Despite strong headwinds in recent months, Asia Pacific continues to show steady economic recovery across the region. How can businesses continue to bridge the gap between achieving greater success and staying sustainable? Here are three tips to help businesses build a strong foundation for growth.
According to S&P Global Ratings, Asia Pacific growth prospects remain favorable despite economic conditions such as rising prices, inflation and interest rates. Asia as a whole, excluding China, has shown steady growth with the reopening of markets. This recovery has not been without its challenges and impact to global supply chains. One of them being economic damage stemming from extended Covid-19 lockdowns and stark decrease of exports from key markets.
While businesses bear the brunt of these impacts, consumers are also experiencing increased pricing on products and services. Consumers may become more price sensitive, while still expecting a sustainable level of services, thus putting the pressure back on businesses relying on a solid supply chain. Businesses looking to fortify their supply chain management can look at these three areas to address these potential challenges.
Analysing Data for Insights
In IDC’s “Progressing Supply Chain Resiliency” report, supply chains are more resilient if they are able to have better visibility, intelligence and agility. These can include efforts around supply chain orchestration with control towers for quicker action and decisions, leveraging AI technologies and advanced analytics, and having comprehensive visibility into supply and demand risks.
In Asia Pacific, as businesses expand operations overseas and expand domestic networks, complexities for warehouse operations will continue to rise. This gives imperative to analytics that is both comprehensive and consumable, especially for information that is critical to the success of a supply chain. Without access to useful analytics, many warehouse and facility managers lack the insights needed to improve inbound and outbound shipments, inventory volumes and replenishment, labor productivity and activity performance, or even 3PL billing (such as invoice detail or profitability by customer).
To gain insights for quicker decision making, businesses can consider solutions that combine different software solutions that seamlessly connect logistics decisions to your financial systems, manufacturing systems, and all the other technologies that make your business more efficient.
Adopting the Right Technology
For effective supply chain management, businesses can look into offerings for warehouse management systems (WMS). WMS solutions may vary from vendor to vendor but features and functionalities must meet fundamental business needs to be considered.
For example, AC2’s Warehouse Management software solution integrates with eCommerce marketplaces such as Lazada, Shopee, Woocommerce, and with Enterprise Resource Planning such as SAP, Oracle, Infor, with WMS core features providing order management, labour management, inventory management, electronic proof of delivery(ePOD), advanced robotics warehouse management and KPI dashboards that can help bring more visibility to customer demands.
Complex logistic decisions that span the boundary in the supply chain can also be addressed quickly with the solution’s in-built intelligence that not just includes the warehouse management rich features and functionalities, but all connection points to the warehouse management system.
Predicting Consumer Needs
A resilient supply chain must be agile enough to not only address customer demands, but flexible enough to manage these needs in real time, while having the intelligence and capabilities to assess, analyse and determine next steps to stay ahead of customer needs.
Both agility and capabilities must work together - knowledge without action or vice versa will not bring about the desired outcomes. In fact, almost half of organizations surveyed by IDC recently believe that a lack of digital competencies limits the ability to transition their supply chain to new business models.
While assessing new digital competencies can sound daunting, businesses can take an outside-in approach to significantly improve productivity and provide clarity for daily decision making. Businesses can start by understanding more about WMS solutions, such as 9 basic must-have features for a warehouse management system, then prepare a list of requirements or challenges faced by your business, before kick-starting the planning.
Adopting new technologies can be daunting but choosing the right partners can help mitigate potential risks. The right partner can help you to first assess and identify areas of your warehouse management processes where change is needed most. From here, your partner can work with you to develop a change management strategy, coupled with best practices to achieve a stronger foundation for your supply chain goals.
Lastly, by leveraging on the three tips around analysis for insights, choosing the right technology and predicting for customer needs, your business can be well prepared to pivot for success regardless of what the future may bring.
By Lynn Tan