Joan Lim, Sr Product Marketing Manager
Move over mass product technologies, and make room for individualism and personalization in products and transactions. The Age of the Individual is upon us, and this digital age has changed our definition of modern consumerism from mass production, to mass production with personalized product choices and multi-channel transaction options. Customers want more individualized experiences and this expectation is influencing the way businesses manage their supply chain.
Oracle’s Modern Supply Chain Solutions Empower The Age of The Individual iPaper offers insights into how you can leverage logistics, transportation, and distribution to deliver more powerful, and personalized experiences. In the past, supply chain management systems are often seen as just a back-end function. Most often than not, companies don’t even invest in implementing and maintaining SCM. But with the emergence of this Age of the Individual, or the consumer-driven market demand, the importance of having a successful and efficient supply chain management solution is critical, and is now seen to be a key growth enabler. Now, you don’t just need to have a supply chain management system in place, it should also be designed to sense and respond to the demands of our present consumer-driven market.
According to a recent Oracle study with executives on customer buying habits, 77% of retail executives said they know customers want more individualized experiences, and they believe there could be a 10% revenue increase if they improved their approach to personalization. For a $1B company, that means $100M a year. But offering products at a more personalized level can add stress to the retail supply chain, especially when current business operations and underlying legacy systems are not equipped to handle such agility and intuitive processes. Retailers must continuously evolve their operations to respond to this customer expectation of individualization, and this is where moving your supply chain processes to the Cloud can become a game changer. Adopting a cloud-based, end-to-end supply chain management solution can provide a more cost-effective and secure way to manage your supply chain, while gaining access to more advanced toolsets and greater cross-functional integration.
When it comes to advanced cross-functional integration, consider these four main key components:
Based on Arc Advisory Group’s Transportation Management Systems (TMS) Market Research Study, having a capable and comprehensive transportation management system can help companies establish a strong return on investment (ROI). For example, a transportation management system can save companies 8% in freight costs. A strong TMS that is equipped with powerful data utilization tools, can help you optimize routes, manage vendor compliance, negotiate better freight rates, and improve overall customer service and profitability.
With over 92% of consumers consider “fast delivery” to be delivery within two days, they expect orders to not just be delivered within the expected time frame, but in good shape. A cloud-based platform that aggregates real-time and historical information about orders can help anticipate any potential problems and shipment delays, and as a result, return rates are reduced and overall order profitability is increased. Because it’s cloud-based, you can scale up or down to handle different order sizes efficiently, helping to reduce total order management costs.
Proper inventory planning can match demand to supply. But you can’t plan for what you can’t see. To successfully make that sale and satisfy today’s omnichannel shoppers, retailers must be able to manage inventory across multiple locations, assess planned versus actual orders and historical demand, and build a more efficient sales network. Cloud-based solutions bring all the data together and allow team members from different business units to access the same information. Planners, logistics executives and fulfillment teams, including your vendor partners, can now make cohesive business decisions based on a single source of truth.
Big data has now become the foundation of decision making for many businesses. According to Gartner, 35% of organizations will use prescriptive analytics by 2020, up from 10% in 2016. Retailers can now use analytics to recommend actionable strategies based on potential outcomes. When data is intelligently applied against algorithms using statistical methods, probable outcomes are based on fact rather than intuition. This data also becomes smarter, and helps retailers understand trends, anticipate and prepare for disruptions. Cloud-based solutions operate in real-time, so you have immediate access to this data and can act quickly.
Change is a constant that businesses must welcome and continue to embrace. The Age of the Individual era is just one part of this digital age that will continue to shape how consumers see innovation. Your supply chain must be equipped to handle these changes, become more agile, so you can deliver more personalized experiences to your customers. With the rise of disruptive technologies including IoT, blockchain, augmented reality and machine learning, there are many opportunities to digitally transform your supply chain to serve the needs of your customers better.