According to today’s panelists at the standing-room only session, “The Ultimate Retail Supply Chain Machine: Connecting the Consumer to the Factory,” the modern supply chain needs a “radical streamlining” that fully integrates production with purchases in an effort to help retailers and manufacturers operate their physical and information supply chains as one.
The panel, which featured senior executives and representatives from Proctor & Gamble, West Marine and Kraft described how they utilize best practice guidelines, developed by Voluntary Interindustry Commerce Solutions (VICS), to align their supply chains to “meet the real needs of consumers.”
With consumer appetites ever-evolving, retailers and their suppliers need to better prepare and respond to consumer demand and be able to develop and adapt their entire supply chain system – in real-time – to meet the consumer demand drive.
To do so, both retailers and manufacturers must break down the silos that separate them by investing in each other, the design, manufacturing, procurement and delivery of consumer products. They must also incorporate real-time information, from point-of-sale analytics, to big data and beyond, to maximize their efforts.
Kraft Foods Group, Inc. Customer Vice President Ken Volpe described how Kraft partnered with Sam’s Club to create a collaborative relationship that integrates data from their physical supply chain (production and purchases) and information supply chain (what sells, what doesn’t and when) to meet their consumers’ demands.
Volpe described how this partnership can increase in-store stock, lower warehouse costs, reduce excess inventory and improve efficiency – to the envy of the supply chain executives.
The relationship exemplified by Kraft and Sam’s, which connects production and purchases, is one that every retailer and manufacturer can implement, with the assistance of VICS, to truly connect the consumer with the factory.