A supply chain director for a large global manufacturing organization recently told our team, “We have invested heavily in successfully managing inventory and are utilizing our warehouse management system [WMS] to drive our digital transformation efforts and optimize our supply chain.” This response led to an internal discussion as to whether solely relying on a WMS would create a connected supply chain that provides full inventory management capabilities, delivers operational excellence, and can be the focal point of a digital transformation.
When it comes to the supply chain, it’s easy to make things complicated. And when today’s consumer expects full visibility into where their product is—until the moment it reaches their front door—inventory management grows in complexity. It’s time to get back to basics.
There is a scene in the movie "Bull Durham" in which the coach of a struggling baseball team is extremely frustrated with his players. What has always stuck out to me in this scene was the coach’s demand for the team to get back to basics. A big quote that has stayed with me was, "You throw the ball, you hit the ball and you catch the ball."
Global supply chains continue to grow in complexity, but even with recent high-profile security breaches and logistics slowdowns, two new studies suggest many businesses may be underestimating supply chain threats. A recent study suggests one common threat, the loss of a key supplier, is effectively shrugged off by a surprising percentage of businesses surveyed. Zurich Insurance Ltd.’s global survey report on the potential business impact of “loss of the main supplier” for small and medium enterprises demonstrates that a majority of organizations (55%) claim they would not be affected at all were they to lose their main supplier.
With the holiday season in full gear, businesses race to keep up with customer demand and as a result, inventory management challenges rise to the forefront. A recent study revealed that out-of-stocks, overstocks and returns cost retail businesses a massive $1.75 trillion a year. To protect your bottom line, you need to know what’s in stock, what’s on order, and where and when it’s shipping—in short, you need real-time visibility into your inventory. Fortunately, cloud-based inventory management can play a crucial role in preventing feast or famine and addressing industry-specific inventory challenges so that you can escape the #blackfriday #fail Twitter hashtag combination next year.