The pandemic may have accelerated a trend that was bubbling along in the background.
With consumer trends shifting, the ripples are flowing through the supply chain like never before. Customer service is no longer just the in-store experience, nowadays it is quite simply ‘how quickly will my online purchase arrive’.
Often, the quick response to this market trend is to increase stock levels and fill local warehouses, close to the customer, with stock the business thinks they might want, tag on a good outbound partner and the supply chain people are done, right?
Maybe not if you still want to be around in 12 months’ time…
Logistics and supply chain functions are truly becoming a competitive advantage for businesses. Smart, forward thinking logistics personnel are finding themselves a seat at the boardroom table, and they are focused on four key areas;
- Circular supply chain management – Logistics are not at the end of the process; they are not even end to end for those at the forefront. Logistics need to be considered as a circular process. Thinking about the entire footprint of the supply chain process allows optimisation within a business internally as well as externally.
- Recruiting the quants – No longer is having years of experience in logistics the only way to succeed. Nowadays it’s about finding analytical recruits that can set up data driven and connected systems. Businesses are using smart insights to drive replenishment strategies that are segmented by channel, optimised, and connected to the data points that truly influence demand.
- On the pulse – Continual balance of costs, working capital and service is imperative to understand the optimal position.
- Connected leaders operating outside of their comfort zone – Executive levels have functional expertise combined with overall business insights and strategic direction. The importance of this balance is growing and the leaders of today need to branch out of their comfort zones to truly influence strategic direction.
Paul Eastwood; Partner at Pollen Consulting Group (part of Argon & Co)
Published originally for MHD magazine