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Jim Preuninger
Chief Executive Officer
Amber Road

Supply Chain Comment

Jim Preuninger is the Chief Executive Officer of Amber Road and serves on the Board of Directors. With over 25 years of software industry experience, Jim has been a part of the evolution of the supply chain management market from a domestic focus to one that now encompasses global operations for logistics, transportation, trade compliance and trade finance.

Jim founded Amber Road (formerly Management Dynamics, Inc.). Through his visionary leadership, Amber Road has defined the Global Trade Management (GTM) market. Jim oversees corporate development and is responsible for opening new markets and expanding the company's portfolio of solutions through strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

Jim began his career at IBM where he held several positions in sales and marketing. Jim holds a bachelor's degree from Drexel University.

August 17, 2017

Great Expectations: Supply Chain Control

A Supply Chain That is Truly Agile Will Provide the Most Control for Global Companies


For a company with expansive global operations, steering the ship towards greater profits requires a degree of control that seems almost impossible to achieve. So many factors in today’s landscape act as disruptions to international commerce, with unpredictable political and regulatory changes, economic see-saws, labor issues, transportation consolidation, and environmental disasters. The increased risks brought by these disruptions have the power to delay or even shut down operations for the unprepared. How can CXOs meet consumer demands and shareholder expectations to lead their companies towards greater profits, while planning for and managing the unknown?

A supply chain that is truly agile – with the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to interferences as they occur – will provide the most control for global companies. The ability to turn on a dime when needed can drive down operational costs, mitigate risk, and raise the bar for innovation. While some disasters truly can’t be predicted, having a smooth and agile operation in place, with built-in redundancy and back-up plans, will provide the greatest ballast against disruptive forces. Hand-in-hand with flexibility is the need for visibility, a “glass pipeline” that offers 360-degree views of every aspect from sourcing and manufacturing through transportation, and cross-border exit and entry. Full supply chain visibility can help companies prevent problems before they happen, and allow companies to quickly respond to disruptions by shifting resources as needed.

Preuninger Says...

Alongside risk mitigation, companies that fully automate their processes can boost operational efficiency and improve speed-to-market.

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Control requires digitization

Achieving control over a growing and thriving global operation requires utilizing 21st century tools to enable a seamless supply chain. Companies can transform their supply chain operations through digitization, which is the creation of a digital model of the real world. Digitization makes it possible to collaborate, automate, and analyze the data that makes up the supply chain in real-time. A digital model of the global supply chain creates the ability to quickly and easily adapt to the realities of global commerce in today’s world.

Digitizing your supply chain can seem like an enormous task, particularly if the data is currently scattered into separate silos with a mixture of digital and paper files. But this scattershot approach is the antithesis of control. A comprehensive global trade management (GTM) platform that offers a strong integration of supply chain technologies is needed to unlock data and share it across all trading parties, leading to increased agility and visibility. Digital data can then be analyzed to proactively affect operations – making it a crucial tool for supply chain management.

Automation reduces risk and drives speed

Once digitized with a best-in-class GTM platform, automating recurrent processes in sourcing, logistics, cross-border trade and compliance can make dramatic improvements to operating efficiencies and financial performance. With the information digitized, it can be handled quickly and processes can be executed in a timely manner with added transparency. Automation can improve business processes in various areas of the supply chain, for example:

  • Alerts when purchase orders are in danger of delays or other issues
  • Determination of carrier rate, scheduling, and booking
  • Notifications to supply chain parties when a key milestone is hit
  • Determination of import regulations of a given product to a given country
  • Determination of trade agreement eligibility

By fully automating these and many other supply chain processes, companies gain control and improve efficiency. This becomes particularly important when dealing with disruptions, as companies that have automated responses and reactions ready to go will mitigate risk and recover quicker than the competition.

Alongside risk mitigation, companies that fully automate their processes can boost operational efficiency and improve speed-to-market. As one of the biggest concerns for leaders of top companies, true speed can only be achieved by digitizing and automating everything, from the product design phase and raw materials sourcing through production and logistics. Adding in business insight generated from structured and unstructured data along with predictive analytics enables companies to know where the product is at any given point in the lifecycle – and deliver however and wherever consumer demand is greatest.

Control what you can to be ready for what you can’t

The key to sustained prosperity in the face of volatility requires having the capabilities to understand and manage change as it happens. An agile supply chain with end-to-end visibility offers a degree of control lacking in traditional, siloed supply chain management. Automation through digitization enhances the ability of a company to analyze, interpret, and act on the data in their system, producing an efficient operation that delivers on expectations in record time.

Who would have thought drones would be everyday tools in our world? Today’s technology is bringing both driverless cars and ever-smarter smart phones into consumers’ hands via an interwoven, complex global supply chain, so it only makes sense to utilize that same level of technology on enhancing and improving the supply chain itself. Individual companies that want to pull ahead in the race must embrace the technological advances of today’s high-powered, far-reaching GTM platforms to regain control in what can sometimes seem an uncontrollable world.

To learn more about the benefits of transforming and digitizing your supply chain download our eBook, The Global Supply Chain.

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