The overwhelming competition in the FMCG space has put players in the industry in a ‘survival of the fittest’ situation. In the present scenario, it is not just about tailor making the products to suit the customers’ needs, but the deciding factor of your success in the market is the ability to reach customers before your competitors do. Furthermore, emerging markets have opened up new doors of opportunity for FMCG companies. So, it has become crucial for businesses to identify different supply chain strategies to reach out to these customer segments effectively. Also, consumer goods companies are increasingly embracing globalization. This has not only sparked complexity in supply chain and other processes, but has also bloated inventory levels, depleted the working capital requirements for new products, and reduced margins.
There are several issues that FMCG companies need to address to align the current demand and supply requirements. Here, we examine some of the critical supply chain challenges that players dealing in consumer goods need to beat for the smooth flow of operations :
Lack of end-to-end visibility and collaboration
The consumer goods marketplace today is complex, outsourced, and highly volatile. Therefore it has become essential for companies operating in this space to have a multi-tier visibility to address this challenge and make forecasts and orders visible sooner. This strategy would also facilitate a bi-directional collaboration between partners. Having real-time data on actual shipments and receipts, and insights into stock-in-transit and point-of-sale (POS) information, gives brand owners the ability to alter their supply chain as per the requirement and proactively manage volatile demand.
Product innovation and ful?llment within the supply chain
With a wide range of options available in the market, what makes a brand stand out from the rest in the customers’ eyes is their ability to differentiate themselves from the competitors. Moreover, believe us when we say that there is no better way to grab more attention from the customers. However, often players in the FMCG space find difficulty in incorporating innovative product design, manufacturing, and fulfillment within the existing supply chain. Maintaining close coordination with contract manufacturing partners around product specifications, formulations, and POS packaging can make product launches easier for brands.
Con?icting key performance indicators
Business intelligence integrates data across the entire value chain to provide unique insights into demand patterns, operations, and customer service requirements. However, make the most of these powerful insights, top players in the supply chain must be aligned in terms of what is being measured and the tools that are being used to interpret the information. The key to effective supply chain orchestration and risk management is having a shared planning and execution process combined with the right business analytics that gets everyone in sync.
Inability to synchronize supply chain tiers
Demand planning and coordination across multiple supply chain tiers are requisites to ensure that the right products are delivered to the right locations at the right times. This also forms an essential factor in committing customer order requirements. Many companies are still unable to strike coordination between supply and demand because they do not have access to timely, accurate data from their supply chain parties. They often tend to settle for snapshot data dumps from online portals that lack real-time intelligence and the ability for closed-loop execution of activities.