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The rapid growth of direct-to-consumer (D2C) fulfillment models during COVID-19 has decentralized demand, adding to complexity, cost and volatility. Supply chain visibility isn’t just a catchphrase; it’s an imperative.
It shouldn’t be surprising that better order, inventory, and shipment visibility tops the priority list for 60% to 80% of companies in supply chain surveys.
Whether it’s a new pandemic variant, weather event, or containership blocking the Suez Canal, unforeseen circumstances can easily provide a tipping point that throws demand, supply, and capacity out of alignment overnight.
It will become imperative over time for businesses of all sizes to undertake digital transformation, leading to the interconnection and consolidation of supply chains over time. Look for more operations and processes to be automated, further shortening response times, eliminating error, and compressing the order-to-pay cycle, while freeing up people and resources for more productive, rewarding work. Onboarding and data harmonization will likely become almost plug-and-play for small and mid-sized suppliers and vendors, with network capability emerging as a key differentiator on the way to becoming ubiquitous.