For years, companies have used digital supply chain technologies to improve service levels and reduce costs. But the inability to connect disparate systems, provide end-to-end visibility into the supply chain, and crunch massive amounts of data, among other issues, has prevented many companies from achieving the full potential of their supply chains. Now, thanks to the wide availability and adoption of much more powerful digital technologies, including advanced analytics and cloud-based solutions, companies are generating dramatically better returns on their investments.
Despite investing significant time and money in current commerce solutions, the majority of marketers and IT professionals surveyed aren't confident in their capabilities. Nearly one third (30 percent) of brands in both B2B and B2C industries spent more than $2m for their current commerce site, and 44 percent say it took longer than a year to implement, according to the 2016 State of Digital Commerce Report from e-commerce solution provider CloudCraze.
Analyst Insight: The distribution center is taking on greater importance as a driver of growth and profitability. Top companies are investing in distribution operations to drive competitive advantage and gain market share. Many are leveraging today's technology to prepare for the distribution center of the future. But there is a next wave of technologies on the horizon - from wearables to mobile manufacturing to the Internet of Things. And the tipping point for these technologies is near. - Nikko Pianetto, Group VP of Integrated Technology Solutions, Fortna Inc.
Analyst Insight: The highly competitive pharmaceutical industry is innovating rapidly to meet the changing needs of an aging U.S. population. More than 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every day, a pattern that will continue for at least 14 years and equating to over 50 million by the year 2029. As such, how and where consumers obtain and receive pharmaceuticals will change, and logistics will be a driving force behind these movements. -- Kim McQuilken, Chief Operating Officer, Spend Management Experts
Analyst Insight: The past few years have seen IT systems moving away from advances in individual functionality to interoperability with complementary systems. Also, there's been a greater emphasis on "democratization" of applications - improving accessibility through cloud-based architectures, mobile computing, lower pricing models and improved user interfaces. We have also seen end products themselves becoming ever smarter through embedded software, making them able to react to their environment and transmit information back to supporting systems.
-- Tony Christian, Director, Cambashi
Analyst Insight: The connected nature of today's business environment is driving exponential growth in data, which is subsequently driving improvements in advanced analytic capabilities and the opportunity to leverage advanced analytics in manufacturing processes. For industrial manufacturing firms, capturing real-time data relative to asset performance and condition enables predictive maintenance and helps to realize productivity improvements and cost savings by reducing unscheduled downtime and optimizing asset performance. - John Santagate, Research Manager, IDC
Analyst Insight: The growth of IoT (the Internet of Things) will impact supply chains dramatically in the long run. Increasingly instrumented and connected manufacturing plants, warehouses, vehicles, and the products themselves will provide very precise, real-time 'X-ray vision' into what is happening in the plant, on the road, and in the field. - Bill McBeath, Chief Research Officer, ChainLink Research
Analyst Insight: Not only is the supply chain market in the cloud growing, but a growing element in the portfolio is the supply chain network. Today, supply chain processes that call for collaboration such as transportation management, track and trace and procurement rely on the cloud to get the job done. But the supply chain network is a unique approach that facilitates complex multi-party supply chain processes and transactions. - Ann Grackin, CEO, ChainLink Research
Analyst Insight: Digital business creates new opportunities for consumer packaged goods companies to transact directly to their end consumers. Digital business is information-enabled business that employs an abundance of new information in ways that better service customers. Bottom-line digital business offers the potential to transform the way that CPG companies interact with and serve their customers allowing them to create new operating models that tighten the bonds with their end consumer, which has the potential to transmogrify the CPG industry. - Dwight Klappich, Vice President, Supply Chain Research, Gartner