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The Supply Chain Management Blog covers the latest in SCM strategy, technology, and innovation.

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd on How Businesses Who Improve Their Supply Chains Improve Customer Experience

Joyce Boland
Vice President, Applications Global Marketing

As technology evolves, so does consumer demand. Keeping pace with customer expectations is challenging for many businesses. However, businesses can improve their supply chain processes to improve customer satisfaction and positively impact revenue. “The older fixed supply chains can’t meet those demands. Expectations of the customer have changed dramatically. I no longer can take 28 days to get something from here to there,” Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said at Oracle Modern Supply Chain Experience 2018. Today’s best supply chains allow organizations to keep the customer in mind throughout the product’s journey. Tomorrow’s supply chains will have to evolve to embrace the notion that the customer increasingly dictates strategy and logistics. 

Benefits to businesses

Customers are not the only ones to benefit from improved supply chains. When a business invests in end-to-end supply chain technologies, it realizes benefits throughout the entire supply chain process. One example is the use of RFID tagging at the product level. In a research study conducted by Auburn University RFID Lab Studies, researchers found that retailers benefit from item-level tagging because it increases inventory accuracy from an average of 63% to 95%. The safe and efficient transportation of goods and maintenance of inventory can be extremely challenging. Businesses need to be able to quickly find items within their warehouses and subsequently track those items throughout the shipment and delivery process. Oracle SCM Cloud connects RFID readers and the Oracle IoT Cloud Service network, ensuring employees can track the location of an RFID-tagged item within proximity of a reader. This secure tracking system makes it easier to verify businesses are tracking inventory safely and efficiently and items are leaving warehouses and arriving at their final locations as anticipated. 

Benefits to retailers

Retail is a major component of the United States’ economy and, with the rapid globalization of trade, consumers are putting more pressure on retailers to deliver products with optimal efficiency. An effective SCM strategy can help retailers save costs, improve their storage strategy, boost supplier relationships, analyze customer demand patterns, and move supplies faster. Once silos are broken down, businesses can operate more efficiently and costs can be lowered as a result of efficient SCM. In today’s retail environment, consumers’ tolerance for empty shelves or lack of inventory is virtually nonexistent, because they have near-instant access and product availability from an ever-growing number of competitors. Oracle Retail Replenishment Optimization balances inventory throughout the supply chain to efficiently achieve the desired service to customers by providing optimized replenishment management recommendations. An efficient SCM system centralizes and standardizes order fulfillment processes and procedures, allowing users to view and monitor the order status and fulfillment progress.

Benefits to customers

The modern customer sales experience has changed dramatically throughout the last decade. A recent survey shows 88% of holiday shoppers said they have purchased a different gift or purchased a gift from another store because a retailer was out of the gift they were seeking. In today’s competitive retail market, there is no room for dropped sales and missed opportunities because of ineffective supply chain management. As Mark Hurd recently stated in a Forbes article, “Aligning technology strategy to better service customers becomes an essential path to revenue growth.” The order-to-cash process not only affects the ability to retain customers, but it also affects the ability to generate new business. Too many businesses still employ processes that are fragmented or siloed. When properly optimized, supply chain management gets the right products to a company’s top buyers in record time, resulting in higher revenue, a higher level of customer satisfaction, and increased customer loyalty. Today’s customers expect transparency throughout the whole sales process, as well as an explanation of how the business is working to resolve any potential issues. If your business is unable to resolve an issue as soon as it arises, you risk negative reviews and a hit to your company’s reputation. Oracle SCM Cloud’s suite of applications can ensure the process is fully transparent, expedient, and optimized from start to finish. 

Today’s marketplace leaves no room for lack of expediency. A properly optimized SCM system offers a range of capabilities, from real-time product availability checking and order scheduling to best-in-class solutions providing advanced capabilities that create more value. Oracle SCM delivers customer value by transforming your operations from a functional necessity to a value-driven competitive advantage.

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