2016 Readers' Choice Survey: Supply Chain Execution
In 2015, the supply chain execution landscape boasted game-changing factors like omnichannel fulfillment reshaping capability needs, making this an important area of investment. Here, Mark Newberry of TCS’ Supply-Chain Center of Excellence includes his perspective on the Top 10 providers of supply chain execution solutions to the consumer goods industry, as decided by CGT’s readers. He includes the characteristics of an ideal solution and how to pick the right solution and consulting partners:
Can you comment on this list?
Newberry: This list is comprehensive, although I would have also suspected to see HighJump considered.
What are the characteristics of an ideal solution in this area?
Newberry: Ease of integration and flexibility are keys to success — along with having multiple partners, with strong implementation scale, capable of helping solve the business issues intended, is very important. Implementation fatigue seems to set in earlier and earlier, so benefits need to come quicker — whether compliance or optimization based — and the implementation team needs to drive realization.
Can you provide your perspective on this market?
Newberry: Omnichannel fulfillment and E2E visibility are key for larger organizations where standing up building blocks matter to smaller firms. No one has really, from the ground up, solved the complex issues around omnichannel fulfillment. Flexible integration across multiple technology stacks as well as a complex ecosystem of solutions and supplier partners is key for the transportation management system (TMS) space. The transportation function is ready for much more significant levels of participation in the supply chain conversation.
How important is this area of investment for the industry?
Newberry: Consumer goods companies should think about the retailer-supplier relationship relative to shouldering the costs of complex logistics problems. Not too many years ago, cross-docking was developed to help spread the costs of logistics and inventory across the retailer and supplier ecosystem. Applying the same theme to the omnichannel fulfillment problem, you can start to see the importance of having the technology solutions and infrastructure done right. Smaller firms should start out with an operating model — understand and develop the views of your aspirational capabilities, then build a roadmap to develop and pick the right solution and consulting partners to help you.