When it comes to effective Supply Chain Management (SCM), few businesses fully recognise the true competitive edge it can deliver. In the past, the process of micro-managing the flow of goods that turn raw materials into customer-ready products meant slow logistics and increased costs. But today, the reality is that an optimised supply chain benefits everyone - from raw material suppliers, to manufacturers, distributors, consumers and isolated communities in the middle of nowhere.
Suppliers lower their costs
Distributors operate more efficiently
Consumers get better value
Retailers secure increased market share
The whole world benefits from greater transparency, reduced waste and less freight
Supply Chain Management in the Data Age
As businesses operating in the 21st Century, we have all come to understand first-hand the increase in competition and volatility of markets. The good news is that while increased turbulence is certainly a sign of the times, the tools are now available for organisations to chart a steady path through choppy waters.
Today, huge amounts of data is generated every day and with the right technology at our fingertips, we can predict and prepare for anomalies. What Big Data means for retail businesses is the opportunity to embed a more dynamic SCM process that uses real-time data insights to predict, and respond to, market turbulence.
AI, ML and Supply Chain Management
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is powered by Big Data - which is a winning combination when it comes to truly agile Supply Chain Management. Because AI and ML is an “always-on”, automated process of optimisation that is constantly refining and improving business processes, choosing a system that draws on all of these technologies is a smart move.
An optimised SCM process that’s powered by Big Data, AI and ML can:
Generate forecasts that refresh in real-time
Integrate historical and new data with ease
Predict changes in activity based on hard data
Turn data into valuable insights across a supply chain
Improve forecast and demand planning accuracy
Effective SCM and sustainability
Old-school SCM practices would see organisations throughout a supply chain weathering the volatility of current markets by carrying excess stock in order to ensure operational continuity. However, this bloated approach is not only costly, it’s a recipe for unnecessary waste via spoilage or obsolescence.
A more collaborative, centralised approach empowers businesses to analyse and understand their entire supply chain, ensuring maximum efficiency at every point. Organisations can then provide clear, confident and transparent Impact Statements to their customers, boosting their sustainability credentials and positioning themselves competitively for tighter environmental regulation.
Predictive, reactive SCM ultimately means less production, less waste and less freight. As a business, if you can guarantee your customers more sustainable processes across your supply chain, you’re giving yourself a point of difference for them to buy into while also making a meaningful impact on our planet’s future.