May 17, 2020

Top 10 Consultancy Companies: EY

Risk Management
Georgia Wilson
4 min
EY Logo
After featuring in Supply Chain Digital’s Top 10 Consulting Firms, we take a closer look at EY’s services for the supply chain industry.


After featuring in Supply Chain Digital’s Top 10 Consulting Firms, we take a closer look at EY’s services for the supply chain industry.

Established in 1989, with the purpose of ‘building a better working world’, EY provides its clients with insights and quality services to help build trust and confidence among capital markets and world economies. EY strives to be the ‘North Star’ to more than 280,00 people in a world that’s changing faster than ever. 

“We help digital pioneers fight data piracy; guide governments through cash-flow crises; unlock new medical treatments with data analytics, and pursue high-quality audits to build trust in financial markets and businesses. In other words, working with entrepreneurs, companies, and entire countries to solve their most pressing challenges.”

Via its four service lines - assurance, advisory, tax and transaction advisory services - combined with its deep sector knowledge, EY strives to help its clients capitalise on opportunities as well as assess and manage risk to deliver responsible growth. 

“We believe a better working world is one where economic growth is sustainable and inclusive. We work continuously to improve the quality of all of our services, investing in our people and innovation.”

Supply chain and operations 

To address the complex issues and opportunities to grow and protect operations within the supply chain industry, EY’s supply chain and operations consulting services help to redefine end-to-end supply chain and operations in order to help enterprises meet their objectives and overarching strategies.

EY explains that, historically, companies sold products and services via a linear value chain. However, with supply chains of the future, these new digital ecosystems are creating hybrid forms of corporations and competition, while technology, demographics and government policies are transforming industries like never before. 

With this in mind, EY strives to improve its clients’ performance and innovation amidst this transformative time, to radically restructure supply chains and operations.

Supply Chain Reinvention Framework

By harnessing technology such as data analytics, blockchain, machine learning, robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), EY’s Supply Chain Reinvention Framework is a suite of solutions for end-to-end supply chain strategies, strategic architecture, operational excellence, and supply chain resilience. 

With this framework, EY aims to help organisations harness the creativity and intelligence of the entire supplier ecosystem, increase collaboration and improve customer experiences.


Supply Chain Smart Maps

By harnessing a supply chain strategic analyser, EY’s Supply Chain Smart Maps provides a software platform for supply chain intelligence. With advanced diagnostics, organisations can analyse the entirety of the supply chain to better align with businesses' priorities.

Insights provided by the software include: quantitative analytics, standardising and qualitative performance assessments.

Integrated digital planning

Enabled by the latest technology including AI, machine learning and cloud platforms, EY’s integrated digital planning solution takes advantage of EY’s experience, assets and technology to align an organisation's planning and decision making at strategic, operational and tactical levels, allowing businesses to react faster to rapid marketplace changes. 

EY’s asset support includes: VC Sync, Working Capital Optimization, Cognitive Automation and “Lights Out” Planning.

Supply-side optimisation

With industry leaders viewing digital as an immediate priority in order to reduce costs, drive innovation and improve supply certainty and services, EY’s supply-side optimisation solution provides an end-to-end framework to create effective and efficient processes to optimise the supplier portfolio, manage commercial excellence and conduct lights-out operations.

Smart factory

EY smart factory is a people-centric solution, that brings operations strategy, industrial internet of things (IoT), shop floor operational excellence, leading practices and analytics together in order to drive sustainable improvements in performance. 

Digital fulfilment 

Many traditional supply chains suffer from inefficient fulfilment processes when it comes to performance, risk and cost. As a result, EY leverages innovative technology such as automated vehicles, AI equipment and analytics to address the traditional challenges of efficiency, cost, accuracy and speed to market.

For more information on EY’s supply chain solutions click here!

Watch our video on the Top 10 Consulting Firms below!

For more information on procurement, supply chain and logistics topics - please take a look at the latest edition of Supply Chain Digital magazine.

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Jun 11, 2021

NTT DATA Services, Remodelling Supply Chains for Resilience

6 min
Joey Dean, Managing Director of healthcare consulting at NTT DATA Services, shares remodelling strategies for more resilient supply chains

Joey Dean, the man with the coolest name ever and Managing Director in the healthcare consulting practice for NTT DATA and is focused on delivering workplace transformation and enabling the future workforce for healthcare providers. Dean also leads client innovation programs to enhance service delivery and business outcomes for clients.

The pandemic has shifted priorities and created opportunities to do things differently, and companies are now looking to build more resilient supply chains, none needed more urgently than those within the healthcare system. Dean shares with us how he feels they can get there.

A Multi-Vendor Sourcing Approach

“Healthcare systems cannot afford delays in the supply chain when there are lives at stake. Healthcare procurement teams are looking at multi-vendor sourcing strategies, stockpiling more inventory, and ways to use data and AI to have a predictive view into the future and drive greater efficiency.

“The priority should be to shore up procurement channels and re-evaluate inventory management norms, i.e. stockpiling for assurance. Health systems should take the opportunity to renegotiate with their current vendors and broaden the supplier channel. Through those efforts, work with suppliers that have greater geographic diversity and transparency around manufacturing data, process, and continuity plans,” says Dean.

