Manufacturers that focus on supply chain transformation in the shifting instabilities of COVID-19 can maximize customers’ experience while enabling scalable business growth, particularly while we are seeing record gains in eCommerce.
“With the explosive growth of eCommerce, it is critical that manufacturers and distributors use data to assess their supply chain and leverage the predictive analytics that can drive customer growth and profitability,” said Ms. Anderson. Customers have 24/7 access to service and shopping with the new eCommerce engines, providing manufacturers and distributors with critical data.
“Manufacturers who have invested in and managed their ERP systems should be using those systems to garner critical information. An ERP system is the heartbeat of the organization. It interconnects everything from sales and customers to suppliers and production. If used properly, it can provide a wealth of information and analytics to support growth, predict demand, and evaluate and streamline inefficiencies. When coupled with data from suppliers and customers, we can see an entire landscape. Organizations with less sophisticated systems should not be discouraged. They can still use their data to support growth. It will just require manual effort to extract and use it,” she continued.
This data can be a wealth of information if it is accurate.
“As eCommerce grows, companies are assessing everything from suppliers to transportation costs, along with their management of order fulfillment. Many are considering the option of outsourcing order fulfillment to a third-party logistics (3PL) company. This requires careful and thoughtful analysis. In some cases, one basis point can make the difference. So, it is critical that the data is accurate and timely. As we continue to celebrate October as Manufacturing month, let us remember that manufacturing is much more than tangibles like machines and freight. It includes the intangibles like data that can make or break even the best of decisions,” she concluded.
Ms. Anderson has spoken on eCommerce in her video series What’s Happening in Manufacturing and Supply Chain: eCommerce. Her eBook, Future-Proofing Manufacturing & the Supply Chain Post COVID-19 also provides insights, advice, and experiential value for creating the customer experience.