The new age of supply chain planning has been one of the key reasons as to why companies such as Wal-Mart have been able to pull ahead of all their competition. This dance of a product running out on shelf, and a new shipment “conveniently” making it just on time is more than just lucky timing. With no surprise, they are able to maintain this near perfect execution in real-time feedback loops back through an intricate system of planning networks and quick packaging.
As the technology constantly advances, many companies are finding it difficult to simply keep up and maintain one system. This is usually where the issue arises as adaptation, and evolution are absolutely crucial in this industry. One of the main problems that is associated with shipments, as any supplier will tell you is that no one has the ability to “predict” what product will sell, and what will not. However due to new advancement in feedback loops, the system has the ability to identify trends and apply nearly any element at the time.
SCDigest, goes as far as even saying that there is an increasing gap between the adaptive-progressive companies versus the ones that are found somewhere in the middle. The need to move planning networks is by no means an easy task especially if the company feels that they’re already fairly well optimized. However the reality is that there’s always room to go faster. As we progress into 2014 we see the benchmarks really being pushed, as software, logistics, and packaging teams compete for optimal speeds, and attempt the impossible by trying to obtain the power of being able to predict the future.
This is definitely an exciting time in this industry as companies are thrown into the digital age. The only question that remains; will you grab a ticket for the bullet train, or walk instead?