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The Pop Culture Guide to Supply Chain Cost Savings

Find out how you can reduce your supply chain costs through the combination of digital automation, artificial intelligence, and natural human expertise.

Trimming fat from a modern supply chain requires an approach that’s a lot like the famous “serenity prayer,” which was written in the heat of World War II and later made popular by pop culture sources including Hallmark, Alcoholics Anonymous, Calvin & Hobbes and Neil Young:

Give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

In the case of logistics, though, you might substitute “automation” or “digitization” in that sentence.

The Courage To Automate What I Can

The supply chain industry has been buzzing about visibility and digitization for what seems like forever. And, the gains to be had are real: Accenture research cites 1.4 times higher profit and 2.2 times total shareholder return for those companies who can reinvent their operations. Their six categories for achieving those gains include “data, analytics and automation,” “artificial intelligence” and “business-tech collaboration.”

Specifically, Accenture’s report mentions “cross-enterprise deployment of low-code / no-code automation,” and those qualifiers can make all the difference for projects that deliver results. Our enterprises float on an ever wider and deeper ocean of data. Identifying the exceptions, statuses and metrics that drive efficiency should be the first goal of any automation initiative. Choosing tools and platforms that can connect that data easily across suppliers is the second key.

The good news is that technology has become ubiquitous and in many cases simpler, thanks to online integration, analytics platforms and real-time sensors like Internet of Things (IoT) tags. Chat GPT-like tools promise even more predictive capabilities in the future. 

The Serenity To Accept What I Cannot Automate

Yet, part of the difficulty with modern supply chains is that there’s nearly infinite data available. The goal can’t be to connect everything, everywhere, all at once. There’s just too much of it, even just within your own enterprise. And there’s exponentially more in the extended supply base, including data that you don’t even know exists.

The most successful supply chain cost-savings automation initiatives follow a Pareto Principle strategy: Digitize the processes that allow 80 percent of your orders to flow without intervention. That allows you to isolate the remaining 20 percent of anomalous problems that need your staff’s attention. 

The Wisdom To Know The Difference

There’s a reason that we center our own control tower services around both technology platforms and people. Software gathers, assimilates and patterns data millions of times faster than we could ever hope to do. But, there’s no substitute for our global team of experts when it comes to recognizing unique issues and doing whatever it takes to resolve them. 

At their best, programs and people provide insights that act as force multipliers for each other—and yield quantifiable savings. In the chaos of post-COVID supply chain cost management, that’s what pop culture philosophers might call real Serenity Now.

Maximizing Supply Chain Cost Efficiency With a Mentor

If you’re interested to learn how you can harness the power of technology plus human intelligence to reduce your supply chain costs, let us know. We’d be glad to review your challenges and goals at no cost or obligation for the initial consultation.

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