Although media and analysts report that economic growth in the UK (despite Brexit) is to bounce back, businesses remain under constant pressure. According to S&P 500 data, the average lifespan of a corporation has shrunk from 67 years in 1920 to 15 years in 2017. Of the 100 UK companies in the FTSE 100 in 1984, only 24 still existed in 2012.
Take Tesco, hailed not so long ago as the UK’s No. 1 supermarket/retailer with seemingly unstoppable growth, which is now reporting declines, loss of consumer trust, and tarnishing reputation.
The pressure to remain on top while facing potentially declining margins, ever-shifting consumer trends, and more agile competitors is enormous. For organizations, the process of reinvention and “self-improvement” is nonstop.
Scanning through the key strategic priorities of some well-known brands is an incredibly interesting exercise. The focus on business efficiency, agility, productivity, scale, and speed are a reoccurring theme, often in the context of meeting increasing and changing consumer demand.
Here is what the Coca-Cola Company says on its website:
“We see productivity not as an event or series of events but as an ongoing, day‑by‑day process of becoming stronger, leaner and ultimately better.”
While Stéphane Lannuzel, Operations Chief Digital Officer at L’Oréal, says:
Nowadays, we must be able to respond to new trends in less than six months, as increasingly connected and impatient consumers are simply not prepared to wait 18 months – the standard production cycle for a product – to follow a beauty trend spotted on social media.
Therefore, end-to-end business operations and supply chain with the army of business functions – like procurement, sourcing, planning, and logistics – are fast becoming critical internal business partners. These functions are the very engine of the organization, which must deliver constant product innovation to the market, deal with varying levels of demand and returns, while still addressing their own complexities and multiple hands-offs.
Many companies now recognize this and are aiming to design an integrated and holistic “machine” with the seamless flow of material and data, connecting it live to consumers demands, as described in IDC’s “Worldwide Integrated Supply Chain Execution and Fulfilment 2016 Vendor Assessment.”
Examine how such an integrated supply chain can improve customer experience, business agility, and performance on 24th May at “Digital Supply Chain Innovation Day.” Check out the full agenda of the day and register your interest.