Alistair Balderson summarises four IGD Supply Chain Analysis reports, so you can “bring the outside in” and give your annual planning a boost.
It’s August, so for many in our industry that means not only holiday time (if you’re lucky), but also annual planning time.
A wonderful opportunity to step back from the day-to-day supply chain challenges to think about the big questions. Questions about our performance, and about the wider marketplace:
- What new consumer trends are happening that we need to be aware of
- What new products are coming up
- What new technologies are becoming available for us to exploit
- What our customers and suppliers are saying
- What our colleagues and team members are saying
- What the external environment will be like in the coming years
- What risks we foresee
It’s a great chance to scan the horizon, with the aim of correcting course on some existing workstreams, celebrating the conclusion of others and creating new projects to move your supply chain organisation on.
But as I mentioned already, it’s also (if you’re lucky) holiday time. And who wants to read about supply chain on the beach?
To make life a bit easier, I’ve picked out four pieces of IGD content from the last few months, written a few lines to summarise them and given you the link. You can read through the reports in a bit more detail when you have a few minutes or circulate to your colleagues.
My suggested reports are:
- Customer centric supply chains – a framework
- Benchmarking for supply chain success
- Virtual reality for learning and efficiency
- Automation – the time is now
I hope it helps, and if you want any ideas on what to read on the beach instead, drop me a line!
Customer centric supply chains – a framework
Our customer centric framework places the customer at the heart of your supply chain. It is built on four essential foundations, as shown below and in the diagram:
- Skilled: Do you have the relevant customer-facing skills to develop long-term relationships, resolve problems and uncover new opportunities?
- Available: Are your products available at the shelf-edge? Do you have visibility of product flow throughout the supply chain?
- Efficient: Is your customer offer efficient? Can you be flexible and responsive whilst keeping costs low?
- Structured: Are your customers segmented to maximise your internal resources? Are your strategic customers getting enough love?
Source: Customer centric supply chains – a framework, IGD 2018
The framework is explained in more depth in the report on Supply Chain Analysis, and could create a structure for your plans to meet and exceed customers’ needs.
Benchmarking for supply chain success
The 2018 series of benchmarking reports cover the four pillars of supply chain success. We surveyed the industry on a range of underlying organisational factors, from forecasting and collaborative planning to people development, and much more in between.
You can use the reports to assess your team’s maturity level and work up a roadmap for the improvements you need to make. The data for “Planning with partners” is shown below, so you can see that if you have formal CPFR processes, you are slightly ahead of the average, and ideas for the future are shown.
Source: Benchmarking – Customer Centric, IGD 2018
Taken alongside some of your internal KPIs and more direct feedback from customers, this set of Benchmarking reports can give you some clear priorities for organisational development.
Virtual reality for learning and efficiency
If your learning and development programme needs a boost, take a look at our recent report on gamification and visual technology. VR isn’t just the new way to play the latest video games, it can also transport your people into high-risk environments without the high risk. Even for many regular training programmes, the experience is so much more immersive, which then embeds learning in a way that a classroom-based session can’t compete with.
We’re also seeing opportunities for Augmented Reality to enhance skills on the ground, for example by helping service engineers “see” additional information alongside a machine they are fixing, as well as to receive live support from an expert based in a remote location.
The technology is becoming more commercially viable, so we expect new use-cases and increased uptake in the coming years. Could it find a role in your supply chain strategy?
Automation – the time is now
Automation in European grocery logistics is no longer an added extra; we believe that there is a more urgent need to invest. Our report from April goes over the economic “push” to ensure you have a strategic plan and some of the technological “pull” factors. And most importantly it outlines what we think should be the characteristics of future solutions, such as the ability to retro-fit onto existing technology, the use of open-source systems and the flexibility to adapt to rapid advances.
The report includes a summary of some key technologies that you should be considering, including advanced warehouse automation, collaborative robots and electric-powered vehicle developments.
Ask IGD and we will answer
I hope this overview has been helpful. It won’t cover all your needs of course, so if you have a specific question, why not try our AskIGD service? Click on the link in the IGD website banner (at the top of any page on our site) and tell us what you are trying to find out. Our customer service team will scour the site for the best information, and our supply chain analysts will be drafted in for the more specialist or in-depth questions.