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The intelligent supply chain – and how to get there

Jean-Pierre Petit
3 Aug 2022

Working with a trusted partner with relevant expertise in consulting, integration, operations, as well as data and cloud management, across industries, enables you to build an intelligent supply chain that meets the needs of your organization to better serve your markets.

The supply chain has always been an important function, but nowadays, it’s much more front and center.

There are several reasons for this. For a start, business is more global than ever, but relocations will still happen. In addition, its increasingly online nature has changed expectations – not just those that consumers have of brands and retailers, but those that companies have of their suppliers.

Then there are long-term factors, such as the implications of climate change, pandemics, and geo-political crises – and then there are market forces, including not just competition, which is a constant, but less expected influences such as the global pandemic.

The forces acting upon supply chain models can perhaps be summarized under four headers:

  • Customer experience – post-Covid, the already rapid growth in online transactions has accelerated. More people expect products and services to be customized, and order fulfilment times to be shorter
  • Global supply chain – global end-to-end models can comprise thousands of suppliers across all tiers and geographies, with widely varying stock replenishment cycles – all of which needs monitoring and managing
  • Resilience – the pandemic and the war in Ukraine have shown how impactful supply chain disruptions can be, and highlighted the need to build resilience into the system
  • Sustainability – most, if not all, major enterprises rightly have sustainability targets – and addressing the supply chain is one of the most important factors in reducing CO2 emissions.

How can supply chains be reshaped to address these new or growing challenges?

At Capgemini, we’ve identified what we believe are the six main pillars needed to develop an efficient, agile, resilient, and sustainable supply chain for augmented customer centricity. These pillars leverage assets across the Capgemini Group to drive business outcomes that include enhanced resilience, performance, customer centricity, and sustainability.

Intelligent network design and systemic risk management

This involves segmenting end-markets and channels, and differentiating service offerings and design intelligent supply chain networks (including locations, inventories, and flows) right through the product lifecycle, while monitoring systemic risks over time.

The aim is to create a supply chain network that balances resilience, performance, and sustainability all along the value chain.

Smart forecasting and integrated business planning

This means designing, building, and deploying intelligent forecasting and integrated business planning systems that can better anticipate customer demand, while optimizing services, stock levels, and enterprise performance management.

In this case, the aim is to achieve a sense of the enterprise-wide ecosystem, which can be used to improve granular forecast accuracy and constantly ensure relevant and consistent planning across all tiers of the business. In turn, this means they can better serve customers while improving company performance.

360° sourcing analysis and supplier collaboration

By designing, building, and deploying supplier scorecards – with resilience, performance, and sustainability as key metrics – and by also building collaborative platforms, overall supplier effectiveness can be constantly monitored and improved, from product design and sourcing all the way through to delivery.

Touchless and agile order to delivery

Organizations need to optimize their operations, while providing a seamless, rewarding, and efficient omnichannel customer experience, from order intake to product and services delivery, all along the product lifecycle.

They can do this by architecting and deploying and integrating best-of-breed   solutions and automation (RPA, IPA), from smart order management to agile warehousing and transportation – and by ensuring that supply chain functions are integrated from end to end.

Supply chain as a service

When everything is both integrated and visible, it’s easier to think of the strategy and the execution of supply chain operations as separate functions.

This means organizations can digitize and automate supply chain processes, and then outsource the operation to a trusted partner who can apply and maintain best practices.

In the meantime, they themselves can focus on higher levels of decision-making, as well as innovation and the occasional need for arbitration.

Supply chain control tower and end-to-end performance management

If organizations design, integrate and deploy cloud–based supply chain platforms, they can progressively provide end-to-end visibility, traceability, and advanced event monitoring capabilities, while deploying a consistent performance management system that addresses every participant in the supply chain.

Put these six pillars together, and work with a trusted partner that has relevant expertise in consulting, integration, operations, and data and cloud management, and you’ll have an intelligent supply chain that can flex to meet the needs of your organization – delivering new levels of resilience, performance, customer centricity, and sustainability to your customers.

About author

Jean-Pierre Petit

Executive Vice President – Intelligent Operations and Digital Continuity & Convergence Group Offer Leader
Jean-Pierre Petit is the digital manufacturing Group offer leader at Capgemini.

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