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.
Spreadsheet, meet AI. AI, meet spreadsheet. It’s no secret that Excel is the tool of choice for most supply and demand management systems. With its easy-to-navigate tabular interface and advanced filtering system, data can be easily selected and collated to make better supply chain and inventory management decisions. Excel is relatively unchallenged in terms of […]
Bringing AI and ML to SCM, CRM and ERP Many businesses and platforms are beginning to understand the value of integrated business operations across SCM, CRM and ERP. Some big technology providers are even crawling towards making it happen. But all of them are missing a trick. The real gold lies in being able to […]
To buy-back or not to buy-back, that is the question We’ve said it before, but forecasts are almost always wrong. What this means for many businesses is excess stock taking up valuable shelf or floor space. Whatever methods a business chooses to move this stock, the priority should always be to move it. Buy-back is […]
Big Data. Ignore at your own risk. In the beginning there was the Stone Age, then the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Skip a few millennia and here we are, in the Age of Big Data. As a business tool, the enormous amount of information generated by your business and beyond - along with the […]
Knowledge is power Supply chains - from the very first step of a product or service development, through sourcing, manufacture, logistics and sale - are a treasure trove of invaluable information. Centralising your processes via a robust, optimised SCM (Supply Chain Management) system is step one in transforming this data into profitability. The next step […]
Is something missing from your SCM model? Not all retail businesses have the same type of supply chain. The path to market for a pair of shoes, for example, differs from that of a chocolate bar. So when it comes to ensuring your operations are running as efficiently as possible to meet the true demand […]
Not all Supply Chain Management tools are created equal These days, if you’re not looking to enhance your business processes with Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), you’re not doing your job. While rapid digitisation of almost every business operation has brought various SCM tools to market, not all of them are […]
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