Building a Resilient Supply Chain

By July 12, 2021

The pandemic exposed the supply chain weakness  

2020 served as an unexpected wakeup call for manufacturers in Quebec and around the world. Supply chains powered by legacy technologies were unable to adapt quickly when COVID-19 struck. Unprecedented disruption in the global supply chain ensued.    

Without a system in place to source parts from other manufacturers or re-route products, supply chain and manufacturing processes ground to a halt.  

Many Quebec businesses regard COVID-19 as a wakeup call to move forward with their AI, digital transformation, and intelligent workflow journey . They know their future success depends on a supply chain with a built-in resiliency that can quickly adapt in order to mitigate disruptions. 

Also, a collaboration with regional players to build capabilities and shift manufacturing capacity when needed could make the supply chain more robust and help the industry manage business disruptions.  

A Montreal-based company modernizes with SAP S/4HANA 

In 2020, airline traffic around the world fell by an astounding 60 per cent. In the industry the need to revamp the business models and innovate with new cloud technologies became an urgent priority. Fortunately, that transformation was already underway for the Montreal-based Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) RJ Aviation Group (MHIRJ), a newly formed company that provides maintenance, repair and technical services for the global aircraft industry.  

Citing IBM’s ability to transform, implement and manage our services all in one place, MHIRJ chose to modernize by deploying SAP S/4HANA on IBM Cloud, with implementation and cloud management services also provided by IBM.  

The new open hybrid platform is data-driven and customer-centric and enables MHIRJ to make decisions that improve efficiency, cut costs and enhance the user experience. Improved customer service and optimized supply chain processes are here to stay.  

An intelligent workflow reduces disruption  

With multiple products in a hybrid system, data created in one system moves on to the next system, often without a backbone of information. Without proper integration, these downstream applications are not able to handle the data effectively.  

What’s needed is an intelligent workflow where each application in the chain gets the information it needs to assess the data, providing seamless integration and rich context within the workflow.  

Through real-time intelligence and actionable recommendations, an intelligent workflow can help companies address challenges like workforce dislocation, supply chain challenges, and customer service disruptions.  

Accelerate transformation with smarter supply chains  

I’m seeing a lot of interest in smarter supply chains in the Quebec marketplaces as manufacturers begin taking major steps toward AI, digital transformation, and intelligent workflow. Where can AI and automation be added to everyday tasks, insights, responses, and actions? It is necessary to develop a supply chain strategy, engage stakeholders and undertake an assessment of overall business value. A partner can help. 

Enterprises in Quebec and across Canada rely on IBM for the skills, technology, and end-to-end resources to analyze and create an intelligent workflow for enterprises.  An ecosystem approach is necessary to strengthen the supply chain and re-assess the post-Covid market/customer behaviours. 

The pandemic has not stopped the work. It has only made it more necessary.  

A recent IDC report (1) reveals that 81 percent of companies surveyed in Quebec believe IBM is a trustworthy company, and 79 percent say that IBM understands their company needs.  Quebec companies trust IBM for their SAP implementations because we bring our best practices, people, tools and processes to every project. No matter how complex the environment or what is required is, IBM has the talent and the resources to accelerate your digital transformation. 

Accelerate with IBM Global Business Services 

Harsha Mohan is an executive in IBM’s SAP Competency Practice and the Service Area Leader for IBM’s Canadian Supply Chain Practice, IBM Consulting. He has deep experience in strategy development and implementation, stakeholder engagement, and overall business value assessment. 


(1) IDC, Canadian IT Services Brand Perceptions, 2020: Familiarity, Awareness, and Brand Associations, Doc # CA45672220, Dec 2020