Does the success of FMCG lie in supply chain visibility?

December 12, 2017

Before you would even start reading this blog, the answer is yes. Here at Youredi, we trust that the visibility and data we provide on shipments in the air and ocean space help fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) retailers to succeed in executing their supply chain strategy.

In the FMCG business, the key is selling short lifecycle products off the shelf quickly. To ensure that demand and supply meet, supply chain must be the star of the show. Today, a supply chain cannot work effectively without constant exchange of information throughout every part of the supply chain, therefore sufficient data and visibility are crucial for these businesses.

Challenges of FMCG retailers

Improving supply chain performance is an important factor in the FMCG business. One may say that it can make or break a business, and we shall agree with this.

A market-driven supply chain is linking customer value to supply chain strategy, therefore the supply chain professional must keep in mind what customers need - and plan how to meet the demand in time with keeping the costs low. The customer demand is rapidly changing, trends are changing so rapidly that it is a real challenge for a supply chain professional to fulfill deliveries within short timeframes. Speed to market is crucial when on-shelf product availability is the key to luring shoppers into stores and turn window shoppers into actual customers.

To ensure that all deliveries arrive on time, supply chains, trade lanes, and routes need to be optimized while also optimizing costs so the margins stay high.

Therefore, end-to-end supply chain visibility in a multi-tier environment cannot be overlooked.

Leverage connectivity in a multi-tier environment

A comprehensive view on the move of all shipments all around the globe can add a layer of visibility to the supply chain of FMCG retailers. To achieve a comprehensive view, all parties in the supply chain need to be able to connect with each other and share information in real-time. The data then can be visualized in a single platform, integrated into business applications, business intelligence tools, or control tower monitoring tools.

What are the benefits of leveraging the connectivity across all stakeholders and thus achieving full visibility across the entire value chain?

The acquired business intelligence that is gained by integrating data across the entire value chain provides inevitable insights about demand patterns, operations, and customer requirements. It doesn’t only help to proactively manage volatile demand, but ensures uninterrupted goods supply and enables supply chain professionals with the ability to anticipate seasonal peaks and achieve year-round excellence. Additionally, visibility allows for accurate and flexible allocations of inventory while meeting the crucial criterion of on-time delivery.

fast-moving consumer goods supply chain visibility

Tracking Air Cargo

Shipping goods by air is by far the most convenient way of moving goods from A to B, especially when there are great distances. However, if you use multiple airlines to ship your goods to your stores and warehouses all over the globe, tracking the movement of your shipments gets tricky and time-consuming.

Tracking the shipments based on the electronic Air Waybill (e-AWB) numbers is possible, however, you should enter those all manually on the websites of the airlines.

It is possible to connect with all airlines through their APIs and get all the flight status updates (FSUs) in one single place that can then be integrated into your preferred systems.

By orchestrating the information flow, you can make sure that you always have sufficient information to better optimize planning, make decisions faster, manage risk, and consequently improve customer retention.

Tracking Containers

Ocean shipping is the most favored mode of moving shipments around the world, partly because it’s affordable price point. However, the need for tracking shipments on the container level has been emerging also in the global maritime shipping industry as well.

Internet of Things sensors are one option for tracking the route of the containers as well as the conditions of the goods that is important in case of perishables. There are challenges with data gateways throughout the physical lane, cost per unit, battery life to mention a few.

What do you need to start tracking your shipments?

With a cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS), you can easily connect with stakeholders or IoT devices to gather business critical intelligence on all your shipments. Leveraging connectivity with freight forwarders and carriers can simplify the flow of data in real-time and ensures that the information is available on your preferred platform for all the relevant stakeholders.

To learn more about supply chain visibility download our whitepaper: 

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