Tag: supply chain

Supply Chain Transformation Services for Retail and CPG PEAK Matrix® Assessment 2023

Supply Chain Transformation Services for Retail and CPG

In recent years, particularly after the pandemic, retail and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) enterprises have begun investing in supply chain transformation services. The global disruption emphasized the need for a flexible and resilient supply chain. These transformation services play a vital role in optimizing operations, aligning demand and supply, improving customer experiences, and enabling rapid responses to market changes.

In the aftermath of the pandemic, these services are essential for enterprises to navigate uncertainties, ensure business continuity, and meet evolving consumer demands. They also foster competitiveness and sustainability in an increasingly dynamic and unpredictable business environment.

Supply Chain Transformation Services for Retail and Cpg Peak Matrix® Assessment 2023

What is in this PEAK Matrix® Report

In this report, we assess 15 providers featured on the Supply Chain Transformation Services for Retail and CPG PEAK Matrix® 2023. Each profile provides a comprehensive picture of the provider’s service focus, key Intellectual Property (IP) / solutions, domain investments, and case studies. The study will enable buyers to choose the best-fit provider based on their sourcing considerations, while providers will be able to benchmark their performance against each other.
 

In this report, we provide:

  • Detailed assessments, including strengths and limitations, of 15 providers that focus on supply chain transformation services in the retail and CPG industry.

Scope:

  • Industry: retail and CPG
  • Geography: global
  • The assessment is based on Everest Group’s annual RFI process for the calendar year 2023, interactions with leading providers, client reference checks, and an ongoing analysis of the retail and CPG IT services market

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What is the PEAK Matrix®?

The PEAK Matrix® provides an objective, data-driven assessment of service and technology providers based on their overall capability and market impact across different global services markets, classifying them into three categories: Leaders, Major Contenders, and Aspirants.

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Striking the Right Chords: Composable Platforms to Orchestrate Supply Chain Platformization in the Retail and CPG Industry | Blog

Confronted with significant challenges in managing their supply chain due to fragmented software solutions and data silos, retail and consumer packaged goods (CPG) enterprises need unified platforms that support the demand for customization while maintaining agility. Learn about the benefits and components of composable platforms as well as the collaborative role ecosystem stakeholders can play to bring together the supply chain landscape in this blog.

Reach out for more information on this topic.

The retail and CPG industry supply chain is a complex web of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Daily fluctuations in consumer demand patterns and the rapid growth of e-commerce and newer business models have further increased the intricacy.

Yet, half of the industry has not moved past using spreadsheets and custom-built discrete solutions to manage their operations. Based on an Everest Group study, almost 48% of retailers and consumer goods companies still track their supply chains using spreadsheets. While these solutions are powerful tools, they often lead to siloed data and disjointed processes, resulting in delays and poor supply chain visibility. Let’s explore these limitations and a better solution.

Fragmented supply chain software solutions

The supply chain is a core function not only in retail and CPG but a building block of the economic infrastructure for many other industries. However, no multi-billion-dollar end-to-end supply chain platform company exists like Salesforce in customer relationship management (CRM), Workday in Human Resources (HR), ServiceNow in IT service management (ITSM), and Oracle and SAP in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

The application landscape is fragmented across different departments, such as transportation, warehousing, procurement, planning, and inventory management, with each having its own goals and limited alignment, leading to distinct silos.

Software providers also target these separate buying centers, resulting in various supply chain software categories having great diversity. Due to this heterogeneity and the lack of unified ownership, no comprehensive solution that covers the entire end-to-end supply chain is available.

Data silos across the value chain

The fragmented nature of the application landscape also creates data silos that pose significant challenges within the retail supply chain, hindering efficiency and inhibiting strategic decision-making.

According to our recent study, almost 83% of retailers struggle with data silos across various functions such as inventory management, procurement, logistics, and point of sale (POS) systems. This disconnected data landscape not only impedes supply chain visibility but also results in missed opportunities for cost savings and improved customer experience.

Need for customization

Customizing supply chain is a top demand for retail and CPG enterprises. Many companies have spent decades building software that uniquely fits their purposes.

Enterprises transforming their supply chain are either migrating or replicating these solutions to the cloud. However, they are finding out-of-the-box solutions such as Blue Yonder, SAP, Manhattan, and others do not fit the purpose in most cases. Roughly 30-50% of enterprises, even digitally mature ones, still need customization.

