Sundar Kamak is Ivalua’s Global Head of Manufacturing. He assists manufacturers as they manage supply chain disruptions and digital transformation. Here he discusses Ivalua’s role in the supply chain and procurement processes, how supply chain disruption impacts the manufacturing sector and the results of Ivalua’s recent study: Managing Supply Chain Disruptions: U.S., U.K. Manufacturers Accelerate Procurement
What led you to this industry?
“Since starting my career in the aerospace industry, I have been interested in helping manufacturing companies drive automation and efficiency in their supply chains through technology. I enjoy working with manufacturers around the globe to understand the problems they’re looking to solve.”
What is Ivalua?
“Ivalua is a unified, cloud-based spend management platform which enables manufacturers across the globe to effectively manage spend and suppliers, even during times of crisis.”
How has supply chain disruption impacted the manufacturing industry?
“Supply chains have been pushed to the brink over the last few years, and manufacturing has been hit the hardest. This is because manufacturing supply chains are typically much longer and more complex than in other industries – compounding the risks of issues like natural disasters, child labour and modern slavery, and fluctuations in tax and exchange rates – and making disruptions hit even harder.
“In fact, recent Ivalua research found that 84% of procurement leaders in manufacturing say dealing with supply chain disruptions has been the most significant challenge of their career to date. The severe turbulence faced by manufacturers has the potential to damage both their corporate reputation and bottom line – so it’s hardly surprising that bolstering their supply chain resilience is a key priority for them.”
What findings surprised you most from this recent study?
“Ivalua’s research found that almost three-quarters of buyers believe that their suppliers are taking advantage of supply disruptions to raise prices, highlighting animosity between suppliers and buyers at this critical time.
“We need greater collaboration between manufacturers and suppliers to ensure that everyone is on the same page about supply disruption and rising prices. As inflation, supply shortages, and the cost-of-living crisis continue to bite, manufacturers must work more closely with suppliers to drive sustainable cost savings, develop innovative products, and mitigate risks where possible.
“Manufacturers need to understand their supply chain, so they can plan for future disruptions and work with suppliers to find a way through it. Given the current turbulence, it’s more important than ever to foster strong supplier relationships, rather than damage these critical ties.”
What results did not shock you?
“Technology challenges in manufacturing supply chains are a longstanding issue, so it was unsurprising to see over two-thirds of respondents say that they are not confident that their existing technology can adequately handle current supply challenges, or those expected in the next three years.
“Organisations need a complete picture of their suppliers and spend to tackle disruption to manufacturing, as a 360-degree view of the entire supply chain will help them to better forecast future risk. Bringing supplier data together onto a single, unified platform would help to minimise the technology challenges they’re currently facing, as well as boost efficiency and improve supplier transparency – all of which are critical to manage risk effectively.”