The slow economic recovery has companies shifting their focus from cost reduction to one of optimization and growth, Dongre says. Opportunities exist for those who are willing "to be innovative or transformational in approach."
At the same time, there remains a significant amount of uncertainty in markets, leaving many businesses unsure of how to proceed. How they tackle the issue of growth in the next 12 to 24 months is crucial, says Dongre.
They might begin by examining the most effective strategies. To achieve growth today, companies need to address additional revenue channels. Traditional publishers, for example, are embracing the internet and e-books, while music companies are focusing much of their efforts on the downloading of songs and albums. "They have to adapt to this new channel," says Dongre. "In order to do this, they either have to invest in new technology or leverage technologies that support both physical distribution and [electronic media]."
Achieving visibility and control over multiple channels can prove to be a significant challenge. Companies must learn to collaborate across various segments of business. Physical and digital products might be separate business units, "but the fundamental assets being distributed are the same," says Dongre. "It's critical to have end-to-end visibility across channels, so that you can flexibly and nimbly adapt."
Another challenge to be addressed is growing demand volatility. Many companies are suffering from a lack of forecasting accuracy. The picture is clouded by unanticipated natural disasters, disruptions of raw-material supplies and other supply-chain glitches. To deal with the problem, Dongre recommends that companies embrace technology that allows them to respond quickly to changes in the market, and the requirements of multiple channels.
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Keywords: supply chain, supply chain management, international trade, inventory management, inventory control, supply chain planning, supply chain systems, retail supply chain, sourcing solutions, supply chain risk management
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