Moreover, the RCPG industry also requires workflow applications and other low-code applications to augment the day-to-day decision-making of different system stakeholders. For these reasons, a unified platform that supports customization while maintaining agility is crucial.

Target state of supply chain platformization

By integrating suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers on a unified platform, organizations can achieve end-to-end visibility, optimize inventory levels, reduce stockouts, and improve customer satisfaction. Real-time data analytics empower stakeholders to anticipate demand, optimize production schedules, and minimize waste.

This unified supply chain management platform should have the following five components:

  1. Orchestration – The platform should have end-to-end capabilities that not only orchestrate core business applications such as inventory management and supply chain planning but also value-add applications such as sustainability monitoring and supplier risk management, among others
  2. Composability – The platform architecture should be a composite structure of granular components interconnected by business logic and extensible as required. Components in composable platforms promote interoperability, allowing different components developed using various technologies or programming languages to work together seamlessly. This interoperability is typically achieved through standardized protocols, data formats, or communication mechanisms
  3. Scalability – The platform should be built on the cloud to provide scalability as the supply chain process scales up in volume and complexity. The platform should also have integration capabilities that support seamless data exchange and communication between on-premise systems and cloud services. This includes connectors, application programming interfaces (APIs), or middleware solutions that enable smooth data flow and interoperability between the different environments
  4. Unified data fabric – The traditional linear data value chain should be replaced by a collapsed one with structured and unstructured internal and external data all in one location. The platform should act as a single repository of all the supply chain data that is standardized and can be accessed in real-time
  5. Extendibility – The platform should provide the ability to extend existing applications as the business scales. It should have developer portals to build supply chain services/products and a marketplace for technology partners to integrate their solutions on the platform

Picture1

Consolidating the current fragmented supply chain platform landscape is no easy feat and requires collaboration by hyperscalers, data cloud vendors, and enterprise application providers. Some of the players to roll out collaborative initiatives include:

  • Blue Yonder, in partnership with Snowflake and Azure, is consolidating the majority of its solutions offerings on the Luminate platform
  • Microsoft launched its supply chain platform late last year, which aims to provide platformization building blocks across Azure, Dynamics 365, Microsoft Teams, and Power Platform

Technical debt prevents many large enterprises from undergoing supply chain platformization. Our analysis of supply chain investments by retail leaders indicates the end-to-end platformization journey needs to be iterative and not a big-bang transition. It also requires a balanced approach of adopting out-of-the-box applications and building composable applications from the ground up to fit the organizational context.

Everest Group will continue to follow the evolution in this space. To discuss composable platforms and other supply chain management trends in the retail and CPG industry, please reach out to [email protected] and [email protected].

Learn the key technology investment priorities for retail and CPG in our LinkedIn Live session, The Future of Retail and CPG: Balancing Economics, Efficiency & Experience.

Internet of Things Will Connect the Supply Chain in the “Next Normal” | Blog

Imagine a utopia where minimum human intervention is needed to run an entire shop floor. In this world, manufacturers have total control and visibility of all products, machines predict equipment failures and correct them, shelves count inventory, and customers check themselves out. While such a supply chain model seems improbable and far into the future, the likes of Amazon, Walmart, and Toyota, are already on their way to achieving this vision. At the center of their supply chain initiatives making this possible is the Internet of Things (IoT.)

The supply chain is considered the backbone of a successful enterprise.  However, firms find it increasingly challenging to establish a robust supply chain model. The disruptions caused by COVID-19 have further made matters worse as ‘disconnected enterprises’ struggle to gain complete supply chain visibility. The pandemic has established that supply chain disruptions and uncertainties will become more frequent going forward.

Supply chain challenges

The current supply chain landscape faces numerous challenges that need to be addressed.  These issues are illustrated below:

Challenges in Current Supply chain

 Future-proofing the supply chain using IoT

As enterprises strive to develop a resilient supply chain, IoT will occupy the center stage. An interconnected supply chain will bring together suppliers/vendors, logistic providers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, and customers dispersed by geography. The technology ensures improved efficiency, better risk management, end-to-end visibility, and enhanced stakeholder experience.

