Today's fast-paced world requires supply chain software that enables real-time decision making and provides flexibility for logistics companies to compete on a global scale. Recent findings from the SupplyChainForesight 2013 survey highlighted in Creamer Media's Engineering News showed that the widespread adoption of supply chain innovations is critical to a business's survival. The respondents cited the introduction of new products and services like advanced data gathering and mobile data collection as ways manufacturers and distributors can be relevant in international and emerging markets.
"Innovation is critical for a company's mere survival, let alone success," said marketing executive Kate Stubbs, according to Engineering News. "The survey demonstrates that typical businesses are either dying a slow death or dynamically innovating. There is no middle ground, as innovation has to become mainstream to any business strategy."
A recent Deloitte report similarly observed that many companies lack the latest tools like advanced data gathering, which often constrains a company's ability to understand and mitigate today's evolving supply chain risks.
"More than ever, [executives] must create and test disaster-recovery and business-continuity plans, not just for [their] own operations, but for the extended supply chains on which the company has come to rely," said CIO contributor Kim Nash. "That means you have to worry about your suppliers and your suppliers' suppliers.
When it comes to logistics and manufacturing, intelligent data gathering tools offer real time snapshots of global supply chain conditions and provide data-based predictions that can alert suppliers to impending risk. As technology expert and entrepreneur Grady Winston pointed out in Business 2 Community, the work of building and maintaining a reliable supply chain never ends because managers must constantly evaluate influences on the supply chain that may be, or might become, weak links to the system. For those suppliers and distributors still getting by without advanced tools, they may soon find themselves to be the weak links while the industry passes them by.