Neil Soni explains how supply chain efficiency leads to happier customers and business growth—and how distributed ledger technology makes it all possible.
All brands and retailers have one goal for their supply chain: deliver what customers want, when they want it, while spending as little as possible—and that’s easier said than done.
Focus too much on cost reduction, and you’ll wind up losing customers with poor service. On the other hand, let expenses go unchecked in the name of customer satisfaction, and it will seriously hurt your bottom line.
But when your supply chain runs efficiently, this doesn’t have to be a dilemma.
It all starts with real-time visibility
To truly maximize efficiency, businesses need the ability to track and analyze data across their entire supply chain network. Distributed ledger technology (commonly known as blockchain) is a great tool that enables brands and retailers to look at the big picture of their supply chain.
Connected with an end-to-end, shared ledger of every transaction, all parties can instantly see what is being manufactured, shipped and sold. They gain real-time insight into what consumers are buying and where they’re buying it—across online and offline sales channels.
Everything in its right place
With this visibility, inefficiencies like inaccurate forecasts, incorrect channel allocation and reactive inventory replenishment are things of the past. Each link in the supply chain works seamlessly together, supporting smarter business decisions and a proactive approach to changes in consumer demand.
- Real-time data analysis enables accurate, dynamic forecasting and planning.
- Manufacturers produce just the right amount of inventory to satisfy demand.
- Inventory is strategically sent to warehouses, distribution centers or stores in regions where demand is high.
- Retailers position products for optimal performance down to the planogram level, significantly boosting in-store sales.
- When a customer orders a product online, the closest available warehouse, distribution center or store ships that order, enabling faster, cheaper fulfillment.
- Demand signals are constantly sent back upstream for proactive inventory replenishment. There is always enough stock in the warehouse and on store shelves—no need for excess inventory and carrying costs, no risk of out-of-stocks and lost sales.
And that brings us to the consumer
Thanks to the likes of Amazon, consumers have increasingly high expectations when it comes to purchasing options, delivery speed and product costs. They will gravitate towards companies that can offer the greatest convenience and value (think buy online/pick up in store options, next day or free shipping, etc.).
To outpace the competition, you need to offer what they want, when they want it, at a reasonable price.
Efficient supply chain operations ensure the products customers want are virtually always available and can be delivered at the fastest speed. And when you’ve kept your supply chain expenses down through optimization, you can pass that savings on to the customer with lower, more competitive pricing.
Overall, operational efficiency guarantees you’ll never have to choose between costs and customers. When your supply chain runs like a well-oiled machine, it’s a win-win for both consumers and your bottom line—and distributed ledger technology makes it all possible.
Want to learn more? Contact our experts to find out what else is possible with an efficient, holistic supply chain.