ketteQ Solutions Director Bhuva Mirdha sat down for a Q&A to discuss the latest supply chain innovation trends and strategies holding the most promise for 2023.
Supply chain leaders are firmly settled into a landscape filled with ongoing disruption. With more confidence and more digital options to help steer strategy, operators are embracing innovation and taking a more proactive approach to managing today’s supply chain landscape. ketteQ Solutions Director Bhuva Mirdha sat down for a Q&A to discuss the latest supply chain innovation trends and strategies holding the most promise for 2023.
Q: What are you seeing as the latest trends and innovations in supply chain software?
A: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing a much more prominent role and will continue to play a larger and larger role in supply chain software. Today’s conversations around the new OpenAI offering ChatGPT, a chatbot that rapidly creates written content, have stirred up powerful new thinking around the implications of AI across multiple industries, including supply chain.
AI-assisted technology is getting smarter and learning faster and presents a wise investment. The potential for greater visibility in supply chain is staggering. AI, for example, could alert operators to inefficiencies across an entire supply chain and prescribe solutions and, ultimately, will have potential to even fix them remotely. Right now, supply chain operators have control towers that lend greater visibility, but someone has to read the dashboard and interpret data. AI has the capability to take that over and tell software to change a forecast upon approval. This will reduce touch points needed from humans and significantly improve productivity. Just as standard Google searches have become so much more accurate over time, AI will continue to learn how to respond to business needs and same for supply chain as well.
Talent shortages will continue to be a factor. We see fewer people who are digital tools “educated” and same time deeply understand supply chain too. That makes software functions and prescriptions much more valuable and important. Software will continue to become much more technical in nature. Supply chain leaders also are increasing their software budgets to gain efficiencies, become more agile and more competitive in serving customer needs faster. There is a much greater, broader understanding of supply chain among consumers and much higher expectations that will have to be met. AI assisted software and the right talent will be the major difference between those who survive and those who are left behind.
Q: What are some of the ways companies may be under leveraging supply chain software?
A: One of the areas gaining traction is creating a robust supply chain and robust distribution. Predicting lead time across multiple levels of the supply chain is something companies could be doing more of with the aid of software. We see larger companies now creating a culture where digital solutions are embraced and more widely adopted, but many companies have yet to get there.
Another trouble spot is the failure of the C-suite to see software as revenue enabler. Software predicts demand more accurately and identifies demand shaping opportunities. Several C-level execs may see software as an expensive investment only. That’s why at ketteQ we engage with our clients and do a financial values assessment with them to understand their pain points and demonstrate how software can not only provide solutions, but those that directly impact the bottom line. This assessment creates powerful yet transparent benefit case that helps executives see the quantified value opportunity, specifically tailored for their business. Even conservatively, the ROI on software investments shows the software paying for itself in a relatively short period. We are finding that we have a much more receptive audience now and we can come in to help understand why a company is hesitating on digital solutions and strategy and help them understand the specific benefits of software solutions.
Q: How can ketteQ solutions help companies navigate supply chain disruptions and uncertainty?
A: ketteQ’s IBP and S&OP solutions cover both the planning side of supply chain operations and make it easier for operators and leaders to make shifts much faster. IBP has powerful scenario analysis functionality and we can create several scenarios for any given situation and examine impact of lead time, inventory needs, demand shift and much more on business. Our solutions can be customized and based on the needs of the customer.
One of our clients wanted to go truly digital. Before their transition they were using a lot of spreadsheets and anytime a demand shift happened through their brick-and-mortar locations the reaction took time. With our partnership and solutions, they were able to predict demand more accurately and move faster. We helped them reach the decision to close their brick-and-mortar locations and go predominantly online for sales and gain efficiencies and improve revenues.
Q: What do you view as top industry trends on the horizon?
A: The last two years have been an unpredictable and unprecedented experience at the hands of the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain disruptions. Now there is a shift in thinking. Supply chain leaders are starting to become much more proactive. Research predicts that 50% more companies will invest in digital solutions and that will create a quality boost across the supply chain industry. There is a cultural shift. There are more inroads being forged for the adoption of AI and the realization of the potential of software.
We are likely to see a similar level of supply chain disruption in 2023, but we are much more prepared now and we see many more industries planning much more ahead of time than they were last year. The root causes of disruption were around shortages and transportation issues. We are seeing more investments now in transportation. We are hearing from clients who want much deeper and wider visibility across their transportation networks and third-party suppliers versus just a dashboard. If there are order delays, companies know they can have much better visibility into why and can make investments in technology to get ahead of issues.
Q: What do you think 2023 will bring for supply chain leaders?
A: We are going to continue to see more AI adoption and more intelligent control towers. Data educated talent to go hand in hand. I was on a demo call recently and the company specifically wanted to better understand supply chain AI software capabilities and how fast those tools could be deployed.
Digital immunity is becoming a wider technology trend and to create supply chain immunity. The digital immune system approach incorporates a range of technologies combined to reduce system failures that impact business performance, creating resilience. The strategy to be not to worry about disruption but to have tools to respond appropriately.
The shift to more investments in innovation also will continue. Software can be used to better understand supply chain problems on time or much before they occur, and more accurately and rapidly fix those issues. Visibility gives power and makes us all so much more efficient. ketteQ has created something - software solutions and innovations- that truly helps the industry.
Embrace innovation and prepare your supply chain business for today’s supply chain landscape. Increase visibility and peace of mind in 2023, give us a call to discuss how ketteQ’s solutions can rapidly transform your operations. Let’s connect.
About Bhuva Mirdha:
Bhuva Mirdha is an experienced end-to-end supply chain professional with over 16 years of hands-on and leadership experience in core supply chain functions, solutions building, programs management, and analytics. Expertise areas include demand & supply planning, S&OP, purchasing, sourcing, supplier relations and performance management, process improvement programs' leadership, and support business strategy to enable growth.