3. Invest in the necessary components
To build a resilient, responsive digital supply chain, business leaders will need to invest in the components necessary to support a growing, often unpredictable, consumer products business. Planning software alone isn’t the answer to effectively respond to disruptions. It will include pieces like hardware, IT security and people working together from a single platform that will enable planners to respond quickly and confidently to the next crisis.
4. Clean the data
Consumer products companies gather lots of data from different sources like the Internet of Things (IoT), sales performance, suppliers, distribution and social media. Even though companies have all this data, it doesn’t mean it’s useful, or even usable. With so much fluctuation in consumer demand, the right data becomes an asset to understanding the situation and making the right decision to improve business health.
For example, if reducing SKU complexity is a goal, planners should identify the fast and slow movers in the portfolio and use external variables to pinpoint which SKUs to eliminate with the least impact to customers and biggest impact to bottom line. This insight into the right data reduces the risk of planners making the wrong decisions.
5. Prepare for new markets
A recent Kinaxis-sponsored IDC study of 1,800 global supply chain professionals identified that for consumer products companies, the top priority for future supply chain capabilities is supporting new market entry. The study also found that more resilient companies do better at entering new markets, making an end-to-end, agile and collaborative supply chain more foundational to success than ever before.
By undertaking a detailed, strategic approach, consumer goods companies will be well positioned to quickly manage demand and supply requirements in new markets, run potential scenarios to best respond to minor disruptions across the network and build the foundation to withstand global events like hurricanes, pandemics or IT attacks.
From supplier disruption and production constraints to shifting customer demand, 2020 has challenged every aspect of consumer products supply chains. Companies with strong supply chain foundations were able to execute their contingency plans much faster and fare better.
For companies that weren’t prepared, and have not been forced to shutter operations, now is the time to prepare for the next crisis by taking the lessons learned from this experience to transform supply chain operations. After aligning the best tools, data and people, consumer products companies can thrive in the new normal of the CG supply chain.
Alison Crawford is senior manager, industry and solutions at Kinaxis.