No Match Found
Supply chain upheavals are among the top three disruptors cited by CEOs at consumer-facing companies — along with changing customer preferences and a talent deficit.
Little surprise then that efficient, cost-effective supply chains rank among the top three priorities for consumer markets (CM) executives: 69% cite improving efficiency (vs 58% for all sectors) and 65% cite managing costs, (vs 54%).
More than 40% of consumers said they plan to increase online shopping in 2023. And they are increasingly demanding that their overall shopping experiences — whether physical or digital — be enhanced by technology. They would like to browse, shop and return products using a combination of digital and physical channels.
In response, CM executives are investing in digitizing their supply chains to deliver for their customers. Far more than their counterparts in other sectors, they are seeking to drive growth (63% vs 53%), optimize costs (59% vs 51%), improve customer service (51% vs 40%) and gain competitive advantage (45% vs 38%).
Supply chain management now requires advanced planning processes such as analytical demand planning or integrated sales and operations planning. Technologies deployed at the point-of-sale, in warehouses, production facilities and logistics hubs should integrate with each other and with financial and reporting systems. It’s a tall order.
Impressively, the share of CM companies that report implementing specific supply chain technologies has doubled or nearly doubled in just the past year. Having caught up, CM companies now more closely mirror other sectors in planned tech investments over the coming year.
Investing in technology is one part of the equation for digitizing a company’s supply chain; attracting and managing a workforce with digital skills is also essential. In fact, talent management has taken on increased importance, particularly in CM companies, given the high level of turnover they continue to experience.
Only 25% of CM executives, for example, strongly agree that their workforce has the skills to ensure supply chain resiliency and only 22% strongly agree that they possess the skills to identify risk. In response, 76% of companies expect that some degree of staff training or upskilling in digital technologies may be needed.
The overwhelming majority of CM executives — 90% — told us a robust supply chain is an essential component of their overall sustainability strategy. Just as many say they are transparent with customers about how their supply chain and their suppliers are helping them meet sustainability goals.
Over the past year alone, CM executives have made tangible progress. Several key sustainability areas have become less of a challenge to manage, including:
CM executives are also better able to measure the impact of their supply chain sustainability investments (88%) than counterparts in other industries (82%). While they’ve definitely made progress, some sustainability-related challenges do remain.
In the wake of the economic and geopolitical fallout of the last few years, CM executives are acutely aware of the need to manage supply chain risk: 80% report that they have the necessary processes and systems in place to do so. And 82% say technology investments have enabled faster response times to reduce risk.
Regardless, 84% believe they should invest more in technologies that identify, measure and track supply chain risk — in areas such as AI and machine learning; real time IoT sensors; and scan and intelligent data capture.
Also of note, CM executives are investing in planning and forecasting solutions more than executives in other industries (65% vs 53%). This could explain their confidence in their ability to identify current risks, which only 8% say is a major concern compared to 16% across all industries.
A digital supply chain can become part of a company’s growth engine by providing the level of service today’s customers demand — reliably and cost-effectively.
Investing in the right supply chain technologies can help CM executives make faster real-time decisions to bolster operational resiliency and manage risk.
Such technologies can also support efforts to track and accelerate progress toward greater sustainability. Ultimately, a digital supply chain allows you to connect what’s possible with what’s practical.