Supply-chain managers have a new focus: to move from cutting costs to enabling new processes and making corporations more connected and agile to create value across the entire enterprise.
A key part of this transition includes the transformation of traditional supply chains into demand-sensitive networks, according to research in an Economist Insights report. Creating more agile companies requires building acceptance of rapid change into the organisational structure, allowing decisions to be made collaboratively and having roles and responsibilities be more flexible. Supply-chain managers can help their companies become more agile by making best use of the new data and analytic tools available to them.
• companies must become more connected and agile to offset product cycles that have become shorter and supply chains that have grown more complex
• internal data from interactions with suppliers and external data from tweets, blog posts and other media can give supply chain managers crucial insights into potential risks from strikes, political events, severe weather and other factors
• companies must use this data to become more sensitive to the demand for their products and make changes in organisational structures and business processes
• with the right tools, companies can protect themselves from product shortages without holding excess inventory
The report is part of a research series sponsored by SAP that includes papers, articles, podcasts and infographics. The research from "The Future of Business: Supply Chains" is available free of charge.