Information Sharing Can Ease the Consumer Goods Supply Strain

Consumer products companies are dealing with an entirely new set of challenges that are driving up costs and increasing supply chain fragility – making them more susceptible to losing consumers. Could it be that quick-fix digitalization efforts during the pandemic are exacerbating these challenges?

Every business involved in the consumer products value chain – including raw material suppliers, ingredient producers, manufacturers, logistics providers, retailers, and wholesale distributors – has made great strides in digitalizing its internal operations. Yet, a lack of data exchange across the entire network could intensify delays and inefficiencies as resources or products move from one part of the supply chain to the other.

Moving Supplies with Better Transparency and Insight

According to IDC, consumer products companies are beginning to get the message: 39% of surveyed industry players expect to increase spending on integrated enterprise content management (ECM) applications in 2021. Moreover, nearly half of them expect this digital investment to be a key contributor to operational performance (43%) and employee productivity (44%) – two factors that can significantly ease today’s consumer goods supply strain.

During the pandemic, most consumer products companies adopted point solutions while maintaining a preexisting infrastructure of isolated legacy systems and spreadsheets for critical functions. However, this setup – which, at the time, was a response to changing consumer behaviors and employee needs – is missing the connectedness, intelligence, and transparency necessary to align operational capacity with surging demand.

Many businesses now realize that standardized information sharing is a critical first step toward strengthening much-needed resiliency, efficiency, and control. It allows internal and external supply chain participants to exchange consumer expectations insight, communicate actionable next steps, and scale operations as one ecosystem.

With cloud-based SAP enterprise content management solutions by OpenText, the entire supply chain can connect all this information so stakeholders can access curated content anytime, anywhere, and across the business. Plus, the inclusion of embedded artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning enables the technology to automatically capture, organize, and analyze massive amounts of data to support higher productivity.

Along with supply chain operations, SAP ECM solutions by OpenText can improve adjacent departments – such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, inventory, and trade promotion management – that directly impact overall customer satisfaction. These back-office functions can use real-time supply chain information, coupled with insights into emerging customer demand and financial constraints, to reduce the pressure of supply challenges. For example, they can shape product allocation to minimize waste and optimize existing production capacity by adjusting consumer segmentation, evolving product portfolios, and innovating business models – all while offering a consistent brand experience.

Satisfying Consumers Better Despite Shortages

While conditions on the supply side may not ease until ports add capacity and companies can keep up with growing demand, it’s never too soon to unify the business network with smooth information sharing and workflows. Otherwise, brands risk ignoring revenue growth opportunities while wrestling with supply chain disruptions.

SAP ECM solutions by OpenText can help relieve consumer products companies from making that trade-off. Now, their employees and stakeholders can make highly informed, data-driven decisions that help satisfy consumer demand – even as the stakes increase during peak buying seasons.

Find out how personalized communications and a complete understanding of your sellers and consumers can lead to unique and differentiating brand value. Read the info sheet, “Drive Differentiation with Intelligent Enterprise Content Management.”