In order to more efficiently manage a company's supply chain, enterprise executives need to put a premium on logistics software and advanced data gathering methods, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) consulting partner Gordon Colborn said in a recent Supply Chain Standard article.
"We are seeing the best companies investing in next-generation supply chain capabilities that enhance profitability, but still meet the needs of individual customers," Colborn said. "Responsive supply-chain configurations not only drive performance, but allow companies to serve their customers seamlessly in turbulent market conditions."
Supply Chain Standard reported that 83 percent of the companies deemed by PwC to be supply chain industry leaders alter their solutions to better meet individual consumer needs. As a result, these leading firms have profit margins twice that of their competitors, and are able to enjoy significant delivery timetable advantages.
How Businesses Can Boost Their Supply Chain and Profits
Improving overall market results involves significant changes on the part of the organization to deliver better outcomes among partners and consumers. For one, this shift can only occur when companies reconfigure their thoughts on the supply chain and their role in changing it to better suit their needs, according to Robert Handfield, a professor at North Carolina State University.
He wrote for the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative that legacy solutions often will not suffice, since they only deal with the part of the supply chain that directly involves the business. Instead, companies have to think beyond their own confines in order to deliver the best possible outcomes to customers.
"[W]hile supply chains have existed for a long time, most organizations have only paid attention to what was happening within their 'four walls,'" Handfield wrote. "Few businesses understood, much less managed, the entire chain of activities that ultimately delivered products to the final customer. The result was disjointed and often ineffective supply chains."
In order to develop a more comprehensive understanding, Colborn said organizations should turn to advanced solutions like automated data collection software. According to a recent survey, approximately half of the respondents said they have or soon will implement more advanced data collection tools to provide more visibility and flexibility over their supply chains, Supply Chain Standard reported.
Additionally, Colborn said industry leaders in developed and developing markets turn to advanced logistics software to better manage their supplies and deliveries. By focusing primarily on cost, delivery outcomes and flexibility, organizations can maintain order across their global supply chain even if core services are outsourced.