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What Value Is Customer Loyalty?

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Sep 4, 2020 12:25:25 PM

My entire career, I’ve believed that it is easier to get more business from existing customers than to develop new ones. That’s not to say you don’t want new customers, but given the effort and expense involved, trusted relationships tend to win out over unknowns.

Yet, when we think about digital transformation, the topic of customer loyalty is typically an unmentioned benefit and nowhere to be found in the ROI rationale. Why is that?

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How to Get the Quickest Time-to-Value for Your Digital Transformation

Posted by Tom Rhoads     Jun 29, 2020 3:57:23 PM

The shift to remote work has left a majority of businesses technologically underprepared – and remote work is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to structural changes.

There’s a renewed urgency for digital transformation, especially in supply chains. A recent PwC COVID-19 Pulse Survey revealed that 72% executives believe their companies will benefit from resiliency and agility in the long term, with nearly 50% expecting long-term benefits from technology investments and new ways to serve customers.

Digital transformations offer supply chains incredible opportunities to minimize risk and revenue loss by maximizing efficiency, customer satisfaction, and business growth. Digital transformations are also often daunting to approach and sell internally.

That’s why it’s vital for businesses to start with investments that yield the fastest and most valuable results.

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This Is Not a Storm to Weather

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Jun 15, 2020 3:55:31 PM

While most business cycles ebb and flow, two or three times in a generation we encounter an earth-shattering change that fundamentally reshapes the way we do business. We’re in the eye of the storm – and it’s not one to wait out.

Many refer to the ‘new normal’ as a future reality, yet COVID-19 has had structural impact since its earliest protocols surrounding hygiene and social distancing. They have already transformed the way we do business and it’s only the beginning of a series of ongoing and disruptive changes. So, how are you preparing for the reckoning?

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The Hard Economics of Justifying a Supply Chain Digital Transformation

Posted by Bryce Boothby     May 4, 2020 3:50:09 PM

There have been countless times throughout my career where I was either a recommender or approver of significant IT projects. And, I must say, I have always experienced a prevailing attitude among senior management that these transformations are black holes and money pits.

I believe many (if not most) companies still feel this way. Why? There is a litany of cautionary tales: From Hershey’s widely reported $100 million failed ERP implementation in 2015 to our own personal stories. I’ve seen businesses engage consulting firms only to give up about six months in after slow progress and skyrocketing costs; I’ve witnessed first-hand how a $15 million project ballooned to $40 million before it was even finished.

Let’s talk about why this happens and what can be done about it.

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Time for Plan B: How Supply Chains Can Avoid the Mad Scramble of Disruption

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Apr 6, 2020 2:53:32 PM

The famous idiom “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” couldn’t be more appropriate these days. Supply chain management platforms deal with hypothetical and predictive constraints as part of their solve for uninterrupted results. But unexpected and exceptional events can trigger wildly adverse repercussions even with contingency baked into operational plans.

The Coronavirus – among other upsets, like tariffs – has supply chains scrambling for business network alternatives and “loophole engineering” (similar to what automakers have been doing for years). More than anything else, they’re grappling with the consequences of yesterday’s bad decisions. (It happens). While the focus now is to get things back on track in the short-term, businesses must also start acknowledging the new big picture. It’s time to adopt a platform that is more flexible and therefore resilient to today’s and tomorrow’s upsets.

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Supply Chain Solutions: How to Make the Smartest Investment

Posted by Sophia Shats     Jan 20, 2020 5:16:27 PM

We live in a highly demanding time. Customers want more, better, faster, and cheaper. Competition is steep, and meeting expectations while innovating and staying profitable can feel like a pipe dream. As supply chain practitioners invest in and leverage robust technology to deliver on ever-increasing demands and complexities, it’s vital that they see past the fads (quick fix solutions) and focus on long-lasting trends (solutions that best align with where the industry is headed).

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Optimizing vs. Maximizing: Obtaining a Bird's-Eye View Requires Digital Transformation

Posted by Jordan K. Speer     Jan 6, 2020 3:39:56 PM

I recently joined IDC as an analyst covering global supply chain execution and fulfillment strategies, and began by reporting on the difference between maximization and optimization in the end-to-end supply chain: how it’s important to move from the former to the latter, how optimization can only be achieved by viewing the whole ecosystem, and how difficult this has been to do historically. It also explores how a digital transformation (DX) and the promise of interconnectivity and visibility it offers, as well as the intelligence it enables when paired with analytics or AI, make the optimization of large, multi-enterprise, multi-country, multi-industry business networks a viable – and necessary – goal.

