Consumer buying behaviors have shifted drastically in recent years, and with soaring inflation and new price hikes, it’s likely that purchase priorities are going to shift again in the next six to 12 months, says Karen Clarke, SVP & managing director of AMER, Anaplan, a supplier of integrated business planning tools.
“We believe that humans and technology working together provides the winning combination for businesses operating in the food sector.” — Jim Byrnes, CEO, Blue Ridge
What are some of the IBP tools that you’d expect to find in a system? Jim Byrnes, CEO of Blue Ridge, lists a few, which include demand forecasting, supply planning, inventory allocation, sales and operations planning, replenishment and pricing, supply chain and procurement, CRM and insurance-based solutions. Beyond the tools themselves, implementing the correct processes not only minimizes risk but also optimizes these solutions to deliver world-class customer experiences. When it comes to shifting customer needs, multi-echelon inventory optimization (MEIO) is a good solution, adds Byrnes. MEIO gives businesses the ability to optimize inventory placement throughout the supply chain to match projected demand and meet fluctuating customer demands.
“Supply chain leaders can use this end-to-end visibility to make more informed, data-driven decisions.” — Jim Byrnes, CEO of Blue Ridge
At the instrumentation company where I worked, the plant manager—based on his three decades of experience and orders at hand—planned what components needed to be made for stock. Is a singular “prophet” even viable today? “The answer is two-fold,” says Byrnes. “Intelligent supply chain planning solutions leverage thousands of data points and use machine learning and complex mathematical equations to predict forward-looking consumer demand. However, the industry-specific ‘prophets’ you are referring to are still as crucial as they were 20 years ago. We believe that humans and technology working together provides the winning combination for businesses operating in the food sector.”