The Link Between Brand Perception And Supply Chain Practices For Manufacturers

Oliver Huschke

We can talk all day about the billions of dollars in revenue potential and trillions of products that roll through a manufacturer’s production line, and we will still never get to the root of today’s supply chain challenges. Even if businesses deliver goods and services with pitch-perfect efficiency, speed, and accuracy, they still cannot succeed unless two economic trends are addressed: circular resource management and hyper-responsive brand experience.

Manufacturers are now serving an economy with high expectations for socially ethical production practices and real-time response to customer needs (and wants) with the “perfect” goods and services at precisely the right time. These trends are the central part of the rise of what analysts call the circular economy and experience economy.

What you would think is a marketing or sales problem really falls on the supply chain. The IDC Analyst Connection “Unleashing the Business Value of the Digital Supply Chain with Analytics,” sponsored by SAP, advises product manufacturers to shift away from moving full pallets on trucks to a big warehouse hundreds of miles away. Instead, they should configure and produce personalized items and ship them directly from the plant to customers’ homes.

But instead of merely asking how supply chains can deliver on these expectations, every manufacturing executive should ask what supply chains need to support such a significant change in mindset, process, and skill.

Weaving supply chains into customers’ lives calls for blended experiences

Building supply chains that can directly answer customer needs does not necessarily require earth-shattering capabilities and services. Sometimes you just need to take another look at four critical resources through the lens of optimization enabled by digital technology and outcome-driven best practices.

  1. People: Maximize workforce productivity by developing and augmenting their skills with the accelerated adoption of applications with proven methodologies – all made available over the cloud – that decrease time to value and improve business outcomes.
  1. Processes: Overcome the increasing risks of global operations by dynamically optimizing inventory levels, minimizing storage costs, and achieving high service levels with greater speed and less effort.
  1. Assets: Re-engineer products to be more sustainable by automating failure detection with machine learning, best practices, and existing information to improve wrench time and asset performance insight.
  1. Raw materials: Keep rising costs for materials and energy from hurting profits by using preconfigured systems that support end-to-end processes from planning, across sales and operations, demand, and inventory management, to integrated top-floor and shop-floor manufacturing connectivity.

Tackling each of these optimization tactics with digital technology allows supply chains to shape their outcomes to align with today’s economic trends. But more importantly, they can help their business deliver the brand stories and experiences that matter most to customers.

SAPPHIRE NOW: Get the tools to develop customer-engaging supply chains

The SAP Digital Business Services organization is ready to help your business bring to life an end-to-end digital supply chain with the latest technologies, services, and partner capabilities.

This year’s SAPPHIRE NOW will feature a Realization Expert Center inside the Digital Supply Chain Pavilion. This area offers a full agenda of interactive sessions and workshops that provide the insight you need.

Register today to take advantage of our recommended agenda – and be sure to save some time to visit us at our Realization Expert Center at SAPPHIRE NOW!

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Oliver Huschke

About Oliver Huschke

Oliver Huschke is the global head of Solution Marketing for Digital Business Services at SAP. He has worked for SAP since 1997, starting with development, where he built and led the central test organization. Oliver was head of application management and managed marketing activities at SAP Hosting. Further stations include strategic development and Active Global Support with responsibility for global product management of the SAP Premium Engagement Program. Share your thoughts with Oliver on LinkedIn or Twitter.