The consumer packaged goods manufacturing sector is one of the most competitive segments in the market. Even with the significant diversity in the types and number of products available for purchase, there's likely more than one company making the same item and vying for a larger share of the consumer base. It's the behind-the-scenes capabilities and processes that manufacturers put in place that can make the ultimate difference between two organizations in either succeeding or falling behind.
In short, supply chain management plays a singular role in making certain that manufacturers are able to maintain a steady stream of materials for production and distribution workflows that operate as efficiently as possible. The underlying solution for consumer goods manufacturers, by creating the most powerful, yet flexible supply chains, is through mobile data collection.
Roadblocks to Sustainability
In many cases, the way for CPG manufacturers to grow is by expanding into new markets. This is a tricky proposition because the integrity of local and global supply chains can vary significantly. Trying to ship goods across a single country is obviously much different than moving them across the Pacific Ocean. Consumer goods are more likely to be part of a global market, and there can be major issues that manufacturers must confront. Supply Chain Digital highlighted the fact that companies are forced to increase inventory, but they don't have the real-time insight into demand and existing stockpiles to know how much is necessary and profitable.
Up and Down Demand
Volatility has a large impact the margins that manufacturers can expect to see when they produce and distribute their goods. With consumer goods in particular, there may be a sharp rise in popularity for a specific product during one time of the year, but demand may lessen for a number of months only to rise again. Manufacturing organizations need to be able to capture this information to enable more accurate forecasting. Mobile data collection integrated on the shop floor enables companies to recognize current production levels, while inventory management software ties in data related to stockpiles in any warehouses that may store products or materials.
An example of how mobile data collection functions in a consumer goods manufacturing context can be seen with Arquest, a supplier of store-brand diapers. As an offshoot of Johnson & Johnson, the CPG manufacturer provides not only diapers, but also training pants and specialty products to leading retailers in North America. However, a period of intense competition with branded diapers created an opportunity for Arquest to differentiate its services and solidify relationships with retailer