The Agile Supply Chain – Turning Ideas (and Data) into Profit

Smart companies realize that successfully maintaining competitive advantage and building customer loyalty will depend largely on one thing: Agility.  In the new reality, organizations are expected to take action rapidly in response to shifts in consumer expectation, and the opportunity costs of an inflexible supply chain are great. It’s important to incorporate agility into your long-term business strategy, but how do you put tangible actions around this concept?

For most organizations, becoming more agile will involve full-scale organizational change. In some cases, the biggest obstacle to change isn’t always people – it’s the rigid, uncompromising processes within the company. If you truly want to transform into a customer-centric business, it will take more than just talk – it takes data, agile processes and leadership.

Business Intelligence (BI) is the catalyst to achieving business agility – it allows you to make quick, course-altering decisions based on real-time, accurate customer needs and trends, followed by putting the wheels in motion, and providing complete visibility so that everyone can see the status of each step. For example, let’s imagine what this would look like for a business with multiple locations that makes and distributes baked goods. Data from each store location is collected at the company headquarters daily, where BI tools slice and dice the information – providing insights on store profitability, the type of products sold,  which promotions were most effective, inventory and forecasting needs, and identifying high value customers, to name a few.

By also applying predictive analytics to the data, decision makers can do more than uncover trends– they can anticipate the future demands of the marketplace. For example, when a projected increase in oatmeal cookies is determined, the agile supply chain can dynamically adjust to meet the new requirements and kick off the rise in quantity. Thanks to visibility throughout the supply chain, individual store managers can tell customers exactly when the new items will be available, and promote them in advance.

Increased Agility = Increased Profits
How do you achieve this kind of agility? A few things are required:

  • Data Insights – Reliable data about your customers makes it easier to identify new opportunities, create new product lines, and improve existing products or services to increase customer satisfaction. This is how agility directly increases your bottom line.
  • Agile Processes – Without agile operations and procedures, your competitors will be at the finish line while you’re still tying your shoes. Investing in agile business technologies like Dynamics AX will create a good foundation for future agility.
  • Leadership and Execution – Without this, everything else is just talk.  Transforming a company into a customer-centric organization will take committed leadership from the highest level.

At OmniVue, we’ve been focused on creating business agility for years. Our mission and values revolve around it. Putting the customer at the center of your organization will be imperative to success with today’s empowered buyers, and we can help you create a plan to achieve this. Contact us today to find out more about creating an agile supply chain.

Author Jeff Pyden

Jeff Pyden is President and CEO of OmniVue, which he founded in 2003. For more than 20 years, Jeff has been following his passion for improving business execution and efficiency through technology.