Conquering challenges and creating opportunities in 2019 with optimized decision making

Author: Gürer Ünal

 

Happy New Year!

A new year is always a new beginning – a time to look forward, formulate new plans, and set new goals. In the business world, we must be prepared to face a new global economic environment with new rules and new realities in 2019. While many of the old challenges and uncertainties of the previous year still weigh heavily on companies, this new year will provide an opportunity for businesses to tackle these problems and take the necessary actions to succeed.

Indeed, the geopolitical turmoil, escalating trade tensions, stock market volatility, and currency crises that we experienced in 2018 all still have a lingering impact on the business landscape as we enter this new year. Companies operating in the supply chain space must cope with all these challenges as well as the constantly increasing complexity and competition in their business environment. Customers are more demanding than ever, competition is fiercer than ever, and supply and demand dynamics are more complicated and unpredictable than ever.

Industry 4.0 technologies – fueled by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and the internet of things (IoT) – are changing the game and revolutionizing supply chain operations (especially for manufacturers), but many companies are struggling to fully utilize the data from these technologies to actually create business value.

Faced with all these challenges in the global economy and industry landscape, how can supply chain companies survive and thrive in 2019?

The answer is simple: agility and efficiency. In today’s business environment, supply chain companies must be able to respond rapidly and effectively to constant changes and complex challenges.

Manufacturers, for example, must be able to consistently produce highly customized products in short timeframes and in small batches for customers. They must have the speed and flexibility to dynamically and optimally realign their end-to-end planning and operations (including purchasing, production, and logistics) to accommodate sudden surges in demand for specialized products, from specific customers, in certain locations, at particular times.

So what do companies need to achieve this supply chain agility and efficiency? They need to have an integrated, automated software platform that gives them the capability to make optimized strategic, tactical, and operational decisions across their end-to-end supply chains.

Indeed, the ability to make optimized decisions – driven by real-time and historical data, state-of-the-art algorithms, and collaborative organizational input – is the cornerstone of success in today’s tough economic climate.

By empowering key stakeholders (from planners on the shop floor to senior management in the boardroom) to make optimized decisions, supply chain companies can rise above the competition and complexity in today’s business landscape, and consistently deliver products to customers and profits to shareholders.

In many companies, however, there exists a fear of change from the status quo – and this fear is often created by ERP vendors. In the coming year, we expect to see an increasing number of companies – particularly those companies that continue to use inefficient planning tools, specifically those provided by their ERP vendors – overcoming this fear of change and looking for best-of-breed optimized decision making solutions that will enable them to dramatically improve their processes and practices.

With an optimized decision making platform, companies can transform today’s challenges – such as trade constraints, currency volatility, complicated customer requirements, Industry 4.0 technologies, and supply and demand complexity and volatility – into opportunities to excel and carve out a competitive advantage.

We see a growing number of companies that are looking to make the shift from a planning-centric approach to a decision-centric approach, and we – as ICRON – are proud to be at the forefront of this movement and a leader in terms of the innovation and implementation of decision-centric optimization software solutions.

With optimized decision making, supply chain companies can attain greater agility and efficiency, and position themselves to prosper in 2019!


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