January 2019 | Commentary | IT Matters: Logistics & Supply Chain Technology

Today's Technology, Tomorrow's Demand

Tags: E-commerce, Logistics, Supply Chain

Mohammed (Mo) Hajibashi, Managing Director and Supply Chain & Operations Global Consulting Lead, Accenture, 877-889-9009

The late actress Carrie Fisher said, "instant gratification takes too long." Her prescience is spot-on. Consumers don't just want convenient, personalized products and services—they want them immediately. Speed and flexibility are the most significant aspects of meeting this heightened sense of "must have it now."

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are in a fierce race to stay relevant and far ahead of the competition. This dynamic is leading CPGs to invest in new technology to help predict—and in some cases, even create—market trends.

At the same time, companies are looking to rapidly develop products and services to satisfy consumers' growing needs. In many cases, today's advanced technology allows companies to offer goods that exceed expectations of convenience, responsiveness, and personalization.

Here are the pillars comprising today's consumer construct:

Convenience. Amazon's two-day (sometimes two-hour) delivery model raised expectations to challenging levels and established a new consumer service expectation. In response, businesses are seeking the technology and infrastructure to address slow response times and wasteful fulfillment models.

Accenture research confirms this tendency, revealing that 64 percent of CPG executives are searching for technological methods to eliminate wasteful distribution models. They are looking for new capabilities to improve existing fulfillment operations and enable new direct-to-consumer channels.

Responsiveness. Today, brand loyalty is all but non existent. To stay relevant, forward-looking CPGs are rethinking their operating models to not only stay abreast of trends, but even create new ones.

By investing in new technology, CPGs can reshape traditional linear value chains and functional silos, which historically hinder communication and decision-making across the entire operational network.

Our research shows that 68 percent of CPG executives invest in this technology to better identify and shape demand, combining consumer insight with external demand signals and artificial intelligence.

Personalization. Consumer desire for personalized products and services is on the rise. Customized subscriptions and curated gift boxes demonstrate this growing trend. IT can help companies develop smart, agile and service-oriented supply chains—completely digitized—to meet these consumer wants.

Digitization allows companies to handle the individual requests of even millions of consumers. This is the way forward. More than 70 percent of CPG executives say they invest in technology to capture and integrate consumer insights aimed toward improved product and personalization development.

Adopting the right vision, enabled through technology, can help companies rise above consumer expectations of convenience, responsiveness, and personalization.






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