- A recent DHL Survey reveals 32% of 350 respondents manage more than 10 supply chains at once, making drives for efficiency difficult to implement given a lack of upstream technology standardization, according to a DHL white paper.
- The white paper suggests supply chains should turn their focus to driving growth and use a plug-and-play strategy wherein 80% of systems are standardized across segmented suppliers, and the remaining is custom-tailored to clients.
- Each supply chain may be unique, but most solutions are shared according to the white paper. Several third-party logistics providers already apply this "plug-and-play" focus by segmenting their clients before offering a tailored solution.
Growth and efficiency are not mutually exclusive, but the slight differences in focus can heavily impact how supply chain managers approach problems. A growth-focused manager may place fulfillment and agility at the forefront of needs, while an efficiency-focused manager may prioritize inventory optimization and resilience.
All are good goals, but DHL argues pursuing efficiency for its own sake can fail to add value. As companies transition to the cloud, engage with the internet of things and approve APIs, data may proliferate and become burdensome. Prior to engaging in a data project, supply chain managers should identify the data points that need to be collected.
That's where a focus on growth, rather than efficiency, can help alleviate touch points. By focusing on growth, executives place the customer at the forefront of data collection and better understand how supply chains can boost agility.