There is a lot of growth toward implementing new technology innovations within supply chains, and the Internet of Things (IoT)—a network that connects physical objects, communications, software, and sensors to allow machines to transfer data over a network without human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction—has garnered a high level of interest and hype, largely driven from the consumer market with focus on smart, connected kitchen appliances, cars, and wearable activity trackers.

However, the logical extension of the IoT to industrial applications has the potential to transform numerous industries, including transportation, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and energy, while working under the new name “Industrial IoT.” The disruptive power of the industrial IoT will bring non-technology industries into the digital age by connecting machines, factories, and industrial infrastructures via sensors and other devices. 

It is astonishing to think about the rapid pace of data creation worldwide. Recent IDC research predicts that data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009. How to leverage, authenticate or secure this abundance of data is forcing disruption and innovation in nearly every industry today.

Customer-centric philosophy is influencing how industries evolve. Manufacturing and supply chain processes are increasingly reliant on quality data in order to satisfy these new demands. But for as long as computers have been in existence, the world of data has suffered from a “garbage in, garbage out” cycle of inaccuracies. Our systems will unquestioningly process the input data provided and produce often undesired output. With many other competing priorities, it has become a challenge for many organizations to guarantee inventory, reduce inefficiencies and ultimately satisfy consumers because of data inconsistencies.

The supply chain industry is going through a number of natural transitions as it advances and new technologies become part of the overall business landscape. A key driver of this change is automation, which impacts every area of the supply chain – from procurement to delivery to staying compliant with government regulations. Automation plays an important role in standardizing the industry and enabling supply chains to be more productive and cost-efficient. But how, exactly, can companies automate their best practices?

Digitization, together with today’s increasing proliferation of data, on everything from material flows to customer preferences, is rapidly changing the way companies do business, highlighting a powerful need for enhanced data management, analytics and talent.

In fact, the way organizations capture and use data is changing the manner in which those organizations work, creating a substantial difference in efficiency, costs and customer satisfaction.

In today’s economy, companies must keep pace with technology and the marketplace, and are faced with the dilemma of whether to build or buy. Should the company build new business solutions from scratch or utilize an off-the-shelf application to fit their needs? Having talked to two companies recently who considered building their own solutions, we decided to address the build or buy decision process and identify key factors that should be considered.

Procurement executives are prepared to keep moving the ball forward towards the ultimate goal of establishing the department as a strategy leader within the C-suite. In several months’ time, procurement executives from across the country will convene at the Omni Orlando hotel, brought together to participate in the ProcureCon Indirect East thought leadership conference.

Along with them, they will bring decades of experience, case studies and best practices to be shared towards advancing the role of the department as a co-architect of strategic business goals. While many will have important victories to relate, part of the conference will also focus on what the ongoing challenges are, which make it necessary to continue advancing the role. 

As the restaurant industry changes to meet the ever-evolving needs of millennial and Gen-X consumers, the need for efficient and effective sourcing and supply chain technology, processes and best practices has become a business imperative.

Traditional supply chain management tends to move much slower than today’s leading restaurants require, often contributing to the already mounting pressures from the food industry overall. 

Those mounting pressures represent unprecedented challenges for restaurant companies today. Competition is increasingly fierce in a mature industry. Consumer expectations for fresh, organic, locally and humanely sourced food continue to rise, however, they consistently resist price increases. Increased SKUs and commodity volatility, combined with expanded regulatory compliance mandates, have driven complexity throughout the supply chain. As smaller chains gain market share, traditional restaurants have drastically reduced go-to-market time for limited-time offers (LTOs), promotions and new products. 

Technology has changed the face of many organizational roles and processes. Consumers are demanding increased transparency and visibility in the sourcing and procurement of products that they purchase. Sustainability has become the battle cry of both consumers and the world’s leading organizations.

The idea of omnichannel has infiltrated every industry. Supply chain leaders need to adapt and make the most out of these new realities and demands to continue to not only survive, but thrive, in today’s increasingly global marketplace.

Since these changes are taking place at an alarmingly rapid pace, many leaders are struggling to both keep up with and get ahead of the curve. So how do you succeed in the new supply chain landscape?


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