The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

Squeezing the global supply chain further

Posted by riverbedtest on June 23, 2008

Even in the best of times, companies are always looking to save money and improve time-to-market.  The global outsourcing of the manufacturing supply chain, and even the information supply chain, that has occurred over the past decade embodies the desire of organizations to move as fast as possible in the most cost-efficient manner.

In most scenarios, conventional wisdom suggests that, at this stage
of the game, the supply chain has been squeezed for all its worth and
there’s no optimization left to be had.  In this case, conventional
wisdom is wrong.  While the connection between global sourcing and
wide-area data services may not be obvious to many people, real-world
examples of how customers are strategically leveraging the technology
to improve business throughput is becoming more prevalent in how CIOs
and technology architects consider WDS solutions. 

Looking at a couple scenarios reveals an untapped opportunity for
many businesses today. One example is a leading steel manufacturer with
offices spread
out globally.  They were able to tie their design engineers into a
global PLM solution improving application access speeds by up to 10x
and slashing the amount of time required to complete designs and get
them loaded onto the plant floor.

Another example — one of my favorite customer stories is about a
software gaming developer who was pushing source code to India from the
U.S. on a daily basis and it was taking over six hours to push the code
(this developer also happens to make some of my favorite PS3 games).
After deploying Steelhead appliances, they were able to push the code
in less than 15 minutes. 

What does it mean for today’s enterprise to squeeze a supply chain
that they thought couldn’t get any tighter?  It translates into faster
time-to-market, tighter integration with suppliers and partners
scattered around the world, and a competitive edge in the marketplace.
While this notion of shrinking the world even further, or making it
even "flatter," may come across as a stretch, it’s pretty clear that
the business benefits are there for companies who are looking to fix
something that seemingly isn’t broken. 

Would love to hear about some of your experiences working with
global partners and where the pain is for your companies.  Can WDS help
your company move faster?

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