Supply Chain (SCM/SCE)

Supply Chain Management (SCM) & Supply Chain Execution (SCE) Software, Products & Solutions including Supply Chain Optimisation, hardware transport, supply-chain distribution software, freight software as well as load planning, vehicle routing & scheduling software in manufacturing and supply chain applications.

Hyper-personalisation through demand-driven supply chains

Digital giants have been leading the way with latest technologies, including AI and real-time data to provide massively tailored products and services

14-Aug-2019
Hyper-personalisation through demand-driven supply chains
Delivering personal and unique experiences is recognized as a vital element in strengthening brand loyalty and revenues. Meanwhile, consumer expectations of the experience offered by the brands they value most, continues to grow. Digital giants have been leading the way, spearheading the use of digital technologies such as data analytics to offer increasing levels of real-time service customization and convenience. This “hyper personalization” means harnessing the latest technologies, including AI and real-time data to provide massively tailored products and services to consumers. Think of an online clothing store offering personal stylists and specific outfit recommendations, improving and learning as the client provides feedback and builds an order history.

Hyper-personalization enables brands to identify the subtle details about their customers that traditional personalization and segmentation fails to capture and service. We are now seeing a ripple effect, with leading product organizations and their supply chains also starting to adopt technologies that help them to become more responsive to end-user demand.

This was one of the key themes explored in a recent workshop hosted by Cambridge Consultants that aimed to develop a collective view of how supply chains are likely to change over the next decade, through the adoption of emerging technologies. The workshop participants concluded that advances in postponement technologies, demand-driven supply chains and associated business models will generate opportunities for players at various stages of the supply chain.

Traditional supply chains place product development companies in control of what flows through the supply chain: planning new product offerings, sourcing components, overseeing manufacturing, and finally distributing products for retail. In this model, customers order products by choosing among available offerings as pre-determined at the top of the supply chain. Meanwhile, product development companies and other organizations in the supply chain rely on forecasts in an attempt to manage the risks associated with how many of a particular product will sell, where and when. However, demand forecasting is inherently inaccurate, leading to supply chain inefficiencies due to the mismatch between supply and demand.

To counter this, organizations can choose to defer some operations and decisions to later stages in the supply chain, when and where more accurate information about what customers in specific locations want becomes available. This deliberate choice to postpone specific operations and decisions to later stages in the supply chain, closer to the demand triggers, is often known as postponement strategy. A classic example of this postponement strategy is Dell Computers’ build-to-order approach for Personal Computers in the 1990’s. Dell Computers created a competitive advantage, offering a highly customizable Personal Computer product range, by adopting a postponement strategy based on the assembly of the product in response to customer demand, rather than focusing on inventory management as required by the more conventional mass production approach.

Another form of postponement exploited by the e-commerce retail model is location postponement. Virtual inventories allow online retailers to offer a broad variety of merchandise independent from the physical location of the inventories at the time orders are placed. These organizations thus improve their operational efficiency through improvements in customer service, without increasing inventory carrying costs. This is made possible by postponing the location of inventory to their suppliers in the upstream supply chain until the arrival of customer orders.

Postponement strategies, where supply is triggered with a customer order, are particularly attractive for products that are subject to unpredictable and/or highly variable demand, or those that benefit from a high degree of customization. Think here of in-store retail, particularly sneakers and sportswear, where bespoke design and fit can provide a completely unique product and an experience that’s difficult to replicate online. Recent technology advancements are also introducing new opportunities for innovation. For example, additive manufacturing, which includes 3D printing, is rapidly expanding in both technical capabilities (faster, lower cost, more reliable, more versatile use of materials and better finish) and its growing supplier ecosystem. As a result, it is emerging as an attractive production method for a broader range of physical goods and components, including custom medical implants, footwear insoles, jewellery, toy articles and even aerospace parts.

The impact of additive manufacturing on traditional supply chains has, however, often been highly overstated. Some have extrapolated today’s capabilities to anticipate the demise of mass-production and the rise of manufacturing inshoring. While such wide-scale revolutions are unrealistic in the short term, the implications of mass customization and enabling technologies such as additive manufacturing will be transformational to specific industries whose needs cross over with the offered technical capabilities. For example, in 2017, Materialise, a provider of additive manufacturing solutions, partnered with winter sports gear and tailored footwear specialist Tailored Fits, to launch the world’s first end-to-end digital supply chain for custom-fit ski boots.

