Many confectionery businesses have turned to the diversification of their supply chain in an attempt to combat recent and future market uncertainty.
But businesses potentially face more confusion without a strategy to manage this shift to a diverse number of new suppliers in the day-to-day operation of their networks instead of increased flexibility, said an industry expert.
“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response to volatility – such as addressing the use of clunky legacy systems, like Excel spreadsheets, filled with outdated data."
“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” - Saurabh Goyal from Phlo Systems.
Saurabh says that once companies take a step towards turning messy data into a supply chain opportunity, they can then move onto stage two of their digital transformation and begin fine-tuning better data into actionable business insights. This can be done by aligning data on suppliers, customers, processes, and technology all in the same place to create advanced predictive analysis.
Commenting, Mr. Goyal says: “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."
“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Sophie Jewett from York Cocoa House agrees and says: “Managing differing and sometimes outdated supply chain systems are part of the growth phase challenges of start-up businesses.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 the purpose that needs to be able to evolve with them.
It’s challenging to build systems when at the outset you are still exploring new markets, products, and processes, it makes manual methods a sufficient default - but 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 and value-added activity and to consider resources wisely and be able to work with effective and reliable data to make smarter strategic decisions, save costs and identify emerging trends as quickly as possible.
Certainly, the work Phlo Systems is undertaking with confectionery businesses is far more effective and allows for easier tracking of data from beginning to end.