure that they have the necessary materials on hand to meet production targets, improving their operational efficiency, and ultimately their bottom line.

The accelerator’s AI-backed recommendation engine offers your supply planners more certainty in decision-making by presenting a suggested path forward when exceptions arise. By analyzing data from multiple sources, such as cost of service, inventory levels, and supplier performance, the recommendation engine provides a range of possible responses to supply chain disruptions. By pursuing the recommended actions, planners will make more informed decisions leading to more certainty in production attainment.

Lastly, our accelerator features an optional integration with MuleSoft that makes it easy to connect Appian to your external systems like SAP. This saves valuable time during setup and eliminates the need to build custom integrations from scratch.