A seamlessly connected supply chain provides advantages at every stage of the value chain for each of the stakeholders. The exhibit below showcases a connected supply chain ecosystem:

Connected ecosystem for supply chain

 Let’s look at how some companies are capturing the benefits IoT:

  • Real-time location tracking

Using real-time data (captured from GPS coordinates) tracking the movement of raw materials/finished goods, IoT technology aids firms in determining where and when products get delayed. This helps managers ensure route optimization and better plan the delivery schedule. IoT, in combination with blockchain, helps secure the products against fraud. For example, Novo Surgical leverages IoT for optimally tracking and tracing its ‘smart surgical instruments.’ This has reduced errors, decreased surgical instrument loss, increased visibility and efficiency, and improved forecasting of demand for the firm.

  • Equipment monitoring

Sensors on machines constantly collect information around the functioning of the machine, enabling managers to monitor them in real time. By analyzing parameters such as machine temperature, vibration, etc., manufacturers can better predict machine downtime and take necessary actions to mitigate this. For instance, Toyota partnered with Hitachi to leverage the vendor’s IoT platform and use the data collected to reduce unexpected machine failures and improve the reliability and efficiency of equipment.

  • Smart inventory management

IoT sensors in the warehouse assist in tracking the movement of individual items, providing an efficient way to monitor inventory levels and prevent pilferage. Smart shelves contain weight sensors that monitor the product weight to determine when products are out of stock. Walmart has been leveraging smart shelves in its retail stores to manage its products more efficiently and improve the shopping experience.

  • Warehouse management

IoT technology uses sensors that can monitor and adjust warehouse parameters such as humidity, temperature, pressure, and avoiding spoiling of items. Leading e-commerce players like Amazon and Alibaba have been pioneers in leveraging IoT to optimize warehouse management.

 Charting the journey for a connected supply chain

As enterprises aim to future-proof their supply chain, they will need a structured path following these five steps below:

  1. Develop a business case: Enterprises need to determine the current gaps in their supply chain and identify the extent of digitization of their supply chain to develop the business case for a connected supply chain.
  2. Secure buy-in from supply partners: Successful implementation of IoT in the supply chain requires the various partners to collaborate and adopt the technology together. Securing a buy-in from each member of the value chain – vendors/suppliers, OEM players, logistics operators, and retailers – is imperative for firms to realize the complete benefits. Compatibility of the technology platforms leveraged by the various supply partners is essential to develop a seamless supply chain.
  3. Invest in security: Invest in security and data protection initiatives early on to avoid supply chain breaches. Performing regular security and vulnerability assessments across the value chain and investing in next-generation technology-based security solutions is essential.
  4. Leverage other technologies: While IoT has a plethora of benefits across the supply chain, consider leveraging next-generation technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and edge computing in confluence with IoT to further enhance the capabilities of the use cases.
  5. Partner for implementation: To overcome concerns around skills and address data reconciliation challenges, consider partnering with IoT providers with expertise in the supply chain arena. Service/solution providers also are instrumental in bringing a security layer that can aid in addressing data security concerns and governance issues.

Since IoT is an interplay of multiple devices and machines, a successful IoT implementation requires firms to invest in sensors, cloud/edge infrastructure, IoT connectivity networks, data management and analytics solutions, and application development and management. Enterprises can accelerate their IoT supply chain journeys by partnering with solution providers with strong expertise in IoT products and services capabilities in the supply chain arena.

Are you embarking on your connected supply chain journey? Please share your thoughts and experiences with us at [email protected] and [email protected].

COVID-19 Highlights Life Sciences’ Need for an Adaptable Supply Chain | Blog

With cases topping one million globally, governments and health care agencies across the world are working to contain the spread of COVID-19 through several safety measures including the complete lockdown of high-risk countries. While this might prove effective in controlling the pandemic, enterprises across multiple industries are struggling to mitigate its growing impact on the supply chain.

Forced quarantine in manufacturing countries like China has significantly affected major industries including automotive, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices and supplies, highlighting the limitations in their existing supply chain models. The impact on the overarching life sciences industry is particularly acute, because it cuts across the entire ecosystem, and could potentially enable the spread of COVID-19 due to the diminishing supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients and medical supplies such as masks and hand sanitizers from the key supplier, China.

Despite acknowledging the risks of a single sourcing strategy, many organizations in the life sciences industry continue to work with a single supplier in low-cost regions like China and India to capitalize on their lower costs for labor and materials. This is risky in and of itself. And it also results in sub-contracting situations that lack transparency into the tier-2 and tier-3 suppliers, which further complicates risk management.