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3 Key Lessons on Creating Lasting Supply Chain Success We Learned This Year

Posted by Sophia Shats     Dec 16, 2019 5:30:41 PM

We spent the year breaking down how today’s supply chain practitioners are under the gun, feeling pressured to run smoother and leaner operations under thinning margins and during the most disruptive time that has ever existed. We’ve noticed that these conditions have spawned a sense of urgency for quick and easy fixes.

However, we also discussed how, much like lasting happiness, fulfillment, and self-actualization, there are no quick fixes in the journey toward industry leadership. Rather, it requires a thoughtful digital transformation to establish a firm foundation on which new processes and innovations can effectively flourish.

As we close out this year, here are three key takeaways for cultivating a lasting transformation and supply chain success.

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It’s Time to Stop Playing It Safe: Moving from Incrementalism to Transformation (XI)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Dec 2, 2019 4:11:11 PM

We began the series by stating that simply good isn’t good enough. That in today’s competitive climate, which requires companies to innovate, expand their service or product portfolios, and contemplate what’s next at a faster pace than ever before, satisfaction with incremental gains is a setback. Most companies put off digital transformations because they see the cost as overhead, an expense to avoid, and not a necessity for future survival.

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The Best Business Advice for Your Supply Chain From Successful Leaders

Posted by Sophia Shats     Nov 26, 2019 12:26:48 PM

We talk a lot about digital transformations and how vital they are to stay ahead. But transformations are about more than staying technologically up-to-date and relevant, they’re about adopting a new mindset and revolutionizing the way you do business.

From practical guidance to contemplating the bigger picture, here are a few quick tips from those who have proven to know what they’re doing.

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5 Key Steps to Fast-Track a Digital Transformation (X)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Nov 4, 2019 4:36:50 PM

If you’ve been following my series, Making the Case for a Digital Transformation, it’s apparent that such a venture can stretch out over many months – if not longer. Not every business has that kind of time to spare, and you may be asking yourself: “What can I do if I have to get a new platform up and running in the next quarter or two?”

With tacit approval from senior management to pick a solution and spend what it takes (within reason), here’s my advice for fast-tracking your digital transformation.

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Software Implementation Is No Cakewalk. Take Charge & Win Quick. (IX)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Sep 30, 2019 8:24:33 AM

Now that the case for a digital transformation has been made and the go ahead given, it’s time for your supply chain software implementation...but don’t think it will be a walk in the park. It’s common to have a bit of friction between company departments – especially during transformations. Stamp out ‘turf battles’ early and map out a plan right away, so you can easily course correct when issues or delays inevitably arise. How you define success will also play a significant role throughout the process – don’t overpromise but strive to overdeliver.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Supply Chain Needs: Reaching Industry 4.0 & Beyond

Posted by Sophia Shats     Sep 17, 2019 9:03:43 AM

We’ve discussed how Maslow’s personal growth paradigm applies to industry leadership, as well as how it translates to a digital transformation strategy and reach those heights. Within the step-by-step journey we’ve mapped, your business may be well on its way to self-actualization, propelled to leadership by strategically leveraging some of the most innovative technologies. But, in the grand scheme of things, what does it all mean, and where are we ultimately headed?

Here we place the industry’s ambitions into context, taking a brief look at how digitization shook the paradigm, where new innovations are taking us, and what it means for the ever-evolving supply chain to be growing toward its own state of ‘actualization.’

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Getting Down to Business: It’s Time to Make the Case for Your Digital Transformation (VIII)

Posted by Bryce Boothby     Sep 3, 2019 8:11:09 AM

With a promising software provider determined and the backing of your network, it’s time to pull together your resources, construct a business case for the digital transformation, and make a strong and informed recommendation.

If you’re in a larger or public company, you will likely have a predetermined format for presenting a business case. Since this involves an investment decision, your finance organization should have a structured, formulaic template to use. Smaller or private companies will usually have a handful of people making the decision, with a greater focus on a “why and how much?” rationale.

Having sat through countless board and executive committee meetings in many different companies, and in a range of such scenarios, I’ve seen my fair share of both compelling and derailed presentations. Without getting overly prescriptive, here are some observations on the best ways to fully prepare, expect the unexpected, and make an effective business case.

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3 (More) Supply Chain Buzzwords to Reconsider & Use to Your Advantage

Posted by Sophia Shats     Aug 27, 2019 8:59:48 AM

We began discussing the industry’s most popular jargon: the ‘buzzwords’ you see and hear everywhere, proselytized as a panacea for all, and the staple of everyone’s brand – though often defined quite differently depending on who you talk to.

Running a supply chain business is harder and more complex than ever, and with customer standards soaring, it’s easy to want a quick and simple answer to overcoming your greatest challenges.

Your time is valuable, so we’ve done the legwork for you. Let’s continue our journey through the fluff to mine the nuggets of truth in a few more buzzy promises.

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