It’s often been said that business process changes precede technology and software. Companies would first define their frameworks and then seek out software to support those established practices. However, much has changed in the 21st century. The rapid evolution of supply chain software and technology has transformed the industry landscape into a far more complex, fast-paced, demanding, global, and networked ecosystem. To keep up with these changes and to seize upon new opportunities, practitioners have begun shifting their approach to acquiring and implementing emerging supply chain software and technology. Rather than apply new technologies and other innovations to existing frameworks, successful and far-sighted practitioners are increasingly thinking about what new possibilities these innovations hold and how their use might help them pivot to more effective processes.
While today’s supply chain is exceedingly complex, one’s approach to managing it need not be. Unfortunately, as tools and so-called best practices evolve, they often propagate silos, redundancies, and failure points in the supply chain, further complicating it.
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. The big-player disruptors (you know who they are) have set lofty goalposts and acclimated consumers to a kind of good life they’ve happily claimed as the new norm. For businesses, last mile logistics marks the end of a transaction. However, much like the Olympic vault, the total sum of a company’s fulfillment efforts means little if they can’t stick the landing.
Customers want timely service (aka get it when they want it) and cost-effective delivery (aka free). Additionally, a significant part of the brand experience is reliability and communication. These last two sound like simple bars to set, and still so many businesses deliver to the wrong address or with delays and then provide poor communication regarding cause, status, and responsibility.
Considering how much of a cornerstone last mile logistics is to brand loyalty and profitability, why are so few getting it right – and what can be done about it.
First introduced to the auto industry in the early 1990s, the philosophy of lean manufacturing centers around a kind of “less is more paradigm.” Though the principles were originally meant to perfect production logistics, the greater automotive supply chain gains tremendous value by reducing superfluous processes and orchestrating smooth, synchronous flows throughout the supply chain.
As supply chain processes continue to go global, businesses face unprecedented levels of complexity. However, by adopting a methodology centered around efficiency, consolidation, collaboration, and continuous improvement, they can leverage opportunities to reach new levels of business potential.
We recently discussed how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (the psychological stages of human growth) applied to the supply chain (business growth within the industry). This evolution is closely linked with a digital transformation, which itself can be mapped according to a similar journey of fulfillment.
The guiding principles are the same: growth requires building one fundamental layer at a time in order to achieve full potential. Just as businesses must build their capabilities and networks one stage at a time, so too does a digital transformation strategy require various upgrades in technology and innovation to enable new business models through previously unimaginable functionality.
At the beginning of last year, we asked the question: Is 2018 the Year of Supply Chain Networks? We have since established that the answer is not only a resounding yes, but that these growing ecosystems now have a name: multi-enterprise supply chain business networks. They have become such a prominent staple of the industry that Gartner recognized them with a dedicated Magic Quadrant. Toward the end of the year, we ruminated on Why Multi-Enterprise Business Networks Add Value & How to Choose Wisely, which began to touch upon two important queries posed in the former article: What’s the best way to build and connect these networks? And what considerations should we take into account?
With the rise of online sales, more and more retailers are striving to meet shifting customer expectations. Consider that 45% of consumers have abandoned a basket on a retailer’s website because of unsatisfactory or limited delivery options, according to a MetaPack survey.
No wonder retailers are shaking up their distribution networks and looking for more options.
The world of e-commerce is about to change completely. The United States has indicated intent to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union due to the way the global inter-economy postal tariffs work. These have distorted postal rates so it is cheaper today to ship from China to parts of the US, than within the US itself. This is about to change now, and will redefine competition and competitiveness in e-commerce.
There’s no question that the supply chain is a strategic asset for forward-thinking retailers and brand owners. Getting products from A to Z efficiently while maintaining a positive customer experience is a big balancing act that supply chain leaders deal with every day. So, how can your supply chain have an impact on customer satisfaction levels? How do successful companies view their supply chains and why is it worth investing in them? While the path to success may not be obvious, some recent research gives us some clues.
The volume of data that companies have available to them today has never been greater, but jumping from system to system and combing through it all is easier said than done. To combat demand volatility and successfully anticipate developing events that might impact your business, you need to establish a comprehensive overview of an increasingly complicated network of systems and partners.
Establishing maximum efficiency in your supply chain is vital in today’s customer-centric climate. The average consumer is only willing to wait a maximum of 4.5 days for delivery, down from 5.5 days in 2012, according to AlixPartners research. People spend time online researching products and identifying the best prices, but when they order, they expect things to arrive quickly, and to have visibility into its delivery status every step of the way.
Supply chain networks are the future and we’re not the only ones speaking about it. Multi-Enterprise Business Networks are becoming a hot topic for analyst firms such as Gartner and many solutions are touting their network of partners and suppliers.
Agility has been a huge focus for organizations as we enter unpredictable waters of the current and future economy. Increasing customer expectations, global business challenges and digitization are greatly impacting how we market and sell our products and provide a high level customer experience through the supply chain. And agility is critical to sustained business success.
The definition of Supply chain visibility has evolved more than any other term in supply chain. From track and trace to multi-tier inventory, supply chain visibility is used to describe improvements in how we use data to track and make better decisions in our supply chain.
Today, we would like to talk about end-to-end supply chain visibility and how organizations are using supply chain orchestration in order to get real-time actionable visibility into the orders that are being executed throughout their end-to-end supply chains. This is key.
Last week, MPO and DSV co-presented on the webinar, "15 Critical Functions of Supply Chain Control Towers". As with every webinar we do we receive a whole host of insightful questions from the audience, many of which we answer on the webinar and the rest which we want to answer via our blog.
Here are the questions from the webinar and answers from our team of experts.