As shipping demands remain volatile, suppliers are leveraging technology and analytics to navigate the complexities and achieve resilience.

By Michael Rabinowitz, Founder and CEO of CoEnterprise

Ah, the age of next-day delivery. Getting what you want when you want can be a beautiful thing. But the narrative starts to shift from the point of view of the manufacturer – and as two-day shipping turns to one, suppliers will be expected to meet higher demands at an even faster pace.

The pressure is certainly on. Retailers both big and small often require suppliers to deliver orders on-time and in-full 98% of the time or risk being fined 3% of the cost of the goods. Put another way, for suppliers: offer fast, flexible and agile services – or risk revenue, reputation and crucial partnerships.

The good news? There are many ways to navigate these complexities. With the right insights, technology, process and visibility, suppliers can increase control, meet demand and come out stronger on the other side – with a happy retailer on their side.

Navigating Supply Chain Complexities 

The pandemic has wreaked havoc on our economy and the global supply chains, with up to 75% of companies reporting significant disruption . On top of that, trade restrictions, inventory shortages, global transport interruptions and more revealed how little organizations actually knew about their own supply chains.

But their lack of intel makes sense: only 6% of supply chain professionals claim to have full visibility into their supply chain. The pandemic’s rude awakening forced businesses to rethink what it means to have visibility and control of the supply chain. Challenges posed by COVID-19 had suppliers facing steep chargebacks and fines due to inaccurate or unreadable ship notices (ASNS), late or incomplete shipments, and sometimes a lack of inventory – immensely affecting their revenue streams and profitability in an already difficult time.

But there’s a silver lining amidst the chaos. The dozens of touchpoints and millions of data points that live within the supply chain provide an opportunity for manufacturers to regain control, cut costs, improve customer relationships, and boost competitiveness.

Supplier Chargeback: Avoid Repercussions and Reap the Benefits

Like wearing masks in public, supply chain chargebacks and fines have become the new normal for suppliers who don’t meet retailers’ demands. But losing revenue isn’t the only factor at risk when it comes to non-compliance. One misstep, one late delivery, and the supplier’s relationship with the retailer is immediately compromised – and so is the integrity of their business. Corporate reputation is crucial to lasting success and once it is lost, it can be difficult to gain back.

Through achieving on-time and in-full deliveries, businesses can strengthen customer relationships and secure preferred-supplier status – which has never been more important as the market becomes cluttered with options.

Boosting visibility and strengthening supply chain processes also improves businesses’ effectiveness. According to industry analyst IDC, leveraging the right analytics tools will result in a 15% productivity boost by the end of 2021. While improving their financial health and maintaining corporate reputation, organizations are also able to gain back valuable time to focus on more strategic business operations and decisions.

Retailers have put the pressure on suppliers to meet strict shipping demands or face steep chargebacks.
Retailers have put the pressure on suppliers to meet strict shipping demands or face steep chargebacks.

Speed and Precision Makes All the Difference

The new reality for suppliers is that speed and precision are must-haves. As demand remains volatile, and orders become even more complex, the only way to survive is to leverage technology to fill orders on-time, every time (or if you’re working with Walmart, then 98% of the time).

Through leveraging technology and analytics that offer real-time insights, brands can achieve a new level of transparency into the entire order lifecycle so they can identify challenges and solve problems before they occur. Suppliers can access discrepancies right away and proactively leverage technology to resolve issues immediately. The right supply chain analytics will offer the ability to reconcile invoices against purchase orders, shipment documentation and receipts to identify quantity and price discrepancies. 

These technologies enable supply chain planners to innovate, drive cost reductions, improve service and meet customer expectations – more efficiently than ever before. The supply chain will only become more complex, so suppliers and manufacturers have one option – to be adaptable, fast, precise, and resilient.

michael rabinowitz coenterprise
Michael Rabinowitz

About Michael Rabinowitz
Michael Rabinowitz is the Founder and CEO of CoEnterprise. He is responsible for leading the development and execution of CoEnterprise’s software and services portfolio. He also helps define CoEnterprise’s technology innovation strategy to transform how people connect, communicate, and collaborate through integrated software platforms and architectures.