June 1, 2016
We recently had the chance to sit down with Lora Cecere, founder and CEO of Supply Chain Insights, to find out what companies are doing to drive growth. During the webcast, she shared some key insights about the importance of supply chain intelligence and how companies can unlock their true growth potential.
Here are 4 key takeaways from Lora’s webcast:
1) 9 out of 10 industries are stuck
According to data compiled by Supply Chain Insights, 9 out of 10 industries researched have not grown in the past 10 years. Not only that, but key metrics like inventory turns, are down over time as costs, complexity, and inventory all rise. It’s time to consider how supply chain intelligence can help you leapfrog the competition and stay ahead of your industry!
2) The pressure is on, which is why you need to rethink supply chain intelligence
These supply chain issues could not come at a worse time – for both supply chain organizations and the business at large. Companies today face greater pressure from the competition, activist investors, and market trends. The C-suite is taking a closer look at the supply chain and expecting more from this area of the business.
Too many supply chain organizations are focused on just efficiency, when they should be thinking about innovation. This is where new sources of supply chain intelligence prove critical. By embracing advanced analytics that provides a deeper look into the supply chain, leaders can find new opportunities to improve operational performance and better manage the necessary tradeoffs.
“We can’t say it’s supply chain as usual,” Lora said. “Instead what we have to think about is how do we learn from the past, to unlearn, to relearn, to think about things differently.”
3) There are enormous benefits to predictive and prescriptive analytics
Traditional approaches to supply chain intelligence focus on project-based descriptive overviews. These provide limited snapshots of what has happened in the past. Supply chain leaders should think beyond this. Embrace predictive and prescriptive approaches to supply chain intelligence.
Lora used the analogy of traffic/directions apps to explain what this means. Apps like Waze and Google Maps predict how long you’ll be in traffic on the road ahead, and then prescribe a better route for you to take.
Supply chain intelligence should function in the same manner. It should predict future challenges and then prescribe a better way forward. This can help supply chain leaders and businesses as a whole test, learn and adapt to gain new audiences, to see what resonates with new audiences and what works best in certain markets.
4) Start preparing now for future changes
Another Supply Chain Insights survey found that by 2025, business leaders expect the Internet of Things, 3D printing, robotics and advanced social listening to dramatically reshape their supply chains. Companies should start preparing now for this future landscape. Otherwise, their supply chain will fall further and further behind.
Take the example of Kellogg. In 2010, the company had to recall around 28 million boxes of cereal after consumers complained about the weird smell of some cereal box liners. Advances have enabled Kellogg to spot this problem before it escalates. One of the benefits of better supply chain intelligence is being able to answer questions companies previously didn’t know to even ask.
“We can’t just do more of what we’ve done in the past,” Lora said. “We need to embrace deeper capabilities.”
This is just the tip of the iceberg on what Lora talked about. Be sure to watch the webcast to learn more.