Inbound Logistics | January 2022

GOODQUESTION What is the biggest supply chain lesson you learned from the past two years?

RETAILERS NEED BETTER INFORMATION to navigate quickly. As supply chain bottlenecks have impacted every retail touchpoint, winning means knowing your options and what the market is doing. With AI-driven market intelligence, brands can make better and faster decisions to deliver great customer experience and grow revenue. —Juliana Prather CMO, EDITED WE LEARNED HOW TO STAND UP BRAND NEW DISTRIBUTION OPERATIONS in newmarkets at warp speed. In some cases, we went from no market presence at all to lease, equipment, and team in place and completely RF-integrated in just three weeks. We also delivered a building five months ahead of schedule.

Everybody Wants to Rule the World

We need to be able to plan and face the consequences that result from the consolidation trend of brands and businesses. Consolidation has caused massive inefficiencies and created a lack of options due to the absence of competition. Many companies have benefited in the short term from these mergers but do not recognize their role in the supply chain or do not plan accordingly. This has resulted in practices that can be monopolistic in nature and can have disastrous results in the operation of the chain, especially for smaller brands and product lines. However, big actors, who have actively promoted mergers and consolidations did not realize—maybe until very recently— that their operations are at risk as well. Until these larger groups and brands realize that their practices have affected the overall functioning of the global supply chain, logistic partners need to be prepared for disruptions. —Eric Gomez CEO, maxiaNET

—Dale Young Vice President Warehousing & Distribution World Distribution Services LLC

THE MOST SURPRISING LESSON I LEARNED was howmuch the supply chain relies on commercial uplift. The airlines fly passengers all over, and airline companies reserve space for cargo on commercial flights. We saw firsthand howmuch companies relied on airplanes, so when the pandemic hit, and there were fewer flights happening, that contributed to the bogged down supply chain. As more passenger

THE MAGNITUDE OF DISRUPTIONS supply chains faced over the past two years demand rapid innovation. The world around us has changed fundamentally, so legacy systems and their outdated approaches no longer serve supply chains well. Adapting an adage, futility is doing the same things and expecting the same results, even when the underlying assumptions have shifted. Supply chain leaders who have digitally transformed their organizations are the ones positioned to address emerging trends, mitigate risk, and identify new opportunities.

THE PANDEMIC is by no means a short- term crisis event. Its impact on the work of people and the functioning of the supply chain in the organization will be long term. Therefore, in order to effectively confront the challenges of the future, the business must increase long-term resilience along the entire supply chain. To do this, supply chains must leverage platforms that offer access to applied analytics, AI, and machine learning solutions, and provide end-to-end transparency. —Dmitri Fedorchenko CEO and Co-Founder, Doft THE RETAIL SUPPLY CHAIN CAN NO LONGER BE PROTECTED from the impacts of omnichannel. The volume of omnichannel purchases and fulfillment has grown to the point that retailers can’t treat it like a rounding error. They must make supply chain strategy and network changes or risk losing their shirt—literally and figuratively. —Nikki Baird VP, Retail Innovation Aptos

flights come back, that has the potential to ease supply chain challenges.

—Dustin Hansen CEO, InXpress

—Polly Mitchell-Guthrie VP, Industry Outreach and Thought Leadership, Kinaxis

Have a great answer to a good question? Be sure to participate next month. We want to know: What ’s the difference between traceability and transparency in the supply chain? We’ll publish some answers. Tell us at editorial@inboundlogistics.comor tweet us @ILMAGAZINE #ILGOODQUESTION

18 Inbound Logistics • January 2022

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