According to Phlo Systems, many confectionery businesses have turned to diversifying their supply chain in order to address issues related to recent and future market uncertainty. But, some experts say, without a strategy to manage the shift to a number of new suppliers in day-to-day operations, businesses can face more confusion, instead of increased flexibility.
“Getting on the right track following the last few months of crises requires purging any business practices that prevent quick response to volatility – such as addressing the use of clunky legacy systems, like Excel spreadsheets, filled with outdated data,” explained Saurabh Goyal, Founder and CEO of Phlo Systems. “Messy data has become a weed that many businesses have grown accustomed to, but by adopting a digital transformation strategy, they can turn those neglected weeds into a lush garden of supply chain opportunity.”
He explained that once companies have adopted digital transformation strategies they can move onto ‘stage two’, which involves fine-tuning data into actionable business insights. This can be done by aligning data on suppliers, customers, processes and technology all to create advanced predictive analysis.
“Digitising the international supply chain is very much like turning it into a digital Swiss army knife – the right tools at the right time – to cut through the uncertainty and react with synchronised agility that can quickly balance cost and variability in the face of real-time demand. Your business can even action corrections at the touch of a button,” Goyal added.
“The ability to pivot your approach with live data is an essential component to diversifying your supply chain so, if one supplier falls short, you can shift your approach quickly to remain ahead of the game.”
Sophie Jewett from York Cocoa House, chocolate makers based in York, agreed: “Managing differing and sometimes outdated supply chain systems are part of the growth phase challenges of start-up businesses. Particularly when technology and consumer demands require innovative approaches that are often not compatible with the status quo. Businesses can quickly find themselves using tools that are not fit for purpose that need to be able to evolve with them.”
She went on to explain that building systems while still exploring new markets, products and processes can be challenging: “In today’s world and operating online we are demanded to be a 24/7 business that can engage in multiple geographies – finding effective, timely and reliable ways to record, store and share information throughout the product life cycle is becoming more and more critical.
“As a confectionery business we are focused on the celebratory moments of indulgence for our customers but we must increasingly consider agility, waste and rapidly pivot for seasonal and changing consumer demands. It’s essential to focus on value added activity and to consider resources wisely and being able to work with effective and reliable data to make smarter strategic decisions, save costs and identify emerging trends as quickly as possible.”
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Editor, International Confectionery
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