In continuation of our previous edition, in this edition, we will understand enterprise business audits in the supply chain space and related use cases through relevant data realization.
A few use cases are explained below to depict the value of business audit data.
Use Case 1 – Open Network for Digital Commerce(ONDC) is a unified business model for open eCommerce operations which is envisioned by the Hon’ble Govt. of India to provide a level playing field for all businesses in the commerce area and break the monopoly of big marketplace players.
On a high level, this is analogous to the UPI model of money transfer using our smart devices.
What does this mean for sellers and buyers?
- Sellers who are currently non-digital can start harnessing the capabilities of the ONDC framework and embark on their digital journey for business expansion.
- For sellers who are already digital, ONDC provides better capabilities for expanding their buyer base and segments and thus enhances sales volume.
- For buyers, ONDC provides a large integrated view of catalog choices, competitive prices and promotions, easy comparison of choices offered, flexibility to pick and choose any seller onboarded on the network, payment gateway offering secure transactions but not necessarily supported by sellers in the context, digital wallets not necessarily offered by the seller for a purchase transaction, etc.
- A large array of multiple logistics providers for shipping products to the destination address regardless of seller affinity or aversion situations, thus providing more buying choices across delivery dates and costs.
This is quite different from today’s marketplace model where buyers have no choice of choosing a single seller or a delivery partner of their choice for shopping and fulfillment. The ONDC framework eliminates the abstractness across the supply chain network providing a seamless shopping experience. ONDC’s vision and enablement are aligned with individual sellers and other supply chain network providers to bring their IT applications for order orchestration and management needs. ONDC is not a platform for offering IT applications and provides flexibility for sellers to leverage their choice of enterprise applications to capture orders, allocate orders, fulfill orders and track them.
However, when multiple parties transact in such an ecosystem, the trust factor becomes a big question to conduct business in a fair manner. The trust is earned via business audits through the lifecycle of supply chain buying and selling transactions.
Use Case 2 – Fraud determination is one of the critical pain points of businesses, which is attributed to intentionally having wrong data reported, wrong processes followed intentionally, inventory and service labor thefts, and malpractices of misappropriation. By looking at audit data comprehensively, there can be detective mechanisms employed to understand these situations and adopt many preventive controls to avoid such circumstances. A sample scenario would be ordering for a customer segment with a specific item that is often getting price-matched outside tolerance limits through approval overriding protocols.
Use Case 3 – Determining order amendment patterns is very challenging for any business due to the wide nature of applicable amendments through the life cycle of an order. Therefore, business audit data plays an important role in deriving insights about effectively managing the competition, understanding the market pulse of customers and appropriately tailoring the price and promotion management programs on the fly. A sample scenario would be during a specific week at the start of spring, most of the customers who ordered products on a website might not have used coupon codes for availing of an active promotional offer at the time of checkout. They may then want to avail of these offers just after an order is placed, which would entail a backend process that updates the existing order, or cancels and creates a new order with the coupon code applied.
Use Case 4 – Determine cross-application data issues which are impacted by upstream or downstream transactions. This employs a co-relation methodology of business audits data matching which compares various characteristics of the same data across the enterprise and take corrective actions. A sample scenario could be a business audit involving the measurement of the difference between the promised date at the time of cart checkout vs. the actual delivery date. This is due to differences in dates being referenced on the website at the time of order capture, the same date being revised and recalculated at various times by the order management system, warehouse management, and logistics management applications.
Use Case 5 – Determine business anomalies proactively based on various UI actions, batch jobs, and external and internal triggered transactions which attempt to complete a job, and re-attempting when a failure occurs. Most of the time, such failed attempts are recorded, but not analyzed until a monitoring solution is in place, by when enough time would have elapsed. Leveraging business audit data, this anomaly detection would be a completely proactive model rather than reactive in nature.
The above examples illustrate the obviousness of the need for examining the business audit data sets in the IT ecosystem and subsequently to derive value in making business decisions.
Next edition preview
This article focused on sample use cases and a few detailed scenarios involving business audits and how businesses should unlock their audit data potential. In the next edition, we will focus on what we Acuver Consulting are envisioning as the technical architecture of a typical business audit solution.
Author: Jagadesh Hulugundi