There was a time when the supply chain was viewed as nothing more than a dingy, dirty industry. However, the supply chain and its resounding impact on all aspects of life have transformed this overlooked industry into a paragon of efficiency. Yes, problems still exist, and opportunities for improvement are everywhere. However, the supply chain is finally getting its comeuppance and the maturity of society has taken notice of the supply chain's true value. As explained by Venture Beat, there's further evidence to support this based on the changing state of the C-Suite: "Chief Supply Chain Officer (CSCO) is a title that didn't exist 20 years ago but today more and more companies are adding this role to their C-suite. GM, Staples, Honeywell, Petco, and lululemon athletica are just a few of the big name companies with a CSCO among their ranks. In the past, the people who ran the supply chain had offices in the back of the building. Now their offices are right next to the CEO." But why? To answer that question, it is important to understand a few things happening within the industry and why it all tracks back to disruption.
In the age of Amazon, it's easy to customize and get anything you want. Do you need a new shirt? Do you want a new pair of sneakers? Have you been wanting a new 3-D printer? These questions are all indicative of the anything, anywhere, and any time philosophy in modern supply-chain management. The only way to successfully enable that type of manufacturing and mass customization is through proactive supply chain management. After all, customers don't want to wait months for orders anymore.
Proactive supply chain management delivers products to your customers faster, cheaper, and with less exceptions resulting in a positive customer experience. These optimizations of the supply chain add value to the enterprise and meets the high level goals the C-suite is focused on — growing revenue, and keeping profit margins high.
There was also a time when delivery links could be quite extensive. Customers were willing to wait for five days for parcels, if not weeks, for their must-have items. That has changed in today's world. Customers want frictionless, hassle-free experience that is technology-driven and arrives within the hour. Yes, within the hour delivery might be a slight stretch. However, major retailers have taken notice and are upping the game by offering free rush delivery. Even recently, Walmart removed the $35 minimum for rush delivery orders, delivered within two hours. Clearly, the industry is moving at full speed toward faster, free shipping, even if that free component does not always apply due to loyalty program charges. Thus, more companies are turning to outsourced services, such as auditing, to ensure they are getting billed properly on the contractual level to reduce costs and maintain profitability.
The modern supply chain leverages a suite of technology, including warehouse management systems (WMS), transportation management systems (TMS), legacy ERP platforms, warehouse control systems (WCS), business intelligence platforms, freight auditing software suites, and virtually any other platform to enable faster processing. The end goal is simple; supply chain leaders want to provide faster, more reliable service to their customers. And with new technology, including drones, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics, technology is the only way to allow for doing more with less.
The past two years have been tumultuous. And the industry hopes 2021 motoring a sign of renewed stability. However, the first two months of 2021 have proven exactly the opposite. The only consistent factor within supply chain management and logistics is disruption. A future-ready supply chain must be able to quickly adjust to changing circumstances, promoting agility and flexibility across all operations. And part of that ability lies within proactive controls, such as tracking KPIs of freight spend management, that ensures all operations continue unimpeded and without drastically affecting the financial stability of the business.
The best way to navigate the modern logistics landscape is to collect, analyze and apply data to maximize throughput and avoid delays. Intelligent audit possesses those capabilities and leverages automated algorithms to streamline your ability to deploy big data analytics and business intelligence. Visit Intelligent Audit to get started and ensure your supply chain aligns with the modern ideals today.
Set up a call with one of our experts to discuss how Intelligent Audit can help your business uncover opportunities for cost reduction and supply chain improvements through automated freight audit and recovery, business intelligence and analytics, contract optimization, and more.
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