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Over the past six years, I have studied the use of downstream data, and watched consumer products companies inch along, ever so slowly, with pilot projects. While I challenge my readers to take a leap of faith (reference prior blog post http://www.supplychainshaman.com/demanddriven/a-leap-of-faith/), and aggressively use downstream data (e.g., point of sale, warehouse withdrawal, loyalty and retail demographic data), I also want to equip them for the journey. It is not as easy as it sounds. There are pitfalls and landmines, and major obstacles to overcome, including these three: it is not about integration; you must design with the end in mind; and cultural issues abound, so attack them up front.
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