For manufacturers, the age of “we’ll build it, and customers will just have to buy what we make” is long over. The consumer is driving the supply chain, both in retail and manufacturing, and it’s not always about leading the pack to be successful. Many retailers are changing their supply chain processes to reflect the consumer-centric evolution — although some have been too slow to adapt and have suffered as a result. To survive and grow, manufacturers need to take heed, benefit from the wins and misses of others, and have an eye on developing customer-focused experiences in their supply chain processes.

Rethinking the traditional approaches to anticipating demand is challenging many organizations as the lines between retailers, manufacturers and distributors continue to evolve. The Internet of Things (IoT), leading to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), impacts from Big Data, embedded sensors, geo-spatial tracking, social media’s contribution and the related digital impact are enabling companies to get closer and have better insights to their customers. Complete visibility across the entire process, from planning through execution, is essential to deliver the experience the customer expects. Manufacturing is changing, and the speed of change is accelerating steadily in response to the spread of e-commerce and digital insights. The continued proliferation of internet access, digital signals multiplying at unthinkable rates, additive manufacturing, IoT, mobility and much more are all completely reshaping the state of manufacturing.

To meet customers’ challenges managing this evolution of digital and consumer change, manufacturers must incorporate data and insights in a completely new and evolved fashion. Business-to-business and business-to-consumer models are blurring, creating a new model of B2Me-Now; this new plan and mindset requires the convergence of the physical and digital supply chains. Supply chain processes should evolve to drive the company’s profitability and growth, working toward real-time responsiveness to shared business scenarios and what-ifs. Collaboration, both internal and external across demand and supply processes, has been agreed as a need for decades. Yet, few manufacturers are taking advantage of technology solutions that enable their supply chain processes to be faster and intelligent about sharing insights with their trading partners.

Manufacturers need to evolve their supply chains, and move toward digitalization to best respond to their “new consumers” by sensing and shaping demand, using data gathered from the IoT, as well as other customer-related data points. To ensure they are driving profitability, manufacturers will need reliable and profitable supply, enabled by working with digitally enabled supply chain management solution providers. Learn more about the power of digital transformation at JDA Software, and please share your thoughts around your needs and initiatives in this area.

For manufacturers looking for some guidance on how to start their digital transformation journey, download this ebook or listen to this webinar.