We then asked them which areas they thought the F&D supply chain needs improvement
The responses pointed towards Inventory Management as demanding progress, while improvements in Order Management were considered a priority as well.
Stock control, warehouse management, communications and route scheduling were also seen as areas which are in need of development.
Q8. Why do you think Supply Chain Businesses are not adopting new technologies?
"Cultural resistance, Cost involved Time for implementation rooted in certain software systems"
"Cost-benefit, lack of consumer pressure, culture resistant to change"
"Constant operation of business, cost of change, speculative/blue collar nature of many important players in distribution, hard time putting trust in solutions"
"The current generation of tech for SCM is counter-intuitive. I see firms using complex ERP/Microsoft NAV even at the supervisor/worker level. The complex backend should be exposed only to higher level management, while a "clean" error-proof easy to use front-end should be the only thing floor/delivery workers engage with. Make it UI friendly and easy to learn."
Q9. Where would you like to see improvements for your business?
"The availability of software that is cheap and covers all Supply Chain activities."
"I work for a demand planning solutions provider so I get insight into pretty much the entire wholesale distribution industry. Basically I wish for companies to understand and address the biggest outlying issue that can solve the most issues first. Controlling your inventory can prevent/delay you from opening another DC, address the issues that cause problems first to secure your company when scaling."
The answers suggested that costs, implementation time and a lack of pressure to digitalise has resulted in Supply-Chains lagging behind technological advancements. Furthermore, the participants hoped that a drop in the cost of Software would make digitalisation more accessible, with one participant suggesting that inventory issues are the primary factor that need to be addressed when looking to scale the business.