/ Gartner SCC Diary, Part 1: Collaboration Is Key for Organizations That Want to Scale Supply Chains

In an environment where customer expectations are evolving, traditional markets are being redefined and daily tasks are being transformed, business leaders must focus on aligning physical supply chain capabilities with innovative digital strategies.

That was the Gartner view from the opening keynote of the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in Barcelona last month.

But with the proliferation of channels creating vast data lakes, optimizing a supply chain to meet the demands of digital takes time and effort. So, where to start?

Three key trends shone through in the form of real-world case studies. French dairy group Lactalis has more than 80,000 employees, 250 production sites in 50 countries and a turnover of about $22 billion. In other words, it’s a company that is well placed to talk about the challenges of creating a global supply chain.

Lactalis faces a number of very specific challenges. The short shelf life of many of consumer packaged goods can at least be quantified. But consumer buying preferences are more difficult to interpret. As its team outlined during its session, Lactalis produces around 19 billion liters of milk each year, but the brand needs to produce “local for local.”

As a result of that need, its supply chain is vast: 14,000 trucks and 12,000 staff, most of which are in-house in order to keep skills close by. How has Lactalis managed it successfully, and at scale, with so many local subsidiaries? By making collaboration a key part of its business mantra.

For Lactalis, the supply chain team is an integral part of the corporate structure. While subsidiaries hold their own budgets and are benchmarked against their own KPIs, the overall supply chain for all of the group’s brands are managed centrally. It’s at the heart of the organization, meaning that supply chain works closely with sales to measure forecasts versus sales. It works with finance to balance financial landing versus budgets. And it works with factories on production schedules versus demand.

Data is stored centrally and flows across teams, which means while there are a lot of KPIs across a lot of subsidiary brands, they are all comparable, and can be translated into value creation.

This allows for a continuous feedback and improvement loop, which is a key component in Domo’s supply chain offering. It puts all of the important data in one place, which is vital when teams are spread across tens or hundreds of locations.

From Gartner’s perspective, Lactalis is a prime example of the evolution of supply chains. Gartner analysts Michael Burkett and James Lisica presented the idea that the landscape is changing. Stage one, in the beginning, was standardization. Supply chains needed uniformity and set processes to succeed. That quickly moved to stage two, which was optimization. Take the data from stage one and review it to make improvements. Stage three is where leading organizations are now: synchronization. They use real-time data, shared across teams, to make changes on an almost constant basis, and underpin long-term goals.

For those that still need to move to stage three, the challenge posed by Burkett and Lisica was: “Your competitors aren’t standing still, but are you even in the race?”

It’s important to note that stage three is much more than a question of data visualization. The value isn’t in a chart or a graphic but rather in understanding how value can be driven by joining systems that have been siloed, and empowering people to make decisions.

That’s where Domo has added real value to manufacturing businesses across the world; the end picture is really just the last stage of the process. It empowers teams with real-time data and insights, allowing teams to measure what matters and make timely decisions.

To learn more about how Domo can support your supply chain with real-time data, click here.

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