Extended supply chains are forced to combine suppliers in distant and low-cost countries with customers who demand deliveries within 24 hours. 

If we think about the advantages that the digital revolution has brought with it, perhaps the answer is “no.” The paradigm that planning in the medium term was the priority is insufficient. Experts in business operations of all kinds have to change their speech.

As Bejar proposes, now “it is time to complement medium-term planning with a response in the short term, with agility at the moment, with dynamism in a controlled environment. Ultimately, it’s time to have real-time supply chain management capabilities .” And these are provided by technology and the digital revolution.

New Capabilities Through the Digital Revolution

Given this context, Accenture has estimated that the extra cost associated with conventional manual management of the execution of the logistics chain amounts to 7% of the transportation cost, 5% of the production cost, and 20% of the staff effort of the operations team dedicated to solving daily incidents. 

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In this situation, says Bejar, “the good news is that three digital capacities have been available on the market for two years, precisely focused on making possible the combination of visibility and agility that the new environment demands”:

Big Data Architectures For Real-Time Access to Supply Chain Data

Analytics engines can digest the multitude of data mentioned above and provide alerts based on more or less sophisticated business rules.

Control Tower-type organizational structures have already been successfully implemented in pioneering companies. They analyze the data and the proposals of decisions based on the same. 

They activate the functions of the chain, from serving customers to supplying suppliers. In this way, they manage to execute precise tasks at all times.

Impact of the “New” Supply Chain

Accenture estimates that for an FMCG company with a turnover of 10 billion euros, agility affects between 500 and 700 employees. Likewise, this can generate savings of up to 200 million euros per year in the costs of the chain.

As the consultancy expert underlines, “we are talking about changing how a large team of people works, impacted by dynamic and tense operations and fundamentally affected growth objectives and company costs.

In addition, today’stoday’s supply chains are consumer-centric, moving from being linear to a circular model. Thus, they focus on fulfilling the order requested by the client, a figure that was previously at the end of the operation.

New technologies are essential for this change to be possible, which enable a correct prediction of demand thanks to data analysis.

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