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Perspectives

3 Ways No-Code Can Successfully Power Supply Chain Innovation

Written By: Matt Lieberson
October 18, 2021
4 min read

While snarled supply chains continue to garner headlines, supply chain organizations are constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve. Quickbase Principal Solutions Consultant Peter Rifken recently joined the Let’s Talk Supply Chain podcast to discuss how no-code can drive the ability to keep up with the pace of business – especially with complex supply chain challenges.

“Supply chains have very complex and unique processes,” Peter said. “Now, you have the ability to make a better way to work, in a way you can continuously improve that process every day.”

And as Peter shared on the podcast, no-code has the ability to empower the creation of solutions, from forming an initial idea to continuous improvement.

“[No-code] gives you the ability to notice a problem in your business, identify a better way to address that problem, build the solution, and continuously improve the solution every day.”

Here are the three main concepts Peter shared with Let’s Talk Supply Chain that prove how no-code can power innovation at scale in supply chains.

Empowering the entire business – and the entire supply chain

“Citizen development is really common with the line of business, no coding skillset developer,” Peter said. “These are individuals who know their businesses well and know their processes well, and you’ll find them all across an operations supply chain.”

When these individuals have the tools and capabilities to innovate the processes they are closest to, they can create enterprise grade, end-to-end solutions without code. One of the other benefits is that

And further, this can go beyond the business itself, and into the supply chain more broadly. From procurement challenges to ensuring quality across processes, true leading organizations will be empowering their supply chain professionals to collaborate across the entire supply chain.

“One of the next frontiers from a continuous improvement standpoint is to allow supply chain professional to break down those siloes with their collaborators through the entire supply chain,” Peter said.

Critical integrations

With a lot of conversation around how systems integrate in the supply chain community, it can be a large commitment to bring on new technology – luckily, the right no-code tools like Quickbase can connect and automate across your entire tech stack, including core ERP systems. And innovative organizations are putting this concern front and center.

“The most powerful problems to solve are the ones that extend those legacy systems, and really take what those systems do well and add that customization layer at the edge of it,” Peter said. Even while core systems like SAP can be seen as out-of-date, those systems still play a major role in housing key data at scale.

Quickbase can play a key part in adding flexibility and adaptability to those systems and unite data from across those systems. These integrations allow for systems like SAP to capture the large-scale amounts of data, while agile no-code tools can effectively make that data useful and make data actionable.

Working in partnership

While these skills and capabilities are critical, without the right partnership and governance in place, the same struggles and the same data siloes will remain. “It’s a partnership with [business teams and] the IT teams who have been building solutions for decades,” Peter said.

To get agility at scale, it requires the entire business to be bought in and coordinated together, in a way that is governed. As Peter puts it, “everyone is swimming in the same direction.”

That is where the concept of operational agility – the ability of a company to adapt operations, technology, and information to fast-changing needs – becomes relevant. With fully realized operational agility, IT can focus on what they do best, like data lakes and other large-scale projects. Then, the rest of the business has the ability to innovate on top of that critical work.

Peter discusses the importance of a tight handshake between citizen development and IT. IT is managing information and guardrails, while the business can focus on solutions requiring continuous improvement.

Ultimately, for the organizations with the right “culture and mindset,” focusing on solving supply chain challenges with the innovation from across the entire business can increase supply chain resilience and prepare your organization for the challenges to come.

Written By: Matt Lieberson

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