5 Data-driven supply chain challenges to overcome in 2016


scm.jpgSupply chain, sourcing or procurement executives are feeling immense pressure to cope with the expansion into global markets, waves of disruptive innovation, rising customer expectations or complex regulatory requirements. These are catalysts that require supply chain management strategies to become bi-modal and make a shift from tactical to strategic, says Antonia Renner, Senior Manager Information Quality Solutions Marketing at Informatica, in this month’s SmartProcurement.

In addition to sourcing goods and services, cost management and internal stakeholder compliance, executives’ responsibilities will include the ability to promote and support the top line. “Supply chain, sourcing or procurement executives have to be trusted advisors to internal business partners and will have a tremendous impact on the success of an organisation engaging with suppliers, managing relationships with strategic vendors and solving business problems”, advises Renner.

For 2016, Renner sees five data-driven supply chain management (SCM) challenges that leading supply chain organisations will be making a priority for the shift from tactical to strategic:

1.  Meet rising customer expectations on SCM

Over 90 per cent of dissatisfied customers will not do business with a brand that failed to meet their expectations. Customer experience is one of the main catalysts for your shift from tactical to strategic supply chain management in 2016. In the age of the customer, offering the right product, to the right person at the right time and place are key to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

2.  Increase cost efficiency in SCM

Cost efficiency, cost reduction and spend analytics will remain part of the top business priorities for SCM in 2016. As an example, companies could save up to $6-million a year in supplier spend alone by leveraging trusted supplier data quality, according to a recent Informatica Business Value Assessment.

3.  Monitor and manage supply chain compliance and risk

A total of 61 per cent of companies regarded as leaders in SCM consider supply chain risk management to be very important and recognise a need for capabilities that can enable them to gain greater visibility and predictability across their supply chains (Source: Accenture). An increasing number of industry standards, rules and regulations will continue to influence supply chain processes in 2016.

  Make supply chain traceability and sustainability a priority

Traceability is often directly linked to supply chain risk. For 30 per cent of companies, traceability and environmental concerns continue to be the biggest issues to watch (Source: Ethical Corporation). Not only for a product recall, it is critical to be able to quickly and accurately identify information about individual instances of products in the supply chain, including complete sourcing, manufacturing and distribution history. Sustainability and supply chain transparency are also of increasing importance for a brand’s image, whether you are in the food or automotive industries.

5.  Remain agile and flexible in volatile times and markets

A many as 90 per cent of companies say that agility and speed are important or very important to their businesses. The ability to quickly and flexibly meet customer fulfilment objectives is rated the second most important driver of competitive advantage across all industries (Source: SCM World). In 2016 and beyond, your organisation must be able to deal with demand volatility, quickly react to changing market requirements, and accelerate time to market to meet consumer demands for new and updated products. With an agile business, you will be able to better handle the uncertainty of how customers will behave and how markets will react.

Any of these 2016 supply chain challenges are data-driven as they can only be managed well with access to the right data at the right time and the right place and a 360-degree view of your business. Even the most smart and skilled people rely on solutions and technology that provides clean, consistent and connected product, item and supplier data across the enterprise. This is a prerequisite to get comprehensive supply chain insights for informed decisions that will have an end-to-end impact on supply chain optimisation and strengthen your competitiveness.

Contact Antonia Renner on arenner@informatica.com

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