As the above example and other innovations such as the Amazon Replenishment Service (the successor to the Amazon Dash button) illustrate, the transition to a digital supply chain enables suppliers to become more responsive to end-user demand. Likewise, with the increased proliferation of connectivity, suppliers no longer have to rely solely on information working all the way back from the various points of sale for them to understand and respond to end-user demand. The long delays and many steps involved between supply and demand triggers in traditional supply chains causes imbalances in supply and demand. Direct access to demand triggers from end-users is often a question of business model and an organization’s role in the value chain. Technology alone is not a sufficient enabler unless the organization in question (a component supplier, for instance) has access to the relevant consumer triggers. To benefit from these opportunities, organizations need to find ways to improve access to demand triggers, either by establishing direct channels with end-users, or forming alliances with other players in the supply chain.

Advances in postponement technologies, demand-driven supply chains and associated business models will continue to generate opportunities for players at various stages of the supply chain. These opportunities include supply chain efficiency gains and value-add by creating new ways to serve customers’ specific needs in direct response to consumer demand triggers. This will not entirely replace established manufacturing and distribution methods. It will however create opportunities for established and emerging organizations to take part in new value chains that will complement, and in some instances replace, established value chains. With the rapid advancement in technologies, there has never been a better opportunity for new players and established organizations to build demand-driven supply chains and gain the value from hyper-personalization.

The report from the workshop – ‘Identifying breakthrough innovations that will transform the supply chain’ – is now available for download on the Cambridge Consultants website.

Iptor appoints new President of Operations

Commenting on the appointment Jayne Archbold, Iptor CEO

One Network Enterprises Enhancements to Its Supply Chain Business Network for the Logistics Industry

Latest version provides thousands of companies with autonomous logistics and enhanced supply chain management capabilities

REPL Group Appoints EVP Americas as US Growth Builds Pace

REPL Group appointed Jon Hughes to the role of executive vice president (EVP) Americas as it continues to expand internationally

Hala Zeine Joins Celonis as Chief Product Officer

Former SAP Executive To Lead Product Strategy

Reynolds Adds Veeam to the Menu for Supply Chain Protection

The leading supplier of food to restaurant giants has chosen Veeam Availability Suite™ to protect critical data going into its supply chain

Seven Tips for Successful IBP Implementation

Quick guide to making sure that organisations are doing Implemented Business Planning (Advanced S&OP) right

Logistics and Supply Chain Managers Predict Panic Buying and Stockpiling Ahead of Brexit

New research highlighting economic concerns of seniors in the supply chain and logistics industry, on how a No Deal Brexit could effect the economy

Command Alkon Introduces CONNEX - The Supplier Collaboration Platform for Construction’s Heavy Work

CONNEX Reveals Unprecedented Insights for Critical Path Materials and Eliminates Inter-Company Silos so Partners Operate as One Unified Supply Chain

SCALA Expands Global Reach with New LLamasoft Partnership

The partnership gives SCALA and its clients access to LLamasoft’s cutting-edge supply chain modelling and decisioning technology

AEB launches Risk Assessment software

With easy online access for all departments the software solution identifies compliance risks before they can impact your business

Avetta Launches Marketplace for Supply Chain Contractors

Marketplace helps contractors reduce costs, improve performance and grow through exclusive access to discounts on safety-related products and services

Elemica Introduces Customer Portal Assistant with Self-Service Data Management

Low Cost Interoperability for Supply Chain Partners on Leading Customer Ordering Portal Solution Providers

Iptor Selects Curbstone Corporation as Preferred Payments Solution Partner

The Mesa Group designated as Premier Partner for integration and implementation services

Command Alkon Named Great Supply Chain Partner for 2nd Consecutive Year

Selected for Helping Companies in Construction Transform Their Supply Chains with Best-of-Breed Technology

Elemica Enables Zero Disruption to Supply Chain on SAP Upgrades

Interoperability Significantly Simplifies Time and Effort for Migration

Ryan Estis Slated as Opening Keynote Speaker for ELEVATE – Construction’s Heavy Work Conference

Ryan Estis Slated as Opening Keynote Speaker for ELEVATE – Construction’s Heavy Work Conference

SCALA continues growth with new executive appointment

The leading provider of management services for the supply chain and logistics sector with executive director

The business impact of the new PM’s approach

Smart procurement expert Alex Saric warns that businesses trading with the EU need to urgently review supply chain operations ahead of Brexit

