The past few years have brought many challenges for Consumer Packaged Goods Industries. This means CPG brands need to think more strategically to stay on the top of their game. To do this, organizations need to be aware of the challenges that lie ahead and counter those through innovative IT solutions. Here’s how:
1.The first challenge nowadays is data-abundance
An average company today is well aware of the technological innovations available to collect consumer-related data. Also, called as ‘Big Data,’ it is considered the key to success of a brand. The challenge here is to get the right insights out of this data and then implement these to reach out to your customers. The right formula here is to focus on quality rather than the quantity of the messages that you send across to your customers. Therefore, using smart CPG solutions which offer business intelligence combined with data analytics.
2.Highly distributed and remote workforce
As explained in a White-paper released by CISCO on Intelligent Innovation in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Industry, “With the technology and processes in place to gather and analyze this information, companies can feed data straight back to R&D teams, providing a new type of actionable guidance to product developers. By including the voice of the customer at the research level and throughout the development cycle, engineers become better and more responsive innovators. Companies can trim operating expenses and reduce risk by using mobility internally to improve worker productivity. Smartphones and tablets give employees instant access to information in corporate and manufacturing facilities, and in the field to support distribution and sales. Building mobility into corporate workflows promises to have a significant impact on the CPG operational costs over the next few years.”
3.Complex Supply Chain
IT-based CPG solutions help improve the collaboration with suppliers, forecast possible supply disruptions and add value to commodity and input cost variability. A report by McKinsey explains “consumer-goods manufacturers are increasingly moving toward demand-driven supply-chain systems to minimize inventory levels, improve service performance, and reduce stock-outs. Adopting this approach has required companies to develop new algorithms to integrate near-real-time demand data with traditional forecasts and develop new IT systems to facilitate data sharing with customers and distributors.”
4.Managing the impact of regulatory policies
As the focus on safety regulations and consumer rights has increased, there is the greater possibility of product recalls and returns. Therefore, it is both useful and important to have a system in place which helps trace a product through the supply chain from the raw-goods supplier into the store. “To accomplish this task in the most effective way, companies need to ensure they have good master data on products, as well as the right tools to tag and scan items in collaboration with their suppliers as products progress through the supply chain. Companies also need tracing functionality linked to product databases”, says the report released by McKinsey.
Given the dynamic nature of CPG industry and the challenges associated with it, IT-based CPG solutions are here to stay as this help both value, coherence, and simplicity to how the industry operates.