Infor: creating the Continuous Supply Chain
No industry seems to be immune to today’s challenges. The unprecedented uncertainty and volatility in the market due to geo-political strife, climate disasters or global pandemics has shown time and again that traditional, linear supply chain management strategies simply don’t work anymore. It’s time to leave the enterprise-centric mentality in the rearview mirror and adopt a networked approach to supply chain management.
But that’s just the first step. Beyond addressing uncertainty, your business is pressured by a continued need to optimize all facets of supply chain costs. Understanding the costs associated with working capital and service level expectations has never been more critical regardless of your industry or sector.
Companies and supply chain professionals alike know that visibility and traceability remain key components to overcoming these challenges but realizing these abilities continues to be a major challenge for most companies to achieve. This typically stems from organizations trying to optimize processes despite operating within internally siloed departments that lack transparency to trading partners.
As a result, many companies are recognizing the need to shift their supply chains to collaborative business ecosystems. Unfortunately, many still struggle with where to start and how to do so effectively and efficiently given other investments that are already in flight.
All the challenges we’re seeing across supply chains reiterate the need for supply chains to build both agility and resiliency so they can respond appropriately when disruption or major shocks occur and adapt for future business models that may emerge.
This means exploring capabilities that allows your supply chain to successfully navigate the blurring line between plan, execute, sense, and respond. This means adopting the ability to sense demand shifts in real-time and act immediately. This means leaving the old methods and mentalities of supply chain management behind.
To learn more about where supply chain management is going, check out the complete best practices guide today.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.