Thanks to globalization and digitization, the world has become smaller. This has led to business operations becoming increasingly complex and challenging. Supply chain, an important aspect of business, largely affects how business performs in terms of money, material and customers. Businesses, in order to ensure a successful run, need to pay relentless attention to their supply chain activities.
The Call to be Flexible, Customer-Centric
Supply chain when designed and implemented wisely can be a powerful competitive advantage, one that will drive your business to unmatched profits and distinguished reputation among customers, manufacturers, suppliers, peers and the industry in general. In order to be able to set benchmarks of high performance, supply chain networks should be built keeping in mind the need to be flexible, to the changing dynamics of the market and be Customer-Centric, keeping the customers and their requirements in mind.
It may sound a tad simple to build a supply chain that fulfills all the above criteria; but today’s gyrating environment, characterized by changing needs, demands and cost pressure, has made this task an indeed challenging proposition. There isn’t one but several hurdles that companies face, both internally and externally. Let’s see some of them.
Customers’ expectations, their needs and wants are constantly changing. They expect nothing but the best, every single time they interact with a business. This creates a high-pressure situation for the company to work under. Then there are high frequency fluctuations in demand and suppressing supplier-pressure that businesses need to reel under.
New Challenges for Global Businesses
With globalization being the buzzword, companies are expanding their operations and this is giving way to a different set of problems altogether such as managing visibility, policies and processes. Added to all these surmounting challenges, there is the omnipresence of social media which has lent stakeholders the power to build a brand and even break one. In the face of such intimidations, companies need to ensure that all their activities and especially their supply chain, are designed in a way to meet and overcome the challenges that the 21st century has brought with it.
In a nutshell, while the opportunity for business growth is immense, there are a number of issues that companies need to deal with in order to show a positive curve. Growing product variance, displaced locations, manufacturing units, suppliers and customers have created a complex scenario for businesses to achieve efficiency in their supply chain operations and delight customers every single time. The need of the hour is implementation of a data-driven supply chain network.
End-to-End Visibility: The need of the Hour
A huge challenge that business today faces in executing an agile supply chain network is visibility. As we know, companies are on an ‘expansion’ spree. Be it about manufacturing units, suppliers, distribution locations or customers, businesses are expanding their base to tap into profits wherever there is an opportunity. This strategy is fine, given the fact that it allows the business to get into a number of zones and explore varied areas of business.
But, expansion creates risk and complications that must be closely monitored. It is important for organizations to ensure basic visibility across suppliers and manufacturers. The need of the hour is to gain an end-to-end visibility across the entire chain. This is so because business needs to be on its toes and only if they have access to the right information in real time, can they ensure timely decision-making.
Compliance is also another major reason why visibility across the chain is integral. With analytics in place, business is able to access wholesome information that goes beyond the basics.
Analytics: The winning Combination
Today, thanks to advanced analytics solutions, business can monitor all interactions and operations in the supply chain and view critical events and KPIs through multiple touch points. Predictive analytics can enable managers to predict demand almost accurately, and this way the business can save substantial amounts by optimally stocking products.
With supply chain analytics, business is able to create an environment that is data-oriented. Data combined with logic is a winning combination and that’s what supply chain analytics does. It creates maximum impact, minimizes costs and creates a winning business.
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