Controlling a supply chain from a centralized operation will let CGs make more seamless adjustments to scheduling and carriers, as well as react to shifting consumer demand, to drive agile operations.
“The C.H. Robinson and SAS collaboration uses data and analytics to solve a gargantuan supply chain problem: agility. As 2020’s shortages illustrated, COVID pushed retailers and consumer goods companies over the supply chain cliff,” said Brian Kilcourse, retail and CPG analyst at shooting sports distributor RSR Group, in a statement. “The C.H. Robinson-SAS partnership combines data from retailers and consumer goods companies with logistics and transportation data to build faster, more resilient, cost-effective shipping methods that honor traditional models while clearing a path for needed innovation.”
How it works: Within an integrated data loop, SAS triggers a demand plan that feeds into C.H. Robinson’s dynamic transportation procurement tool. This connects into the Navisphere supply chain management platform, providing real-time visibility of inventory that in turn links back and informs SAS’ Intelligent Planning suite.
Consumer goods manufacturers and retailers can connect their corporate demand plans to products and freight on the move, allowing them to react in real time to changes in demand and transportation (such as weather disruptions).
Chris Caplice, executive director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (CTL) and FreightLab, noted the freight transportation industry’s need for procurement and demand-planning innovation that reduces cost and minimizes risk while growing the level of service for shippers.
“This partnership helps move the industry forward in the right direction of a more responsive and agile transportation procurement solution,” he said.
Companies that change their mindset from long-term planning to agile planning through the use of real-time data are best positioned for success, noted Richard Widdowson, VP of global retail and CPG solutions at SAS.
“[The partnership] will help make opportunities and challenges visible as they happen so our customers can accomplish more — even during a disruption of pandemic proportions,” he added.