Retailers and brands are always looking for new ways to mitigate risk, whether it involves identifying a reliable supply base or adopting digital technologies to help them adjust in the face of an emergency. Today, as businesses confront the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic, many are beginning to realize that they lack the supply-chain visibility they need to adjust. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be a death sentence; instead, for businesses that are ready to leverage the power of historical and supply chain performance data, it can be a new opportunity.
In this video, Sourcing Journal Founder and President Edward Hertzman talks to Infor president and head of Americas Rod Johnson about how the first step to cashing in on opportunity is a digitized network. From real-time collaboration, to shared forecasts, to order confirmation, to predictive intelligence-powered inventory orchestration, to new levels of scalability, a digitized network provides the crucial underpinnings for supply chain, brands, retailers and suppliers.
According to Johnson, businesses should take a layered approach when it comes to building an intelligent supply chain. It starts with visibility and connectivity. Once brands, retailers, and their trading partners are connected, they can begin to work towards gaining real-time, end-to-end visibility of data and insights on things like the location and status of orders, shipments and inventory across the entire network.
In addition, companies need the power to extract predictive and actionable intelligence from those insights. They need to understand the impact of disruptions and what actions to take when emergencies hit. For instance, it’s not enough to know that the supplier of an essential part or component has slowed production. They need to know the impact of that loss of production or key component upon the customer. They need to know where else those parts can be found to prevent a service-level impact.
In this scenario and the hundreds of others that are playing out as a result of COVID-19, visibility is the first layer of protection. On top of that layer is intelligence to not only see, but also to deliver swift answers. Data drives decisions and actions.
Because supply chains are data-intensive, quickly changing and complex, AI is needed to interpret all of these dynamic signals. AI technology helps provide predictive alerting to disruptions or potential new opportunities, and decision support so users can act quickly and optimally respond.
Download this best practice guide, for more information on the technologies that are helping businesses deal with new challenges—while preparing for the ones ahead.