November 25, 2013
By The Chain Gang
In his recent Supply Chain Matters post, Bob Ferrari gave readers an inside look at the holiday season, explaining what retail and B2C supply chain professionals can expect in the weeks ahead. Here are a few takeaways:
“More than ever, advanced capabilities in inventory management and responsive replenishment will separate leaders from laggards.”
“A clear understanding and early detection of demand patterns among products, having deep visibility of the end-to-end supply chain, along with a responsive collection of key suppliers will obviously provide differentiation among your competitors in the market.”
“The 2013 holiday buying surge will provide another test of how prior investments in responsive business processes…and advanced technology differentiates the winners.”
Once the New Year confetti has settled, S&OP teams should evaluate their holiday performance, and review their contingency plans for the complete year ahead. Be sure to incorporate scenarios beyond traditional ones like plant failures, supply disruptions, and weather. A plan (and decided trigger) should be in place for anything that could affect inventory levels or order fulfillment.