This is How Supply Tech is Solving New-Age Challenges for End-Consumers
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In today’s customer-centric, digitized society, the supply chain and logistics industry are experiencing rapid changes and the introduction of disruptive technologies is changing the way distribution and product delivery is done. Brands are constantly innovating to deliver quality customer service and find innovative ways to optimize their operations.
In this article, we are trying to outline the new age challenges supply tech is solving for customers. Also, we will discuss the next-gen tools are lending support to overcome many challenges that consumers don’t know about, and ultimately augment the efficiency of the supply chain for businesses moving forward.
Visibility Holy Grail
Many customers appreciate a visible shipping process and wish to track their purchases. Ultimate and timely visibility into inventory—both inside and outside of the enterprise—is a unique strategic differentiator for brands grappling to move products before they become discounted, marginalized or obsolete. Being able to see across multiple levels of a supply chain, detect altering conditions and address them efficiently gives a brand/company the power to react much quicker and even help anticipate changes that could impact overall customer sales experience. Till date, only a few companies are able to achieve it and glorify the overall customer experience.
If demand is not known, there is uncertainty regarding how much stock should be kept. If there is too little inventory, orders will go unfilled, leading to delayed delivery, revenue loss and unsatisfactory customer experience. If there is a surplus, more capital than necessary is likely to be used and extraneous warehouse space will be wasted. Worse, certain products may deteriorate, become obsolete or go out of fashion.
To deal with such unpredictability in demand, a robust system is required that offers real-time updates along with end-to-end visibility across the entire supply chain. From consuming products at their point of use to continuously fulfilling orders, a digital supply chain is non-negotiable. To introduce innovative ways and achieve economies of scale, brands or firms are shifting to variable, plug-and-play supply chain networks to manage their supply chain process.
Customer Service in the Supply Chain Starts at the Beginning and continues till the end. Brands often need to track and manage inventory from multiple warehouses, stores, or locations which becomes difficult especially if the processes aren’t centrally managed. To address these challenges, transportation and logistics companies are moving from on-premise software solutions (Software as a service) to invest in integrated cloud-based technologies that provide real-time updates which is accessible to the whole organization. Besides, the logistics industry has incorporated automated tracking systems backed by artificial Intelligence. These systems are embedded in vehicles to track real-time data on shorter routes to maintain lower costs.
Ensuring Product Authenticity
Today, the counterfeiting business is a trillion-dollar industry. If the customer receives a substandard product under a brand name, it is unlikely that they will ever purchase the product again. To deal with such challenges, businesses are deploying intelligent supply tech solutions to cut down on the risk of theft and fraud. Brands hope that advancements in the field of track-and-trace systems with next-gen technologies such as blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine Learning (ML) will help minimize the effects of counterfeit goods on brand reputation and sales revenue. Many brand owners have started using a barcode or QR code to create a unique digital signature on product packaging that facilitates product authentication.
It’s vital for technology supply chain stakeholders to be aware of all the challenges that could impact their business’ profitability. Strategic planning and forecasting, combined with greater visibility and security will together help in bringing products to market faster, meet consumer demand and consequently increase profits.
We live in an era of consumer customization. No matter what your company or startup is if you have to deal with logistics - intelligent supply chain management technologies are simply inevitable for your new age business.