“Real-time data transparency is key to the next generation of supply chain management”

Barcelona, May 3, 2023.- What do consumers ask of supply chains today? What are the requirements for all professionals and companies in the supply chain?. Supply Chain Brain magazine responded like this:

As reported by Supply Chain Brain magazine, the happiest customer is the one who goes to the store and walks out with the item that they went there for — whether it’s an avocado, new jacket or fresh piece of furniture. Unfortunately, not every visit pans out that way. The produce section could be left bare; the right jacket size might be sold out, or the couch could take months to arrive. 

Everyone wants products to get there on time, but do consumers understand how that actually works? A multitude of steps, from farming to harvesting, distributing, stocking and more, form the connective tissue of the modern world. And there are a multitude of ways that things could go wrong. 

Supply chains today are at center stage. In previous decades, they tended to be hidden behind the scenes. Consumers were unaware of their importance to daily lives. But that picture is changing.

The modern-day supply chain isn’t just about delivering product, but doing so in an efficient and sustainable way. Think of it like designing a kitchen, with the need for appliances, cabinets, fixtures, countertops and more to arrive at the right place and right time. 

For example, the height of the COVID-19 pandemic put incredible pressure on clothing labels like Carhartt, which saw an increase in demand not only from its typical blue-collar customer, but also from new consumers as online shopping surged. Thanks to a strained e-commerce experience, many brands found themselves struggling to capitalize on that opportunity. 

They needed solutions that offered the flexibility of buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS). So they turned to cloud-based tools that could pull data from across the business, improving the ordering process. These platforms became essential for supply chains to deliver on the desired shopping experience. 

To succeed in this fast-paced retail environment, companies also need demand-planning capabilities that allow them to predict how and where products will sell best. But the demands of every industry vary widely. Grocery retailers need fresh goods replenished daily, while fashion companies operate on a more seasonal basis. A connected and flexible supply chain is the throughline. It allows companies to discover whether they’re choosing the right materials, and where they might get them from — starting with the design stage.

Businesses today are rethinking ways to streamline their processes and ensure that product reaches customers efficiently and sustainably. This evolution is founded on a larger objective: overcoming the current separation of front office and back office, and replacing it with a holistic, end-to-end experience that allows customers to seamlessly access data from anywhere in the supply chain.

Real-time data transparency is key to the next generation of supply chain management, as the focus shifts from cost efficiency to resilience and sustainability.

Successful businesses have built their supply chains to be able to rapidly address customer needs. When COVID-19 shut down manufacturing operations in Latin America, it cut companies off from supplies they received from Asia. To keep operations fluid, they turned to local suppliers, and realized they could source most of their materials just as efficiently.

That’s the true magic of a resilient supply chain: using operational and transactional data together, in a way that offers deep visibility into how it’s functioning. Business leaders might embrace the concept, but they lack insights into their customers’ needs and preferences. Seventy percent of them consider it important to have visibility that allows for a “source anywhere, fulfill anywhere” model. Unfortunately, just 15% say they’re able to do so.

Whether your company is delivering that avocado or the next ground-breaking product, it’s more important than ever to put data at the forefront — so that you can keep the customer at the center.

Information by Supply Chain Brain

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