Finally, 2017 is here and we can’t stress enough the importance of supply chain management. If there is a problem in your supply chain and your products cannot reach their destination on time or at all, you run the risk of losing those customers forever.
If this has happened to you, don’t get discouraged. Even behemoths of the retail game –quite often and at crucial times like Christmas– fall short on their promise to deliver the products they say they have in stock.
Yet, in 2017 there’s no excuse to get stuck in outdated methods. So, we asked experts of supply chain management and successful entrepreneurs to share their insights on the emerging trends. Let’s see what they said.
B2B marketplaces, social product design and harder to satisfy consumers
Sue Welch – @GoBambooRose
Sue Welch is the Founder and CEO of Bamboo Rose, a business-to-business (B2B) digital marketplace powered by trade engines that allow members of the retail ecosystem to collaboratively discover, develop and deliver great products to market. A veteran of the tech startup world with six companies to her name, Sue shared her insights and focused on the following points:
● Marketplaces will make product lifecycle management visual – even when it’s virtual: Retailers will shop just like consumers in connected B2B marketplaces.
“After a year of breakthroughs (from see-now, buy-now to virtual fitting rooms)” continues Sue, “meeting consumer expectations for great products and instant gratification will be even harder in the year ahead. 2017 will mark increased investment in tech to help retailers survive in an Amazon world”.
Implementation of cloud systems
Lee Fisher – @InteriorGoods
Lee Fisher is General Manager at Poles Direct, part of the Interior Goods Direct group. They trade exclusively online, offering a range of high quality products including wooden blinds, curtains and cushions.
“For us, it’s all about the data”, says Lee Fisher, “and throughout the next year we’ll be able to identify and utilise it even more effectively thanks to the advancement of cloud technologies. The quantity and quality of the data we now have access to means our operations are becoming more complex, collaborative and cost-effective, too.
2016 was a huge turning point for digital technology, and it’s showing so signs of slowing down in 2017. Last year saw the gradual introduction of digital to our operations, and we are now able to harness its full potential throughout the full supply chain. We’re particularly excited about the speed and connectivity of our enhanced operations.”
I also expect to see AI on the rise, though unfortunately, that isn’t something we’re in the position to implement as of it!”
Cyber Risks in Global Supply Chains
Ayman Omar is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Business and a Research Fellow at the Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center (KCGC). Prior to receiving his Ph.D., Prof Omar worked in the oil industry and conducted several consulting projects. for a wide range of corporations including many Fortune 100 companies.
Operational excellence and lean programs
Kimberly Watson-Hemphill is the Founder and CEO of Firefly Consulting, a boutique consulting firm that specializes in innovation and operational excellence and is headquartered in Austin, TX. She recently authored the book Innovating Lean Six Sigma (McGraw-Hill, 2016.)
Cloud systems for supply chain management
According to the recent research by Software Advice, a company that hosts SCM technology reviews, 46% of the companies that contacted them in order to modernize their systems were still using manual methods or spreadsheets to track movements in their supply chain. For 2017 we can see “the desire to modernize and automate systems and to improve integration”, says Forrest Burnson, of Software Advice. “Even though manual methods worked in the past, the business has either grown or is facing tougher competition, and these methods are no longer sustainable”.