With its one-day Prime delivery program made available “coast-to-coast” to consumers on July 15, many supply chain managers are concerned about its impact on demand cycles in the future.
More than 10 million products are expected to be moved on “Prime Day,” in this unprecedented event, and competitors have been quick to counter the strategy. Walmart, for example, started rolling out its one-day delivery in limited cities, while Target expanded its own same-delivery program.
Industry analysts insist that retailers must orchestrate the supply chain with data-driven precision, agility and speed to build a foundational for success.
Steve Dowse, SVP Product Management, Blume Global, spoke with SCMR in a recent interview to expand on this advice.
SCMR: In anticipation of Prime Day, what tips do you have for achieving data-driven success in the supply chain?
Dowse: It’s about predictive analytics. To achieve data-driven success in the supply chain, organizations need to do more than just have visibility to data; they need reliable predictions of exceptions that may interrupt planned deliveries, and the knowledge of how best to respond to those exceptions or demand changes. While basic analytics and business intelligence are foundational, to be responsive to a dynamic supply chain, organizations should implement predictive analytics. By tapping into the power of predictive analytics, organizations are able to gather the necessary data from all areas of the supply chain, including planned and unplanned events, all of which will determine any change in delivery of goods. Gathering all relevant data, analyzing it and using it to make informed, knowledge-driven decisions is the key to a successful supply chain.
SCMR: How can logistics providers ensure the most value and ensure their fulfillment?
Dowse: To be truly valuable, its essential that logistics providers are able to securely collaborate with their customers, carriers, and other service providers on a neutral digital platform. A digital platform, with a central repository of supply chain data from multiple sources, unleashes the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). This helps all organizations throughout the supply chain reduce costs, streamline processes and raise supply productivity.
SCMR: What critical details should retailers pay attention to when trying to differentiate their products and services and optimize logistics and operations?
Dowse: By leveraging AI, a retailer can make a huge difference in their supply chain optimization. Leveraging AI can help ensure inventory availability to meet customer demand and to fulfill hard-won orders through physical in-store and e-commerce channels, while keeping focused on tight inventory control and logistics costs. Without access to shared data and collaboration tools, retailers will not be able to keep pace with companies that do. AI helps retailers understand exactly how their supply chain is operating, integrates with software to make recommendations for improvements throughout, and eliminate waste and overhead.