To be fair, it’s nearly impossible to predict what will turn out to be the biggest challenges supply chain leaders will encounter in the year ahead. Millions of supply chains face unique challenges that vary across industries, geographies and business strategies. A host of unpredictable factors will certainly arise, such as geopolitical conflict, social and economic upheaval, natural disasters, and more. But despite the difficulty factor, let’s gaze into a crystal ball and make a few predictions about the challenges supply chain leaders should be preparing to face in 2016.
I grew up in a time before people knew much about being eco-friendly, being Green, so the concept of sustainability isn’t usually at the top of my mind.
Supply Chain 2020 will continue collapsing cycles, challenging Supply Chain professionals and taking advantage of exponential technology shifts.
How do you handle stores with space constraints?
As a retailer I recently spoke to said, “we employ special manual processes to hand feed our stores that achieve high sales, but are lacking in space to properly house the usual inventory levels associated with the high sales. These manual processes are time consuming and error prone and the mistakes result in havoc.”
In my experience, just about everyone in retail wants to get out of the spreadsheet trap and leave their error-prone, standalone, manual process behind. No spreadsheet can keep pace with the up-and-down trends of seasonal and fashion-driven demand, as well as demand signals by location—there’s too much uncertainty for spreadsheets to handle.
In the US, Fall means one thing: kicking off the new football season. Of course, since I am a true supply chain geek, when I think about seasons I immediately think of supply chain planning, as I’m sure you do too!? After a particularly difficult football weekend, I pondered the similarities between the struggles of my favorite NFL team and the difficulties of implementing a winning Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) process.