How smart supply chain management delivers value

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A new generation of supply chain innovators promise Walmart-style supply chain efficiencies and bottom line benefits. But how do you get started?

Supply chain management is the ultimate back office function. It doesn’t receive as much attention as websites, marketing technology and app development. Yet improving the supply chain yields major bottom line benefits.

Walmart and Amazon are household names in retail, noted for their global presence and steady emphasis on delivering low prices. Outstanding supply chain and operations systems are a key reason for their success. What if other companies were able to achieve Walmart-style supply chain efficiencies? That’s the promise of a new generation of supply chain innovators.

What’s driving today’s smart supply chain?

Improving the supply chain and internal operations wasn’t always a top concern. Think back to the 1990s: Low fuel prices and high economic growth meant minimal returns from optimizing the supply chain. That has all changed. Anti-terrorism measures have added red tape and procedural delays to shipping. Fuel surcharges have become a normal item on vendor invoices, even when commodity prices decline. These trends have created an increased sense of urgency to cut costs.

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