ELEVATE - Construction’s Heavy Work Conference & Expo

Offering Extensive Educational and Business Performance Sessions that Deliver Value and Help Drive Success in Your Organization

Command Alkon Introduces supplyCONNECT Replenish to Simplify Receiving of Raw Materials for Ready Mix Producer

Automates Manual, Paper-Based Processes to Improve Accuracy and Collaboration

Research finds that 3PLs still lack innovation

Third-party logistics companies (3PLs) are lacking in proactivity and continuous improvement, according to the latest research

Businesses must urgently solve their e-commerce supply chain challenges to unlock the full value of this power

New DHL report reveals majority of companies have failed to fully implement an e-commerce strategy despite recognizing its importance

The Modern Supply Chain Must Be Flexible – How Does Yours Compare?

Effects of globalization, economic volatility, e-commerce and changing product mix and customer preferences on the traditional supply chain

Overcoming zero visibility in the M&S supply chain

How Marks and Spencer transforms food supply chain operations

AEB’s new Customs Heroes drastically simplifies customs clearance and international growth

Take your business into new markets. Cut costs in shipping and personnel.

Sainsburys, BOSCH and Dyson amongst speakers confirmed for leading supply chain debate

On 27th June with five speakers from supply chain and logistics leadership roles at some of the UK’s biggest brands.

Honeywell Launches Online Store to Streamline Access to Business-Critical Software

Direct access to discovering and purchasing Honeywell and third-party enterprise mobile apps

NetApp Revolutionizes Data Fabric to Dominate Hybrid Multicloud

Company gives customers the freedom to choose any cloud with one experience

Going, Going Greener

Bureau Veritas spearheads the importance of a sustainable supply chain on world accreditation day

The Story Behind Stopping Counterfeit Tobacco

New European Union regulations require tobacco manufacturers track products

Basketball Hall of Fame Selects Imagination Park’s Augmented Reality Solution

Basketball HOF to Launch First-Ever AR Fundraising Program this Summer

Zetes supporting the fightback of the illicit supply of tobacco

Six major Belgian tobacco manufacturers are working with Zetes to make their supply chain compliant with the revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD)

Centiro with new Senior Vice President to lead North America expansion

Kevin Crough appointed to lead Centiro’s continued North America expansion

Are Retailers Waking up to the Supply Chain Visibility Imperative?

Supply chain research from Zetes followed by comments from Amir Harel, Zetes' General Manager of Visibility Solutions

A.G. Barr partners with SCALA to implement successful Demand Driven production

Cloud-based supply chain solution to improve product lines stability

Gartner Identifies the Top 8 Supply Chain Technology Trends in 2019

Analysts Will Explore Top Industry Trends at Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference, May 13-16 in Phoenix, AZ

Call for Speakers Open for Construction’s Heavy Work Conference - ELEVATE

Seeking Submissions for Stories that Deliver Value and Help Drive Success across the Construction Industry

Manhattan Associates Reports Record First Quarter 2019 Performance

Company raises full-year Revenue and EPS guidance

BSI reports top supply chain themes for 2019

BSI SCREEN’s new report highlights the top challenges, developments, and trends likely to impact supply chains this year

Award Honors Dairy Brand’s Supply Chain Transformation Initiative

Logility Voyager Solutions™ as the platform for the digital supply chain optimization

Iptor announces launch of Mobile CRM Light

Add-on module fully integrated into core ERP solution DC1 to accelerate sales processes

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Selects PTC Windchill to Drive Innovation and Improve Operational Efficiency

Advanced Capabilities of PTC Windchill Displace Competitive Product at MHIET

Butcher's Pet Care: transforming promotions and offers with SKUtrak

Butcher’s Pet Care, the UK’s number one canned dog food brand, has embraced a new way of working through SKUtrak.

Palletways London Appoints Experienced General Manager

Palletways London has appointed Colin Sturgess as its new general manager to develop the business in London, the South East of England and Europe

Asian manufacturing and logistics sectors power ahead with IoT adoption despite some concerns

New report reveals the readiness of Asian manufacturers and supply chain enterprises in the adoption of innovation in the IIoT

CHEP celebrate twelve years of injury-free working at Dublin plant

CHEP has celebrated twelve years of incident-free working at the company’s Dublin plant through an industry leading health & safety initiative

Government launches flagship auto supply chain programme – SMMT Industry Forum will support the delivery

New government-backed programme to improve UK manufacturing competitiveness and productivity is open for business