Here are our suggestions for how organizations in the life sciences industry can combat the global supply chain crisis:

  • Move beyond traditional and short-term remedial measures and devise a long-term proactive strategy with risk mitigation measures in place, at least for tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers. For tier-3 suppliers and beyond, at the minimum understand the potential risks involved
  • Establish a robust supplier monitoring system that maps sub-tier dependencies to ensure effective and efficient execution of risk mitigation strategies
  • Invest in infrastructure and technology that ensures transparency across the global supply chain, and next-generation supply chain management software that leverages technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data analytics to gain real-time visibility into the supply chain
  • Develop predictive models that account for uncertainties and risk factors to realistically assess supply and demand and modify sourcing strategy as needed. These models can also help in running simulations to better define the associated impact, which in turn can serve as input for building comprehensive risk management programs

Despite the extra costs associated with building a proactive supply chain and qualifying multiple suppliers, doing so allows organizations to rapidly respond in pandemic-like situations, thereby reducing reliance on inventory management. Building an adaptable supply chain model that remains operational under any critical situation is the key to managing sourcing risk and avoiding global supply chain disruptions.

Please share your views on the impact of COVID-19 on the global supply chain with us at [email protected], [email protected], and [email protected].

 

Accenture and Genpact Making Big Plays In Supply Chain Digital Transformation | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

The supply chain function is an area crying out for a digital platform or utility. In fact, I believe it’s ripe for digital disruption. Digital technologies such as automation, advanced analytics, AI, cloud and the IoT can make a huge contribution to rationalizing and managing the supply chain for companies in the North American market and globally, so it’s a prime candidate for transformation. Companies such as Amazon and Walmart are building logistics and supply chain digital platforms for themselves, but they seek to shape the space and disadvantage other companies. So, several vendors are pushing to provide supply chain platforms. It’s clear that especially Accenture and Genpact, also believe in the coming disruption, as they are making very big plays to compete against Amazon in the supply chain space.

Read more in my blog on Forbes

Digitalization Levers Take Center Stage in Addressing Supply Chain Issues — Everest Group | Press Release

Enterprises must leverage analytics, cloud computing, control tower technology, IoT and MDM solutions to control cost, remove process inefficiencies, manage risk, and address uncertain customer demands.

Enterprises drove 15 percent growth of Supply Chain Management (SCM) Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in 2017 as they sought to reduce high operating costs, address evolving customer demands, and manage risk and compliance. The solution to much of these problems, according to Everest Group, is digitalization.

“Enterprises can struggle with broken supply chains for many different reasons, not the least of which are siloed operations, inefficient processes and lack of visibility” said Vikas Gujral, practice director at Everest Group. “Enterprises that adopt digital solutions to combat these challenges are achieving better supply chain efficiency at lower cost. We have identified analytics, cloud computing, control tower, Internet of Things (IoT) and master data management (MDM) solutions as the emerging drivers for success in the SCM BPO market.”

  • Analytics: Analytics capabilities will help streamline supply chain operations through actionable insights to enhance visibility and control. However, despite the growing adoption, analytics penetration within supply chain remains low when compared to procurement.
  • Cloud: Cloud is becoming a major disruptive force for seamless supply chain operations, because it enables agile operations, cost containment and increased collaboration. Cloud ties all underlying pieces and technologies together, forming the basis for the supply chain of the future.
  • Control tower: Control tower—a central platform which tracks, monitors and directs activities across the supply chain—provides better visibility, cost benefits through accurate demand forecasting and inventory management, and reduced cycle time. Organizations have started realizing the benefits of control tower solutions, leading to cases of increased implementation.
  • IoT: IoT, coupled with other technologies, forms another key building block of efficient supply chain operations. IoT is valuable in numerous applications for alleviating supply chain woes and preparing enterprises for the future.
  • MDM: Demand for visibility, efficiency and smarter organization is increasingly creating the need for better data management. Consistent increase in MDM FTEs indicates greater focus on data management services

These results and other findings are explored in a recently published Everest Group report:  “Supply Chain Management (SCM) BPO—Annual Report 2018: Moving Toward a Digital Supply Chain Ecosystem.” In the report, Everest Group analyzes the global SCM BPO market in 2017, focusing on the state of the market, market size and adoption trends, and the service provider landscape.

