August 2016 Entries



A New Generation of Enterprise Supply Chain Systems Eliminates Operational Silos

Supply chain management (SCM) systems have constantly evolved throughout the past decade, with an increased focus on lead-time optimization. Efficient supply chain management has helped fuel the growth of the global economy, making it possible for companies to do business with overseas suppliers and produce products faster and more cost-effectively.

Today, however, many companies have hit the wall in supply chain efficiency and speed to market. Nowhere is that more true than in the retail and apparel industries, where the demands of omnichannel retailing have exposed a critical weakness: supply chain silos.

A New Generation of SCM Systems

The good news is a new generation of supply chain management systems is helping enterprises break through their organizational barriers and tear down the silos in their supply chain. These new Retail, Fashion and Apparel SCM solutions connect the data and all supplementary systems in an organization to drive better decision-making and faster turnaround time – turning SCM into an enterprise platform that shares information among key stakeholders in every department, as well as third parties such as vendors, suppliers, product testing labs, logistics providers and more.

With this kind of alignment in processes and systems, SCM can then serve as an enterprise hub connecting users and departments across many different departments in the organization.

The typical product lifecycle is complex but the new generation of SCM systems connects users, departments and data throughout the organization. SCM takes information from a number of other systems and data sources, shares and analyzes it, and then executes decisions based on the results. Every stakeholder shares in the information, which is important, since issues in one part of the organization have ripple effects upstream or downstream. 

Here are a few of the ways the new generation of SCM solutions can change the way companies do business:

Respond quickly to sales data. Boosting sales and profitability can be summed up with a simple formula: If something is selling, accelerate production and make more of it; if it’s not selling, cut the losses and stop making it, because it’s cheaper to cancel production. Even a handful of poor-selling products can ruin overall profitability. With the SCM hub connecting design, finance, sales and production data in real-time, retailers and brands can quickly react to the latest sales information and make the most of every season.

Push decision-making further downstream. SCM allows organizations to push decision-making further downstream; this concept of “postponement” – waiting until the last possible minute to make decisions – is central to lead time optimization. And it improves decisions, because the further into the design-production process, the more information companies will have and the better decisions they’ll make. 

Perform quality audits at the factory. SCM allows organizations to incorporate quality audits as part of the enterprise platform. This enables you to check for quality at the factory before the goods ship; if an audit fails, you can address it at the source, resolving quality issues quickly and without undue cost.

Break Down the Silos. Throughout their history, supply chain management systems have continually adapted as business models have changed. Today is no different. With the rise of omnichannel retailing, SCM has again adapted in order to break down organizational silos and serve as an enterprise platform – making omnichannel retail a reality and putting businesses on the path to much greater profitability.

For more information on the new generation of SCM solutions, download NGC’s white paper, “Optimize Lead Time, Maximize Profit.” 



Carter’s Named One of 2016’s “Supply Chains to Admire” by Supply Chain Insights

For the third year, an independent supply chain research and advisory firm, Supply Chain Insights, named the “Supply Chains to Admire” and we’re proud to announce that NGC customer Carter’s was named a winner in the retail category. VF Corporation was also named a finalist in the same category.

NGC and Carter’s have worked together for over a decade, and Carter’s relies on NGC’s Supply Chain Management software for a wide range of supply chain and logistics management capabilities. For example, Carter’s recently turned to NGC to provide new solutions for vendor management, including Vendor Payment Automation, as detailed in this case study.

The winners were selected based on an analysis of financial balance sheets and income statements from 2009-2015. Winners met the criteria of improvement, value and performance when compared to industry peers. The winners represent only 5% of the total companies analyzed in the research. Carter’s was named the winner among the apparel finalists featured in the retail group.

A number of the winners will share insights on driving supply chain excellence at the 2016 Supply Chain Insights Global Summit, Sept. 7-9, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

For more information on the “2016 Supply Chains to Admire,” check out the complete report, here



Why Supply Chain Execution is Today’s #1 Priority

Reuters recently reported that Target “is asking many suppliers to take on up to an extra 3-5 percent of the cost of promotions and price cuts after slow sales so far this year.” The article noted that Target made the move to “minimize the impact of markdowns on profit in a tough year as middle-income customers make fewer discretionary purchases.”

Target isn’t alone as Walmart and other big retailers are also imposing tougher delivery deadlines and penalties in response to weak demand and sluggish sales through the industry. And other retailers will soon follow. Retail sales and profits are down overall, and retailers are forced to resort to discounts and promotions in order to entice consumers to buy.

What can suppliers do? The answer is simple: focus on supply chain execution as if your life depends on it. Because in a very real sense, it does.

In today’s unforgiving retail climate, the message to brands and manufacturers is clear: Supply chain execution must become your #1 priority. Without it, you stand to incur huge financial penalties – and possibly lose your most important customers.

Luckily, a new generation of supply chain management systems is helping enterprises break through their organizational barriers and improve supply chain visibility and transparency. NGC’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) solution connects the data and systems in an organization to drive better decision-making and faster turnaround time – turning SCM into an enterprise platform that helps brands optimize lead times, control costs, improve profitability and meet the new mandates from retailers.

Without better supply chain execution and true transparency, production issues – quality problems, delayed shipments on raw materials, overbooked capacity, test and inspection failures and much more – can’t be shared before problems escalate into full-blown crises. When companies have to sort through mountains of spreadsheets, emails and faxes, they face delayed shipments, rush charges for overnight shipments, and a failure to meet required delivery windows, resulting in drastic financial losses.

And without proper visibility, they can miss key demand signals that tell them when to accelerate production on best-selling, profitable merchandise and when to cut their losses on products that are headed to instant markdowns. However, with a SCM system that connects design, finance, sales and production data in real-time, brands and retailers alike can help ensure on-time deliveries, quickly react to the latest sales information and make the most of every season.

In the new realities of retail, supply chain execution isn’t just the key to thriving – it’s the key to survival. Find out how NGC’s SCM Solution can help


 
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