Organisations and consumers currently co-exist in a landscape where the customer is truly king. Consumers' bargaining power and demands are exponentially growing, and businesses are seeking to adapt their supply chains to maintain a competitive edge.

New technology is allowing organisations to make their supply chains more efficient, creating exceptional customer service environments with faster delivery times, minimising costs, improving customer satisfaction, stimulating profit margins and allowing better inventory visibility.

Having an optimised supply chain will also streamline internal operations with organisations gaining more intuitive overviews of their operations. Not only are they better able to make informed and instant decisions, companies now have a clearer understanding of daily operations, and are able to make improvements to identified issues.

Gartner has identified that this is the year of the Internet of Things (IoT), labelling it one of the top technology trends of 2015. The IoT encompasses a network of physical objects, which contain fixed technology geared at bridging the gap between intelligent data and human interaction. In this post, I investigate innovative opportunities the IoT offers supply chain businesses.

I picked up a pack of vitamins today and noticed the batch number “020616” and use by “SEP 20” on the label. This is something I consume, so I rely on it being fit to consume. The company that produced it does their best to ensure that it is fit to consume. However, if something went wrong I would also want to be protected.

Traceability is something that consumers expect and that businesses all along the supply chain must cooperate to achieve. We do it in the hope that we will never need it. But if we do need it, we had better be doing it right.

Recently I was looking at different ways of calculating safety stock and one of the calculations I looked at used "average lead time". It occurred to me that lead time is used a lot in supply chain calculations. So, what does it really mean, and should it be recalculated after every delivery?

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