Key Adoption Trends:

  • Market size and growth: The SCM BPO market is now estimated at US $1.5 billion and is expected to grow at a similar pace in the future.
  • Geography distribution: North America is the key geography in terms of SCM market share, followed by Europe. Asia Pacific registered the highest revenue growth in the market.
  • Industry adoption: While manufacturing still leads the adoption in SCM outsourcing, newer industries such as travel & logistics have seen an uptick in adoption.
  • Buyer size: Although large buyers still form the majority, SMBs and midmarket buyers have awakened to the benefits of outsourcing.
  • Pricing: FTE-based pricing witnessed the maximum inclusion, very closely followed by hybrid pricing.
  • Sourcing dynamics: Although onshoring has seen an uptick from past years, offshore/nearshore delivery still forms the major chunk of the SCM BPO market.

***Download a complimentary 10-page abstract of the report*** (Registration required.)

Blockchain: Making the Global Supply Chain Healthier | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

In 2015, Denver-based Chipotle Mexican Grill suffered a major crisis with an E. coli outbreak that left 55 customers ill. Sales plummeted, news stories and investigations shattered its reputation, and the restaurant chain’s share price dropped 42 percent, to a three-year low, where it has languished ever since. Why couldn’t Chipotle prevent or contain it? What triggered it?

The answer lies in an ever-present scenario companies face – dependence across multiple vendors and lack of transparency and accountability across complex supply chains. A radical solution, using blockchain technology, is rapidly emerging, and is being explored by a slew of startups and corporations.

Blockchain allows supply chain managers to attach digital tokens – a unique, negotiable form of digital asset – to intermediate goods as they progress along the production, shipping, and delivery phases among different supply chain players. This gives businesses far greater flexibility to find markets and price risks, by capturing the value invested in the process at any point along the chain.

Blockchain in Action

One example of blockchain in action is Walmart working with IBM and Beijing’s Tsinghua University to follow the movement of pork in China. Another is BHP Billiton, a mining giant, using the technology to track mineral analysis conducted by outside vendors. Everledger, a dynamic startup, has already uploaded unique data on more than a million individual diamonds to a blockchain ledger system, thus developing quality assurances and helping jewelry market associations comply with regulations barring “blood diamond” products.

“Smart contracts,” an application based on blockchain technology – buoyed by advances in chip and sensor technology – is an especially powerful option providing traceability and automation benefits. These contracts can grant different vendors special, cryptographic, and encrypted permissions, can be automatically executed by an autonomous system, and provide visibility on each other’s activity to all members of a supply chain community.

Smart contract definition

This kind of provable, transparent credentialing will be especially important for additive manufacturing, which is central to the dynamic, on-demand production model of the burning Industry 4.0 movement. For instance, operations and maintenance crew in an aircraft carrier need to have absolute confidence that the software file they downloaded to 3D print a new part is safe and not hacked. One of the most compelling arguments for blockchain is that it can help eradicate the trust problem in supply chains, without which the sophisticated, decentralized, IoT–driven economy many are projecting might be impossible.

Obstacles to Overcome

While the need for efficiency improvement and information aggregation suggest blockchain technology could deliver vast supply chain savings for companies everywhere, there are formidable obstacles to overcome first, such as:

  • Development and governance of the technology is a big concern, with two imperatives – global supply chains anchoring to a public blockchain (that no entity controls) to encourage free access and open innovation, and private or closed ledgers to protect companies’ market share and profits. This conflict leads to a couple of challenges:
    • Achieving global economic capacity for the most significant public blockchains, digital currency and smart contract platforms becomes constrained by divisions in open-source communities, making it difficult to agree on protocol upgrades
    • There needs to be interoperability across private and public blockchains, and this will require standards and agreements
  • There exists a complex array of regulations, maritime law, and commercial codes that govern rights of ownership and possession along the world’s shipping routes and their multiple jurisdictions. It will be extremely difficult to marry this old-world body of law, and the human-led institutions that manage it, with the digitally defined, dematerialized, automated, and denationalized nature of blockchains and smart contracts.

Despite these challenges, positive steps are being taken. For example, Hong Kong recently formed a Belt and Road blockchain consortium that seeks to bring a structure and order along with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), an international, private sector–led global administrator and adjudicator.

While it might be too early to say that blockchain entirely solves the global supply chains issues, we believe any system that promises to enhance transparency and control for businesses and their customers, while also countering inter-commercial trading frictions, is worth exploring.

An increasing number of investors, businesses, academics, and even governments are starting to view blockchain technology as a much-needed platform…are you with them?

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