Osa Commerce recently returned from Supply Chain USA May 17-18 in Chicago, IL hosted by Reuters. We were thrilled to be a Gold Sponsor and connect with many members of the supply chain and logistics community. This year’s theme was focused on uniting a fragmented ecosystem. After two productive days of listening, learning, engaging, and networking, we left the event with a number of key takeaways that we can tell will be vital for better supply chain management moving forward.
Collaboration is the Name of the Game
Many companies are still navigating the repercussions of the pandemic. Whether dealing with overwhelming sales or striving to improve product journeys and technology solutions, businesses are actively seeking recovery strategies. An exciting trend is an emphasis on collaboration, with organizations adopting additional technology solutions that can meet the needs of their customers.
Retailers and 3PLs need to collaborate more than ever to ensure they are knocking it out of the park in meeting customer exdpectations."
As Chelsea Mori, Osa’s Vice President of Marketing mentioned, “Today’s supply chain is not one size fits all. Retailers and 3PLs need to collaborate more than ever to ensure they are knocking it out of the park in meeting customer expectations.” This collaborative approach ensures the delivery of exceptional customer experiences and enables companies to overcome challenges collectively.
Agile, Digitized Software Solutions are Vital
Supply and demand planning plays a vital role in every company's roadmap, and the ability to adapt quickly is crucial. Events like Supply Chain USA underscore the importance of innovative technologies, which provide the agility and flexibility needed to navigate complex supply chain scenarios. Moreover, these solutions need to optimize visibility in addition to omnichannel capabilities, where brands want, and need to be, to continue growing. Businesses should be investing in technologies that can integrate quickly with new channels and selling platforms, giving brands and retailers new opportunities to sell where their customers are shopping
AI is also playing a significant role in the digitization of the supply chain. While artificial intelligence is not new, its rapid growth and iteration rate are challenging businesses to adapt quickly. It’s clear that AI-driven forecasting models can analyze vast amounts of data, including historical sales, market trends, customer behavior, and external factors, to provide accurate predictions and enable proactive decision-making.
The event also reinforced the value of custom-fit consultation with partners over mere sales pitches, ensuring that companies make informed decisions, which align with their unique requirements.
Innovative Strategies Can Be Simplified
Many supply chain innovations come from seeing a problem or inefficiency, then executing that idea into a real-world application. In other words, a ‘need a light, build a lightbulb’ approach."
Osa senior account executive Brad Wettersten shared an interesting perspective on supply chain innovation, highlighting that “not all ideas in supply chain innovation are overly complicated; many come from seeing a problem or inefficiency, then executing that idea into a real-world application. In other words, a ‘need a light, build a lightbulb’ approach.”
Many good, long-lasting strategies stem from identifying problems or inefficiencies and implementing practical solutions. By focusing on real-world applications, companies can address supply chain challenges more effectively. The event also revealed the significance of cost considerations, with transit fees unexpectedly decreasing, providing an advantage to shippers while creating challenges for transit companies.
There is a Shift in Focus Toward Transportation Management
A significant number of retailers at the event were primarily focused on transportation management and costs, rather than warehouse management. This shift in priorities showcases the industry's ever-evolving landscape, with a greater emphasis on transportation efficiency and cost optimization.
Another trend highlighted by attendees was the growing prominence of doing business in Mexico, reflecting the increasing importance of cross-border trade and regional collaborations.
The Customer Experience is Key
Karl Hammes, Vice President of Sales at Osa, noted that “With all the changes in the marketplace, it was very informative to hear about the top challenges with both shippers and suppliers." Attendees expressed excitement about the impact that Osa, as a solution provider, can have on these various pain points. Moreover, Hammes observed that "the attendees gravitated to 'omni-channel collaboration and visibility' and how that can create positive impact to their business and their customers." Creating a seamless customer experience includes accurate data, with real-time product insights, frictionless checkouts, and optimized returns.
Attendees gravitated to 'omni-channel collaboration and visibility' and how that can create positive impact to their business and their customers."
Osa VP of Sales
Supply Chain USA offered valuable insights into the ever-evolving world of supply chain management. Collaboration, innovation, and customer-centricity emerged as key themes during the discussions. As companies continue to recover from the pandemic and adapt to changing market dynamics, agile partners, software solutions, and a focus on consumer needs are paramount. The event showcased the industry's resilience and determination to overcome challenges, paving the way for a more efficient and collaborative supply chain ecosystem.
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