As a company's supply chain grows, so does its exposure to risk. Experts recommend that companies periodically audit their supply chains to identify vulnerable links, but the value that such audits actually deliver is up for debate, for a variety of reasons.
The past was a simpler time for distribution operations. Technology was relatively straightforward. The supply chain wasn't "always on." There was no such thing as omnichannel distribution. That's hardly the case now.
An efficient supply chain is one of the most crucial predictors of a company's success. The supply chain affects almost every marker for industry leadership, including costs, delivery performance and overall customer satisfaction. It's understandable then that the majority of supply chain executives consider visibility to be the most important aspect of any supply chain solution.
Promotions are often implemented as successful marketing tactics to assist in attracting new customers, retaining existing customers, testing new product concepts and quickly reacting to changing consumer demands. Not only do they provide brand recognition, but they also give marketers, product developers and sales people an additional avenue for creativity. While specialty products and limited-time offers can build brand revenue, implementing promotions isn't as easy as one might think when factoring in supply chain management requirements such as fulfillment and distribution.
Analyst Insight: There are exciting developments in technologies and processes in the area of network design. Currently, both processes and technologies are rapidly evolving, offering exciting opportunities. It is one of the most critical investments for supply chain leaders in 2015. – Lora Cecere, Founder of Supply Chain Insights
Analyst Insight: Supply chain problems result from the uncertainty, time delay and amplification of variability based on demand changes from one function to another and from one organization to another. The parts of the chain don't work together! They often work against one another. The supply chain is a dysfunctional system that increases the cost of all participants in the system. Today's optimization and network technology provides the capability transform to a Smart Supply Network 3.0. – Rich Sherman, author and founder at Gold & Domas Research
While most manufacturers and retailers realize there is a large gap between where they are today and where they need to be to meet customers' expectations, many fail to use advanced technologies and best practices, according to a JDA survey of 255 executives across 17 countries, representing a wide range of retailers and manufacturers.
Analyst Insight: Optimization. It sounds simple enough, but when was the last time you thoroughly reviewed your supply chain, and more specifically, the transportation network and associated cost structure for complete optimization? Optimization has many spokes, yet the goal is to improve service and reduce costs. For many companies this awareness is event-driven, occurring only when something negatively impacts the supply chain such as congestion at ports or anywhere along the transportation network, supplier issues, or an imbalance in inventory. – John Haber, President & CEO, Spend Management Experts
In the evolving supply chain, technology has allowed for more rapid and productive dissemination of critical information between organizational partners upstream and downstream. While this increased flexibility, scalability and efficiency of operations provides economies of scale and scope on the revenue and expense side for businesses, the tradeoff becomes a burgeoning access terminal for cybercriminals to poach critical intelligence flows.
Aligning supply chain planning with execution is now a competitive necessity and essential for all organizations, according to a new study. Results from the 2014 Supply Chain Benchmarking Study reveal investment priorities and top challenges of more than 300 supply chain professionals from a wide cross-section of the market.