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Changes in both consumer expectations and digital technologies continue to drive the requirements of future supply chains.
Consumer demand for improved order visibility, instant order fulfilment and personalised products or services is becoming increasingly common. Organisations have become more customer centric, expanding their product portfolios and increasing the level of transparency across their operations. Advancing digital technologies such as cloud solutions, automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning are challenging the scope of what is possible in the supply chain.
However, many organisations have not yet developed their supply chains to meet the new demands. The traditional linear supply chain model is still in place, leading to reduced service levels and lower levels of responsiveness.
Supply chains need to evolve from the traditional model into connected supply chain ecosystems, providing end-to-end visibility, built-in intelligence and automation in order to operate with the agility and responsiveness required in today's world.
Implementing 'Control Tower' like functionality, enabled by digital technology, can provide the dynamic visibility and integration needed to "connect" the supply chain.
Digital technology is a key enabler for transitioning to a flexible, agile and connected supply chain ecosystem. As the organisation's supply chain capabilities increase, so too will the opportunities for digital technology solutions. There is a vast array of solutions covering the end-to-end supply chain. While the relevance of each will be specific to each organisation, they can include:
To limit risk and maximise the potential benefits it is important to develop connected capabilities progressively, layering on increasingly advanced capabilities over time. This can involve starting with simple dashboards and visualisations and over time building towards end-to-end integration, automated transactions/decision-making, and scenario analysis and optimisation.
It is important to start by envisioning the future of your supply chain in relation to the changing consumer expectations, digital technologies and business drivers. When opportunities have been identified a business case and implementation road map should be developed.
A progressive approach helps to mitigate potential issues associated with poorly implemented Control Towers or connected supply chain initiatives, which can include:
As with many transformations, developing a connected supply chain is not only about technology. People and processes will also be impacted – the entire organisation must embrace the change in order to succeed.
There are many benefits of getting a connected supply chain right:
We can help your organisation transition their operations to new ways of working, making operations a strategic capability. For more information regarding supply chain optimisation or to explore any of the connected supply chain opportunities discussed in more detail, please contact Garrett Cronin or Mark McKeever.