Saturday 18th Nov 2017 - Logistics Manager

Dodging disruption with data

Thousands of commuters were left stranded this week as transport links were severed in the wake of the storm that ravaged the southern parts of the UK. And with the Christmas peak upon us, the impact on supply chains is as yet unknown.

The level of data involved in our supply chains today means that the effect of the storm will no doubt be measured and reported on in boardrooms across the country.

But, we hope, the affects on the bottom line will have been mitigated by the increasingly sophisticated approaches to supply and demand metrics and inter-business data sharing.

For example, demand management is now recognised as essential in driving competitive advantage. But according to a new white paper by Oliver Wight, demand planning has moved into the next phase, where it can smooth and even influence consumer demand – if the collaborative processes are in place.

“In the current business environment it’s more important than ever that companies are consumer-driven; that means not only capturing and understanding demand, but influencing it. Thus, the process needs to be led and managed by those closest to the consumer – sales and marketing,” explains partner, Debbie Heaton.

“The white paper sheds light on how to implement the right processes to adapt to customer demand, whatever lies ahead,” she says.

With less than two months to the crescendo of the Christmas peak, the storm that ravished the southern parts of the UK this week is a timely reminder of how disruption makes us vulnerable. But if businesses have the right approach to data and collaboration, the tools are there to meet the challenge.