I was pleased to see this recent piece on Making It Right over on Stores.org that quoted Brandon Arbiter, the Business Intelligence Manager for FreshDirect LLC, who said that we are operating three businesses simultaneously and that to execute each of these on a daily basis, every department needs to use the most up-to-date information and have that information at their fingertips.
Just like FreshDirect is simultaneously a grocer, an online merchant, and a transportation company, an average CPG supply chain is a manufacturer, a broker, a transportation company, and a bank that has massive amounts of data that needs to be managed in the physical, financial, and information flows. The business operations of manufacturing, brokering, transporatation, and finance cannot be conducted independently if the supply chain is to be successful. Otherwise, goods will be produced too fast or too slow, or they will get held up in customs somewhere, or they will sit in a warehouse for too long, or they won’t ever leave the factory because the last order wasn’t paid for on-time. That’s why a successful supply chain has to be integrated, and also why it’s the only way to arrive at a streamlined supply chain that has to simultaneously minimize the physical, financial, and information flows that need to be in lock-step for success.
Furthermore, not only are the operations and data flows integrated, but so are the metrics. Instead of metrics like shipped complete and on-time delivery, you have metrics like perfect order that say right product at the right time at the right price that integrate all of the operations. So take a lesson from FreshDirect and integrate your supply chain operations.