2019 Supply Chain Trends

by Infor Retail January 7, 2019 Supply Chain

We’ve got our eye on supply chain visibility

By Guy Courtin, VP Industry and Strategy Solution for Infor Retail

Enterprise organizations across sectors are more focused than ever on harnessing data and technology in favor of supply chain visibility.

It’s easy to see why. Eight out of ten consumers expect to receive regular updates on the status of their orders, according to a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Infor.

However, according to this Infor white paper on retail supply chain visibility, 74% of organizations take more than a day or two to determine the status of orders in the supply chain, and 41% of companies struggle to know their inventory position. And it doesn’t help that 80% of information required for actionable supply chain decisions resides externally with suppliers or third-party logistics providers.

Industry leaders are in a position to develop modern solutions to today’s supply chain challenges. To that end, here’s where we’ll be focusing our attention in 2019:

Supply chains must provide clarity of both the place and cost of inventory

One of the biggest challenges for retailers is helping their leadership and boards understand how the supply chain can become a strategic advantage for the business as a whole. Having true supply chain visibility provides an understanding of true inventory availability, which in turn contributes to the efficiency of labor, transportation, logistics, and replenishment. Ultimately, holistic visibility into the location and price of inventory equips retailers with greater ability to respond to customer needs. And happy customers mean higher profits.

Technology partnerships are essential for supply chain visibility

True end-to-end supply chain visibility remains a North Star for many global enterprises. To get the insights that can help retailers optimize their supply chains and the back end of their enterprises, technology solution providers must work closely with their customers and prospects to define what visibility means, what it doesn’t mean, and what crucial steps must be taken to achieve real-time insights from sheep to shelf. It’s a long, but attainable journey to complete supply chain visibility, and retailers need to partner up for the ride.

Communication across the supply chain is key

Collaboration throughout the supply chain is a growing concern, especially for global retailers who lean on their suppliers to ensure they can always be “on” and present for their end customer. This approach means creating a true partnership with suppliers instead of merely treating them as vendors—and collecting input from all parties about sourcing, purchasing, shipping, and time to develop.

Retailers no longer need to be convinced that they need to digitize their supply chains; now they should be focused on what their roadmap to supply chain visibility looks like. They must ask themselves and their technology partners how to take meaningful steps toward transformation, in order to reach across silos within the enterprise and across a multitude of trading partners around the globe.

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