But here ensues the never-ending battle of domestic vs global supply chains. As I see it, domestic sourcing limits the high-risk exposure related to offshore sourcing— Canada’s issue with importing the vaccine is a good example of that. So, of course, I had to ask, for lifesaving products, is building domestic capabilities an option that is being considered?

“Domestic supply chains are sparse or have a high dependence on overseas centres for parts and raw materials. There are measures being discussed from a legislative perspective to drive more domestic sourcing, and there will need to be a concerted effort by Western countries through a mix of investments and financial incentives,” Dean explains.

Wielding Big Tech for Better Outcomes

So, that’s a long way off. In the meantime, leveraging technology is another way to mitigate the risks that lie within global supply chains while decreasing costs and improving quality. Dean expands on the potential of blockchain and AI in the industry

“Blockchain is particularly interesting in creating more transparency and visibility across all supply chain activities. Organisations can create a decentralised record of all transactions to track assets from production to delivery or use by end-user. This increased supply chain transparency provides more visibility to both buyers and suppliers to resolve disputes and build more trusting relationships. Another benefit is that the validation of data is more efficient to prioritise time on the delivery of goods and services to reduce cost and improve quality. 

“Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) is another area where there’s incredible value in processing massive amounts of data to aggregate and normalise the data to produce proactive recommendations on actions to improve the speed and cost-efficiency of the supply chain.”

Evolving Procurement Models 

From asking more of suppliers to beefing up stocks, Dean believes procurement models should be remodelled to favour resilience, mitigate risk and ensure the needs of the customer are kept in view. 

“The bottom line is that healthcare systems are expecting more from their suppliers. While transactional approaches focused solely on price and transactions have been the norm, collaborative relationships, where the buyer and supplier establish mutual objectives and outcomes, drives a trusting and transparent relationship. Healthcare systems are also looking to multi-vendor strategies to mitigate risk, so it is imperative for suppliers to stand out and embrace evolving procurement models.

“Healthcare systems are looking at partners that can establish domestic centres for supplies to mitigate the risks of having ‘all of their eggs’ in overseas locations. Suppliers should look to perform a strategic evaluation review that includes a distribution network analysis and distribution footprint review to understand cost, service, flexibility, and risks. Included in that strategy should be a “voice of the customer” assessment to understand current pain points and needs of customers.”

“Healthcare supply chain leaders are re-evaluating the Just In Time (JIT) model with supplies delivered on a regular basis. The approach does not require an investment in infrastructure but leaves organisations open to risk of disruption. Having domestic centres and warehousing from suppliers gives healthcare systems the ability to have inventory on hand without having to invest in their own infrastructure. Also, in the spirit of transparency, having predictive views into inventory levels can help enable better decision making from both sides.”

But, again, I had to ask, what about the risks and associated costs that come with higher inventory levels, such as expired product if there isn’t fast enough turnover, tying up cash flow, warehousing and inventory management costs?

“In the current supply chain environment, it is advisable for buyers to carry an in-house inventory on a just-in-time basis, while suppliers take a just-in-case approach, preserving capacity for surges, retaining safety stock, and building rapid replenishment channels for restock. But the risk of expired product is very real. This could be curbed with better data intelligence and improved technology that could forecast surges and predictively automate future supply needs. In this way, ordering would be more data-driven and rationalised to align with anticipated surges. Further adoption of data and intelligence and will be crucial for modernised buying in the new normal.

The Challenges

These are tough tasks, so I asked Dean to speak to some of the challenges. Luckily, he’s a patient guy with a lot to say.

On managing stakeholders and ensuring alignment on priorities and objectives, Dean says, “In order for managing stakeholders to stay aligned on priorities, they’ll need more transparency and collaborative win-win business relationships in which both healthcare systems and medical device manufacturers are equally committed to each other’s success. On the healthcare side, they need to understand where parts and products are manufactured to perform more predictive data and analytics for forecasting and planning efforts. And the manufacturers should offer more data transparency which will result in better planning and forecasting to navigate the ebbs and flows and enable better decision-making by healthcare systems.

Due to the sensitive nature of the information being requested, the effort to increase visibility is typically met with a lot of reluctance and push back. Dean essentially puts the onus back on suppliers to get with the times. “Traditionally, the relationships between buyers and suppliers are transactional, based only on the transaction between the two parties: what is the supplier providing, at what cost, and for what length of time. The relationship begins and ends there. The tide is shifting, and buyers expect more from their suppliers, especially given what the pandemic exposed around the fragility of the supply chain. The suppliers that get ahead of this will not only reap the benefits of improved relationships, but they will be able to take action on insights derived from greater visibility to manage risks more effectively.”

He offers a final tip. “A first step in enabling a supply chain data exchange is to make sure partners and buyers are aware of the conditions throughout the supply chain based on real-time data to enable predictive views into delays and disruptions. With well understand data sets, both parties can respond more effectively and work together when disruptions occur.”

As for where supply chain is heading, Dean says, “Moving forward, we’ll continue to see a shift toward Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and advanced analytics to optimise the supply chain. The pandemic, as it has done in many other industries, will accelerate the move to digital, with the benefits of improving efficiency, visibility, and error rate. AI can consume enormous amounts of data to drive real-time pattern detection and mitigate risk from global disruptive events.”


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