Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Antonia Renner, of Informatica.
Supply chain, sourcing and procurement executives are feeling immense pressure to cope with the expansion into global markets, waves of disruptive innovation, rising customer expectations and complex regulatory requirements. These are catalysts that require supply chain management strategies to become bimodal and to make a shift from tactical to strategic.
In addition to the sourcing of goods and services, cost management and internal stakeholder compliance, executives’ responsibilities will include the ability to promote and support the top line. They have to be a trusted advisor to internal business partners and will have a tremendous impact on the success of an organization engaging with suppliers, managing relationships with strategic vendors and solving business problems.
For 2016, I see leading supply chain organizations making these top-five data-driven supply chain management challenges a priority.
1. Meet Rising Customer Expectations on Supply Chain Management
Over 90% 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 keys to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
2. Increase Costs Efficiency in Supply Chain Management
Cost efficiency, cost reduction and spend analytics will remain part of the top business priorities in supply chain management in 2016. As an example, companies could save up to $6 million annually just in supplier spend by leveraging trusted supplier data quality, according to a recent Informatica Business Value Assessment.
3. Monitor and Manage Supply Chain Compliance & Risk
Sixty-one percent of companies regarded as leaders in supply chain management consider supply chain risk management very important and recognize need for capabilities that can enable them to gain greater visibility and predictability across their supply chains, according to Accenture. An increasing number of industry standards, rules and regulations will continue to influence supply chain processes in 2016.
4. Make Supply Chain Traceability and Sustainability a Priority
Traceability is often directly linked to supply chain risk. For 30% of companies, traceability and environmental concerns continue to be the biggest issues to watch out for. Not only for a product recall, it’s 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 — no matter if you are in the food or automotive industry.
5. Remain Agile and Flexible in Volatile Times and Markets
Ninety percent of companies say that agility and speed are important or very important to their business. The ability to quickly and flexibly meet customer fulfilment objectives is rated the second most important driver of competitive advantage across all industries. In 2016 and beyond, your organization 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 with an 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 optimization and strengthen your competitiveness.